Last week, we saw that some businesses can now edit their business descriptions in Google My Business. Now Sergey Alakov spotted that sometimes Google is showing…
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
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The competition between online and brick-and-mortar stores is heating up, and local search optimization can become a decisive factor in how a site ranks locally and, consequently, in how much traffic and clients it drives from local, on-the-go searches.
Fortunately, major local search tactics are not that hard to master. Follow the six steps below to achieve the best results in terms of SERPs, traffic, and conversions on the local battlefield.
Failure to claim your company’s account at Google My Business may be the reason your website does not show up at the top spot of Google’s local search results. If you are not there (and Bing Places for Business), you are missing out on incredible opportunities to drive local traffic.
With Google’s local three-pack considered to be the coveted spot for every local business, you need to please the Google gods to get listed there:
According to Google My Business guidelines, any business can be unlisted if they violate any of the following rules:
According to a Local Search Ranking Factors Study 2017 by Moz, link signals play a key role in how sites rank in local search. However, many website owners pay zero attention to online directories and listings, which are a safe source of relevant, high-quality links.
The process here is simple:
Bonus tip! Like directories and listings, citation data aggregators feed search engines with crucial bits of information about your business, such as your business name, address and phone number (NAP). Ensure that all information you submit to CDAs is consistent. Do not confuse your customers and Google.
Titles and meta descriptions are still a biggie in local search. Customizable HTML elements act as ads that define how a page’s content is reflected in search results, and they have to be catchy enough to get clicked.
Since titles and meta descriptions are limited to ~50+ and ~160+ characters, they may pose a challenge. These tips should help:
What it comes down to is this: Even if your business gets a coveted No.1 position in local search thanks to all of your SEO efforts, you still have to incentivize users to click on your link. Masterfully crafted and meaningful titles and meta descriptions can make a big difference.
According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 85% trusting them as much as personal recommendations.
Since reviews can become your ultimate weapon for building trust and a positive reputation among your targeted audience, it makes sense to ask for them. As of 2017, 68% of consumers are willing to leave a review when asked by the business (70% in 2016).
So where do you start? Implement this simple process to manage your reviews:
Bonus tip! Since consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business, develop a strategy for generating ongoing positive reviews. Make sure to contact happy customers and ask for their reviews to mitigate the effect of negative reviews.
Schema markup, a code used for marking up crucial bits of data on a page to assist search engine spiders in determining a page’s contents, is one of the most powerful but least-utilized SEO methods. With ~10 million websites implementing Schema.org markup, you should start using this leverage against your competition.
However, structured data is not simple to master. As of 2017, Schema’s core vocabulary consists of 597 Types, 867 Properties, and 114 Enumeration values.
The good news is that Google has developed several tools to help business owners, marketers, and SEO professionals:
Bonus tip! Make LocalBusiness schema your top priority. Particularly, discover specific Types for different businesses below the list of properties.
On the link-building side of things, content is your most powerful weapon. Reach out to local publications, media sites, and bloggers to serve up content that soothes the pain points of local consumers. You will not only get coverage and reach new audiences, but you will also garner relevant backlinks that push your site up in local searches.
Follow this process to amplify your linkbuilding efforts through content marketing:
Bonus tip! Consider cooperating with other local businesses to build powerful content. Reach out to your partners to research ideas and create content with meat on its bones. Otherwise, you may fall short of beating out competition from national-level players.
SEO changes all the time, and local search is not much different. However, the six steps above will provide a solid bedrock for your local SEO strategy. Implement these tactics, and you will outperform your competition in local search results.
Google My Business is giving restaurants the ability to add and edit menus directly in their GMB listing.
The post Google My Business Lets Restaurants Add Menus to Listings by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.