Local SEO is Your Friend This Year, But It Takes Time
Local search is different, and that is not something that everyone understands. While organic search results are updated consistently, and some rumors swirling that it’s almost to the point of a non-stop, real time update, Local search results are updated only so often.
Google is still figuring out local search, as all search engines are. You can clearly see the difference between a local business trying to rank and let’s say a blog for jet ski aficionados. There are naturally additional signals present with a local business in the real world, that don’t exist online – plus there are additional “concerns” with ranking websites that send real people through the door. While millions of websites battle it out every day on the SERPs, there are only a handful of local businesses in every niche, in every city, that can rank and look to stay ranked locally on Page 1.
Local SEO takes time.
Convincing Google that you have an awesome jet ski blog is pretty easy. Write some awesome articles on how to ride a jet ski, get out on the water and shoot some video, link to some global jet ski sites etc. But what about convincing Google that you are the best plumber in Houston? The best DUI lawyer in Charlotte?
Now they are not just sending web visitors to check out some information on jet skis, but sending real people out into the real world to meet in your real office. There is a certain liability that comes with that, though we are quite positive their Legal has them covered – the idea is still valid.
Convince Google you are a legitimate business, worthy of them sending their customer to – and you will be rewarded.
So how do you do it?
Rich Media Sharing
Local citations are the most important Also called local directories, citations allow you to list your business on some of the top website in the world, gaining massive “authority” for your business website. By staying consistent with your NAP – Name, Address, Phone number – you send a clear message of “We are real! Rank us high!” Not to mention the links you get from completing your business profile are often some of the best links a local business can get. Start by finding out where your business is ranked online, and how well. If you are planning to use a local SEO agency, ask if they perform a local citation audit before they start.
Reviews are important to both the authenticity of your business, but also the immediate conversion onsite of a new customer. Today’s consumer is smart and even smarter armed with their latest model smartphone equipped with Google voice search, Siri or any of the incredible local search apps available today. They WILL read your reviews. Do you know what they will find?
When building up your review program there are many things you can do to get more local reviews. We have described many of these ways in past blog posts. The main thing to keep in mind is to either employ an aggregate service that gets your best reviews out to all the review sites, or to make sure that your customers do not just stack one site or the other. 10 reviews on Google is great – but 5 reviews on Google and 5 reviews on Yelp is even better.
Rich Media Sharing
Do you know what rich media is? Essentially, it is all the awesome content you see online that is not plain text content. Images, videos, audio files, animations and more are all considered rich media and search engines love the. YouTube is the #2 searched website is the world, first among young people. Google Image search is the largest searched image database online. Flickr is the fastest growing and most widely shared image platform for online images and apps like Instagram and Pinterest allow for rich media social media postings.
Rich media citations are the listings of your business on these rich media sites. Sharing videos on YouTube and correctly setting up your company channel and videos is important in today’s fast paced content driven online world.