local listings management

If you’re on a quest to improve your search engine placement and ranking, then you are aware of local directory listings and how they may affect your SEO.  There are many different providers of local listings and it can be cumbersome to manage.  

Years ago, updating your local listings was a technique to gain links.  Presently, it still helps with link building, but the primary value is improving your business’ local presence.  Optimizing your local listing is more than having a consistent name, address, and phone too.  It’s about total business consistency across all local listings directories.

This article aims to address how local listings management helps with your local search engine optimization strategy.  

Why Is Local SEO Important?

We can’t discuss local SEO without briefly explaining SEO. Search engine optimization is the science behind creating content and updating your website to be found when people use search engines.  Local SEO takes that same concept and applies it to being found within a local search. 

Local SEO is important because so many internet users perform local based searches multiple times per day.  If you’re selling new and used cars, and providing vehicle maintenance like oil changes, tire services, and brakes then local SEO is imperative for your online success. 

Featured Snippets, FAQ’s, and Answer Boxes 

Have you asked a specific question on Google and noticed they provided a direct answer within the search results?  Depending on the question, the answer could be in an answer box, or you could get a list of frequently asked questions that support your search query.  These types of featured snippets are pulled from your website, and your Google Business profile.  

Some businesses would gripe about being featured because it answers the question and the user wouldn’t actually click on the website.  However, if your business has a physical location that provides a specific service like brake repairs, equipment sales, or used car sales then this is a prime area to be in.  Why?  Because those searches usually have a direct action related to it.  The search query, “Nissan dealership near me” will likely lead to a directions request if performed on a mobile device. Someone searching “Toyota brake repair” on a computer is probably going to make an appointment. 

Effective management of your local listings can improve your chances of being in a featured snippet.  According to Entreprenuer.com, featured snippets will get you more website traffic.

Virtual Assistants and Voice Search

Another trend affecting local SEO is how users are actually searching.  Virtual assistants have caused an increase in voice searches and they are designed to query their respective platforms.  This means Google Home will search Google My Business when a local search is done.  Siri will search Google as well for certain queries, while also displaying Apple Maps for any directions requests.  Amazon’s Alexa will search Bing to answer queries.  If someone conducts a local search using any device, with any of those platforms, you want to make sure your company information is updated and consistent.  

Company Information and Updates

Name, address, and phone number, aka NAP,  are the top 3 bits of company information needed for local SEO.  An optimized business listing will provide NAP and other data like hours of operation, payment types accepted, available parking, services, products, and even the latest news and/or events.

Google Business and other local listings allow businesses to share posts.  These posts can be company news, coming events, blog posts, and even direct links to call or book now.  It’s important to include a consistent local listings posting plan as part of your local SEO strategy.

Check and Fix Your Local Listings Easily

Having updated and maintained business listings are a key component to local SEO. It is vitally important for lead generation if you are a car dealership, equipment sales company, or repair shop. Consider the statistics that Millenials spend over 17 hours shopping online before they even visit a dealership. Most vehicle owners will search for a location for vehicle maintenance too.  There are hundreds of local listings where the search could happen including Google, Bing, Apple, Yelp, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, and more.  

Do you know the status of your business listings?  Is your name, address, and phone number consistent in every directory?  We have a local listings management tool called FastListing. Simply input your NAP, along with your email address and we’ll send you a report with your business listings status. 

5 SEO Benefits of Offsite Local Listings

5 SEO Benefits of Offsite Local Listings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly all consumers turn to the internet to learn about a local business. With local SEO, companies can attract more eyeballs online and offline. But what is local SEO, exactly?

Local SEO is an element of search engine optimization that focuses on gaining more visibility among local search queries on Google and other search engines. If you’re part of a business with a physical location, you’ll want to have a solid local SEO strategy to complement your current search engine optimization plan.

When you focus on local listings for SEO, your business with a physical presence in the community can gain several benefits. Remember, local SEO is all about making sure people can find you online and offline!

Here, we’ll look at some of the top benefits of local listings for SEO. We hope this review will help jump-start your business’s local SEO strategy or take your current one to the next level!

1. Builds Visibility Online

Many online searchers and shoppers are actually looking for a local business to visit and purchase from offline. But they start their search online.

One advantage businesses with physical locations have over online-only companies is that they can easily rank in local search queries. And with the rise of “business, product or service near me” searches, local businesses can attract potential customers from their immediate community online with greater ease than ever.

Creating, maintaining and updating your local listings is a top way to capitalize on local search traffic. That’s because having informative and up-to-date local listings can help highlight your business in local searches as well as on services like Google Maps.

A Google Business Profile, also known as a Google My Business (GMB) listing, is Google’s online listings tool for local businesses. There are several reasons to optimize your GMB or Google Business Profile.

Updating your GMB helps provide valuable information about your business to prospective customers, including your store hours, location and news. But chief among the SEO benefits of updating offsite local listings is the boost in visibility your business can experience online.

2. Delivers More Targeted, Relevant Traffic

Building visibility online is great, but local businesses want to attract local consumers. By utilizing local SEO tactics, you can attract the right visitors to your website, leading them to call or visit your business’s physical location.

Tailoring your website’s content for a local audience helps establish authority, proximity and goodwill with consumers shopping within your community. So consider creating landing pages dedicated to specific cities or areas you serve.

And don’t forget to update your local listings like GMB to help attract local shoppers online.

3. Attracts Local Repeat Customers

Local SEO allows businesses to attract both residents and consumers visiting the area from far away. By maintaining a consistent and dedicated approach to local SEO — including regularly updating your local listings — you can potentially engage repeat customers.

Whether a previous customer seeks out your company for repeat business or simply searches online and finds your business a second time, building online visibility within the local community can lead to increased leads, sales and repeat visitors.

4. Reduces Advertising Costs

Pay-per-click or PPC ads can be costly, especially when you’re targeting the same local keywords as your competition. If you’re running paid ads online, trying to target local keywords, adopting a quality local SEO strategy may help save you money.

If you rank high in Google searches thanks to local SEO tactics, you’ll be saving money you otherwise would have had to spend on ads to boost your visibility online.

5. Helps Generate More Sales

We’ve covered several reasons to update local listings like your GMB and develop a local SEO strategy. Still, we can’t forget about a primary goal of any business: to generate more sales!

When you build visibility online, gain more relevant traffic, attract local repeat customers and reduce advertising costs through local or offsite SEO, you’ll be well on your way to boosting leads and sales.

For more SEO tips and tricks from the fusionZONE team, follow our blog or contact us.

Curious about your current local SEO presence? Use our directory scanning tool to identify any gaps in local listings!

We’d love to help your business develop a winning local SEO strategy that will see it increase visibility online and offline! So don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for more details on our digital marketing services.

is seo dead search box

by Brett Sutherlin

How to dominate the new Organic SEO

As Google continues to evolve, my question to you is simple: is SEO dead? Ads are pushing all listings down the page. Next, you have Google Maps that take up a large amount of real estate. In addition to maps, you now also have ads that also take up valuable real estate. See below for an example. Organic SEO has been pushed so far down the fold, is it worth spending money on? Where does Google Maps and Google My Business fit in your SEO strategy?

maps ad on google

Example of ads in Google Maps.

Let’s look at a simple search “Nissan Dealerships Near Me.” See screenshot below (I had to zoom out to even fit this image on one page). As you can see, Organic search has been pushed so far down the fold, it is almost irrelevant. SEO companies that sell their services can not even tell you when you will see results. The chances of a customer scrolling down below the map section is slim to none. In the automotive world, the days of paying Auto Trader or a third-party provider to outrank you organically are gone! This is GOOD NEWS! For contractors, paying Home Advisor is virtually the same thing. You are basically paying these companies to out rank you. But why? To me, this is incredibly unhealthy for your business. These third-party listing sites, unfortunately, became a necessary evil. In today’s digital landscape, please know you DO NOT need to advertise on third-party sites!

maps location in organic search

Google Maps is the new organic SEO.

Why Automotive Dealerships Need Google Maps Optimization

Back to the question, Is SEO Dead? Yes, SEO is dead- in the conventional form. When consumers conduct searches, you want your business to appear in Maps. Think of the last search you conducted on Google… it could be Pizza Near Me or Gas Stations Near me. You most likely relied on Google Maps to find what you were looking for. In maps, it is possible to show your business in map searches for up to 16 cities, within a reasonable radius from your business, in up to 10 categories. Google Maps is the NEW organic SEO. There has never been an easier way to move the needle with your business. When dialed in correctly, you will bring more customers to your business, more requests for directions and many more phone calls than you have ever received.

Regardless of the industry, customers search the same way now on Google. Their search patterns are easy to identify. You as a business owner need to adapt to this new strategy and you will see your business flourish!

8/10 people will be on their smartphone to pull up a search such as “Restaurants Near Me”. These potential customers will simply click CALL to make a reservation. In the automotive world, new car dealers sell tires, and they have great prices! One problem car dealers have is they never appear in tire searches. You should be front and center in the map section when a customer searches “New Tires Near Me.” This potential customer will be on their smartphone and will click to call and then will book their next appointment with you. An additional way these same potential customers will find you is to click “Directions”. Next thing you know you have a customer who was on Google arriving at your business. Search is ever evolving. If you do not conform to “The New SEO” you and your business will be left in the dust.

