Worried about the reputation of your local online business?
Wondering how to better meet customer expectations and get closer to five stars?
Online reviews can make or break your business – especially in the smartphone age with research along the way.
On June 8, I moderated a webinar with Marc Hansen, Senior Director of Revenue Marketing at Podium, and Kelley Knott, co-founder of Intrepy Healthcare Marketing.
Hansen and Knott showed how they can stay competitive, get ahead of comparative surveys and win customers before they even enter your store.
Here is a summary of the webinar.
To access the entire presentation, fill out the form.
What Is Local SEO?
Local businesses rely on their online presence to thrive, with 97% of users searching for local businesses online.
And when we say local business, we are talking about businesses with a physical presence.
Local SEO is search engine optimization for local marketing.
How does Google determine local search rankings?
[Discover how to win in local SEO] Get instant access to the webinar →
Local SEO Myths
Many small local businesses still do not believe in the power of SEO. The truth is that when you have a small marketing budget, you should consider SEO.
Let’s look at some myths that hold back most businesses.
Myth # 1: Organic search and local SEO are the same thing.
FACTS: Organic SEO is based on keyword relevance. Local SEO, on the other hand, is based on location signals.
Myth # 2: Reviews are a “nice to have.”
FACTS: Reviews are a “must-have”.
[See what Google features consumers use before joining a business] Access the webinar immediately →
Myth # 3: How consumers perceive business has not changed much in recent years.
FACTS: The way consumers discover your business is changing. You should too.
Myth # 4: Consumers want the “best”, and they are willing to travel to get it.
FACTS: Consumers want “the best”, and they want it nearby.
The search for the “best burger” increased by 400% on an annual basis.
The searches “Near me” or “near me” increased by more than 900% over two years.
Myth # 5: Printed and online advertising leads to personal visits.
FACTS: Local smartphone searches lead to personal visits.
A nice store front is not going to cut it anymore. When a consumer’s highest priority is quality and convenience, your online reviews will say 1000 words.
[See what consumers are looking for apart from convenience] Access the webinar immediately →
Myth # 6: Google prioritizes the top ranked companies, whether they are local or not.
FACTS: Google prioritizes local businesses in local search results.
Now that we’ve got rid of these myths, it’s time to optimize your local SEO.
6 Best Practices For Local Search
The following simple steps can help you get the most out of your local search listings and attract better reviews. Make sure you have completed these best practices! The more qualified customers you attract, the greater the chance that they will have a great experience.
1. Verify Your Location
More than 70% of all searches go through Google. This means that Google often shows verified results higher than those they are unsure of.
2. Add High-Quality Photos
Companies with profiles that contain images see 35% more clicks than profiles without images.
In addition, listings with photos receive 42% more requests for directions.
[See what your profile should contain] Access the webinar immediately →
Keep these best practices in mind:
3. Keep Your Google Business Profile (GBP) Up-To-Date
Did you know? 31% of consumers report that they are more likely to look at a local corporate GBP listing before visiting than they did before the pandemic.
Information required for your GBP listing:
Screenshot from search for [Primary Children’s Hospital], Google, June 2022
[Find out how to match your listing] Access the webinar immediately →
4. Use Keywords
Location keywords are powerful because 72% of consumers searching for a local business visit a business within 5 miles of their current location.
To use keywords to your advantage:
5. Increase & Manage Your Online Reviews
Reviews greatly affect consumers. 88% say reviews make the difference in their decision to try a new business.
In addition, consumers are willing to travel longer and spend more to protect a business with a higher ranking.
[See statistics] Access the webinar immediately →
How to increase the total number of reviews and average rating:
By using these local SEO best practices, you can refine your listing and attract more local customers. Reach them when and where they are looking for what they need.
By managing your local SEO properly, you increase the likelihood of attracting engaged customers who are satisfied. When they do, do not let the relationship end.
6. Respond To Reviews
By using a reputation management platform, you can start talking to reviewers to continue to improve your reputation.
[Learn the best way to respond to reviews] Access the webinar immediately →
[Slides] Local SEO: Top Ways To Get Higher Quality Reviews
Join Us For Our Next Webinar!
Small Business Marketing: How To Safely Try New Strategies
When it comes to your small business, how do you feel about taking risks? Learn how to play it safe while taking risks by measuring the results of trying new marketing strategies.
Featured image: Paulo Bobita / Search Engine Journal