Local SEO

April 27, 2020

Local SEO Management & Optimizations for 2020

Local SEO Management & Optimizations for 2020

In order to manage and optimize your business’s Local SEO, you want to focus on using platforms such as Google My Business and your business website. Those are the two key elements for Local SEO. This blog will mainly focus on Google My Business SEO Updates and other Local SEO Management & Optimizations for 2020. This involves consistently posting content, interacting with customers, responding to reviews, and providing business updates, all on a regular basis.

Watch the video we posted below and Subscribe to our YouTube for more videos like this!

 

 

Optimizations to remember to manage and grow your Local SEO in 2020, especially during the COVID Crisis.

  • Download and use the “My Business” App by Google weekly
  • Schedule weekly and monthly reminds to post to GMB & Social Media
  • Create, Update or Syndicate high quality citations or directories
  • Share Custom Google Review Link & Collect Reviews
  • Post to Google My Business (Pictures, Updates, Offers, Products, etc)
  • Update your GMB Information, especially regarding the COVID Crisis
  • Turn on your Messaging in the App, and respond to all Questions.
  • Geo Tag & Label All Photos to Your GMB Account
  • Get A Virtual Tour Using a 360 Camera or Matterport 
  • Increased Your Domain Authority through social bookmarks, citations, directories, blog outlets, and cheap/easy credible sources.
  • Create Local Website Pages for each location you own/manage.
  • Add Local Schema Markup to your website
  • Create & Optimize Content for each local page and listing  — (Images, Photos, Video, Blogs)

 

If you follow these recommendations using this blog and video then you can drastically increase your business exposure and traffic on Google with Local SEO.

 

A lot of these Local SEO Management & Optimizations using Google My Business can be found in our previous Momentum Monday Marketing Blog talking about Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.

 

Let’s begin … 

 

To ensure that you are consistently managing and optimizing the local SEO of your business, first, you want to create a content calendar, either on Google or elsewhere. 

 

In your calendar, set up daily or weekly reminders that notify you of when to work on your business’s local SEO.

 

Once you have that setup, download the Google My Business app on your phone. Log into your accounts on the app. This gives you the ability to manage your GMB accounts anytime and anywhere. You can create a GMB for free, or claim your listing if its already on Google.

 

Inside the Google My Business app, navigate to the “Manage Locations” tab on the right sidebar. 

 

Select the location of the business that you want to manage. Be sure to do the same, along with each following step, for every other listed location that you want to optimize.

 

There are several things you want to do to optimize your business’s local SEO. In the Home tab of your Google My Business listing, find the “Get more reviews” box located on the left sidebar. This gives you the option to request reviews from your customers or clients. Google now offers a custom URL you can share with customers and clients. This link directs them to where they can leave you a review on Google.

 

This article from ReviewTrackers talks about creating and using the Custom Google Review Link.

 

To request more customer reviews, select the “Get more reviews” box. This will open up a link that you can share. When opened, it will redirect to your Google My Business page where people are able to fill out a review of your business.

 

Here is a screenshot of Momentum Digital’s Google Review Link. If you like this content please write us a review, and we can for you as well if you comment your Google Review link below!

Custom Google My Business Review Link

In addition to requesting customer reviews, you want to create a post on your page that informs people about the current state of your business during the COVID crisis. Learn more about 

 

To create a post, simply navigate to the “Create post” box on your GMB page.

 

Next, you want to make sure that you make new posts every week. Post detailed up-to-date content that keeps people informed about your business’s current events, offerings, promotions, products, and services. You have the useful option to share all of your posts on social media, increasing your GMB page exposure.

GMB Covid Post Update

Here you can see a screenshot of the GMB Post Update about COVID.

As with posts, you want to upload photos and videos on a gradual weekly basis. Adding a cover photo to your GMB page, provides a visual representation of your business to potential customers and clients. 

 

Likewise, having an up-to-date gallery of photos and videos of your business’s services, products, events, and offerings helps people see what you are providing. 

 

In addition to photos and videos, consider uploading a virtual tour of your business. 

 

A virtual tour gives people the ability to see the entire space of your business, which is incredibly useful if physical location is an important aspect of your business, such as with office spaces, retail stores, restaurants, and the like. Check out Momentum 360 when thinking about hiring a Virtual Tour Photographer.

Virtual Tour for Google My Business

 

We talk about this and other GMB Content Updates in a previous blog.

 

Google My Business also gives you the ability to interact with customers through messaging. 

Messaging works through the Google My Business app. 

