Local SEO is more important than you might expect. You can see it everywhere: we are closing in on the Holiday Season 2019 really fast. “Lebkuchen” and “Plätzchen” are sold in Germany already. Retailers give away discounts on products they want you to buy in the US. Plazas and streets are enlightened in Japan already.
Even companies not being directly involved in online sales are targeting their users with special reminders . E.g. PayPal told me to get ready for sales season.
As a local retailer with one or more stores, you should make sure that you are getting your Google MyBusiness listing(s) for local SEO tidied. Before the sales season finally kicks in.
5 things to care about NOW for your Local SEO!
To give you a bit of a head start, I include the top 5 things to care about right now to make sure that your local listings are looking great.
1. Accuracy of your local data
I can’t mention that enough: Make sure that your data is correct. This begins with phone numbers, hours of operation, address and so on. It gets a bit more sophisticated when it comes to extended hours and special hours for holidays. There is a list of all holidays Google supports special hours sorted by country. As usual, you can use a variety of methods to upload/add your data.
You must make sure about your accuracy for all locations. The last thing you’d like to happen is that you get some negative brand feedback if for example a customer arrives at your store and noone is there. That kind of negative feedback on Google will sooner or later lead to decreasing conversions – so make sure to check everything in your Google My Business dashboard.
2. Use Google posts for your local SEO advantage
Google added the Google Posts Feature a while ago and it’s still underestimated and underrated. Any business that has a Google My Business Account and cares about local SEO should use this feature. It’s a microblogging opportunity that you
should must use for your business for the following occasions:
- Events (e.g. special opening times, special Christmas events, special menus, etc.)
- News (general news for your business)
- Products (e.g. new products on stock)
- Offers (e.g. things that are on sale, special services like free Christmas packaging, etc.)
Planning things ahead of time is, by the way, a good option to focus now and save time for later. Things you can include in your posts are text (of course), images (700×700 pixel), videos as well as links. Use these elements wisely but do use them.
Please keep these two things on your mind:
Posts expire after 7 days – events don’t (only after expiration dates).
3. Boost Local SEO clicks with high-quality images
A local SEO listing is nothing without a good image. Its quality should be as best as possible. I found some ridiculous results for the search request “online marketing agency” in NYC. You can see one of the results here:
The second result, which is actually a paid result here, is an advertising Google My Business entry without an individual image. It’s the Google internal street view image and it has the standard street view quality. I am wondering why just a few businesses use this opportunity. Even the local SEO listings above are not really of high quality. What I am missing in all results is a logo as their first image or an image that is able to tell me a story about the agency at one glance.
Adding professional images will make a difference to your competitors. Users are more likely to click on results with images of a higher quality. Of course agencies are most likely not offering any Holiday Season Specials but retail businesses should do that. Just make sure that the images represent your business the best way possible.
4. Add a valuable Google My Business description
The better you describe your business, your USP to potential visitors, the better it is for your business in general. The description feature came back to Google My Business after almost a year and you should use it.
Your business name hardly provides enough information about your business, products and services. So give the reader some information and help him understand your field of operations. You have 750 characters for it.
5. Use available attributes for your Google My Business entry
This last tip is nothing new but still not used by everyone. Google offers many different attributes that you can use to extend the information regarding your entry. Here is all necessary information from Google on how to edit and add these attributes to your local SEO listing.
Any questions or comments?
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