Local SEO Tips – What Mistakes Are You Making?
So many offline businesses are coming to the realization that the Internet is an incredible way to bring new customers into the fold. Because of this, companies are now looking for ways to maximize the amount of business that they can generate through the World Wide Web. At the same time, these poor business owners are starting to feel like they've been hit by a Mack truck trying to cross the information superhighway.
Unfortunately, there are a number of local SEO providers that are only interested in taking your money. They have no intention of ever delivering the results that you deserve.
But don’t feel bad if this has ever happened to you. You’re not alone. About half of the business owners we speak with have been burned at one point or another. Some have even seen a zero return on their Internet marketing investment.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. You’re in the right place and you have the right mindset. Now you have to take the right steps to get your online activities back on track. Feel free to use this local search engine optimization guide to your advantage and you’ll eventually find your way.
Where Are You Messing up with Your Local SEO?
In truth, most businesses have no idea if they are succeeding or failing with online search engine optimization, and those that do succeed often do so because of luck and nothing more. But you’re about to join a select few that know how to control their own destiny and ensure that luck isn't even a factor. You’ll possess the knowledge to take you to the top and luck be damned!
Do You Know What People Are Saying Online about Your Business?
Local search engine optimization begins with your online reputation. Current CEO and president of Yahoo, and former ex-vice president of location and local services for Google said, “One of the things that became very clear is that online reviews are a cornerstone to any local strategy.”
If Marissa Mayer feels that this is important, you better agree because your business depends on it.
Here’s what we see…
Over time, the companies that have a lot of online positive reviews rank better in the search engines with all things being equal. And this makes a lot of sense, because Google wants to provide their visitors with the most relevant results whenever possible. There’s nothing more relevant than delivering results about a company that people like.
Reviews aren’t everything, and if you do not have them yet it’s not the end of the world. But they are slowly becoming a major ranking factor as time passes by.
As an example…
Google is doing an experiment where they integrate reviews with the regular organic search results, PPC advertisements and more. And they aren’t just reviews on Google websites and web properties. The reviews come from other sites as well and show up in the local search results.
It’s not wise to leave your reputation to chance. This is especially true if you deserve a solid rep.
Because here’s what could happen…
Some unscrupulous business owners are willing to go to great lengths to harm their competition. They are willing to give bad online reviews to undeserving companies in an effort to diminish their search engine rankings.
And let’s not forget about the scammers…
We've seen plenty of instances where these lowlifes threaten companies with bad reviews. It’s unfortunate but it does happen in today’s Wild West online environment.
If you happen to be a victim, there are certain do’s and don’ts to resolve this issue. Once a negative review is dealt with, it’s only a minor issue that’s easily swept under the rug on your way to a stellar reputation.
And here’s the best part…
Once you've finally established an impeccable online reputation, you can use it as part of your marketing message. You can tell the world – and show them – why you are the go to company in your industry.
Here’s a look at some of the benefits that you’ll receive by having an awesome reputation online:
- More highly targeted visitors will find your website.
- You’ll have an easier time converting these prospects into paying customers.
- Your marketing becomes much cheaper because you’ll spend less to acquire new customers.
- You’ll have potential customers seeking you out instead of you chasing them.
- You can use your stellar online reputation with your other marketing materials. If you’re doing direct mail, why not point these prospects to some of the five star reviews that you've received online? You can even encourage these happy new customers to provide a review as well.
- When your customers find you, the stage is already set. They begin viewing your company in a positive light from the very beginning… and that is certainly a good thing.
In need of quality reviews?
We have a legitimate service for local businesses. We can provide real, positive reviews as part of our local SEO packages.
The pricing is dependent upon the options that you choose, how many reviews we have to generate and some other factors. But if you feel that your reputation can benefit from this service, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free consultation.
Local Search Engine Optimization Listings
Having an amazing online reputation is only the first piece of the puzzle. There are other factors that go into ranking well. One such factor is claiming business listings.
At this point, it’s probable that you have listings with positive reviews and your company information already on the Internet. Some of the automatically generated listings share the wrong information about your company and they need correcting. One of our clients had an unclaimed listing that was promoting the competition’s phone number!
So this is the second piece of the puzzle… Claiming local business listings. The main listings we are speaking about, as an example, are Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Google Places For Business/Google + For Business, Yelp Listing and so on.
There are many other places where you can list your business that are much less important. There are even plenty of places to list your business in your local area. And even more so, there may be places to list that revolve around your specific niche.
Each of these listings counts as a citation, and they all add up to help boost your relevancy in the eyes of Google. Plus they contain important business information that must be verified, and they also offer places where people can review your company that you need to look after.
Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Citations
Now that we've established the importance of a local business citation, let’s look at a detailed explanation.
Essentially, this is a reference to your business that provides your company address, phone number and company name. The Google bots search high and low throughout the Internet, and the more often it sees these citations, the more relevant you appear to be. This isn’t the simplest thing in the world to understand, but it gives you a good idea of how this process works.
We've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating – some of your company citations are generated automatically. It’s vitally important to go online and find these listings. You then have to claim them and monitor the activity.
It’s also very important to create listings in the ideal locations for your company. Depending on the type of business you have, many of the biggest listing directories will not generate an automatic business citation for your company.
After you've claimed or created the listings, it’s necessary to optimize them specifically for your niche. If your business is accidentally labeled inappropriately, Google may not realize that your company is relevant for your particular niche. Plus you have to worry about making mistakes where Google things that you are a spammer.
Stay away from duplicates! Never create a duplicate listing for the same location. Google is spending a tremendous amount of time and effort cracking down on duplicate listings, all the while creating trouble for local businesses just like you. If you do have duplicate listings, you must take the necessary steps to remove them or you can merge the ones that you no longer want.
Finally, it’s important to put together and implement a system that will help you get as many five star positive reviews on those listings as possible. If you’re looking to learn more about how to accomplish this, please contact us today.