Finishing Touches, Operations, Patrick Miller, V3I6

Local Search Engine Optimization

Local search engine optimization is the science of ranking well in local search results. More than ever before, local search results are driving customers to small businesses. With a smartphone
at hand, your potential customers look for your goods and services online.

Let’s face it, the shed business is highly local in nature. While a strong brand can make you well known across the country, most sheds are sold to customers near to the dealers or manufacturers.

How can you make sure that your customers find you when they pull out their smartphone and look for storage sheds near them? The following seven tips can help you reach those potential customers.


The first step is to claim your online listing on Google’s own platform. Go to and claim your profile. Then, update it with the right information about your hours, your products, photos, and your name, address, and phone number.

Claiming your listing and verifying it has a lot of advantages, but most importantly, you’ll show up in Google Maps and other local search products.

After you’ve claimed your Google My Business page, take advantage of it by posting relevant updates or specials to that page. Recent posts can help your local listing show up in local search results. There are other benefits that I’ll mention further down.


Search engines are big on trust. If your business appears trustworthy to the software bots that are crawling all over the internet, your website is more likely to rank higher in search results. A big indicator of trust is if all of your information is consistent across the many web directories that feed info to the search engines. It’s easy to have inconsistent listings (old phone numbers, old addresses, misspellings, etc.) in the dozens of online databases, which makes your business look less trustworthy to search engines.

Start by making sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is prominently displayed on the homepage of your website. Then, check for errors online.

The best free tool to check these listings is found at You can plug in your business info to check for problems. For a fee, Moz will update these listings for you, or you can update them manually for free. (I don’t have any affiliation with Moz, it’s just the best tool I’ve found for this.)


As I mentioned, trust is a big factor in rankings. Having your customers review your business online shows search engines that you are a trusted business, and it helps to boost your local search rankings. Moz, the software company I mentioned above, estimates that online reviews contribute up to 10 percent of how Google decides to rank your local business.

On your sales receipts or post-sale email content, ask your customers if they would be so kind as to leave a review for you on your Google Business listing, or on Facebook, or one of the other local review sites. (Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, etc.).

In addition to helping boost your local rankings, reviews are critical—as much as 90 percent of buyers say they read online reviews when deciding where to purchase a product or service.


Make sure to mention your location (city, state) in your website content, and even in the URL structure itself. A good way to structure a URL for local search is like this:
sheds-nashville or similar.

Organize your website content for each area you want to serve, and make sure you ask your web developer to include local information in your title tags and header tags on your website.

Ask your web developer to put your business information in Schema markup on your website. This is a part of your website’s HTML code that is specifically structured in a way that helps search engines sort out who you are and what you do.

It’s also very beneficial to have other trusted websites that have local influence link to your website. For example, a local chamber of commerce other similar organization linking to your website from their site will give you a boost.

All of this makes it much easier for Google and other search engines to tell what you do and where you do it, and it increases your chances of ranking well in local search results.


A few years ago, it became clear to many business owners that their websites needed to be “mobile friendly.” Now it appears that the paradigm has shifted, and design needs to start with a focus on the mobile experience and scale to the desktop from there.

Google has made it clear that they will depress your website in search rankings if your website doesn’t work well on mobile. It’s more than just being “mobile optimized,” it means everything should work as well on mobile as the desktop. Your site should load fast, and the relevant information should be easy to navigate through on a smartphone. Avoid any popups or things that could mar the mobile experience.

Fortunately, most modern website platforms make it fairly straightforward to have a great mobile version of your website. If you haven’t made this investment yet, there’s no better time than 2018.


Search used to be very “keyword-based.” More and more searches are happening outside of the traditional Google search box. Voice search is on the rise, as people talk to their smartphones to find the information they’re looking for.

In addition to looking at traditional keywords like “storage sheds,” consider adding content on your website that addresses voice searches. Voice searches may be highly specific or vague. For
example, a potential customer might say to their smartphone assistant, “where can I get a storage shed with low payments” or “place to store my boat.”

Add content to your website that includes these queries and answers them. For example, you might have a piece of content titled “The Perfect Place to Store Your Boat.” In the article, be sure to answer questions that a boat owner would have if he was evaluating a shed as a storage solution for his boat.


Related to Voice Search, but slightly different, are “Near Me” searches. For example, “storage sheds for sale near me.” “Near me” searches are on the rise, as your customers depend on their virtual assistants on their smartphones to find what they’re looking for.

It’s difficult to pin down one tactic that will help you capture “near-me” searches, but there are a number of things you can do to capture these searches. Implementing all of the above steps will help tremendously, for starters. In addition to that, there are a few keyword related strategies you can try:

Create a webpage on your site targeted to a “near me” keyword. For example,

Create content on your website using the “keyword + near + city” format. You might mention “pool house builder near Nashville” on your webpage dedicated to pool houses.

Test local paid search (PPC) with a broad match campaign, to see what people in your area are actually searching for. You can review the searches that caused your paid ad to be shown, then create content on your website around those phrases.

There’s a lot to pay attention to when it comes to marketing and digital marketing in particular. As you prepare for 2018, consider your local search presence, and dedicate some resources to making sure that your customers can find you when they’re looking for you.


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