Self-Managed vs Automated Strategies: A 2017 Local SEO Guide

Local SEO Guide Header


I’m sure we’re all aware of how many amazing software options exist for automating local search tactics, but in this local SEO guide, I’m going to argue that perhaps a human-managed strategy is very vital in seeing major results.

For more than five years, the world of digital marketing has seen a massive increase of “Local Search SaaS †– (Software-as-a-service) tactics emerging and presenting different monetary and value proposals for companies that have a physical store location.

Typically speaking, these platforms help companies by storing business location data (ie. Name, Address & Phone Number) in a central location, and then proceed to push that data out into other channels.

Even though SaaS tactics help digital marketers in managing listings of local businesses on social platforms and search engine channels, the companies themselves are generally hoping for better visibility through organic search results throughout this process – unfortunately this is not always the case.

SaaS platforms generally require brand marketers to budget their human resources/assets to not just simply manage the strategy on a daily basis, but to also take into consideration other various organic rank aspects which are vital in the maintenance of a booming SEO program.

Even though SaaS programs are typically seen as simple solutions that work automatically behind the scenes, those internal resource costs will still have to be factored into your overall ROI on top of your general SaaS subscription and any fee’s.

Don’t get me wrong, automation does have many benefits, but there remain several elements of local SEO that must be properly managed, monitored and moderated by actual human beings on a daily basis. This includes:

—> An accurate analysis stating where individual local business listings are turning up in searches through Google, Bing, Apple, etc.

—> Position rank and data accuracy

—> Visible local-business-listing percentages for keywords and phrases (on desktop and mobile)

—> Managing content and better user experience/SEO performance optimization

—> Analysis and measurement to properly inform major tactical adjustments

—> Analytics tracking

—> Identifying which channels are contributing to conversions

At the same time that SaaS strategies can aid in concentrating sections of your local SEO tactic to be much more effective, a self or human-managed approach that applies both technology and experts in digital marketing can supply better earnings. Below, I’ll break down the advantages of each method as well as point out the differences:

SaaS Programs for SEO

A great many SaaS platforms help brand marketers to easier centralize, distribute and authenticate their business data across various networks and directories. The amalgamation of data is distributed directly to numerous search engines, social media platforms and various directories, which aid companies in scaling location data and gaining organic rank.

It’s imperative to keep in mind that most SaaS platforms participate in shared revenue agreements, because of this they offer paid inclusion programs that aid in updating any listings you have much faster and with added and upgraded content fields – for a price though. That being said, paid inclusion programs can generally only be influenced to heighten your ranking in local business directories (ie. Yelp, 411.com, local.com etc.). The major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Apple don’t allow these kinds of paid programs to affect any organic rankings.

Benefits of SaaS Platforms

—> Guarantee business listings stay updated with appropriate content

—> Publishing social content

—> Distributing citations to various directories

Pour un plaisir long et doux – un stimulateur du mastoront suédois lelo. Lorsque le gadget est allumé, la “langue” commence à fonctionner sur sa partie extérieure plate – pas une lame, mais une convexité soignée qui se déplace rapidement, imitant le mouvement de cette langue. Jusqu’à 10 modes – d’un simple mouvement dans un cercle, à la faille «sur https://medicamentserection.com/commander-generique-cialis/ à différentes vitesses. Les jouets matériaux pour les sensations sont similaires à une surface légèrement rugueuse de la langue – tout est pour les sensations naturelles.

—> Pin verification that allows you to know an exact locations (latitude & longitude)

—> Analysis of citations (ensuring NAP is relevant on every directory)

—> Assembling reviews from various sources

On top of distributing data directly to channels, you also have the option to use database aggregators to push the location data to various directories that aid in building citation. The principal companies who have lists of channels they push to include, Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, and Neustar.

When all is said and done, SaaS programs help to automate facets of your local SEO platform, but automation can only do so much.

Managed Services & Technology Platforms

Digital marketing is obviously made much easier by technology in so many ways, but still – managing a suitable local business listing and local SEO program involves actual human tactics to drum up the data, channels, strategy and performance in order to optimize properly for enhanced ROI.

Google search console, web analytics and paid search data must be meticulously analyzed and assessed to make sure the appropriate actions are taken – you must create, distribute and optimize content, and citations should be monitored regularly. On top of that you must continually evaluate backlinks re-directing to the main brand domain and make sure they are in place and are evaluated for ranking and authority.

Following Google Venice and Google Pigeon updating their algorithms, there has been a continuing integration with traditional organic rank factors and local search results. It’s fair to expect that there will be many more changes happening soon as the local search systems continue to evolve; and given that Google has a compelling investment in ranking the web, companies are able to prepare for any new changes by concentrating more on the core fundamentals of SEO: content, links and site structure.

Even though a few of the automation programs on the market today can act as a centralized storehouse for your data, what happens to your data once it’s centralized is the most critical element in your local listings strategy. none of the automated technologies or SaaS programs by themselves can undertake the primary SEO aspects that directly impact ranking -it just isn’t possible. Brands need to implement a all-inclusive tactic that includes:

—> Strategic execution and analysis to increase exposure of your local resources and to assess a ROI relative towards a favorable local listing management platform.

—> Consistent analysis of paid search performance data by way of web analytics, hence providing actionable analysis for agencies to make advantageous changes.

—> The structure of your site, the content and link analysis are the backbones of SEO and must be managed and evaluated consistently in order to boost opportunities for organic traffic.

While local listing management becomes even more complicated, the demand for organic optimization has become mush more important than ever for gaining higher rankings. Obtaining a SaaS program running your SEO strategy eventually becomes challenging. Some other SEO aspects play a part in affecting higher rankings, and when you solely use software programs, you’re doing your entire local SEO strategy a disservice.

When you have real live humans consistently monitoring and managing the intricacies of a solid SEO strategy it’s going to be extremely more effective in the long-term technique which is vital to SEO itself. When you just click a box that initiates SaaS tools, it’s not going to be the same as having a strong and distinct SEO strategy. Yes, SaaS platforms allow you to make updates to your local listings, but even then you still have to implement human tactics that are accountable for integrating in your day-to-day plan of optimizing the program to retain the optimal organic ranking.

In addition, someone has to be liable for performance and analytics, and SaaS programs can’t provide you with that information – once they’ve executed the campaign their job is basically done.

In Conclusion…

In summary, it is clear that well-founded SEO strategies just can’t be automated, when you take shortcuts by solely using automated tools your results will be less than satisfactory. Also, when you stop implementing SaaS tactics, your organic rank and authority lessens on account of rich listing content like any local images usually get taken down – while NAP information becomes more defenceless to changes (or a lack of them).

I’ll leave you with a little analogy to clear this up even more than I already have: a SaaS could be comparable to renting an apartment, and having a managed approach is like having a mortgage on a house. When it comes down to it, renting an apartment is fine, but it means you personally don’t own the capital you’ve been paying.

If you decide to take a hands-on approach that involves real humans doing real work, you will see rewards throughout the short and long term. Companies shouldn’t settle for the minimum short term rewards that SaaS platforms provide, they should actually be demanding palpable and longer-term performance and results that only come along with a managed SEO approach.

SEO for Local Businesses: Mow Your Own Backyard!

Yes, we all know the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side ” – well, in the business world we seem to have modified that to “the grass is always greener in neighboring markets ”…

Sure, the grass may look a lot greener and taller over there – but if you ever want to get invited over for a BBQ, you must first mow your own lawn. By that I mean, you must have your own affairs in order if you want your neighbour to respect you enough to share steak with you.

In the past I have written a lot about real-life, face-to-face encounters and situations with clients and various SEO’s – this article is no different. The interesting thing is though, this one is related to an issue that I think was my own fault. (Oops.)

A while back, I wrote an article about creating local content silos; with this strategy you can create groups or “silos” of localized content that relates to nearby cities. This strategy is immensely useful and can churn up great results, but it involves a lot of time, hard work and diligence. I’ve even spoken about this tactic in some video interviews and several times while speaking at SEO conferences.

