Local SEO Items That Deserve Emphasis in 2019

Local SEO Items That Deserve Invested Time This YearLocal SEO Monmouth County


Thinking about Local SEO these days? Here are some local search engine optimization priority add- on items that are helping to improve competitive visibility for serious local marketers. Needless to say, these deserve emphasis in 2019!

 

  • Reliability of Inbound Links to Website
    • while the competitive value of links remains true, sheer numbers IS NOT what is valued 
    • the locally relevant inbound (from other domain website) links matter
    • in- website subject specific links also still matter
  • Going Beyond Target Keywords in Content
    • the use of similes as a standard practice
    • volume research for near to target keywords / = similes
  • Use of Video Content 
    • embed into website pages from a carefully optimized YouTube channel
    • useful descriptions, if not full blown recaps 
    • keywords in filename 
    • use of video in verified Google listingsLocal SEO Emphasis Items
  • Google Listing post activity
    • they are pushing the listing post capability, logic has this is an opportunity
    • use of keywords and links to website pages in posts
  • Google Reviews Management Quality
    • a plan for gathering good reviews people will trust as real
    • executing review responses with keyword relevance
  • Target keywords in any Google listings content!

Faking Reviews Can Get A Business In Trouble With The Law

Reviews On Google Listings The Power Of Client Reviews

Are you a business owner that doesn’t do much advertising? Maybe you rely on a ‘word of mouth’ method? If so, be sure and leverage the raw power of customer reviews. Do it not only to demonstrate a local presence in a way that mimics good old ‘word of mouth’, but because search engines like Google will reward it!

For example, what could be better for business than a prospective client seeing others singing your praise out in the open? 80% of consumers say they research a business, product or brand online before purchasing. 90% say online reviews influence their buying decisions. So go to Google.com and type in the name of your business plus town & state. It’s likely results will include your ‘Google Listing’ on the right sidebar, including if you haven’t created one. If not already, you can get control of it by verifying your Google ListingAnd by the way, ‘Google Listing’ reviews play a significant role in local search engine rankings (i.e. website content ranks better when reviews reinforce the brand). Folks, if you’re not set up to ask for good client reviews you are missing a huge opportunity!

However Faking Reviews Qualifies As ‘False Advertising’ By Law

There’s one small catch with reviews and that is they should be real! Reviews should come from people who have actually visited the business, used the product or experienced the service. A business owner may consider paying someone to generate false reviews and there are certainly companies offering to generate them; however, business owner be aware that other business owners have been prosecuted for it. September 2013 NY Attorney General Schneiderman announced that 19 companies, some local businesses and some SEO and/or marketing firms, would pay fines of up to $350,000 for their role in soliciting and writing fake online reviews. It’s known as ‘Astroturfing’, and it qualifies under the law as false advertising! Here’s part of what Schneiderman had to say in a press release:

“Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing. This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution. And companies that continue to engage in these practices should take note: “Astroturfing” is the 21st century’s version of false advertising, and prosecutors have many tools at their disposal to put an end to it.”

Online reviews are deemed so powerful and necessary for any business (small or large) that the act of writing or having fake reviews written for a company resulted in legal action. In fact, it culminated in multiple companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.


How Can Your Business Get More Good Reviews?

If you’re going to stand by the trusted word of mouth advertising strategy- you may still need to get into the digital age. To do so develop and execute a plan that targets satisfied customers and asks them to write a review for your business online. Here are some tips:

1)     Create an email template to send to a satisfied client after they leave your business.  The template should thank them for their patronage and ask them to leave an online review.

2)     Make it easy for them. Set up a reviews page, from it provide a direct link to your Google+ local account where they can easily leave the review. Don’t expect people to fish around online trying to find it. If you don’t know how to find it, ask us.

3)     Develop a way to follow up with customers to see if they leave a review or send a gentle reminder to do so. Consider creating a spreadsheet to help you track this. Again, if you need help do not hesitate to ask.

4)     Set a goal for yourself to obtain a certain amount of reviews each month. You can track this in the spreadsheet.

5)     And don’t forget, there are a series of other Local SEO factors that (combined with good Reviews) can really make things explode for your business!

Online reviews musts become a component of your local SEO strategy along with locally targeted content development, social media management, consistent off- website listing citations and more. If you need help with a plan give us a call at 732-722-5915.


About Kinetic Knowledge

Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full service digital marketing agency offering custom website design, SEO, social media management, ghost writing, graphic design, print advertising design, e-commerce and custom app solutions. Visit us online at www.kineticknowledge.com

Why Responding To Reviews Is Good For Business

We’ve written about the importance of a) getting reviews , b) how the law sees a business that fakes reviews, not to mention c) management of negative reviews, but what is rarely discussed is an OPPORTUNITY that lies in the d) response to a review. An important element of ‘reputation management’ is, in fact, a response to a review(good or bad). A business must understand that it is speaking less to the reviewer than to the entire public of prospective buyers. And because review content can influence consumers when they search, it only makes sense the Google algorithm also uses that content as a ranking signal.

How we respond matters to more than just the reviewer, good or bad, so let’s review ‘best practices’ and maximize those benefits to an overall digital marketing strategy.


Tips For Responding To Reviews

 

1. Acknowledge The Reviewer In A Response

– By using a reviewer’s name the business owner not only grabs that reviewers’ attention, but it acknowledges her personal thoughts. It simultaneously demonstrates accessibility to the public, likely appreciated by both!

2. Acknowledge Details In A Response

– By acknowledging details of the review in a response, the business demonstrates a genuine interest in what that person thinks. By taking the time a business also shows a reviewer, as well as the public, commitment to customer service.

3. Offer Advice Related To The Review In A Response

– By offering advice based upon details of the review in a response, the reviewer and the public may become aware of other options. It’s possible that advice will generate more and future interactions, if not transactions.

4. Use Target Keywords In A Response!

– According to Moz’s 2017 survey of local search ranking factors, reviews are a signal that influences how businesses rank locally. Being we all know Google uses reviews as one of their (200) signals for ranking companies and their content, it’s good logic they are reviewing the keywords in that content as well. While we cannot control what our reviewer says, we can use our ability to respond to add keywords! Note: a rule we should all live by with SEO is the content needs to be good enough for humans to be good enough for search engines. So when writing a review response, be careful to only use those keywords specifically related to the review exchange. Do not ‘keyword stuff’ and be sure that you yourself would trust that response before adding it. If so we can all incrementally improve our performance for those target keywords in search engine results!


Any questions about reviews or reputation management, please do not hesitate to get in touch. And ask us about Local SEO best practices – increased visibility, traffic and lead capture performance!

SEO: You Cannot Grow What You Do Not Measure!

Finding The Right SEO Mix 

Not all search engine optimization (SEO) is the same! What’s necessary for success depends on a presentation of value, visibility (i.e. it can be found) and the level of competition! Rank in search results, can require a large number of content- driven signals or, in some cases, just enough.

So why run a giant expensive SEO campaign if it’s not all necessary? A target, for instance, ‘Mechanical Contractor Bergen County NJ’ can be had with a smaller less costly effort than what’s required to compete for ‘Mechanical Contractor USA’ .

And while the competition is never ever static, meaning positions in search indexes for target keywords are forever changing, it is only measurement and analysis that will determine whether or not the effort is working. Only measurement will also show what is necessary, for going forward. If you are not analyzing, you are not doing SEO!

What Should SEO Cost?

There’s also a lot of confusion surrounding the cost of SEO; what’s necessary for a particular brand with specific targets and how much it should cost can be all over the map. If a firm is going through the painstaking and costly process of recruiting inbound links from (safe) websites, for instance, it can help a campaign, but is it necessary?” For instance with a locally targeted business where the active competition (for target keywords) is minimal, maybe back-links and the cost involved is not necessary to succeed? 

It’s why we recommend a fundamental set of SEO signals to start. To start, set realistic goals and then measure the resulting data! Build fundamental on and off website signals in order to establish a well rounded visible presence and then begin to measure what stems from it. It takes time, sometimes a few months, but sometimes costly link- building and/or social media campaigns are not necessary. The fundamental signals may be all that is needed. It’s also possible analysis will determine that more signals are indeed necessary and for that there is going to be more cost.

Either way, it’s better to build up then pile on and waste money in an environment where things that work are changing all the time. 


What Does A Fundamental SEO Program Include?

  1. Keyword Research For Target Subjects
  2. Search Optimized Website Pages, optimized for those target keywords
  3. Google My Business Tools Setup, Verification and Optimization
  4. Claimed And Optimized Search & Directory Listings
  5. Standard Operating Procedures For Maximizing Positive Client Reviews 
  6. Reviewed Website For Broken Links and Proper 404
  7. Keyword Search Rank Tracking Software 
  8. Traffic Analytics Setup
  9. Track, Measure and Analyze Traffic Data
  10. Allow Analysis To Determine Whether Or Not Existing Efforts Are Succeeding And/ Or Other Signals Must Be Built
    1. Blogging
    2. Geographic targeting
    3. Social Media Campaigns
    4. Inbound Links Build Campaign
    5. Alternative Content
    6. And more

With SEO or, for that matter, any form of marketing & advertising – there is risk; a business may succeed right out of the gates, but the resulting measurement will always determine what is happening, what’s necessary to reach a desired result… and even how to grow that desired result. The point being, “you cannot grow what you do not measure!”