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SEO is often discussed with reference to large companies, corporations and businesses competing nationally or even globally. But SEO should be affordable, available, effective and useful for everyone competing online. This post will offer some SEO advice and strategies for local businesses.
Yesterday was Mega Monday, the biggest Internet shopping day in the calendar this year, when people all over the UK headed online to spend their money on Christmas presents and gifts in time for the 25th of December. Knowing that there was going to be a major spend for online consumers, not just in the UK but also in America, where it is known as Cyber Monday, Google updated their Product Search page to include more relevant information for those shopping and searching for the best deals.
With consumers now more connected through location-based, social and mobile environments, Google held ThinkLocal 2011. A mini conference aimed at reviewing local search and mobile search and how businesses need to control and promote their brands to consumers at the moment they are searching.
This event showcased insights, inspiration and ideas on how to more closely connect businesses with their customers.
The new design appears to hint that more weight is now being put on reviews over any other element.
The new big red box at the top of a Google Places page invites you to leave a review when before this wasn’t something so obviously promoted.
That was until last week when they announced they would no longer post reviews or parts of reviews from other sites about a specific business on their own Google Places site. The move is a result of a U.S. antitrust investigation into its business practices according to the Financial Times.
If you are looking to target a local area or even a number of regional areas, then finding good quality local seo information is very important to help you carry out the work needed.
As if local SERPs weren’t enough, what with Places integration and ever-expanding descriptions, Google is now rolling out City Pages. This new innovation is designed to provide a locals-eye-view of any destination. With inhabitants providing reviews on businesses within the city limits.
This is being rolled out in a few U.S. cities currently (Portland, Austin, Madison and San Diego to be exact), with information built up over a number of months and using a variety of quirky techniques. Essentially the idea is to develop a broad overview of what is actually happening locally, rather than simply relying on algorithms.
If you have seen a few extra words crop up in your Google Maps listing, you’re not hallucinating. The latest in a long series of tweaks has seen the search engine integrate descriptive keywords into the SERPs listing.
This new feature, which is simply a number of descriptive words or phrases, is designed to make a business stand out. Therefore it will look to highlight the terms that best describe an individual company, rather than the more generalised keywords you can expect to see in SERPs.
A lot of companies will offer SEO services or ‘local optimisation’, promising the moon and delivering little more than a Google Places profile. Whilst it is important to have your business featured, there really is no need to pay for the privilege. It should be part of your SEO work, not the sum total of it.
Unfortunately, some people pay for exactly that. And as has been reported by State of Search , it appears that some people are doing so twice. An agency that has been creating Google Places profiles on behalf of clients is now using them to blackmail those self same businesses. Therefore if you don’t come up with additional cash, your listing will be removed.
I recently wrote a post giving steps on how to create coupons on your Google Places profile, but if you have a physical location that allows customers to come and attend then there are plenty of other sites that you should also actively be using.
Check-In Sites are becoming more and more mainstream especially as they are freely available as apps on all the main mobile phone platforms.
Including a map on your Contact Us page or Directions page can help give visitors a good visual indication as to where you are located as well as help to enhance these pages.
Adding a Google Map to your website is easier than you may think and you don’t have to be an expert Web Developer to do this.
Here is an easy to follow step by step guide to adding a Google map to your website.