Operating During COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

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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, …

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How Your Local Business Can Be a Helper

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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 …

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Crisis Adaptation - Whiteboard Friday

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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 …

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How Google Local Guides Improve Visibility

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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 …

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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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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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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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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 5 Best SEO Companies of 2020

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Anywhere you find a cube of sugar in the open, you’ll find ants. Today, the SEO service providers’ industry, valued over $65 billion , is like a cube of sugar. It’s why you’ll find countless SEO companies scrambling for a piece of that sugary cake. And where does that leave you, a business owner eager to reach Google’s top pages, generate qualified traffic, and drive sales? Insanity! With all this confusion, I sense you came here pondering: How do I filter vetted SEO companies? How can I find a top SEO company that doesn’t need ads to rank its website organically? You’ll find the answer to those questions here. And that’s not all. You’ll also see the SEO companies that go beyond vanity metrics and deliver real business results. …

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Mapping Local Essentials: Being the Business that Grows, Sells, or Markets the Beans

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Posted by MiriamEllis Image credit: Kenneth Leung , Michael Coghlan “Dried beans saw a more than 230% increase in demand and rice sales spiked by 166% in that same time.” - ABC How should a business operate now? Where is there work to be done? Economists are making stark predictions about the future of small businesses in the US, but at the same time, I live in a town without a courier service established enough to meet the mushrooming demand for home delivery. Frankly, it’s devastating reading headlines forecasting the permanent closure of 7.5 million American SMBs , but while absorbing these, I also spent six weeks shaking the Internet for bathroom tissue before locating some 1,400 miles away. Point being: Where there’s need, fulfilment can be a public good, and where there’s upheaval, any possibility is worth considering. Necessities are emerging in bold relief on the map of each …

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Third-party vs. In-house Delivery: A Guide to Informed Choice

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Posted by MiriamEllis   Image credit: Robert Couse-Baker Before all else, gratitude to every delivery person, whether in-house or third party, doing the essential work of keeping households safer and supplied in these times. I’m dedicating today’s column to the manager of a nearby Sprouts grocery store who personally drove my order to my door when an Instacart driver just couldn’t get the job done. If your business or clients are weighing whether to fulfill delivery in-house or partner with a third party, my small experience is an apt footnote to the huge, emergent debate over last-mile fulfillment options. I’d searched all over town for scarce potatoes, finally arranging by phone with the local Sprouts market to hold their last two bags for me one morning, and texting the Instacart driver about where the spuds were being held. Next: For whatever reason, the driver chose not to retrieve them, …

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