 

When you turn on the option to receive messages, your customers will be able to send you questions and messages regarding your business. 

 

Currently, the Question and Messaging option is closed due to the COVID crisis. 

 

Fortunately, you are still able to interact with customers in other ways with your Google My Business account. One way is by responding to customer and client reviews. Responding to reviews is a great way to keep a dialogue with your customers while also gaining more feedback on your services.

 

Currently, reviews are closed due to the COVID crisis as well.

Limited Google My Business functionality due to COVID-19

This article by Google talks about the COVID updates and how they may affect your business.

 

You want to further manage your business’s local SEO by tracking its Google My Business analytics. Through the “Insights” tab, which you can find on the right sidebar, you are able to track the analytics and performances of each specific feature on your page such as searched queries used to find your page, page traffic based on customer location, phone calls, etc.

 

 

In addition to using Google My Business to optimize your business’s local SEO, you want to focus on using your business website. One important way to enhance your business’s local SEO is through enhancing its domain authority.

 

Additional Local SEO Updates for Your Website

 

One of the bigger issues to tackle with SEO involves increasing your website Domain Authority by being recognized as an authority site by Google. 

 

The higher domain authority a website has, the greater its credibility. Domain authority is the search engine ranking development and credibility score of a website.

 

To get your domain authority increased, your website needs consistent placement of quality backlinks. 

 

Backlinks are links to your website from other websites. It works this way, because Google sees this as a website having more credibility. Other quality websites must link to your website through articles, posts, or tags.

 

Learn more about easy backlinking strategies from this article by Ahrefs.

 

In addition to getting your website’s domain authority increased, you want to add pages to your website specified for each location of your business. 

 

The location page should be linked out from your Google My Business page under the website listing. This should be done for every location GMB listing.

 

Each service, product, and location your business offers needs to have its own web page, with metadata and content explaining that page — therefore giving the page (the product, service, or location) the SEO it deserves to rank.

 

The final thing you want to do for your website, is add a local schema markup for each location page. You can have your website developer add local schema markups, or follow this tutorial by The HOTH.

Local Schema markup

Some final SEO techniques for 2020 involve social content and social bookmarking.

 

Ideally all small or local businesses want to take advantage of social bookmarking by creating profiles with your business information and a backlink to your website from other social sites. These don’t always necessarily give backlink domain authority credit, but they do send social signals to Google to help increase your credibility online to rank higher for SEO.

 

This article by Brandwatch talks about the Top 10 Social Bookmarks to use.

 

You want to make sure you are also using platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, and Bing.

 

Using Facebook, you are able to tag each local location of your business throughout posts. On your business’s Facebook page, tag the local location throughout your posts to give a local presence to them.

 

Likewise, make sure you’re maintaining your Facebook and Yelp pages just as you would your Google My Business page. Make consistent new posts and media content, get and respond to reviews, interact with your audience, and tag your business locations.

 

Thanks for reading our latest Momentum Monday Marketing Blog about Local SEO Management & Optimizations for 2020! Comment below if you have anything you would suggest or like us to add next time!

 

Happy Monday!

Mac Frederick

By Mac
April 20, 2020

Major Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus!

Major Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus!

As you probably know, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars, and gyms have been temporarily closed. Below we will talk about the Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus!

Google My Business Updates During the Coronavirus

 

Essential businesses that provide services and resources like grocery stores, convenient stores, banks, and supply shops remain open. 

 

Fortunately, we’re still open here at Momentum, operating daily under normal hours.

 

As a result of the change in business closures, Google My Business has mandated accounts to update their current business information. I would personally consider these changes to be Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.

 

When you log into your Google My Business account, you will find that it is currently facing limited functionality due to a lack of resources as a result of COVID. The limited functionality is causing delays and affecting specific account features & listings such as:

  • Your Business Hours of Operation
  • Your Business Reviews
  • GMB Question & Messaging

 

 

Continue reading below, or view the video above, to further find out about the Google My Business changes. You can also refer to this article by Business 2 Community talking about these GMB updates in detail.

 

Here are some of the updates to GMB due to the Coronavirus and How to Implement them!

 

Once you log into GMB, under the “Info” tab, you can update the current availability of your business. This includes your new business hours, as well as whether your business is temporarily closed or not.

 

To edit your business hours, scroll down to your listed hours and select the pencil icon located to the right of it. 

 

Likewise, you can add new hours by scrolling down to “Add special hours” and selecting the pencil icon to the right of it.

