Local SEO in 2019: Here’s What You Need To “Primarily” Focus on…
As we bid goodbye to 2018, people are looking at 2019 with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. It is a new start, and a great opportunity to take your website and with it, your business to a whole new level.
“So what’s new for next year?”
As a digital marketing company, we get this question all the time from our perspective clients. Many of our clients are local businesses or operate under a certain regional focus. If you have a local business and you were to ask us about how to make 2019 the best year ever for your website, we would answer “by optimizing for local SEO.”
Customers always want the best service at the best prices. And they most definitely prefer options that are available closest to them. This is where local SEO comes in.
Ever since Google Search became more personalized and algorithms evolved to provide tailored experiences, local search has become the holy grail of businesses that focus on specific counties, cities and boroughs for revenue generation and client acquisition. What’s more, consumers are searching for local products more than ever before.
To make sure your business shows up for these searches we’ve got some local SEO tips that should be your focus going into 2019.
Leverage Google My Business
Those of you who still haven’t listed their business on Google My Business, you should do it, NOW. We can’t emphasize this enough. Seriously, we’ll wait, go do it.
And if you already have a Google My Business account, you should start focusing on utilizing it to its true potential.
After its divorce from Google+, Google My Business has grown massively in significance. It offers some really cool and important features that can help you boost your local SEO.
First off is the Google Posts feature.
How often do you post on your Google My Business page?
You should be posting at least once a week. Preferably, a few times a week.
If you already use other social media platforms for promoting your business, then this should be easy.
Just use the same posts you use for your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages—however, don’t forget to edit them. Inserting a killer CTA will work wonders.
Second up is the photos and video feature.
Regularly upload photos and videos on your Google My Business page. This will benefit you in two ways:
- It will generate engagement signals from your audience
- It will show Google that you’re an active user and you care about your listing. Experts speculate that this provides ranking benefits in local searches.
Third, is the Google Q&A feature.
This is the most important tip we have for you. Use Google’s Q&A feature on Google My Business. Respond to customers’ questions in a prompt way. Frequently seed the section with your own questions and answers when possible.
Google Q&A is currently the most underutilized Google My Business feature. And perhaps, also one of the most powerful.
On a departing note, make sure your Google My Business profile is 100% complete and there are no blank fields in there.
Heavily Invest in Reviews
Reviews have always been important to driving traffic to websites and increasing conversions. They have the ability to influence a potential buyers decision making. Positive branding through genuine positive reviews will paint a positive picture of your products, services and your company as a whole.
Research by Deloitte shows that 81% of consumers read reviews and check ratings when searching for a product online. What’s more, 97% of them factor reviews into their buying decisions.
The Pigeon algorithm update has made reviews even more important from a local SEO perspective by displaying them in the local search results.
You’re probably already investing in reviews. Our advice would be to invest in them even more. Approach your customers and request them to leave reviews on Google. However, be mindful not to force them. Ask your customers to use product – or service-specific keywords (yes, it works!) when writing a review.
If someone posts a negative review about your product or service, respond to them professionally and promptly. Try to understand their point of view and see if you can do anything to help them.
The best way to prevent negative reviews about your business is to provide your customers with incredible product and customer service. Once you’re killing it on Google, you can then expand your focus to other review-oriented websites. Implement these review-related tips and watch your watch business climb higher on local SEO rankings.
And that’s basically it!
Okay, at this point you’re probably wondering why we are suggesting you to primarily focus on Google My Business and customer reviews for your local SEO strategy heading into 2019.
Our suggestions are based on our own experience with Local SEO for our hundreds of clients and based on expert opinion of renowned SEO technicians outlining their own research and experiences as mentioned in Moz’s latest Local Search Ranking Factors Survey.
According to the survey findings, currently, Google My Business signals make up 25% of the local pack pie chart. Customer review signals are ranked third in importance, just below link signals; however, their significance in local search results has grown since the last published survey results.
Rest assured that you’re in the right company.
Do you need professional help to boost your small business local SEO?
Search Berg is at your service!
We are one of the leading local SEO service providers in the United States. Our local SEO experts are trained in the specific skill-set required for local SEO domain and have years of experience in the field to make your small business website rank higher in local search rankings.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your small business local SEO needs.