Operating During COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by MiriamEllis Local businesses know better than any other model what it means to fully participate in community life. You are the good neighbors who are there to serve, inspire, and sustain the people and traditions that make your town a unique and enjoyable place to call home. As we explore this topic of what local businesses can do during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to honor all that you have always done to take care of your community as a local business owner or marketer. Thank you. In this article, you will find local SEO tips that could make a difference for your business in the coming weeks, innovative resources for support, advice from my own tight-knit community of some of the world’s best local SEOs, and some serious thinking about building a better local future. Adhere to all regulations First and foremost, start each day with a review of both local and national news to be sure you are complying with the evolving regulations for your city, county, and country. Policies designed to mitigate the harm of COVID-19 vary widely from region to region, and your business must keep informed of which forms of service you are allowed to offer in this dynamic scenario. And, while social media can be a great connector within your community at any time, beware of misinformation and, sadly, scams in the days ahead. Get your news from sources you trust, and if you are not certain about interpreting a guideline, directly contact local authorities. This article does not take the place of laws and regulations specific to your community. Communicate abundantly The most helpful thing any local business can do right now, whether it’s deemed an essential or non-essential service, is to provide accurate information to its community. There are three key places to do this: Google My Business “More than ever, your Google Business Profile is a critical communication nexus with your customers”. —Mike Blumenthal, GatherUp Local businesses know just how big a role Google plays as intermediary between brands and the public. This remains true during this difficult time however, Google’s local product is not running at full strength. Joy Hawkins’ article for Local University on March 23 details the limited support for or complete discontinuation of Google Q&As;, posts, descriptions, reviews, and owner responses. It’s an evolving scenario, with local SEOs reporting different outcomes each day. For example, …

Read Full Article on Moz

Business as Unusual: How to Communicate Your New and Updated Services with Google My Business

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by ktaing Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, business owners have had to move quickly to make drastic changes in their services to meet searchers’ new needs in a continuously unpredictable landscape. While “Near me” searches saw a slight drop in early 2020, since then, have maintained a steady increase, further solidifying the need for brands and businesses of all sizes to be present and discoverable online. During the pandemic, almost a third of shoppers have purchased from a brand that’s new to them . In this article, we’ll explore tactics for surfacing your new or updated services digitally to guide and convert these new searchers during their decision-making process. What types of questions are searchers asking? How can I do business with you? When thinking about your Google My Business profile and adjustments to your information, the most important element is informing searchers how they can …

More

Supporting Small Business Saturday with 2020-Conscious Marketing

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Elvert Barnes “Conscious spending with the community can contribute to neighborhood sustainability.” — Christine Araquel, The Park’s Finest I encountered this quote from a restauranteur on the American Express Small Business Saturday website , and just these few words called a vivid image to my mind: local business owners and customers gazing together toward the horizon, hoping to pierce the clouds of COVID-19 and see them clearing away, revealing communities that are still standing, and still capable of sustaining our hometowns, our cities, and our dreams. 72% of consumers believe they will frequent neighboring businesses more after the crisis is over, but that will take all of us doing our part now to ensure as many SMBs are still there to greet us when better days return. In Q4 of 2019, I used my column to encourage local business owners to start having meaningful conversations …

More

My 8 Best Local SEO Tips for the 2020 Holidays

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by MiriamEllis   Image credit: DoSchu “No place like home for the holidays.” This will be the refrain for the majority of your customers as we reach 2020’s peak shopping season. I can’t think of another year in which it’s been more important for local businesses to plan and implement a seasonal marketing strategy extra early, to connect up with customers who will be traveling less and seeking ways to celebrate at home. Recently, it’s become trendy in multiple countries to try to capture the old Danish spirit of hygge , which the OED defines as: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. While this sometimes-elusive state of being isn’t something you can buy direct from a store, and while some shoppers are still unfamiliar with hygge by name, many will be trying to create it at home this year. …

More

Top 10 Changes That Impacted Google My Business in 2020

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by ColanNielsen 2020 has been a busy year for Google My Business (GMB). Since January, Google has launched new features, fixed bugs, and had to adapt to the global pandemic. At Sterling Sky, we think it’s important to keep track of all the changes that happen in the local search space in general, and that impact GMB specifically. So far in 2020 we are up to 54 changes. As you can tell, changes that impact Google My Business came at a fast pace — and at high volume — in 2020. In this post, I highlight the changes I think were most important in each month of this year, so far. For an exhaustive list of all the updates that have been made, check out this timeline . January: Google posts borked — hello, 2020! Foreshadowing things to come, GMB started off the year with a major issue in …

More

How Your Local Business Can Be a Helper

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by MiriamEllis “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers This quote is one I find myself turning to frequently these days as a local SEO. It calls to mind my irreplaceable neighborhood grocer. On my last essential run to their store, they not only shared a stashed 4-pack of bath tissue with me, but also stocked their market with local distillery-produced hand sanitizer which I was warned will reek of bourbon, but will get the job done. When times are hard, finding helpers comes as such …

More

How Google Local Guides Improve Visibility

{ object.primary_image.title }}

As a business owner, you know reviews and fresh content are essential to your success. Suppose you’re passionate about promoting your business. In that case, you likely spend a lot of time creating new blog articles, crafting social media posts, or developing video content to keep your audience engaged. But there’s another, more passive promotion method that can help grow your business and boost your local search results: Google Local Guides . Launched in 2015, Google Local Guides—also known as Google Guides—took over where Google Cities left off. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the closest comparison is the Yelp! Elite Squad . Google Guides allows users to add reviews and other content in exchange for various perks ranging from storage space to clothing. Since its launch, the Google Guides community has proved hugely popular. There are 120 million local guides , spanning 24,000 cities and towns. There are several potential …

More

How to Grow Your Local Business During Uncertain Times

{ object.primary_image.title }}

No doubt this is a hard time to grow a local business. Coronavirus has likely forced you to make big changes to the way you operate. It’s almost certainly hit your bottom line too. However, it’s still absolutely possible to grow your local business at a time like this. You just have to be smart about it. In this article, I’ll talk you through how to do that. First, though, here’s a bit of detail on why this is such a challenging time for businesses like yours. The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Local Businesses You’re probably sick of reading and hearing the word “unprecedented.” I know I am. Unfortunately, it’s just the best word to describe the current climate for local businesses. By the end of March, 32 states had locked down in response to the pandemic. Two in five small businesses across the US had temporarily closed …

More

Crisis Adaptation - Whiteboard Friday

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by BritneyMuller Businesses all over the globe are struggling with new challenges as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers turning to the internet for the majority of their needs, it's never been more vital to ensure your online presence is easily found and your business updates clearly communicated. In this special edition of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller outlines a checklist that businesses can use to meet the changing needs of consumers and improve visibility for local searches. Bonus — We've adapted these tips into a free checklist you can download and share: Get the checklist Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we're going over crisis adaptation, and I first have to give a huge shout-out to Miriam Ellis , who really helped me …

More

The Definitive Guide to Local SEO

{ object.primary_image.title }}

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 …

More

The State of Local SEO: Experts Weigh in on Industry-Specific Tactics

{ object.primary_image.title }}

Posted by MiriamEllis The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way we engage with local businesses. We're ordering more food for delivery, spending more money in online shops, and checking for safety measures on the web listings of businesses of all kinds. But what do these new trends mean for the ways businesses market themselves online? We asked five local SEO experts to zero in on the trends and tactics businesses across five industries should focus on to get ahead — and stay ahead — during this time. For more local insights, download our State of Local SEO Industry Report . 1. 70% of local marketers reported marketing budget cuts due to COVID-19, leading marketers to focus even more on the most impactful local SEO campaign elements. Which three local search marketing tactics are delivering the most value for businesses right now, and why? Phil Rozek : Health and Wellness Services …

More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our newsletter and never miss out trending marketing news.

HitcountVariables(pk=1334, ajax_url='/api/hit/ajax/', hits='4')