Gone are the days, when location, location, location was considered as the real formula of a successful business. Today, it is all about the internet of things and the different digital platforms where our customers look for information. Mobile and voice search have changed the game over the last few years and local SEO has become a very important piece of our overall marketing strategy. With these changes our formula for success has changed to relevance, prominence and proximity. Here are few quick takeaways for local businesses and SEO’s:
- Understand top local ranking factors and focus on each piece to maximize your ROI.
(Source: Moz 2015, Local Ranking Factors)
- Monitor and maintain your UNAP (Url, name, address, phone number) consistency on all the local and authoritative channels. As this helps in keeping fresh and consistent information in ecosystem.
- Focus on reviews and have a balanced review management & response strategy across all important channels. If you are wondering why is this important then look at the example below:
- If you are managing responses on TripAdvisor, then your business listing on Bing Local would look good as Bing pulls reviews from TripAdvisor. On the other hand, you completely forgot about the Apple users and the reviews that they see. Yes, that’s correct, Apple uses Yelp as the channel for review ratings and if you haven’t managed Yelp review then you might be losing your customers to your competitors.
| Bing Results
4. Building unstructured links, links that don’t have a full UNAP of your business but mention or talk about your business, are great ways of differentiating your business from other local business in the area. Unstructured links help in driving additional brand awareness as well as traffic and fresh signals to your website.
5. Talking about local events and sharing your participation in those events is highly recommended as these links directly impact your local ranking and link signals.
6. You should also claim and optimize your organization on Google My Business. Make sure that you have kept your name, address, and phone number consistent with other listings and then use the following steps to help yourself stand out:
- Add high-quality images that attract users
- Update the listing with correct information regarding your business category and hours of operation
- Respond to questions and reviews you get on the site
- Promote your listing by linking to it on your website and similar properties to encourage reviews and build your rating.
Kanika Thakran, Sr. Manager SEO