5 Local SEO Tips to Help You Manage Your SEO Clients

5 Local SEO Tips to Help You Manage Your SEO Clients
116
Key 'Takeaways' From This Post
  • Getting a local business to rank higher on the search engines is getting more difficult
  • You can contact Google support online and you can also call 866-246-6453

Ranking locally on Google is getting more and more challenging. The number of businesses listed in Google’s ‘Local Pack’ is down to three (with paid-for listings coming soon.) You’re not able to add a description on a Google My Business Listing anymore, so keyword optimizing is more difficult. Local competition is heating up because more businesses have figured out that local search matters. The list goes on…

 

Google Local Pack

Google Local Pack

So what does this mean for a digital marketing agency that manages local clients’ SEO? It means that ranking high on Google (and Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines) is more difficult.

Here are five tips to help you manage your client’s SEO project and improve their local search rankings.

1. How to Contact Google When You Have Questions About Google My Business

Have you ever had a client that didn’t know their Google My Business (GMB) login info? What about a business that has recently moved? How about a business that changed their company name because a partner left? What about duplicate listings? Some of these issues can be difficult to fix on your own. Did you know that you can contact Google directly to get help with some of these problems?

Most of Google’s support is in India, but they do have some U.S. employees as well. You can contact Google support online and you can also call 866-246-6453 and select the Google My Business option. Additionally, you can post questions on the GMB group message board as well as Google’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can also reach support and get helpful information and instructions right within your Google My Business dashboard as well.

Google My Business Support

Google My Business Support

2. Managing Multiple Practitioner Listings on Google

If you have clients that are considered “practitioners” (professionals like dentists, lawyers, physicians, etc.) at the same physical location, each of them can have their own Google My Business Listing with their name. The challenge? They will essentially be competing with one another for search rankings.

What to do? Chances are each of them have a specialty that they excel at. On their website, create separate pages about each of their areas of expertise and then, in each of the Google My Business listings, add the keyword optimized URL for each specialty page and professional. For instance, if one of the attorneys in the firm specializes in estate planning, the URL linked to in Google My Business might look like www.lawfirmname.com/estate-planning whereas the attorney that specializes in DWIs URL might look like this www.lawfirmname.com/dwi-lawyer.

Keep in mind that Google limits the number of times a website can show up on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs). This prevents one business from dominating the search results.

3. Getting Online Reviews

Getting a local business listed on online review sites is a great way for customers to leave reviews about how much they love a business. Our Consumer Review Survey Research found that getting reviews from customers has many benefits:

  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to
  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews

Getting 5-star online reviews can also help with click-through rates AND your ranking on Google.

There are a variety of things a business can do to ask customers or clients for reviews (if you’re an agency, don’t forget that you should ask your clients for reviews, too!) First, make sure you claim the top review sites (even the niche review sites) and then copy the specific URL of your client’s page for at least 5 review sites. (i.e. yelp.com/business-name). Don’t make customers search for a business’ review pages — make it super simple! Once you have the review sites selected, spread the love and have them ask customers to leave reviews on a variety of review sites. (Getting too many reviews on one review site can raise a red flag with the site, and the good reviews might get suppressed/hidden. Yelp is notorious for this.)

Here are some great ways a business can ask customers for reviews:

  • Print review site URLs on the back of a business card and pass them out to clients or customers
  • Add review URLs to print ads and TV commercials
  • Put the review links in the signature of emails “Tell us how we’re doing! www.putreviewlinkhere.com”)
  • Send a “thank you” email with a few links to review sites and ask for feedback
  • Add a “Feedback” page on the website
  • Put feedback/review links on invoices and receipts

Google will often show third-party review sites on a business’ Google My Business listing, so make sure you check out the competitors to see which review sites show up on their listings and get your client’s listed on those sites.

4. Optimizing a Local Business’ Website

On-page and off-page optimization is crucial to helping a business with their local search rankings. In addition to including the city and state in the Title and Description tags, make sure you’re including that info in Headers (where appropriate) and include a business’ address in the footer of every page of the website.

If the business has multiple locations in a variety of cities, create separate pages for each of the locations. Be sure to include information specific to each location/city. Make the city pages personable — almost like a mini “This is our city/town” page. Include the company’s name, address, local phone numbers and some pictures of the business (with image Alt tags optimized for the business’ name and city.)

5. Run Ranking Reports to Show Your Clients ROI

When you’re doing local SEO for a business, it’s important to show your clients the results of your search marketing efforts. There are many tools on the market that help with local search optimization, but few create easy-to-understand ranking reports even a layperson can understand. BrightLocal’s ranking reports are SUPER easy to understand. But no matter which tool you use to show local search rankings, make sure that the software provides information about Local pages on each of the search engines, organic rankings and also shows how directories impact search rankings.

Sample of BrightLocal's Ranking Report

Sample of BrightLocal’s Ranking Report

What Local Tips Would You Recommend?

What local SEO tips do you use with your clients? Have you ever tried reaching Google directly? Did you have luck? We’d love to get your input. Please comment below!

 

 

 

 

Share this article

9 thoughts on “5 Local SEO Tips to Help You Manage Your SEO Clients”

  1. these are some great local SEO tips to manage local client.local client has a demand to get more and more traffic from the local market. thanks for sharing an awesome post.surely will use the learning from this post.

  2. Great article, the numbers and tips about online reviews were especially valuable.

    That being said, I wouldn’t say increased rankings or even increased leads should be considered a way to prove ROI. ROI is “Return on Investment” and basically means: “how much money do I get back if I make a $100 investment in some marketing channel?”. If I don’t get back more than $100, there’s no return on investment.

    It’s possible to use ranking reports to show progress, but there’s quite a few steps between rankings and profit: increased rankings >> increased traffic >> increased leads >> increased customers >> increased profit. You may need to optimize your site at each step of the way, for conversion from traffic to leads to customers. Until they become customers, it’s difficult to establish any true ROI.

    People who are new to the SEO space could get confused by your subheader: “Run Ranking Reports to Show Your Clients ROI”.

    1. Thanks for your input, Daniel. Proving an SEOs value to a client is often challenging. For instance, you can get a client to rank on the first page of Google, but if their website is awful and doesn’t look trustworthy, the conversions will probably be low. Likewise if you send traffic their way and they get calls and emails, but the business doesn’t follow up, then they won’t have good results. It’s definitely a challenge all around.

      Sherry

  3. A lot of people tend to ignore the value of their photos on their Google listing. Even just geo-tagging them with a keyword + target city can really help.

  4. While it’s true that you can only add a category to your GMB, I would not ignore the free webpage that Google has recently added. EVEN if the customer already has a website, there are a number of things you can use this for and I suspect Google will pick up on the descriptions and keywords you use on this page.

    You can also add information to your Google+ page connect to your GMB listing as a way of telling Google more about your business. Keep the posts oriented to the business and it should help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *