This past week I had the honor of being one of the sponsors at the Local, Search and Social Summit, an event put together by Rocks Digital for SMBs to learn the latest and greatest in areas of local, search and social media. If your business isn’t doing online RIGHT you better fix that RIGHT now!
These are my top takeaways to help SMBs. Get started by continuing to read …
Dominating Local Search
Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Interactive Group, presented on “How to Dominate Local Search Online”. Here are some of the stats she shared to emphasize the importance of local search:
- 50% of mobile searches are trying to locate a business
- 61% of these searches result in a purchase
- 50% of mobile users visit a store within a day of searching
If these don’t wake you up, I don’t know what will. But she didn’t leave us with that thought, instead she moved into 5 practical tips to how to use local search to dominate your industry.
- Perform an audit on your current local search visibility
- Optimize the behavioral signals of your target client by reading what they say in reviews and social media
- Use barnacle SEO which means latching on to other sites about your business
- Use only good links when link building – it is better to have fewer high quality links than a lot of low quality ones
- Make sure all your business listings are consistent and that there aren’t any duplicates out there
Following these tips may take some time and effort but it will definitely help put your Local SEO in a dominant position above your competition. (You can learn more about citation building with this eBook.)
Google My Business Workshop
After learning how to dominate our local SEO, the next session, moved into practical application when Justin Liles walked us through putting our business listing up on Google My Business which is one of the most important directories for local search. This session started with logging into Google My Business and going through each step of setting up a business profile while we either watched the Justin do it on the screen or we had the option of actually putting our business listing up during the session itself.
Optimizing your listing on Google is an important way to improve your business’s online visibility.
Creating a Social Media Plan
Continuing with the practical application at this one day conference, Lissa Duty led a session that put together a Social Media Plan including ideas on how to implement it. A worksheet was supplied to each attendee with questions to lead us through the planning process. For example: Why are you using social media?
Each question you answered completed another part of your social media plan so that by the end of the session you had a good start on an individualized social media plan and some ideas on how to implement that plan.
Website Best Practices and Content Planning
As with all these sessions, this one led by Natalie Gould and Rachel Morgan was packed with information on best practices you should be following with your website as well as with your content. Since the Google “map pack” has recently gone from 7 listings down to only 3, optimizing both your website and content is even more important so that Google will place your business high enough in the search results to be in those top 3.
This again, goes back to your business listings. It is imperative that you check, double check, and continue to monitor your business listings on each site, like the Google My Business listing many set up in the earlier session. The speakers went on to say that after Google My Business, the next major site you needed to either list your business on or verify your listing is Bing Places. It was stressed that it is important for your business profile be complete and then they went through the items that made up a complete profile.
After website best practices we moved on to content. With the amount of content you need to generate for SEO it is difficult to do it all yourself and finding a writing resource (or a few) is important. Then, once the content is written, you need to be sure that you set up Google Analytics on your site and use it.
The final session of the Summit was the keynote given by Ben Killmer of Google. This was an interesting look at what Google refers to as “micro-moments” and what these mean to your business. Micro-moments are intense moments when people are searching and are ready to take action. Your business needs to be in front of your customers when they have one of these moments.
Micro-moments are broken down into 4 categories:
- Know – to satisfy a curiosity
- Go – Looking for the location or phone number of a business
- Do – Looking for activities, how to do something, or tasks (car repair, makeup application, etc.)
- Buy – Looking to buy something and checking reviews and pricing
Being in front of your customer when they have a micro-moment means you have to know your target customer and what they will be searching for. You then have to ensure that your business’s local SEO matches that.
As you can tell from just these brief summaries of the sessions, there was a lot of information packed into one day at the Local, Search and Social Summit and I was glad to be a part of such an amazing event. If any of this peaked your interest and makes you want to learn more about these topics, you are in luck, just click within the session descriptions above and read the live blogs.
How is your business’s local visibility? Let’s talk about it!