What You May Be Missing in Your Local SEO Campaign

You’ve been working on your local SEO efforts and have come to a place where you think that you are comfortable with what you have done. And, odds are, you’ve done a great job. However, there are five commonly overlooked local SEO activities that you could potentially be missing from your strategy. Here’s a list of things that you might have missed.

Accuracy and consistency in online listings.

local-seoYour online citations are one of the most influential elements of your local SEO efforts. If they contain inaccurate information, you will lose some of the clout you have with search engines and your customers will struggle to find you.

So, the good news is that you have probably spent some time looking up your business online and maybe have even audited the information for accuracy, at least in the places that matter most like Yelp and Google Local Business, but what you may have missed is consistency. Your company’s name, address, phone number and website have to be listed in EXACTLY the same manner across all of your citations in order to get the biggest boost from them as a collective. If you have St. Listed for one address and Street in another, search engines will treat them as two separate businesses. Adopt a standard for how your NAP information should be presented and then use this template for every online citation, including your own website.

All the other valuable information in directory listings.

Claiming profiles on online business directories is easy. Completing them all can be a nightmare. However, it’s an effort that will be repaid in spades.

Take the time to claim and complete as many business directories as you can, but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. One complete profile will rank you much better than 100 incomplete and/or inaccurate ones. Make sure that you include plenty of media like pictures and videos whenever you can. This is what the consumer is looking for in a listing and if it’s missing, you miss that sale as they will move on to a company that takes the time to give them the information they want.

Building full-fledged social-media accounts.

You don’t even have to have a website to enjoy the benefits of local SEO. This is because being fully engaged in social media can serve as your website. The reason for this is simple. Many consumers will find and explore a business on social media before they ever look for a website. This means that as a local business you HAVE to have a social media presence in order to be relevant online. And you HAVE to be using is correctly/effectively.

Social media isn’t for hardline marketing. It serves a marketing purpose by giving you a stage to really interact with customers and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Consumers want to hear from you, but not by bombarding them with advertising speak. They want you to expand on an idea and give them more information. They want to ask your questions and find out how you really feel about a topic that has relevance to your company. Establish a company profile with a couple of different social media platforms that you feel comfortable using and then use it.

Begging for reviews.

One of the most important elements of local SEO is the one thing that you can’t truly control: customer reviews.

The one thing to point out here is that you have to be careful with reviews. You can’t force customers to give them and you certainly can’t pay for fake ones. But, you can consistently provide great service and encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on relevant sites like Foursquare and Yelp. And you can ask for a rating on Google+. The other thing you can do is to review the reviews left in various review outlets and then respond when customers leave angry/dissatisfied reviews. They aren’t all out to get you and negative reviews can provide valuable feedback for you to help identify opportunities for improvement. When you address a negative review, promise (and deliver) a better experience next time around and ask if there is anything you can do to rectify the current situation. You’d be surprised at how far just a concerned response will go.