Welcome to episode 17 of Blue Square SEO & Digital Marketing Podcasts. In this episode I talk about local SEO tips and why business listings and directories matter as part of your local search engine optimisation strategy.
The most popular trends in digital marketing today are social media and content marketing. This is understandable as content marketing is the ‘white hat‘ SEO strategy that Google loves. While social media marketing takes advantage of the ongoing fascination of the masses for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
However, you should not forget about rudimentary marketing techniques, such as the use of local online listings and directories. We are talking about Yelp, Yell.com, Yahoo Local etc. This is especially true if you are a local business or have a brick and mortar shop or store.
Listen to our latest digital marketing podcast to learn more.
Here are some stats about why business should be thinking about local SEO to help their business improve its Google rankings and get in front of its customers, clients or patients when they are looking for the services or products they provide.
Here are 10 statistics about local search:
Local SEO : Do Local Listings Really Matter?
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Blue Square SEO and Digital Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Paul Birkett, from Blue Square Management, and in today’s podcast I’m going to be talking about local SEO and whether local listings really matter.
The most popular trends in digital marketing today are social media and content marketing. This is quite understandable. After all, content marketing is the “white hat” SEO strategy that Google loves. While social media marketing takes advantage of the ongoing fascination of the masses for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
But these trends do not necessarily mean you should just forget rudimentary marketing techniques, such as the use of local listings. We’re not talking about the ancient printed Yellow Pages here. We’re talking about their online equivalent – Yell.com, Yelp, Yahoo Local, etc.
Local Listings and SEO
For most people, SEO (also known as Search Engine Optimisation) invariably means ranking highly in Google, because that’s the search engine most people use. In the US, according to Statcounter.com, Google has 92.16% of the market, and its dominance is even more evident in mobile search, where it owns 95.23% of the searches.
So, it makes sense that you’ll want to rank in Google searches for the keywords for the products you sell or the services you provide. But what most people don’t realize, however, is that getting citations in online directories can help with your local SEO efforts.
In local listings, you are invariably allowed to place a link to your website. Which is good for your rankings. Local directories do this so people can get more info about your goods and services than what’s shown on their website. When you have citations in numerous directories, you can expect that there will also be an increase in the number of people who visit your website.
These directories are extremely popular, as Yelp alone gets about 73 million monthly visitors on their mobile app and 100 million unique searches on their desktop website. That means more people are exposed to your brand and your advertising, and potentially this can mean more sales for your business.
But here is where it gets interesting. Since a large part of Google rankings depend on how many websites feature a link to your own website, when you have dozens or even a hundred citations in local directories, that is going to help your SEO considerably. After all, numerous quality websites linking to yours is good for SEO.
Achieve Greater Visibility through Local Listings
The reason businesses spend an obscene amount of money on television commercials, newspaper and magazine print ads, and billboards is that they want to reach as many people as possible. That’s pretty much a given.
That is also the point why you have a website in the first place. Is it not? To be seen by your potential customers. This is not a trivial marketing strategy, because 46% of all Internet searches have local intent. Now, when you consider that as of last count Google gets almost 5.8 billion searches PER day, it means 2.7 billion searches a day are primarily for local business.
When you have your own website, it’s like having a single number in a roulette wheel on which the ball can drop. But when you’re listed in a local directory, it’s like you get an additional number in the roulette wheel. You get more chances of being seen by your target audience. It’s similar to getting an additional magazine advertisement or billboard that can be seen by more and more potential customers, clients or patients.
The more local directories you join the more chances you have of being seen. So, when your business is listed in a hundred different local directories, you have a hundred different ways through which a potential customer can find you.
Local Listings Let People Know about Your Business
Like the old Yellow Pages phone directories, local listing directories allow you to promote your business name, address and phone number (also known as NAP) in a profile so that they can display on their website. This alone will give you a leg up on your competitors if your business is listed on these sites and they are not.
Local Listings offer a lot more information and more chances to interact with customers than those big heavy phone books of the past.
Local Listings, Reviews & You
It is no secret that customer reviews can have a dramatic impact on your business. Word of mouth has always been a huge influence on buying decisions and customer reviews can make that decision easier. Almost 9 out of 10 people consider online reviews as trustworthy over recommendations from their friends. Now that is some serious influence!
But you should also know the importance of your own responses to reviews. You can thank positive reviewers and reinforce those warm & fuzzies between your business and that particular customer. This creates brand loyalty and super fans of your business.
You should respond to negative reviews by issuing an apology, offering an explanation, or by emphasizing your good points. Responding to negative reviews can minimize the damage they can cause. There is also the chance that the reviewer may reconsider their negative review simply because you responded and showed them you care. Nearly a third of all negative reviews are updated to positive reviews just because somebody acknowledged their issue.
Citations are a Good Thing : Go Grab Them
If you have not done so yet, it’s time to prioritize your local listings. Most local directories don’t charge a fee, yet they can really make a difference in a multitude of ways. It does not take much time or effort to get your business listed and as a small business owner, capitalizing on cost effective resources to grow your business just makes good business sense.
I hope you found this episode helpful and see you in the next Blue Square SEO and Digital Marketing podcast.
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If you need help getting more local customers, clients, or patients we can help. If you would like to learn more, please contact Blue Square Management by visiting our website www.bluesquaremanagement.com
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