Be it any industry, local marketing strategy defines your presence and public reputation. It might become a challenge at times to coup up the constant updates/changes that occur on a search engine. But it is crucial to make note of the minor or major changes that needs to be incorporated in online and offline SEO. This will help constant and long term growth.
Social activity, schema encoding, navigation, browsing speed, mobile user-friendliness and such factors fall under the watch out list. A search engine such as Google pays attention to all these aspects and that will define where your brand is positioned on the SERPs.
Away from today’s much more organised and relevant search results, there was a time where the SEO practices were different. The flaws of search engine worked in advantage of foul players who ranked by spammy content and malpractice SEO techniques. Page ranking techniques involved hidden texts, stuffing meta keywords and buying thousands of backlinks.
Fortunately, this didn’t last long! Google introduced Penguin, Humming Bird, and the one and only Panda. These algorithms re-defined SEO, altered the results, aiming at destroying the poor SEO practices. These weapons work specifically towards spotting faulty techniques of SEO and penalising them, while Google also constantly defined a marketing structure which helps surfacing accurate and the most relevant genuine page ranking results.
Following are the mainly aimed results:
Marketing and promotion of a business based on how the website is designed, content is written, and how backlinks are established
Maintenance of a responsive website which is technically up to the mark
Search engine and other reputation defines where a brand stands
Today’s SEO is crafted to achieve the above three objectives in order to find that organically right spot on search engine result pages. With this, we can say, how SEO is pursued has changed with time. It is more disciplined, fairly played and result oriented now. That doesn’t mean there exist no glitches or the is system is absolutely flawless. There are black-hat techniques and other SEO malpractices still exist to date, however, relevantly less.
How does all this relate to local SEO?
Local ranking depends on organic strength
Organic ranking directly impacts local business
Plainly, local SEO is done exactly as regular organic SEO. Reputation building and local ranking, however, are specific to physical presence in a particular location or a city.
Key is to absorb and adapt to Google’s updates and understand the concept of trust building. To operate and execute a smooth local SEO strategy, you need relevant local SEO tools.
Expert’s analysis on Local Search Ranking Factors in 2017 says:
Out of top 20 local finder elements, 5 relate to the links
Local-organic ranking is determined by the quality of inbound links and their reference page authority and domain authority
Other factors that play a role are keywords and content on those pages.
For a small business, a basic SEO strategy may be sufficient. But for a large enterprise with multiple chains, it is highly recommended to have tools that help do local SEO.
You should understand organic SEO contributes widely to the local one. Plus, SERP, backlink evaluation, and page optimisation are other contributing factors.
Pre-internet era, it’s marketing and public relation strategies are entirely different. Putting customers first means letting them have it or make it look like so. In the digital world, the definition of “customer-centric” is being honest. Anything you say and not deliver will affect your brand image immensely due to harsh and wild negative publishing. Google takes this seriously too, this will even effect your website ranking. One can get temporary attention for fake claims, but this is like digging own pit. It will create a bad reputation and to recover from it is a time-consuming task.
Why is all this connected to local SEO?
Above are few examples of negative reviews that local businesses fear. These are the situations that bring the business owners to the SEOs, trying to find a fix.
Offline marketing and organic SEO comes to play a role in online reputation established on Google. Clients may have a decent reputation at times which is easy to backup, but that’s not the case each time. Local SEO no longer defines mere management of citations or title tag optimisation. We need to take into account the fact that both online and offline marketing are two parallel lines. Following are the elements they co-relate to:
Employee hiring and training practices
Cleanliness, quality, and pricing
Individual identity of business owner and employees
Customer guarantee policies
Though these attributes have got nothing to do with the technical work, these are the base to a corporate or business culture and reputation.
Local SEOs can manage an online campaign, fix technical aspects. However, we think the SEOs need to have a good understanding on customer services and unique selling point of a brand, in order to fulfill the requirements.
You need to help your client understand that this is not a one-sided game. They need to equally work on the above points that directly affect factors like public relations and customer satisfaction. If they understand how important it is to do the positive brand building, local SEO can really help them expand it further.
Precisely, having good meta titles, meta description and featured snippets can only boost the existing or established customer relations and online reputation. It is important to take reviews and review them further in order to see what needs to be fixed. You should advise your clients to have good feedback practices and encourage them to consider it seriously and take a necessary step. This will lead to an overall campaign success.
Here is how the local SEO is done, by bringing together locally optimized content, NAP (Name, Address, Phone number), citations, and review management. Making clients aware of how to get noticed is one essential factor. This is a two path operation where offline marketing and organic SEO go hand-in-hand. However, it boils down to one point at the end; sticking to the facts in advertising!
This means the offline and organic attributes are diverted towards local SEO. Only difference is, adding location and contact details on the digital surface.
Establishing Stable Local SEO
It has evidently become must to keep up with the changes in SEO, small or big. This will help establish and maintain a stable SEO structure, along with the incorporation of customer behavior and needs, analysis and site improvements.
If you come across websites that run successful local SEO campaigns, they must have surely mastered the below:
Deep understanding of the market and how relevant the brand is in that particular market space
The balanced equation of understanding and successfully incorporating guidelines and connecting with consumers
A list of elements such as citation, website maintenance, social contributions and other media communications together build the base.
There is no reason to take it hard if the website gets a minute hit by Google due to any aspects like suspicious links or thin content. Ultimately, what matters is the broader consumers and what your brand mean to them.
Even if you have a few negative reviews, it’s not a major issue. You are still spotted by potential customers and your business is running up to the mark. If you have established your services with a good market and consumer understanding, these new rules or updates will be new opportunities. Have a positive attitude about them and think in terms of making them work for the greater good of your business.
It is never just “Local”, it is always local, organic and offline marketing. Consumer behaviour and market trends go hand-in-hand, understanding the pulse of it is the key to success.