Undoubtedly, your online local presence can have a big impact on your company's bottom line -- in fact, 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.
But local SEO is nothing new. Businesses have been using Google My Business for years. Yelp's been around since 2004. And now, you can even use Facebook to find local businesses, like when I search "Mexican restaurants nearby":
If you have a presence on each of these big players, you might be thinking you're all set for local SEO. However, there just might be another major opportunity coming your way -- Instagram.
Here, we're going to tell you everything we know about Instagram's local business pages. Instagram hasn't formally announced or rolled out local business pages across the app yet, but we want to make sure you're prepared for when it is.
What's an Instagram local business profile?
An Instagram local business profile is similar to Google's Local Knowledge panels. When an Instagram user searches for a keyword related to your local business, a box could appear in the search results with your business's relevant information. The profile includes your business address, hours, contact information, and website, as well as a link to your business's Instagram profile.
To consider how Instagram's local business profiles will work, let's take a look at Google's Local Knowledge panels, which are incredibly similar in nature:
As you can see, when you search for a local business on Google, you might find a Local Knowledge panel, which is essentially a box of information regarding the business, including images, location, hours of operation, and website.
Now, let's take a look at Instagram's version of local business profiles:
Instagram's local business profiles will include your business's address, hours of operation, website, phone number, and a "View Profile" link to your business's Instagram account -- all within the app.
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram provides you with a ton of potential reach. Ideally, these local business profiles will help your business get found even more easily.
Allegedly, users can claim an Instagram business profile if they also have access to that business's Facebook page. Since Facebook owns Instagram, it makes sense that the two networks would be linked.
For the time being, Instagram hasn't made an official statement on local business profiles, and the feature isn't rolled-out globally. It's still being tested, which is likely why only select users (like Raj Nijjer) are able to see these local business profiles.
However, to prepare for your business to have a local business profile, it's critical you ensure your Facebook's business page is up-to-date, since at this point we're assuming your business' basic information will be taken from Facebook business pages.
Additionally, it seems that Instagram's local business profiles will pull your most recent three consecutive images, as it did for The New York EDITION:
Once Instagram's local business profiles is fully launched, you'll want to pay attention to your current images to ensure you feel the content rightfully represents your brand. In a complete Instagram feed, you might feel like one image isn't a big deal -- but for a new visitor spotting an image in a business profile, it's critical the content convinces them to click-through.
Finally, note the "Claim" button in the top right. If you "Claim" the page, you'll be able to edit the associated business information. This should put you at ease -- it means you'll have control over your local business profile, once the feature is launched.
How do you get an Instagram local business profile?
Set up an Instagram business account.
Repost local content and use geotags.
Regularly post images, videos, and Stories.
Create a Facebook page for your business, and ensure the information is accurate.
Search for your business under "Location" and click button reading "View information". Local business profiles is still in beta testing, but you can see if your business is included yet.
Right now, Instagram's local business profiles is still in beta testing. However, to prepare your business for a local business profile, make sure you have an Instagram business account, as well as a Facebook business account.
Additionally, while unverified, it stands to reason posting local content, using local geotags, and reposting other local business's content could help Instagram more quickly determine your business's location when they roll out local business profiles globally.