I would like to invite you to a free webinar where we discuss how to move the needle with Maps. I will be hosting this webinar on Friday, November 19th 9AM PST/ Noon EDT. This is not a sales presentation but a how-to-course to have your business front and center in the only search that matters.

Learning How To Dominate on Google My Business and Google Maps
Presented by Brett Sutherlin, Friday 11/19/2021 9 AM PST – 12 PM EDT
REGISTER

We all know the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s how we get Google to rank our websites and businesses at the top of the search results page. Now that you’ve done that, you’re hearing you need something called Local SEO, and you’re probably wondering, what is local SEO?

National SEO focuses on Google searches happening across the country, while local SEO focuses on a specific area.

Local SEO is essential to businesses that operate regionally, not nationally. A company like Amazon doesn’t need Local SEO because Amazon is everywhere. However, a local mom-and-pop bookstore or car dealership that serves their customers face-to-face needs local SEO. Any brick-and-mortar business that operates in a specific city will benefit from maximizing its local SEO efforts.

Which, of course, begs the question, how do you maximize your local SEO? Here are four quick tips on how you can optimize your local SEO.

Doing so will bring more traffic to your website and help you convert search traffic to sales.

     1. Create a Google My Business Account

A Google My Business (GMB) page is a great tool to boost your local SEO. When you create a GMB, you must complete all the fields on the form with accurate information. Answering every question is essential and will ensure that your customers can find you and prevent anyone from updating your page with inaccurate information.

Standard fields include business name, address, phone number, email address, and operating hours.

A GMB page will appear in Google search results and help bring awareness to your website. An added benefit is Google will automatically create a Google Maps location for your business, immediately boosting your local SEO efforts. If Google knows how to find you, it can help your customers find you, which is the name of the game.

You should also include pictures and videos of your business and upload new content weekly. By continually updating your GMB page and curating it, you will engage with your customers and make them feel like they already know their way around your store before they step through your doors.

     2. Request Reviews From Your Customers

Before Arrowhead and Sparkletts came along, humans drank from watering holes. But how do you know if the water’s safe to drink? You watch your friends drink first. If other people are drinking from the waterhole, you assume it’s safe.

The idea of social proof and peer affirmation is still in our DNA today. People buy from who they know and trust. Referrals are a great way to generate business, but if someone stumbles upon your website through a Google search, they’ll likely want to see what other people have to say about you. They’ll also want to know how you handle both positive and negative reviews.

By getting reviews from your shoppers, you begin to build a watering hole that’s familiar to locals. But it’s not enough to only request reviews. You also have to respond. At first, when you’re only receiving a few reviews, it’s important to respond to all of them. If you start to receive more than 25 reviews-per-day, you can be more selective.

By engaging with the people who leave reviews, you can help your search results because more people interact with your page. Your answers are also a strategic opportunity for you to include SEO keywords.

Reviews help your business stand out and make your GMB take up more real estate on the Google Search Results Page. A positive review can help you rank higher than almost any other SEO best practice.

     3. Optimize Your Website For Mobile Devices

More people search the internet on their phones than on their computers. If your page doesn’t load correctly and quickly on a mobile device, people won’t look at your page. They’ll hit the back button and go onto the next page. It’s as simple as that.

If you have an iPhone, Google your page. Does it load quickly? Is the formatting correct? Now borrow somebody’s Android and do the same thing. If your website isn’t loading for you, it’s not loading for your customers.

The first thing you need to do is compress all photos and videos on your website. Big file sizes slow down the loading speed of your website.

Optimizing your website for mobile use is critical to Local SEO because people will find your website when they’re out and about. People will be out shopping, realize they need the thing you sell, Google it, and your business will appear. Then they’ll click on it to call you or see if you have the item listed on your website. When your website loads quickly, people will find your business, walk through your doors, and you’ll get more in-store traffic.

     4. Incorporate Local Attractions

Think about popular searches in your area. Do any popular attractions or landmarks immediately come to mind? If so, incorporate them into your meta, URL slug lines, and content. If you own a restaurant in Anaheim, California, include references to “restaurant near Disneyland” or “happy hour near Disneyland.”

You have a local business, and you want Local SEO for it. Including local attractions will ingratiate you as a local.

By creating an accurate GMB, engaging with your customers online, optimizing your website, and incorporating local destinations, you’ll boost your Local SEO rankings and increase your sales.