Getting your client to rank higher, drive more traffic, and ultimately increase conversions, consists of a range of tactics; some more effective than others.
We know the same few tips always get all the attention, but some of those can take a while to implement, and ultimately require more expertise, sign-off, and resource!
That’s why we asked a group of local SEO experts to share their most under-appreciated tactics for local SEO success. These are the simplest of tips that most busy marketers might overlook.
Become an expert at utilizing geo-grid ranking reports. Understanding how you rank across your entire market is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what you can use them for.
Meta keywords, baby…😉
A lot of people that focus on local pack rankings seriously neglect traditional SEO factors onsite. They think ranking has more to do with the actual listing when it really has more to do with the content on the website.
I’m not sure these are necessarily underrated or overlooked by everyone, but they can be depending on the client:
- Asking for reviews! The quality and quantity of reviews can make such a big impact on local search performance and it’s a great way to not only help with local search, but to improve overall customer experience.
- Writing unique, helpful, relevant content. Depending on the industry, making sure you’re going above and beyond for content creation can build links faster than outreach.
- Treat local content creation like a game of Jeopardy. What are all the things potential customers can ask about a business, service, or product? If this was going to be a Jeopardy category, what would I need to know to get all the answers right?
- Not repeating keywords in your title tags. You have ample room in your title tag to incorporate close synonyms. For example, if your business name already incorporates the target keyword for a page, utilize a close synonym elsewhere in the title tag, rather than repeating the same keyword more than once, so you can help rank for closely related queries.
- Schema markup! Just because some schema types don’t have rich results on Google, doesn’t mean they never will. Google is adding rich results for schema all the time; by adding in all and any relevant schema now, you’ll always be one step ahead.
One of the most underrated tips is the use of photos on Google listings. Adding new photos on GBPs are a great way to “teach” Google and users about the services you provide, especially if there is not a category that matches them. Because Google’s systems can understand the content of images, these can be almost as important as posts at portraying your business.
Improving site speed, improving internal linking, on-page optimization, and link earning are the nuts and bolts of our industry, and rightly so in many cases.
The part that is so often missed out is sitting down and drawing out the marketing insights that exist within the organization—especially small and medium-sized businesses. This is a lesser utilized building block for success and something which so much of marketing strategy and tactics should rest upon.
Ask questions like:
- What is our marketplace – both geographically and vertically?
- What problem(s) are we solving for our potential customers?
- How are we (or can we) solve it in a more effective/friendly/faster (or whatever is important to our key client groups) way than our competitors?
- What are the key frustrations for our potential customers in terms of finding a service or product to meet their needs?
- Who are our evangelists?
- What can we learn from them in terms of what we are getting right?
- Who are our detractors and what can we learn from them in terms of improving our product or service?
You get the picture!
Adding photos to a Google Business Profile increases views you wouldn’t otherwise have, which could turn into a potential inquiry.
One thing a lot of businesses overlook is updating their GBP category to accommodate seasonality. Your primary category is one of the strongest “ranking factors” you can actually control on your Google listing. So, if you’re in an industry that’s impacted by seasonality, don’t be afraid to change your primary category as your customers’ needs change. A great example of this is HVAC companies, which can update their business category to be more “air conditioner” specific during the summer months.
- For multi-location and franchise businesses, develop a plan for new locations opening throughout the year. Build out local pages with information and grand opening messaging or specials. Build out your GBP before opening. Add your opening date and your GBP will display “opening soon” or “recently opened” on your profile. This allows you to start building up your local presence and start adding posts to educate potential customers about your business.
- Also, for GBP – monitor your Q&As. Sometimes the questions are from people that are trying to message the business, so answering these could turn that person into a potential customer. Additionally, you can flag questions on your profile that are offensive, perhaps a misplaced review, or questions that are irrelevant to your business. Typically, Google will remove these without hassle.
- For content, take advantage of the experts within your business. This is a great opportunity for small businesses, especially with the continued evolution and emphasis of E-E-A-T. Make the time to do interviews with the individuals that are doing the ins and outs of various jobs within the business. For example, a plumbing company could interview their lead plumber about common problems and then create a blog series.
- Add videos & photos to GBP. Continue to add new photos regularly.
- Take note of the categories that competitors are using on GBP to ensure you’ve chosen the correct primary category. You can always test changing your primary category or add them as secondary categories.
- Check your NAP information on citations. Yes, beyond GBP. You don’t want to miss out on a potential customer because your hours or phone number are wrong on Yelp.
- For location pages, don’t overlook adding information like FAQs, reviews, and team bios. That’s all unique information that sets your location apart. Also, remember to use schema markup. If you have the opportunity to choose a specific type of LocalBusiness schema like “Restaurant” to describe your business, then do it.
Are there any tactics you often overlook? Perhaps this list has inspired your local search strategy and reminded you of the most underrated ideas to get your client to rank higher. What are your preferred local SEO tactics that most people ignore? Let us know over on Twitter or in our Facebook Community, The Local Pack.