Location Data + Reviews: The 1–2 Punch of Local SEO (Updated for 2020)

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Posted by MiriamEllis Get found. Get chosen. It’s the local SEO two-step at the heart of every campaign. It’s the 1-2 punch combo that hinges on a balance of visible, accurate contact data, and a volunteer salesforce of consumer reviewers who are supporting your rise to local prominence. But here’s the thing: while managed location data and reviews may be of equal and complementary power, they shouldn’t require an equal share of your time. Automation of basic business data distribution is the key to freeing you up to focus on the elements of listings that require human ingenuity — namely, reviews and other listings-based content like posts and Q&A.; It’s my hope that sharing this article with your team or your boss will help you get the financial allocations you need for automated listings management, plus generous resources for creative reputation management. Location data + reviews = the big picture When Google lists a business, it gives good space to the business name, and a varying degree of space to the address and phone number. But look at the real estate occupied by the various aspects associated with reputation: If Google cares this much about ratings, review text, responses, and emerging elements like place topics and attributes, any local brand you’re marketing should see these factors as a priority. In this article, I’ll strive to codify your actionable perspective on managing both location data and the many aspects of reviews. Ratings: The most powerful local filter of them all In the local SEO industry, we talk a lot about Google’s filters, like the Possum filter that’s supposed to strain local businesses through a sort of sieve so that a greater diversity of mapped results is shown to the searcher. But searchers have an even more powerful filter than this — the human-driven filter of ratings that helps people intuitively sort local brands by perceived quality. Whether they’re stars or circles, the majority of rating icons send a 1–5 point signal to consumers that can be instantly understood. This symbol system has been around since at least the 1820s ; it’s deeply ingrained in all our brains as a judgement of value. This useful, rapid form of shorthand lets a searcher needing to do something like grab a quick taco see that the food truck with five Yelp stars is likely a better bet than the one with only two. Meanwhile, …

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Basic Reputation Management for Better Customer Service

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Posted by MiriamEllis The Internet can be a great connector, but sometimes, it acts as a barrier. Your local business receives a negative review, and the slate-colored words on the bland white screen can seem so cold, remote. You respond, but the whole interaction feels stilted, formal, devoid of face-to-face human feelings, like this: At least when a complaint occurs via phone, the tone of a customer’s voice tells you a bit more and you can strive to respond with an appropriate vocal pitch, further questions, soothing, helping, maybe resolving. Still, if you’re working off a formal script, the human connection can be missed: Image credit: News Oresund , Elvert Barnes It’s a win when a customer complains in person to your staff, but only if those employees have been empowered to use their own initiative to solve problems. Employees who’ve been tasked with face-to-face interactions but lack permission to …

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The Definitive Guide to Local SEO

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Local SEO is important. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local . That means if you’re a local business and you don’t have your local SEO in order, you’re missing an opportunity every time someone searches for your products or services online. And there’s a lot of people searching. About 89% of people search for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week, with 58% searching daily. And from that search, 72% will visit a store within five miles . These searchers are unlikely to find you if your local SEO is poor. What, Exactly, Is Local SEO? Local SEO is the practice of increasing the online visibility of local businesses. It’s similar organic SEO , but with an added geographical component. Specifically, you’re aiming to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for local searches. There’s no point in a New …

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What are Google Review Summaries?

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What are Google review summaries, and how do they impact consumers’ view of your brand? First impressions matter. When people search for a business or your specific business name on Google, one of the first things they see is your Google listing and the corresponding reviews. Those reviews, positive or negative, impact how they view your brand. What others have to say about your brand could impact how people perceive your brand. It could help them decide if they want to do business with you or not. It could encourage them to give you a call, visit your website, or stop by your local shop. Or it may encourage them to keep looking for a business with better reviews. Let’s talk more about Google review summaries and what they mean for your company. Intro to Google Review Summaries Google review summaries are the snippets of three customer reviews for your …

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The Local SEO Stats & Practical Tactics of Google’s Top-Ranked Grocery Stores

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Posted by MiriamEllis Grocery stores belong at the center of the 2021 local SEO industry conversation. Other than medical facilities, no enterprise stands out more clearly on the map as essential to daily life in the US, and few verticals have had to adapt more rapidly in mid-flight than our neighborhood food stores in the COVID-19 era. From independent grocers to major supermarket chains, there are heroes in every aisle keeping the nation fed. Any data that supports the strong continuance of these businesses is well worth sharing. In this article, I’ll provide results from 900 data points I pulled while analyzing the top local-pack-ranked grocery store in each of the 50 US capital cities. I’ll also summarize the practical tactics I’ve learned from listening to grocers and their marketers, highlighting how they’re adapting and succeeding in unprecedented times. It’s my hope that both in-house and agency grocery marketers will …

