Customers are searching for your business right now.
Do you want to show up at the top of your local search results?
Want those future customers to see your business in their Google search?
Wish you knew precisely what ranking factors help your business rank higher?
With local SEO, Google uses a separate ranking algorithm that considers various factors to produce the best results – and we have the latest information on Google’s algorithm updates.
On April 6, I moderated a sponsored webinar presented by Justin Meredith, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Birdeye, and Steve Wiideman, CEO & Sr. Search Strategist at the Wiideman Consulting Group.
They dove into the latest search algorithm updates from Google and provided strategies for using local search to your advantage to improve your search ranking.
Here is a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.
Google Algorithm & Search Appearance Updates
They say the only constant in life is change, and Google loves that. Here are the recent Google updates that have impacted local businesses.
- New map and local interface in search (Dec 2021).
- Listing updates can be made directly in search (Dec 2021).
- New Google Business Profile attributes (Feb 2021).
- Google News Showcase (Feb 2022).
Despite all of Google’s changes, it seems like the one thing they’ve kept consistent forever has been the reason behind the changes.
Google’s goal is to provide consistent, reliable information to consumers searching online.
Tip #1: Do Your Research
Make sure your business information is correct and accurate. Conduct a local SEO audit.
During your audit, you’ll want to check for:
1. Data accuracy.
Your phone number, address, and pin on the map should be correct.
2. Optimized local landing pages.
Make sure the webpage your visitors click on is helpful to their needs and location.
Last year, Wiideman’s team studied over 300 local landing pages for big brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s, the big guys with sometimes thousands of locations.
Those big-brand finds contained incredibly helpful tips for local business websites.
3. Relevant citations.
Make sure you get citations from:
- Search engines.
- Navigation engines.
- Industry directories.
- Localized directories.
- Sites that get traffic.
4. Well-managed reputation.
Reviews are essential, so be sure to ask customers to leave reviews and add photos to Google maps when possible.
Tip #2: Create A Comprehensive Google Business Profile
Aside from utilizing every available field in Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), you can:
- Incorporate language from reviews into actual product & service descriptions to think more like your customers.
- Have your best customers ask the questions that live in the questions & answers that show up in the search results.
- Upload pictures and videos related to your business.
Tip #3: Establish A Robust Review Management System
The power of word of mouth cannot be understated in today’s day and age.
9 out of 10 consumers read reviews before they buy a product.
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews, and then listen to positive and negative reviews.
Tip #4: Create Comprehensive Content
It’s crucial to have content for every possible search method that someone might use to find your products or services.
Don’t just think about what your customers are searching for and how they are searching.
On the organic side of a local search, ensure that you appear below the maps for more of those longer tail queries.
Tip #5: Use Links & Citations
Local businesses can get links and citations by getting neighbors and the community involved.
You may need creativity and a little leg work here, but it’s excellent for PR and gives rich results through the event schema.
For off-site visibility, prioritize a list of location page tests to boost organic rankings.
Tip #6: Increase Activity
Help show the search engines that your business is active, live, real, and that people are searching for you and coming to your location.
● Optimize every available field in the GBP.
● Use Google Maps when traveling to work.
● Take photos.
● Utilize the Google Image Recognition algorithm.
Get active and hold yourselves accountable every month to improve each activity metric.
Wiideman also showed how you could get an SEO KPI tracker for free that helps with accountability overall.
[Slides] Google Algorithm Updates & Local SEO: 6 Top Tips From Experts
Here’s the presentation:
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal