SEO: Local

Study: Responding to reviews can improve paid-search conversion rates

Digital marketing agency Location3 has released a new study that argues more review stars translates into higher paid-search conversion rates. While this finding makes intuitive sense, the study documented it with 16 months of SEM campaign data. The data come from campaigns for national brands with local stores. In this context, “conversions” means post-click consumer actions on landing pages and brand websites. They include form fills, email inquiries, requests for quotes...

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How does it all work?

If your business sells internationally, then your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts need to operate around the world, and international SEO can be complicated. Multiple countries, multiple languages, and often, multiple languages within a given country. It’s easy to get tied up in knots. And even easier to confuse a search engine and create a number of typical SEO issues like duplicate content. Fortunately, good international SEO is achievable; it just needs...

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How do you optimize content for a voice-first world?

For years, the use of voice search and voice assistants to answer questions has been on the rise. According to Google, 20 percent of all mobile search queries are voice search, and that number will only go up. Voice recognition technology is getting better and better: Google’s technology is now 95 percent accurate. Yet for most SEO professionals, not much has changed in the way they optimize content for this new way...

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Hyperlocal news, Nextdoor competitor or both?

Google is testing a new local service called Bulletin. The company describes it as a “lightweight app for telling a story by capturing photos, video clips and text right from your phone, published straight to the web.” It’s currently only available in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oakland, California. Google envisions this as a way to contribute “hyperlocal stories about your community, for your community, right from your phone.” Google puts emphasis on...

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Negative reviews from ex-employees are finally against Google’s guidelines

I hear complaints from business owners and marketers all the time that the Google My Business guidelines are often ambiguous, and I tend to agree. It can be easy to read a guideline and interpret it incorrectly. I have learned that the key to understanding the guidelines is through time and experience. Seeing what Google will and will not act on can provide insight into what things they really care about,...

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How independent reviews influence Google’s trust in your brand

Search Engine Land columnist Kevin Lee recently wrote a post about the prevalence of fake reviews, how they are damaging consumer trust and why it’s a bad move with permanent repercussions to attempt to use them yourself. The reason for this growing problem is that online reviews have tremendous influence over the purchasing decisions of consumers, as well as the performance of brands in the search engines. Luckily, many major review...

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Where to go next with your Google My Business listing

When it comes to digital marketing and search engine optimization, the devil is truly in the details. Seemingly trivial choices can have a dramatic effect on your web presence and search visibility, and nowhere is that more evident than in Google My Business (GMB). GMB optimization has quickly become something of a cottage industry within the broader scope of SEO. By now, you’ve probably heard all about the importance of keeping...

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Local SEO for service-area businesses requires a lot of servicing

Today, let’s talk service-area businesses (SABs) and local SEO. Because every time I talk to an SAB, the first thing — and pretty much the only thing — they want to know is how to rank in the Local Pack in cities where they don’t have a physical location. I am sure I don’t need to tell you how, over the years, Google has made it much harder for these businesses...

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A brief history of Google’s most important local search updates

Deciphering the Google algorithm can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility. The search engine giant has made many changes over the years, keeping digital marketers on their toes and continually moving the goalposts on SEO best practices. Google’s continuous updating can hit local businesses as hard as anyone. Every tweak and modification to its algorithm could adversely impact their search ranking or even prevent them from appearing on the first...

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