Getting Found in Local Searches through Local SEO

Getting Found on Local Search is not an Accident

The are a number of steps that you as a business owner can take to help ensure that your business is visible in the #1 place that people go to look for local products and services, that is, online.

The following webinar, which was sponsored by Manta and Yext, will demonstrate several new tips that you can use to boost your online presense and connect with more customers, including:

  • how to get more targeted traffic from basic local SEO tactics,
  • increase profits and ROI by converting more business from leads,
  • get more sales by improving your site content strategy.

Manta maintains an online community and directory focused on small businesses and gets over 10M visitors per month according to the latest data from Compete.com.

 

Yext offers an online service enabling businesses to upload and manage their business location information, including business category, photos, rich content lists, offers and more for one or more location.

 

Andrew Shotland, Local SEO expertBut enough about the sponsors, now on to the star of the show, Andrew Shotland, of Local SEO Guide. Andrew is a Search Marketer With Specialty in Local SEO, News SEO, Google Plus SEO & Ecommerce SEO.

 

Local SEO: Learn How Local SEO Can Put Your Business on the Map, Literally

Learning Local SEO Video – Detailed Agenda with Timeline 

In the Webinar, Andrew covers what he refers to as the Top Local SE0 Ranking Factors

  1. Understanding Your Customer 8:30 – 9:27 (the most important place to start as all the remaining factors will be based on your understanding of your customer and how they search for what it is you offer)
  2. “National” Local SE0 9:28 – 18:06
    • Targeted Title Tags
    • Pages targeting service/category keywords
    • Pages for each business location
    • Phone numbers and addresses on each page
    • Regularly updated text content (e.g. blog)
    • Photos & videos with keywords (videos convert at much higher rate than text links)
    • Links to pages with keywords in links (i.e. anchor text)
    • Links from other relevant sites with some ideas to get links including the following creative ideas:
      • Host parties/events
      • Provide ATM at your location
      • Provide free wifi
      • Post a silly photo/video
      • Sponsor a local charity/festival/sports team
      • Offer some products/services online to shopping search engines
      • Give special deals to local groups
      • Write a blog and link to other local blogger
    • Make your websites accessible (e.g. avoid flash, over use of images, etc.)
  3. Keyword Targeting on Website 18:07 – 19:26
    • Change the title tags -Keyword Targeting: each URL needs a unique. targeted Title Tag, Headline (H1 Tag) and Meta Description text 

      My favorite home page, title tag and meta description:

      Main Keyword + Location | Business Name | More Keywords
      Information about more services/keywords, PHONE NUMBER and location information, directions 

  4. Location 19:27 – 20:21 – Doesn’t recommend creating fake locations; must use a real business address – no P.O. boxes allowed
  5. Google+ Local Page – Complete and Verify 20:22 – 21:24
    • Correct NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
    • URL (local landing page for each physical location)
    • Description
    • 5 Categories
    • Service Area and Location Setting
    • Hours of Operation
    • Payment Options
    • Photos
    • Videos
    • Additional Details
  6. Categorization 21:25 – 22:02 most important aspect of Google+ Local page setup.
  7. Data Consistency 22:03 – 23:54 especially when it comes to NAP – Name, Address and Phone number. This includes on your website and any other local listings that exist elsewhere online (e.g. main yellow pages, maps, listings and data aggregators who supply local business information such as Acxiom, Factual,InfoGroup, NeuStar Localeze).
  8. Citations 23:55 – 26:41 defined as when another website mentions your name, address and phone number. Andrew mentions some top citation sources including local directory sites (i.e. IYP – Internet Yellow Pages), industry specific directories, local sites such as news associations, other topic related sites. Some resources for finding the best local citation sources include:
  9. Reviews 26:42 – 29:22 For categories where reviews are popular, based on Andrew’s experience, five reviews on Google+ Local Pages seems to be the magic Number in terms of having business reviews impact local search ranking for a business. Some advice from Andrew includes:
    • Create a plan for obtaining customer reviews
    • Follow-up emails and surveys are a great mechanism to get reviews
    • Target review requests by email address. For instance, if some has a gmail account, then they already have the login required to leave feedback on a Google+ Local business page. If they have a Yahoo!, send them a link to your Yahoo! local page. Do not ask a customer who has never left a review on Yelp before to leave you a review on Yelp as it probably will be viewed as SPAM and removed.
    • Avoid providing incentives such as free gifts in exchange for a customer review as it is against the terms of use for services such as Yelp or Google+. Violations, if caught, may result in loss of all reviews or worse yet, lost of a Google+ or Yelp profile for your local business.
    • Retail locations should not use Kiosks as this will be viewed by Google+ and other services as SPAM since they will flag multiple reviews originating from the same IP address.
    • Monitor your reviews especially if you are a restaurant or hotel as these categories are most likely to have negative reviews that can impact a business’ online reputation while negatively influencing purchase decisions and driving away potential clients. Respond in a firm, non emotional tone while sticking to the facts. Never ignore negative feedback as it will be accepted by those viewed if un-addressed.
  10. Regular Content Updates 29:23 – 31:50 Andrew strongly recommends investing in content creation, then promotion as a way to marketing and grow your business online.
    • When trying to come up with content ideas, think like a reporter thinking, then writing about the Who, What, Where, Why as it applied to your customers (remember the first point, know your customer) and their context
    • FAQs – write answers to the top 10 or top 100 questions that all potential customers always ask during their buying process.
      • How Much Does it Cost?
      • Does it Hurt?
      • What Size Does it Come in?
      • What Does it Mean?
    • The Best …, The Top …, How To …)
    • Here’s the questions you didn’t ask but should
    • Anything that helps build trust and adds value

Advanced Local SEO Tactics

  • Video SEO 31:51 – 33:40
    • Create a video on a product or service,
    • Upload that video to popular video sites such as YouTube, metacafe, DailyMotion,
    • Use keywords in video title and description,
    • Add a call to action and phone number,
    • Link to website from video and embed video in website
    • Uploading transcript to a video site will help with video SEO.
  • Link up your profiles 33:40 – 35:39 to and from the business website; this can allow a business to dominate the first page of the search results while pushing reviews that are less than positive off the first page of the search results (sometimes).
  • Link to your partners to provide more links on the first page
  • Authorship 35:40 – 36:33 (through Google+) – how to setup Author information in search results article withing Google Webmaster Tools Help. Results in thumbnail image from Google+ profile appearing next to your search results. Andrew indicated that for him, this increased his click-through rate by 20%, right off the bat.

10  Local SEO tactics that you can do right away

36:34 – 37:43

  1. Target customer search queries in title tags/pages
  2. Claim/update your Google+ Local page
  3. Check NAP consistency at Yext.com by running a free online visibility scan
  4. Claim all other big local directory, niche profiles and submit local business inforamation to big data providers
  5. Add NAP on all website pages
  6. Create service area pages
  7. Make a Video
  8. Link everything up
  9. Add some content to your site
  10. Add author tag to site

Additional Local SEO Articles/Resources:

About

Rick Noel is an experienced digital marketer enabling businesses and organizations to grow through the Internet, while maximizing marketing ROI (Return On Investment). Rick is the CEO and Co-Founder of eBiz ROI, Inc., a full-service digital marketing agency located in Ballston Lake, NY.

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