 

To mark your business as temporarily closed, you must select the “Info” tab from the top-left menu. Then, scroll down to “Close this business on Google”. There will be three listed options. Finally, select the option “mark as temporarily closed.”

 

Update GMB hours

 

Other account updates such as your business address, type, phone number, etc., can still be revised and updated, but the changes will take a longer time to publish. Since Google My Business is facing limited functionality and resources, changes to your account information may take a few days or weeks to publish.

 

Next, the Question & Messaging feature, which has allowed customers to directly message you with questions about your business, has apparently been shut down. I also run a few retail electronics shops, and my messaging from customers has been drastically reduced, but still available. The Q&A feature hasn’t been enabled for months though. I think GMB stopped allowing this feature from it’s BETA program for certain businesses.

 

So, yes, we’re still receiving messages from customers on our end, but we are not getting questions anymore (it’s been this way for a few months). This could possibly be because we’re an essential business, but the reason isn’t entirely clear to us.

 

Like the Question & Messaging feature, business reviews have been suspended. While you can still ask for reviews from your customers, Google will not be publishing any new reviews at this time. Please be patient on this, as the reviews you received might still post, and might even give you options to review them before they are confirmed. Time will tell.

 

Following these changes and delays, Google has added a new feature which allows you to post a business update specifically regarding COVID-19. 

GMB COVID Post Feature

 

To do this, navigate to “Create post”. You will find the option to write a “COVID-19 Update”. 

 

You can let your customers know what services you’re specifically providing during this time, or what services you’re limiting or restricting.

This post will show up under your Google My Business listing!

 

This is just a quick list recap of the Major Google My Business Updates during the Coronavirus.

 

  1. Hours of Operation
  2. Business Information Updates 
  3. Questions & Messaging
  4. Reviews
  5. COVID Update Post
  6. Other Issues & Delays

 

Finally, with many things at a stand-still, we truly recommend that you prioritize your business local SEO. Enhance your internet marketing strategies, build your business SEO, really work your business on the backend, so when everything gets back to normal you’re still prospering. 

 

Google has also offered over $340 million in Google Ads to all small businesses in response to the pandemic. Take advantage of it and start promoting your business with Google Ads.

 

Thanks, and Happy Monday!

By Mac
October 28, 2019

7 FREE Tips to Drive more Website Traffic

In this week’s blog you will learn about SEO and Website Traffic!

7 FREE Tips to Drive More Website Traffic

If you’re a small business owner looking to gain more website traffic and customers, then we have the guide for you. 

If you found this video useful then please SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel OR SUBSCRIBE to our Email List to stay updated on our latest blog posts & tips!

Welcome back to another installment of our Website Optimization series! This blog is a follow-up blog from The Ultimate Local SEO Cheat Sheet for Small Businesses

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By Devon
October 21, 2019

The Ultimate Local SEO Cheat Sheet for Small Businesses 

Let’s learn more about the Ultimate Local SEO strategies and hacks for small business with this weeks’ blog!

In this week’s blog you will learn The Ultimate Local SEO Cheat Sheet for Small Businesses! If you’re looking to boost the rank of your business within your local map pack then this is the guide for you.

 

If you found this video useful then please SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel OR SUBSCRIBE to our Email List to stay updated on our latest blog posts by signing up to our email list here.

Are you looking to get more online traffic and customers? If so, then follow these 10 easy steps to rank higher online for increased search results, traffic and new customers.

Before reading, find out your SEO Score by using this FREE SEO Tool

Welcome back to another installment of our SEO series! This blog is a follow-up blog from Top 6 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

 

Local SEO Strategies for Small Business

 

1. Google My Business

GMB is a free and easy to use tool that allows businesses and organizations to manage how their business is represented on Google! This tool can be used on desktop, tablet or even a mobile app for your smartphone, so you can manage it on the go. This is our main secret when it comes to ranking for local searches, getting more phone calls, and acquiring over 50% of all our customers. Not only that, but within the past year 64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for local businesses. 

Here are the most important aspects of Google My Business. Watch our most recent Google My Business Blog videos for more information.

  1. Claim your profile to manage it
  2. Update all your contact information
    1. Name
    2. Address
    3. Phone Number
  3. Download the Mobile App
  4. Pick multiple industry categories
  5. Update your logo and cover photo
  6. Upload photos, videos, and a virtual tour
  7. Add your products and services (and pricing)
  8. Create Google Posts weekly

Keeping this consistent you will save yourself time later on while creating local listings to link back to your own site.  

By using this tool you can rank higher on different applications such as; 

  • Google maps
  • Mobile Google searches 
  • Third party Google searches

This is why the biggest tip we can give you when setting up your Google My Business account is to make sure to optimize it to its fullest through filling out your entire profile. This proves legitimacy to both Google as well as your potential leads!

seo google my business

2. Content

Content is incredibly important towards optimizing any website and ranking well within search engines. It added to provide information, value, and education, especially with regards to business content. There are really only 3 types of content; written, visual & audio.

Some examples of content may include: 

  • Written articles
  • Videos
  • Pictures & Images
  • Podcasts
  • Virtual Tours 

The most consumed type of content is usually the following:

  • News & Entertainment
  • Informational & Educational

Here are three major elements of content: 

1. Keyword Strategy – this is the research done to create an extensive list of keywords you would like to rank for. This should take into account what your audience is searching for and cater to that with long tail keywords. Some options you can use to help find keyword content for SEO include the following:

    1. Keywords Everywhere
    2. UberSuggest by Neil Patel
    3. KWFinder
    4. SEMRush 
    5. Countless others

2. Site Structure – The ideal structure for your website would be similar to that of a pyramid. Your homepage would link to important pages, then those pages would link to more and so forth. 

This is important for two reasons; 

  • Google can read (or crawl) your website better 
  • You’re not competing with your own content 

3. CopywritingYou should write articles that are attractive to read, and that makes your audience want to stay on your website. At the same time, you want to make your SEO content attractive for Google.

Two major players that you want to keep in mind when wondering where to post your content is to Google My Business as it’ll help round out your profile and Social media as this is how people can organically find your content. As well as your own website to help push your domain authority higher within Google’s algorithm. 

Finally, make sure you optimize this for local SEO through the use of long tail keywords!

seo content

sourced by Data Flair

3. Page Speed

We’ve all run into the problem where it takes a website forever to load either on mobile or our desktops. It becomes incredibly frustrating and annoying super quickly. Occasionally it can even push us to leave the page or search all together. 

Google cares a lot about user experience, and this is why page speed matters on your website! They want to avoid causing their users this frustration at any cost. 

Almost 70% of all Google traffic is coming from mobile devices, which is why it’s so important to keep both mobile and desktop in mind while designing your site! 

The ideal loading speed for your site should be around 1 to 3 1/2 seconds

Some important tools to know how fast your page loads are; 

pingdom page speed test

4. Mobile Friendliness

Make sure your website is optimized not only for your Ultimate local SEO, but also for mobile devices. According to a recent report by Hitwise, more than 50% of Google searches are now done on a mobile device and 70% of that traffic will call a business directly

Keeping your site interactive through the use of click to call buttons, functional links and fill out forms will also help to increase your local SEO by keeping people interested and engaged while on your website.

Provide your customers with the best and most relevant content or answers to what it is they’re looking for — and do it in a way where it’s quick and easy for them to consume. When optimizing websites for Page Speed, Mobile, and SEO … all you have to do is put yourself in the customers’ shoes. 

Use this FREE Mobile Friendliness Tool by Google to view your website to see if it’s mobile friendly or not. 

google mobile friendly test

5. Reviews (Reputation Management)

Reviews are simply what people are saying about their experience with your business. This is usually ranked from 1-5 on most platforms. You can collect reviews in a number of ways from these top reputation management platforms: 

Other platforms include

    • Amazon (for eCommerce)
    • Thumbtack (for local service companies)
    • Angies List  (for local service companies)
    • TrustPilot (traveling and small business)
    • Trip Advisor (tourism companies & things to do)
    • GlassDoor (for employee reviews)
    • Manta (for small local businesses)
    • FourSquare (for local food, service, restaurants)

Now do remember, you can also collect reviews via 3rd party review sites that allow you to collect reviews automatically without allowing the bad reviews to be posted.

  • BirdEye
  • SignPost
  • Yext
  • Capterra

Now lastly, please make sure you also do the following to get better SEO, more reviews, and better customer experiences.

  • Use 3rd party software (mentioned above)
  • Create a Google Review Link
  • Responding to all comments or questions
  • Thanking people for reviews

Remember to give your customer’s incentives for reviewing your business! By thanking them or offering discounts and deals to returning customers who have reviewed you can triple reviews that are left!

Through implementing this you can create an environment where both your clients feel heard and valued, as well as creating important legitimacy with Google as they view reviews as added content. Miles Beckler’s video “Reputation Management 101” can be a valuable source if you’d like to learn more on this topic. 

reputation management software

6. Publish Local Listings

So Local Listings refer to other directories or citations that link back to your website or business. These contain your business’s name, address and phone number (otherwise referred to as NAP) and should be consistent across platforms. 

They might also contain a brief company description or important visual media connected to your company. This is why it’s important to fill out everything on your Google My Business to keep these listings and your Google account consistent.

Local Business Listings give more visibility for your business and every new listing that you create enhances your chances of being found online by customers. 

If your business is visible online, search engines trust the accuracy of your business data and thus, your chances of ranking on top for local searches shoot up. 

Some popular local business directories include; 

If you’d like to audit your own local listings check out our partner Brightlocal.

As well, there’s “aggregates” that you “syndicate” your information to and they transmute your data across different local listing platforms such as; 

local listing seo

7. Optimize All Directories

Now that you create and distributed all your local listings, now you need to optimize them to be relevant and consistent across the internet. This is where NAP (Name, address and phone number) comes into play. It is incredibly important that this stays consistent across platforms for a number of reasons. 

  • It allows your customers to find and contact you no matter how/where they find your website online
  • Google can easily recognize consistent data across platforms and immediately connect it to your business 
    • This is what prompts your business to be recognized multiple times as legitimate, relevant and correct

This can often be industry specific, so make sure to utilize directories that are catered to your business specifically to boost traffic to your site.

Other things to mention and keep in mind is the importance of using 3rd party Local SEO or aggregate platforms to manage and maintain the content and consistency across all the major local listings and directories

We highly suggest partnering with Moz & BrightLocal.

brightlocal seo

8. Post to Google & Social Media

This builds upon our previous discussion on content. 

Google is becoming more social with allowing their Local Business profiles to get followers and publish content and specials directly to potential customers. Unlike Google +, this feature is a B2C social platform that is aimed to build more business while competing with the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Yelp.

What are Google Posts?

So, create unique posts on Google to communicate deals, specials, products and services. Then I’d suggest also posting and remaining consistent and relevant by posting similar yet more creative content on other social platforms.

This utilizes something called “Social Bookmarking” which proves to Google that your business is credible and active. Through being a credible business this will foster more activity on to your website. 

Google My Business is even more important to consistently post on. 

  • This can be done both through the app as well as the desktop version. 
  • Google is attempting to foster a more significant presence within the social networks field and will thus reward your content for using their own platform. 

google posts

9. Optimize Metadata

This refers to the short snippets of data that Google can crawl easily. This appears both in and under your website in the search results. It should include a title and description both of which utilize Ultimate Local SEO optimizations for small businesses. 

This means you should take into consideration the use of keywords and how to best appeal to your audience.

  • This should be around 150 characters to summarize who you are and what you do.

It is also the first thing potential clients see when they search, so it’s important to not only tailor this to Google’s own algorithm but also to your customers and what they want to see.

Metadata is one of the first things Google sees and also communicate about your business. Make sure each page on your website has it’s own relevant and keyword rich metadata so that everyone (including Google) know what that page is and mentions.

how to Optimize Metadata

10. Backlinks

Also referred to as “inbound link”, are trustworthy, authoritative link building through relationships and content. Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another, according to Moz. By receiving multiple backlinks search engines can infer that your content is credible and will rank your site higher. 

Though, it is important to avoid spammy backlinking as they should be done with a specific purpose in mind. 

Strategies you can implement to garner more backlinks are; 

  • Guest blogging for larger sites 
  • Ask other bloggers to consider reviewing your site 
  • Offer your content as a resource to others
  • Try answering questions on Quora.com
  • Get listed on directories 

backlink seo

By following this Ultimate Local SEO Cheat Sheet for Small Businesses you will be able to increase your ranking within search engines and gain more significant conversions.

Thanks for reading and learning more about the Ultimate Local SEO Strategies for small local businesses. If you found this article useful please leave a comment or follow us on YouTube or social media! 

Let us know in the comments what tip you’re most excited to check out or which seems the most daunting. We would love to help or give you some more information! 

What SEO strategy have you tried or are struggling the most with? Please comment below! 

Written by Samantha Hughes and Mac Frederick.

By Mac
October 14, 2019

Top 6 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

In this week’s blog you will learn about the TOP 6 Local SEO TIPS for Small Businesses! If you have a small or local business, then this video is for you!

What you will learn….

1. Basic info about Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization
2. Why SEO is Important for Small Business
3. Free Tools & Resources

Before reading, find out your SEO Score by using this FREE SEO Tool.

Continue reading

By Devon
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