The key to any successful business is valuable customers. However, getting customers can prove quite a challenge in the fast-paced world of search engines if you are unfamiliar with what to do. Below we’re going to go over five simple steps to help improve the visibility of your business in the local search engine results.

1. You Must Have A Mobile-Friendly Website

Having a responsive theme on your website is imperative to landing on the first page of the Google search engine results. Searchers are using mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, more than ever before. Google realized this and chose to reduce the rankings of websites that weren’t mobile friendly. They don’t want websites showing up that searchers are unable to get information from. So if you want to gain any visibility on Google you must have a responsive website, period!

2. Claim Your Google Business Page

Google is an information collecting machine. It scours websites to find the contact details for businesses in local areas. Your business is most likely already listed on Google when your business name or the services your business offers are searched in the local area. Many times your contact information, business hours, and website address can be wrong or missing.

By claiming your Google Business page you can correct and add necessary information so that potential customers know how and when to reach you. A business page will allow you to read reviews people are leaving about your business and let you keep track of your business’s overall rating by consumers. In addition, Google Business pages offer valuable statistics including the number of views and phone calls your business receives.

You can claim your Google Business page at

3. Claim Local Citations

Citations are best described as mentions of your business on other websites. These mentions of your business name, address, phone number, and website help to prove to search engines, like Google and Bing, that your business is real.

Some examples of online local citations include Yellowpages, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Superpages, Whitepages, Merchant Circle, Foursquare, Angie’s List, Healthgrades, City Search, and Phonepages. The more local citations that you get the more trusted your website becomes in the google search engine results and the more visibility your business will receive from potential clients looking for your services.

Want to run a test on your business? Use our free visibility tool here.

4. Optimizing Your Own Website

One major factor in ensuring your website shows up at the top the search engine results is optimizing it correctly. Telling the search engine what your pages are about through keyword-rich meta titles, meta descriptions, optimized URLs, and alternative image tags are imperative.

When a user is searching for a specific service, such as a lawyer in Miami, the search engine wants to return websites that provide information on that subject. By including the necessary words of lawyer and Miami in the areas listed above, the search engine will better connect your website with being the ideal result for the searcher. If a website is not optimized the search engine has no real way of knowing what the site is about and therefore will not show the site at the top of the search results.

5. Focus On Getting Good Reviews

Search engines are paying more and more attention to the reviews that businesses are getting from customers. Google is listening to what people have to say about your business. It’s important to work on getting as many good reviews as you possibly can. This will help to improve your rankings in the search results and, most importantly, give reassurance to new customers that your business is the right choice for them.

A business can get reviews from tons of online review sites. A few examples are Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s list. Having reviews in all these places is good, however picking the most popular review sites that the majority of new customers will be using is the best approach to increasing your customer base.

For example, if you are in the restaurant business, many new customers are likely to look at a site like Yelp to read your reviews and star ratings. On the contrary, looking for a contractor on Yelp may not be so popular. For that industry, reviews on sites like are where customers are looking.

It’s a good idea to take some time and think about potential sites new customers will be looking for your services on. Then work on encouraging your existing clients to leave you a review on those sites. If you provide a valuable service, many customers will be more than happy to leave you a review.

If you take action on the five steps listed above you will grow your business’s online presence. Your website will start to show up for more local search results relating to your industry. And remember the more of these steps you consistently do, the more online visibility your business will receive.

Happy Marketing

– Phil Fisk, President Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.