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Heart, Ear, Eye, Mind, Mouth: Local SEO Exercises for Your Least Technical Clients

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Posted by MiriamEllis When was the last time you relaxed with a client? As a local business consultant, I know that deeper marketing insights can be discovered when you set aside formality and share experiences: a moment, a laugh, a common bond. When I’m looking for ways to make life easier for a client, I sometimes reflect on ancient practices like yoga, tai chi, and mindful breathing, which are increasingly understood as beneficial to human health . For a space in time, they reduce the complex world we live in to a simpler one where being, breath, movement, and focus bring the practitioner to a more intuitive state. Local marketing agencies can empathize with the complex world their clients inhabit. Local business owners must manage everything from rent and employee benefits to customer service, business reviews, web content, and online listings. When you take on a new client, you expect …

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A Beginner’s Guide to Ranking in Google Maps

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Posted by Alex_Ratynski For local businesses today, there are numerous different ways to market your brand online. The majority of your potential customers still use Google to find local businesses near them — businesses where they will spend their hard-earned money. In fact, 80% of searches with “local intent” result in a conversion. This begs the question: “What’s the best way to catch the attention of local searchers on Google?” The answer: through Google Maps marketing. What is Google Maps marketing? Google Maps marketing is the process of optimizing the online presence of your brand in Google Maps, with the goal of increasing your brand’s online visibility. When you search a query on Google that has local intent, you often see something like this: Google Maps marketing utilizes a number of strategies and tactics to help your business become one of those three positions on local map packs. Why is …

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Google My Business: What It Is, How To Use It, and Why

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Posted by MiriamEllis Google My Business is both a free tool and a suite of interfaces that encompasses a dashboard, local business profiles, and a volunteer-driven support forum with this branding. Google My Business and the associated Google Maps make up the core of Google’s free local search marketing options for eligible local businesses. Today, we’re doing foundational learning! Share this simple, comprehensive article with incoming clients and team members to get off on the right foot with this important local business digital asset. An introduction to the basics of Google My Business First, let’s get on the same page regarding what Google My Business is and how to be part of it. What is Google My Business? Google My Business (GMB) is a multi-layered platform that enables you to submit information about local businesses, to manage interactive features like reviews and questions, and to publish a variety of media …

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What Are Google Customer Reviews?

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With the competition becoming fiercer every day, e-commerce businesses need to pull all the stops to ensure they continue beating the competition . One simple yet powerful marketing tool you can use to your advantage is the Google Customer Reviews feature. Research shows that 70 percent of people trust online reviews more than they trust advertisements. That’s why getting as many reviews as possible from your customers can be one of the best things you can do for your business. Google has made that easy with Google Customer Reviews. Let’s dive right in and see what these reviews are all about. An Overview of Google Customer Reviews Google Customer Reviews is a service that allows businesses to collect reviews on their website. To participate in Google Customer Reviews, you must have a Google Merchant account. Google does most of the heavy lifting by helping collect customer feedback for you. To …

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The Marketer’s Guide to Gain Brand Mileage on Google Maps

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Are you a local business that serves customers at a physical address? Then you must snatch the golden opportunity to grab consumer attention with the ultimate local guide, on a mobile device including the iPhone and iPad as well as all Android device products. ⅓ of mobile searches are based on location. Overall, local searches are growing 50% faster than overall mobile searches. As of 2013, 70% of searchers used the “ click-to-call ” function directly from the search engine result pages (SERPs). Searches including the phrase “best place to buy” with the applicable product or service keyword grew by 70% between 2015 and 2018. “Near me” searches also rose by 500% in recent years. These include searches like “car dealerships near me” and “wedding dresses near me.” Google also realizes that your business is ‘special.’ And, it released an algorithmic update, in July, 2014, to favor local businesses for …

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The 6 Best Local SEO Companies of 2020

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Local search has exploded. Research from Think with Google, says local searches with the qualifier “near me” have grown by 150 percent faster than other local search queries. There’s been a 500 percent increase in “near me” mobile searches and a 900 percent increase in “near me today/tonight” searches. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Google introduced us to something they call “ micro moments .” They defined micro moments as “an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need — to know, go, do, or buy.” Businesses that rely on local SEO companies dominate these micro moments in the long run. Which company is best for your business? We’ll take a look at a few of the best Local SEO companies in the industry today. 6 of the Best Local SEO companies 1. NP Digital – Best for …

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