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Local Search Ranking Factors that Matter in 2020

How to Know What Local Search Ranking Factors You Need to Worry About

Every year the folks over at Moz come out with what has proven to be the authoritative annual report on local search ranking factors. They poll experts from the field and come up with an easy to read and comprehend report that details the empirical evidence of how Google is ranking local pages.

Sometimes it can be difficult to wade through the SEO-speak, so simply speaking, here are our takeaways from the latest report, issued October.

What’s working in local search ranking in 2020

Review Signals – Even more during this COVID-19 period, customers are going local – and what is the first thing they do? Look for reviews.  Search engines naturally wants to show quality results to the users, so their algorithms are paying close attention to customer reviews, but not only that – the engagement of business owners with the customers.  Don’t just focus on Google reviews – keep in mind that Bing and Yahoo will show Yelp and Facebook reviews in their local listings.

Would you be interested in knowing how to get more 5-star reviews than your competitors?  Download this free comprehensive guide.

User Behavior matters – Google is now paying particular attention to what your user does while they’re on your website. They are viewing click-throughs, filling out forms, length of time spent on the site, actions taken, even getting directions – all as a sign that your site is providing a good search experience.  Good content is always a top foundational necessity for user engagement and social signals – and always will be.  Does your business have a regular blog content strategy?

Proximity to the searcher – This used to be high, but in recent times, it dropped to 3rd.  Proximity is still important, but it appears that the optimization of your Google My Business (GMB) listing  and reviews have a higher influence on placement in the maps listings. If your local pages are GEO optimized, you stand a far better chance at Google being able to connect the dots and show your results for searches in your area. Google has also gotten better at knowing desktop locations, something it had not done well the past.

Domain authority – Another signal that is flying upwards. Though it is still possible to find lots of spammy results in local, the tide is clearly in your favor if you are a brand that continues to build authority and presence. This one obviously has many pieces to it.  Useful content in various places that gets shared lots in social media and other places will be a huge boost.

Citations – Citations, even from an unlinked authority site, appear to be a big part of Google’s mission to reward brands. Making use of citations is still a large part of ranking well locally.  (Citations are mentions of your company name, phone, and/or address on other sites).

On-Page SEO signals and GMB optimization rules – The largest factor in other year’s surveys was again on-page SEO. This time, the optimization of Google My Business is the top factor. The presence of NAP data, (name, address, phone) keywords in titles, domain authority and GEO locators among others are still leading the way in regards to getting you great results in local rankings.  If you’re planning to get a new website, make sure your web-design person or company KNOWS these factors, and you know if your price quote includes these on-site factors.  Some web designers claim to know, but don’t implement it on your site in a way needed for local search ranking factors.

The whole state of local SEO in 2020 report is well worth reading and can be found on this page. (Image is from the Moz report).

In short, if you want potential customers or patients to find your business, it is vital that your GMB listing is filled out with searchable terms, captures attention with photos and video – in other words, well-optimized. It’s also vital you have ongoing posts in your listing, as they get more attention over time and can increase clicks to your site or phone calls.

How would you like a free Google Listing Q&A over a screen-share consult?  Book a time here, I’d love to help.

If you’d rather just go step-by-step through a comprehensive path toward getting in the local 3-pack on page 1 of search results, then you will want this GMB training portal that gets updated every year.

Call 778-578-1202

 

 

How to Promote Holiday Offers Free on Your Local Google Listing

Did you know you can post expiring coupons, videos, and update posts on  your company Google My Business listing?

Did you know that you don’t have to pay for online advertising to benefit from local search traffic?

Your Google My Business listing is the ultimate key to driving more local traffic to your store. It’s free to have: you’ll soon notice a rise in online traffic when you create your online listing.

The best thing about your local Google listing is that you can change it whenever you want. That means you can use it to make the most of seasonal promotions so that anybody looking for your services in the area will immediately be tempted by your offers!

This quick guide will show you how to get your free listing – and how to use it for seasonal promotions, too.

How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing

There are just a few quick steps to claim your free online listing:

1. Visit www.google.com/business and select the Start Now button.

2. Create or sign in to your Google account for your business.

3. Follow the instructions step-by-step to create your listing.

4. Verify your listing to make sure you appear in local searches.

When you’ve completed the above, your free local listing is live!

Everybody Loves Something for Free

The great thing about using your local Google listing to run holiday promotions and offers is that both you and your customers benefit!

Your marketing budget is kept low and your customers will receive money off (or free gifts) when they make a holiday purchase. It’s a win-win situation!

Some businesses feel that running offers can devalue their product offering. This can be true if your shop always has some discount area or constant sales.

However, irregular seasonal offers can be a great way to tempt back wayward customers as well as finding new ones. Customers feel they’re getting a bargain when they see discounts or special offers and that can be enough to help them choose your shop over another.

With that in mind, let’s look at how to boost your holiday offers without spending any extra money on marketing.

How to Promote Seasonal Offers on Your Local Google Listing

Now you’ve got your online listing it’s time to make the most of the free marketing opportunities.

1. Add a Post About Your Seasonal Promotions

You can add an offer in your post as an update, or specifically as an OFFER.   Update your Posts by going into your Google Business account and selecting “New Post” on the left-hand menu and choose the “Offer” tab in the new pop-up.  Add an image, and in “offer title” and “details” give information that is memorable and grabs attention as this is the first thing people will see of your offer.  You can add a start and end date, an optional coupon code, terms and conditions, and a link to your offer redemption page.

If you do a regular update post instead of offer, it’s similar. Add in a short amount of text and an image that shows off your related promotions. For example, if everything is ‘buy two get one free’ in a certain range for the holidays, include this in your post. You may also include coupon codes for your online store.

Once the post is published it will show up under your Google My Business listing when a related search is made.

2. Promote Your Holiday Event

Are you open late for a special evening shopping event? Do you have a special networking dinner for your business customers?

You can use the Posts function to add a new event, too. In the pop-up, just choose the “event” tab. Add the details, such as date, location, and start time, and hit publish.

Users will be able to click on this promotion to book their place on the event. This will help you to manage your attendee list so that you know how many to expect.

You can also create a list from those who have expressed an interest in the event to send further targeted marketing communications about the event and related products.

3. Shout About Your Seasonal Products

There’s one more function of ‘Posts’ on your listing: the What’s New section. This is the perfect place to shout about your holiday-related products.

Add a post as above: the What’s New posts have more space for additional information, images, and even videos. This is a great way to tempt local shoppers to visit your website and your bricks-and-mortar store during the run-up to the holiday season.

Ask an Expert to Help

If you’re having trouble setting up your local Google listing to make the most of free seasonal marketing opportunities, it’s time to speak to an expert.
free offer in GMB
A GMB and local SEO expert will be able to use the perfect keywords, based on customer psychology and keyword research, to make sure your free online promotions are effective in boosting sales. Get in touch with our team today to find out more!  Need help?  I will post your offer FOR you – not cost or obligation.  Just book a call time here.

Here’s a sample of a posted offer in GMB.  Take advantage of our special offer we posted on our GMB listing.

Beat Negative Reviews about Your Business with Effective Online Reputation Management [Video]

Online reviews can impact your reputation and eventually your whole business. That’s a fact. Want proof? According to research, a massive 80% of consumers can change their purchase decision after reading a negative review online. They do this even if the business in question was referred by a family or friend as a separate study by LMG showed that of those who searched online for referred businesses, 52% looked for reviews or ratings. Online reviews are that powerful.

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