boost local search

Connecting with customers in the moments that matter is difficult enough in our cross-device, constantly connected world. Don’t make things more difficult on yourself with unnecessarily complicated local SEO.

Prepare for a prosperous and more efficient 2017 with these expert tips designed to make your local SEO strategy move effective and easier to manage in the new year.

Get Creative with Local Link Building

Building links locally is an entirely different animal. Chances are, there aren’t a whole lot of high authority domains specific to your region or neighborhood and in that way, location matters a whole lot more than the site itself. If you’re trying to find high authority, reputable sites for local link building, you’re probably making things more difficult on yourself than you need to be and missing the mark anyway.

Greg Gifford from DealerOn, an expert in automotive marketing, shared a number of creative ways to attract local links in a recent Search Engine Land column. Among them, he recommends that you offer discounts to local university alumni, host local meetups and community events, network with local bloggers and even sponsor a little league team. See all 10 of his local link building tips here.

Tap Into the Voice Search Market

What are you doing to connect with the 60% of consumers who are already using voice search? If you want to get in front of these audiences, you have to make sure you’re capturing the unique intent behind voice queries. It starts with clean, optimized data–and where do you go from there?

Steve Beatty, head of Owned Media at iProspect, recommends that you look beyond Google and consider Bing when you’re focusing on voice search, as well. Microsoft’s search engine reports that 1 in 4 queries there are voice. He shared other tips in a webinar we summarized in this blog post, as well, such as focusing on mobile-local and working to determine your brand’s local voice search opportunity. The local search experts at Digital Marketing Depot, hosts of that webinar Beatty participated in, shared their tips in this Local SEO Strategies to Capitalize on Voice Search whitepaper.

Add Local Branding to Your Marketing Mix

Local Search Association’s Wesley Young recommends that local businesses take a page from national retailers and boost their profile and page rank with local branding strategies. Sometimes we can get so into the weeds of complicated local strategy that we overlook the obvious and in the case of branding, a lot of businesses assume it’s only for large, national companies. Not so.

Young outlined 10 local branding strategies in a column for Search Engine Land, including targeting local publications for mentions, encouraging customers to leave reviews, using local lingo in content and promotions, and dedicating a portion of your ad budget to branding as opposed to strictly conversions. Grab a coffee and check out all ten of his tips; they’re worth trying out this year!

Focus on Local Pack and Local Landing Pages

Joe Pawlikowski, Associate Director at PM Digital, advises that you capitalize on the opportunity that is the Local Pack. Don’t miss out on the chance to drive more traffic with local landing pages, either! At #LSS2016, Pawlikowski advocated for unique landing pages for each location to create more entry points from search results.

Of course, you want to make sure your local landing pages make good use of schema markup and are properly tagged for maximum search discoverability. Automating the process of adding structured data markup to your local landing pages is an incredibly efficient way to enable the search engines to better index your content.

Get Right with Consumer Generated Content

Today, less than 10% of the best product pages are marketing copy, says Bazaarvoice global accounts director Trey Simonton. Consumer generated content like reviews, social posts, and Q&A build trust and are more engaging than marketing copy. Adding CGC to product and category pages also sends positive signals to the search engines, telling them there’s fresh content there to be considered.

Learn more about the impact of CGC on your local marketing efforts in this blog post, based on a webinar hosted by Total Retail and featuring experts from Rio SEO, Bazaarvoice and Boston Retail Partners.

Dump the Disconnected Stack

If you’re still piecing and cobbling together a stack of local marketing tools–inputting data from this one to that one, trying to make these reports line up with that disjointed dataset–you’re wasting time, and time is money!

Take the suite approach to local and put tested, proven and completely integrated tools to work together. Make simple work of your local content creation, management and reporting and take control across all of your locations. Learn how.