In today’s article, I’m going to attempt to poke holes (so to speak) in my very own strategy. So stay with me, this might be weird – but it’ll be worth it, I promise.

Is the “silo strategy” really the way to go?

More and more frequently, when businesses employ our SEO services, they ask us if we can do “the silo thing” so that they’ll turn up in searches in neighboring towns, or in that big metro that’s half an hour away. I’ve gotten the same question several times at SEO conferences, “We’re out in the country, so can you explain to us how we go about turning up in searches for our big metro?”

Sure, the “silo thing” can bring you great results; but first you must mow your own lawn people!

So, here’s the problem…

Local businesses are so concerned with turning up in neighboring cities searches, that they’re ignoring their own backyards. You must be in a position where you’re really “owning it” in your own town first before you can target and profit from others. Owning it locally is basically like the ‘ante’ in a game of local SEO poker; if you don’t dish out your ante, good luck playing at the adults table!

It’s usually the case that businesses don’t show up well, if at all, locally in their own city. It’s important to note that Google bases its search returns by looking at relevance and importance.

The SEO basics have to come first, you must have a handle on them before anything else; acquire amazing links and come up with great content. Before you step up to the plate and shoot for the stars by implementing the silo strategy, it’s vital that you’ve got your own lawn mowed; that is to say – your own location under control.

Location and proximity also play a very important part in local searches, even at a very basic level – if you’ve knocked your basics out of the park you should already be ranking pretty well locally. If you have some amazing content, you’re likely to have keyword relevance site wide. If you’ve got some prime links, that means you should have a pretty authoritative site. If your site has already optimized its location signals, you should have some major site wide relevance locally. If you keep your citations consistent and of good quality, you should have your off-site location signals under wraps too.

The grass isn’t always greener…

The majority of the time when businesses get hyper-focused on the next-door market, or on the bigger metro, the completely ignore their own town. If your business isn’t turning up in local searches within your own city, how do you really think you’ll compete in the next (and potentially bigger) city next door – where you also might not have as much relevance locally and have zero proximity?

I can’t stress enough how difficult it is to turn up in searches within a city where your business is not actually located – this is already strike one. Usually, if a business chooses to target a nearby city or town, its because they’ve decided to set their sights on a bigger market – and this means much more competition. That’s strike two. If they aren’t very prevalent within their own town when they should be easily turning up, this is a sign that they haven’t been properly optimized in the first place. This is strike three…

If your company has decided to put local optimization on the back burner to focus on some nearby target market, and if your local tactics haven’t been maximized; you’re probably missing out on ample amounts of site traffic generated from local searches – where ideally you should be totally dominating and taking names.

Once you’ve mowed your own lawn…

So, you’ve mowed your lawn, pulled all the weeds, landscaped and fertilized… only now should you start attempting to hop those fences and stealing all the attention at your neighbours BBQ’s.

However, it is very important that you maintain realistic expectations about your potential results. Given the appropriate strategy and implementing meticulous efforts and hard work, you will soon enough show up in searches conducted by nearby towns; that being said, this will still take time!

Don’t cheat yourself and miss out on driving some easy local traffic to your site in the interim – and don’t hire a unexperienced neighbourhood hoodlum to cut your grass… get out there and mow your own backyard!

2017: Your Last Chance to Make a Strong Local SEO Push?

2017 Local SEO

2017: The Year of SMB Online Marketing

Yeah, yeah – we all know the saying “You gotta spend money to make money.” Unfortunately, for SMB’s (small to medium-sized businesses), this is a tough motto to follow when they’re considering their annual budgets.

This is when it’s time for them to take a good hard look at their financial status and figure out how they can spend less and profit more.

The question is: Where will SMB’s invest their marketing budget in 2017, given all their budget priorities?

I own a small business myself, and I know very well how vital it is create an accurate plan that can strictly regulate my business’s finances.

In my years of owning and operating an online marketing business, I’ve realized that building a practice for budgeting concerns is the absolute most effective way to keep your company’s finances in check.

