We crashed (okay, attended) another MN Search event on local search SEO. Listed below are a handful of helpful tips and best practices for your business.
Last Wednesday, a few members of the Risdall online marketing team attended Mn Search’s event, Local Search: It’s Not Where You’re From, It’s Where You’re At. The room was packed as three presenters shared their take on local search and SEO.
Five interesting takeaways from the night:
- Follow the location verification steps very closely and use bulk listings if your company has 10+ locations. This will save you tons of time!
- Online reviews and personal recommendations are extremely important. Try adding a feedback page to your site to encourage customers to leave positive reviews.
- Build a diverse portfolio of reviews. Don’t rely on one single site.
- Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent. Bad stuff can happen if it’s not.
- Always monitor and manage your local listings and reviews.
Daniel Hollerung, a search marketing manager at Spyder Trap, was the first speaker to present. He outlined the verification process for claiming all of your locations and gave some helpful tips on how to save time when managing multiple locations. If your business has 10+ different addresses, use a bulk listing tool to easily export data. He also mentioned a few other tools such as Yext that can help make managing many locations easier.
Next, Matt Gregory, SEO coordinator at FindLaw, discussed the importance of reviews. So, how do you get customers to leave reviews, let alone positive ones? Ask customers questions that speak to the interaction and not necessarily the situation that brought them in to your store/office.
Gregory recommends adding a feedback page to your website where people can rate your service. If consumers chose “excellent,” they are redirected to a page with options to leave a Google+ or Yelp review. He cautioned: do NOT ignore poor ratings. Contact the customer personally and ask how you can fix the situation.
Also, Gregory highly encourages registering your business on GetListed.org. It’s a citation source tool that will make getting reviews much easier. Additionally, do not direct all users to leave reviews on one site. You want to build a diverse collection of reviews around the web.
Scott Dodge, SEO specialist at Three Deep Marketing, wrapped up the event talking about the importance of consistency among your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). If Google or Bing finds data that doesn’t match up, the search engines get confused, and you don’t want that. First and foremost, check for consistency among the big 3 data collection giants, InfoGroup, Localeze, and Acxiom.
- Step 1: Use the Factual tool to find any wrong business listings
- Step 2: Use WhiteSpark to locate incorrect citations
- Step 3: Use Screaming Frog to group and search through data
So, in conclusion… Local search is crucial to any business model; make sure you’re doing it right. Follow the verification steps for the various local listing sites closely and take advantage of bulk listing tools to upload multiple locations. You also need positive reviews spread across many local listing sites, so try not to rely on one website along. And DO NOT ignore poor reviews. Handling them is a great opportunity to show off your customer service skills. And last but not least, make sure your NAP is consistent across the board. Even little differences can confuse search engines.
By Danielle Norgren, Online Marketing Specialist
Credit: Mn Search