Local SEO Tips in 2019 - Podcast
Creative Bloom’s Stu was delighted to be a guest on Social Brightons podcast, hosted by Kerry Watkins to demystify digital and talk through the latest local SEO tips in 2019. We love the team and all the work Social Brighton do! Listen to the podcast below:
Customer behaviour in ‘search land’ is changing & is clearly influenced by Google’s most recent updates. Your Local SEO strategy might need to adapt to keep up the pace.
As far as Google is concerned, in 2019 its looking for quality and not quantity and so are your customers! It is far better to add a page that adds real value to your customers rather than producing pages to gain search rankings or creating thinly populated or duplicated content. Your local rankings won’t benefit from these tactics no matter how you tweak them.
Stu’s top tip: Have a look at your website, read the content out loud, do the same for your closest competitors & ask yourself the question: do you deserve to rank?
Google’s updates have not only changed its algorithm but improved the way it displays information about businesses. Potential customers are no longer browsing multiple sites to compare and find their desired service; instead, they are using the vast ocean of information that Google gives them via your Google My Business Page (GMB page). So ensure you pay attention to what’s appearing on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) and ensure you are on those platforms.
When customers want to access your phone number, review your track record, opening times and upcoming events, they are no longer looking at your website but are expecting to find that information on your GMB page. As Googles & users behaviour changes, your first chance to make an impression on potential customers is by taking advantage of your Google My Business profile and uploading all the information you can and make it sparkle. Here is where you get to own your space - so make it count.
SEO’s are in 100% agreement that Google My Business (GMB) ranking signals will play a much more important for SEO in 2019, especially for local SEO. However, many businesses are not yet paying attention to this new important aspect of local search, so making the most out of your Google My Business page can be a quick and easy way to make you shine brighter than your competition.
Here are our top tips to get you ahead of the race:
Make sure your business name is correct and consistent, don’t play around with variations, make sure your address is correct, and the map pin is placed in the right spot: you don’t want to send potential customers off on a wild goose chase trying to find your physical location! Also pick the best street view image for your business (and not of bins behind the back!) If your business address is your home consider a virtual office or join a co-working as seeing a residential address can cast doubt on the credibility of the business
Make sure you’ve got a local phone number listed if possible, it’s easy to get one via VOIP if needed, make sure your correct opening hours are listed & match those on your website: you don't want to confuse Google! You need to be consistent in order to prove your validity as a business
Most importantly make sure you choose the right categories, choose the fewest and most specific categories: use these predefined categories to reflect what you actually do, it will determine what keywords you will appear for. Pick three key words to describe your business and see what your competitors are optimising for. Here is a great post on choosing the right GMB category by Bright local
Make sure you’ve got great photos & videos, of you, your people, your office & products and videos uploaded: express your brand identity! Show off your style and don't forget to swap them out every now and again to keep it fresh. Videos are one of the best way to boost engagement and catch peoples eyes so make the most out of them and use them to your advantage
Make sure you’ve got a great aggregate review score – at least a 4.5: make sure to respond to every review to highlight that you care about what customers have to say! Google isn't sending you those review emails for no reason ;)
Make sure to update and add any events, and other posts you are hosting through Google Posts: it’s a great way to promote your events quickly and easily while ensuring that you are targeting the relevant people AND you are adding content where Google wants you to
Make sure that you’re monitoring your questions and answers which is a relatively new feature: answer new questions quickly and if needed ask/answer your own questions so that commonly requested information is easily available so it becomes your FAQ page on GMB
The final point is that you need to take your business wizard hat off and look at your profile as a first time customer. Is all your information readily available? Is it easy to understand and access? Does your business look appealing & compelling? Would you buy from it?
So keep up to date with how your local SEO strategy needs to change alongside Google’s updates and focus on your Google My Business Page. You’ll show up better in local searches, and gain more conversions!