It’s so important to remember, even when times are rough, how imperative the marketing portion of your budget is for your company’s guaranteed survival. The key is to never ever stop promoting your business, even if your finances turn out to be much more limited than you expected.

If your marketing budget is minuscule, you have to make intelligent choices when it comes to your priorities in determining how much of your budget should be allocated to marketing; not just in general, but focused on the critical factors of marketing online.

To achieve success in the competitive and cramped markets of today, we have assembled three reasons why all SMB’s should make online marketing their top priority in 2017.

1. Competition in online marketing is rapidly increasing. The Longer you wait the more competition you’ll meet!

While more and more businesses allot their cash for marketing online, radio and television, the competition online is growing and getting more and more fiery. A recent Survery Report from CMO revealed the fact that spending on traditional advertising is on the decline, while spending on digital marketing and SEO is on a rapid increase.

Additionally, a survey by StrongView and Selligent on marketing trends was done late 2015 and discovered that even though marketing budgets were raised overall by business leaders for 2016, online marketing channels were higher on the spectrum compared to traditional.

Under 14% of the companies that were surveyed had a plan to increase their marketing spending for print, radio and television advertisements, meanwhile the better part of companies surveyed had a plan to increase their budgets in the four key areas: social media, email marketing, mobile marketing, and online display advertising.

A staggering 42% of those surveyed had plans to budget a larger amount to marketing search (PPC and SEO).

The budgets for social media marketing are on the incline as well. Social Media Examiner released their 2016 SMMIndustry Report, and if deciphered that more than 63% of companies and marketers alike had a plan to increase spending on Facebook and YouTube marketing.

If you own a SMB and plan to compete with the big boys, you need to take a long hard look at your budget and see just how far you can stretch your online marketing money, while maintaining a special focus on creating customized content for your clientele.

While businesses go on designating more and more spending towards digital channels, these areas will be rendered that much more competitive.

 

2. We Can Measure Everything & Target Specific Customers (We targeted Carlsbad business owners like you; to see this post!)

Compared to traditional advertising, online marketing can open up worlds of advantage for your business. It can offer a high return on investment, much higher than traditional approaches because of its generally low cost of channels online like socials, and also the capability to adapt based on the data collected from social platforms and Google.

For example if your website traffic dips and you notice keyword rankings have dropped; you’re in the a position to make changes to improve them!

Additionally, compared to traditional marketing, online marketing reaches a much larger number of consumers at a much lower cost to you.

Let’s think about other perks to online marketing as well. Specific metrics can be easily tracked on each of your campaigns, to grant very valuable and specific feedback.

However, no matter what size, any business can prove to be a solid competition with a strong marketing plan. This is again because of the low cost of online channels, and also the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing on search and socials.

You can gain quick advances to your SMB’s business through these, compared to the long down out waits that usually come along with traditional.

We should also never undervalue the viral aspect that comes along with the internet. With traditional marketing one must wait around to pass out their flyers, for their ads to be made public on tv and in the newspapers, etc.

In the case of social media, you have things like share buttons, that can instantly connect you and your business to potential consumers in mere seconds.

 

3. Your Budget Need Not Be Over $1500/month. We have grown several businesses at just $1000 monthly budget.

Some SMB’s are still abstaining completely from marketing online, why is this? In a recent survey of 300 SMB’s done by LSA, it was discovered that the main reason is simple; a measly budget.

When they were asked how they’d carry out marketing given a higher allowance, the preference towards digital marketing was top in the priorities list, with SEO and PPC (paid search) the biggest focuses.

This survey also concluded that half of SMB’s would sink their budget into SEO marketing if they had twice their budget, while about 40% of them would have sunk it into PPC.

Out of the leftover channels, 37% of SMB’s claimed they would devote more to websites, 29% said they would invest in social media, and 28% said they would lean towards CRM tools. These results actually mirror the behaviors of consumers, since search engines and websites are considered the driving forces for potential consumers searching locally.

Final Remarks: Start Small with A Digital Analytics Audit to See Where You Are; Then Go Month To Month If You’d Like a Done For You Lead Generation Service!

 

Finally, as all the SMB’s are settling on their budgets for 2017, they will most likely discover the numerous advantages to investing more of their advertising budget in marketing, as opposed to more short-term benefits that apply from reducing it.

As more and more SMB’s move their money over to online marketing, they will surely see more devoted customers visiting their websites, reading and rating their services and products, purchase them, and also provide them with feedback that is beneficial to the market.

It won’t take long at all for digital marketing to create great publicity and have a positive impact on the future of your blossoming business, as well as give you an impressive return on investment.

Recently, a survey of 200 retail marketing exec’s in charge of budget decisions proved to prefer online marketing. More than three-quarters logged a higher ROI through online advertising compared to the traditional.

If your SMB budget grants you the opportunity to invest in a few things, keep in mind that quality content on your websites, blogs and social media, ranks highest.

Facebook Launches Local Directory To Compete With Yelp

Facebook Local Directory Facebook Services

Facebook recently launched what is their version of a local review site called, Facebook Services.  Facebook services is very similar to a site like Yelp where users can search for local business and service providers in the city or location of their choice.

Upon conducting a search for a local business Facebook returns a list of the top businesses per that category of service. These results are indeed local business Facebook pages.

Users can then look at the business description, photos, and reviews of the results to decide which business they would like to contact.

How Can You Get Your Local Business To Rank At The Top of Facebook Services (Local Directory)

It will certainly be beneficial to have your business ranking at the top of your related business category in your city within Facebook Services just as it is important to have your website showing up in Google on the first page for related search terms.

Facebook has not disclosed how they are selecting which businesses get this first page real estate within their directory however our expert SEO digital marketing team has done some testing and has discovered what most likely Facebook is using to determine their results. This of course we cannot disclsoe publicly quite yet but it is a service we are providing to our current clients.

Related: SEO and Social Media Automation in 2016

The Top 10 Local SEO Tips Your Business Must Complete to Dominate Google

Our phones at Dynamik Internet Marketing Inc. are constantly ringing with business owners who are interested in our SEO and internet marketing services. One of the most common questions we receive particularly from local business owners sounds like this,  “What is included in your local SEO service and how does that help us rank in Google?”

This is in fact a great question. To answer, there is a lot of work and smaller particular tasks that go into the craft that is local search engine optimization. To dive into further detail and help you understand exactly what your business needs to have completed from an SEO standpoint, we have outlined the Top 10 Local SEO tips!

Follow each step carefully and you can earn yourself higher rankings in Google and can reap the benefits of increased inbound leads. Lets’ get started.

#1 Create a Great Google+ Local Page

Have you ever searched for a service in Google and Google maps has revealed dozens of business locations for you? You may wonder where that information comes from.

Well, Google takes that information, not from individual websites, as might be expected, but from Google + Local Pages. This means that each business on Google Maps has to register its own information to be seen by searchers. Setting up a Google + Local page is really straightforward, it doesn’t take a whole lot of time and the return on your investment is well worth it.

Things to consider when creating a Google+ Local Page are choosing an appropriate profile photo, filling in all the relevant information and ensuring the pin is properly located. It’s important to have the name, address, and phone number (NAP) you provide in the same format across all your social profiles, whether on Google+, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor or whatever other platform you may use.

Tip: Make sure you only create a single page per location. Whilst it may be tempting to create duplicate local pages in order to boost your ability to be found, this can be very detrimental to your SEO and is actually against the Google Terms of Service.

#2 Optimize your Page Titles

Make sure that your service and location are included in all relevant page title tags. This is the best way for the Googlebot to find your site and link it to local search terms and is especially critical for your homepage.

A 2014 report by search marketing specialists Moz, revealed that SEO marketers found that having your city and state in your landing page title was the number one factor in localized organic search – this was considred to be more of a ranking factor than the quality of inbound links and the domain authority of a particular website. So get your title tags optimized first and foremost!

#3 List Your Contact Info On Your Website + Link to Your Google Plus Page

Having updated information on your pages and profiles is a given. Make sure you have NAP – Name, Address, Phone, all sorted. If you have more than one service or location, add multiple web pages for each of these, this will be good for SEO and clearer for your customer.

But most importantly make sure your NAP is listed on the homepage of your website & then link from your website over to your Google plus page. This really helps Google connect the dots and when Google feels confident that your Google plus page belongs to your website; you get a ranking boost!

#4 Use Schema

Schema markup is a code that you can place on your website to assist search engines to provide more detailed results for readers. It can be regarded as a type of artificial intelligence that explains to the search engines what your data means in human terms. Schema is another great way to boost your SEO.

Fortunately for you, there are many who have yet to realize the potential of this tool and it is therefore an advantage you can have over your competitors. There are also WordPress plugins to help you install schema if you don’t have a developer in house. Just another reason, we love WordPress.

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#5 Make sure your site is mobile friendly

As the influence of mobile phones and tablets becomes even more prominent, a mobile friendly site is increasingly important for both global and local SEO. Google’s next major search engine update is again predicted to place more emphasis on the importance of mobile friendly designs and therefore you should be doing all you can to prepare for such a change.

A Google statement has said ““Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

Are you ready for the mobile apocalypse? Test to see if your site is Google mobile compliant here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

#6 Engage in Quality Link Building

This is a pretty standard organic ranking practice but remains significant nonetheless. The need for high-quality links is only becoming more important with changes in the Google algorithms.

Always be on the lookout for new link building opportunities. For starters ask any partner organizations, retailers, suppliers, or otherwise friends; to link to your website.

local seo expert dino gomez

Additionally make sure you claim a link and profile from all the top social networking and media sites. If you have an established brand consider building a wikipedia page and link back to your website.

For further exposure and inbound links, offer to write a guest blog post for a related industry blogging site. When it comes to link building, there are a hundred different strategies and places to go. 

#7 Utilize Social Media Marketing effectively

Social media marketing is important for various reasons. Not only does it provide a seamless platform to promote your services and share your content, but it can also act effectively as another search engine. Likewise, social media links are extremely valuable in the eyes of Google. Make sure when you post on social networks that you occasionally self promote and link back to your website!

Tip: Because social media is constantly changing and evolving, it provides an opportunity for you to stay ahead of the curve and creatively engage with your clients or customers.

#8 Create unforgettable content

The mantra ‘content is king’ is constantly thrown around in internet marketing circles. This is nowhere more apparent than for local businesses. Again, competing with larger organizations can be difficult, but providing better quality or location specific content is where you have the unique advantage in the SERPs.

It also allows you to be perceived as an authority in your area, which goes a long way when it comes to closing offline sales. If you need helping coming up with a blog post idea, check out, our Top 5 Blog Posts for Business Owners

#9 Get customer reviews

Customer reviews are another vital aspect of local SEO. In addition to your inbound link profile, on page content, and social media presence; online reviews are also evaluated by Google in relation to their authority and quantity. We advise all our clients to set up a process that makes it very straightforward for your customers to leave reviews.

For example we recommend sending a survey email out to customers a few days after they have enjoyed your service or product to ask them for their feedback. The survey should be a conditional online survey in which the subsequent questions are based on the answer to the previous question.

By using a conditional logic survey, you can direct those customers who had a positive experience with your brand to then leave a review on your Google or Yelp page. In turn, those customers who had a negative or neutral experience should be directed to leave more information on how your brand can improve customer satisfaction. Customers who viewed your brand as negative should not be directed to your Google or Yelp page, as you do not want them to leave a review until you have improved their experience with your brand.

By using an online survey you can dramatically increase the number of online positive reviews your business receives.

In particular we help our clients aggregate positive reviews on Yelp and their Google plus local page, as these two sites are the most important when it comes to increasing your local SEO efforts and protecting your brand reputation.

#10 Build Local Citations

One of the biggest ranking factors Google uses for inclusion in Google maps is the number of accurate and consistent citations your local business has. By definition a citation is a listing in a local business directory such as Yellow Pages, Manta, City Search, Yelp, or Yahoo!.

There are in fact nearly 300 U.S. based local directories where your business should be listed. The more listings your business has with a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) the more confident Google can feel about giving your business real estate on the 1st page of their search engine.

We advise all our clients to register their business on each of these 300 location directories. When completing your profile you should include your name, address, phone number, unique business description, upload photos, and be sure to link back to your website.

Summary

After reading this post you may understand local SEO is not as difficult as you may have expected. It is however very time consuming and does require an expertise or otherwise guidance implementing each tactic.

Now that you have our top 10 list as a roadmap, you are all set to optimize your business for local search. Of course, if you would rather have our team of experts implement these strategies on your behalf, we would certainly love to do so.

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The Core Principle of Local Seo in 2013

Local SEO continues to change more regularly than competitive SEO. Our team at Dinomite SEO has noticed that Google shakes up local search results more frequently than competitive search results. By local search results we are referring to any keyword search that has “local” intent. Examples include searches for a dentist, a doctor, a shopping center, restaurant, dry cleaning, gas station, ice cream parlor, or auto shop.

Local Directory Optimization & Local Review Site Optimization

Quite consistently in 2013 Google has been giving priority to industry specific directory listings and review sites for local searches. Review sites such as Yelp and directories such as the Yellow pages have found their place at the top of organic search results as pictured below.

Our team has noticed that specific review sites are more important in some industries over others. Additionally specific directories are more highly ranked in other local niches. (In some cases even we have found Facebook pages or Twitter accounts to rank organically on the first page of a local SERP.)

With local search results including the combination of places, organic, directory listings, and review sites the strategy for local SEO has become comprehensive and dynamic. The core principle of local SEO in 2013 is now diversification.

A Local SEO strategy should include optimization for places, organic search, relevant directory listings, and relevant review sites. The combination of which can be help one business dominate their niche market.

Here is a look at how micro optimization on a local level can help a local business dominate search results.

How Do SEO Citations Help With Local Rankings?

content marketing tips

Citations will help your business rank higher within local search. But what is a citation? A citation is when a website cites the contact information and or the address of a business. Think of a citation as an online review. When a third party website lists the name, contact information, and business address of your website; you just gained a citation.

Citations are important for your local business ranking within search engine maps. Citations help prove the validity of your business information. Thus the more citations you have the more Google and other search engines can be sure that your business is legitimate.

Why would search engines question the legitimacy of your business? Well it has become a well known SEO strategy to create a business listing with a fictitious address in order to gain a local listing where your business does not physically exist. For this reason search engines rank local businesses higher when they have many citations. Citations act as references for a local businesses physical location.

Great read: Local Business Strategy Guide

Get More Citations

The easiest way to receive more citations for your business is to create as many local business profiles as possible. Create business profiles on Yelp.com, Local.com, Yellowpages.com, Yellowbook, CitySearch, FourSquare, ThinkLocal, Biznik, CitySlick, MyCity, and MetroBot. By doing so you are in fact creating citations to support your Google, Yahoo, and Bing local listing as well as you are fostering customers and fans of your business to leave you online reviews. Although online reviews are not the same as citations (since a review doesn’t always include the business contact info), reviews do factor into your local listing rank position as search engines also reward businesses with many reviews.

The newest directory to gain online momentum is Thumbtack. Similar to Yelp, Thumback is an online directory and review site for local businesses and services. They do a better job of providing customers informed information to make a good purchasing decision by way of asking business owners a series of questions. Additionally Thumback is quickly earning higher rankings in Google for its smart leverage of link building. In fact business owners can increase their visibility in their directory only by gaining online reviews and linking back to their profile. Dinomite SEO is known on Thumback for providing Affordable- Premium SEO Solutions! Get a head start and get going on Thumbtack today!

HCard Implementation for Local Business SEO

One of the greatest well kept local business SEO tips is to use a micro format for publishing the contact details of a website owner. Using a micro format to publish the contact details on a website is known as Hcard implementation. Hcard implementation helps search engines easily identify the physical address and contact information associated with a business.

What is an Hcard?

Hcard implementation is a strategy to use regardless of whether a business website is local or global. In general the micro format will help search engines index your business in directories, business listings, for search results, for local place pages, as well as it will help review sites link reviews to your website.

Google Local Business SEO Strategy Guide

local seo

3 Local SEO Tips

As a local business owner you should always have an eye out for your local business listing rank position. Google reports, “97 percent of consumers conduct a search for local businesses before shopping.” That number is damn close to 100 percent which means you better crack Google’s local listing pack (3 pack, 7 pack, or 10 pack) if you want to be competitive in your local business space.

Now granted that the biggest factors in local search rank position seem to be your business name, address, and business category; there are three other controllable factors for which you can help your business earn a top local rank position.

1). Use of Authority Citations

One of the quickest ways to help Google verify your local business listing and to also increase your local business rank position is to have other websites mention your business name, address, and phone number in proximity to each other. When another website mentions your business including your address and phone number this is known as a “citation”. A citation is viewed from Google as verification that you business does in fact have the address and phone number that you have listed on your place page.

Google looks for citations on the web in order to verify your physical business address. Each citation helps Google feel more confident that your physical business address is correct on your listing and is not fake by means of stealing a local search listing position. (Imagine businesses creating fake addresses in order to steal search positions in cities and states where they do not have a physical store location.)

Citations help Google not only verify your listing but helps to determine the order in which listings rank. In scenarios where several business may have the same criteria for a rank position Google may turn to the number of citations and the prominence of those citations to determine which local listing deserves the position. Google’s location prominence patent states that, “the highest score of documents referring to the business” will indeed serve as a ranking factor in its algorithm.

Local SEO Action Tip: Increase the number of citations for you business using other local directories!

2). Use Inbound Anchor Text

Location keywords in anchor text will also help your business earn a higher local rank position. Location specific inbound anchor text is also seen by Google as verification that you business provides service in a particular geographic region. Although inbound anchor text is not known to be as big of a ranking factor as citations are, there is no doubt that it will certainly aid in your local search rank position.

Local SEO Action Tip: Increase the number of location-specific inbound anchor text links!

3). Ask for Google Reviews

Google reviews help your business rank position for several reasons. First, reviews helps Google to verify your listing. Secondly, revie ws also imply that people are visiting your place page. For every place page visit by a logged in Google user, that page becomes indexed in that user’s search history. Thus it is more likely your business place page will be a search result for that same user in the future as a result of Google most significant algorithm change known as, Search Plus Your World.

Local SEO Action Tip: Ask your customers to leave your business a review!

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How Siri is Changing Local SEO Forever

Siri To Push Local SEO

Siri on the iphone 4S is your virtual assistant that will help you to send text messages, emails, schedule meetings, place phone calls, set reminders, answer questions, search the web, and more. To put it simply Siri is revolutionizing how people interact with their cell phones. It will soon be long ago in which people used their hands to operate their cell phone. Siri is redefining “hands-free” technology and with this change in technology comes a change in how people will use their cell phones.

Siri Will Change Search

With the invention of Siri one can expect the number of internet searches to increase. When gadgets become easier to use people use them more. This is a fact. You can expect that Siri will have people using their phone even more than they currently do because voice command saves time and is easier than typing on a small keypad.

You can expect Siri will have people searching for local businesses more. When people need to find a restaurant, hotel, coffee shop, laundry mat, bookstore, massage parlor, lazer tag arena, or a local golf frisbee course you can bet they will use Siri and or any other future cell phone assistant to request information.

Siri Will Change Local SEO

Imagine you are driving in your car and you decide you are hungry for a sandwich. So you whip out your cell phone and ask Siri for options for local sandwich shops. Which shops will she recommend? Which shops will Siri even index as an existing option?

Siri will list those sandwich shops that she knows to exist within the same proximity. Where does Siri gain her information? She simply searches the web herself and returns what she finds to you. Thus in this scenario Siri will list those sandwich shops which she finds most readily online. In the end those sandwich shops with the best local SEO will be listed.

As a local business owner Siri should be your best friend. People are out there asking Siri to find your business. The question is whether or not your current local SEO campaign is helping Siri to find you.