Google ranking factors for local marketers

For digital agencies, identifying where to invest your resources into local SEO is a common challenge. At Advice Local, our Enhanced Google Business Profile Tool helps agency partners make the most of their time with streamlined solutions. However, doing more with less is not restricted to tools and services – you also need to understand the ranking factors that underpin the search results.

What Are Google Ranking Factors?

A ranking factor is a page or website element that increases visibility in Google’s search results. In theory, optimizing for these 200 or more factors should increase your clients’ search presence. However, in practice, the complexities of the search algorithm mean that interpretation of the critical factors is what will drive results for your clients.

7 Things Agencies Should Know About Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Backlinko recently compiled a list of Google’s 200 ranking factors for 2023. Here at Advice Local, we want to give our agency partners some recommendations for the factors that will likely matter to local clients.

1. Think Beyond the Business’ Website

While many ranking factors are specific to a business’ website, they will also impact its placement in the local pack, organic search and Google Maps. Look to apply concepts like user interaction and brand signals to your client’s entire network of directory sites, blogs, social platforms and more.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Rankbrain – Machine learning interprets true user intent using location, personalization and word choice.
  • Local Searches – Local business listings usually take priority in a search with local intent.

2. User Interaction Matters

How users interact with a website or business listing will influence search results. If a searcher clicks on a listing and immediately leaves, this implies the result was low quality or irrelevant. To counter this, prioritize the user experience in design, content quality and usability.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Content Depth – Pages covering a topic in-depth outperform less informative content.
  • Dwell Time – Google tends to reward pages that keep visitors engaged longer.

3. Pay Attention to On-Page Factors

On-page factors are a quick and easy opportunity to improve your clients’ search performance. You may remember that on-page optimization was one of our local search ranking factors that matter in 2023. Thankfully, meta descriptions and titles are within your control, and can be optimized around a target keyword and the user experience.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Page Loading Speed – Google and Bing expect fast-loading pages for an optimal experience.
  • LSI Keywords – Related keywords on a website, Google Business Profile (GBP) and listing sites can help with ranking.

4. Freshness and Recency

Across many keywords, Google wants to deliver fresh results to searchers. For your local clients this means developing new, updated content on the business blog, GBP Posts, social platforms and more. In addition, make sure to audit old content and update information to add freshness and recency.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Historical Page Updates – The number of updates to a page contributes to freshness.
  • Page Age – Google often prefers older pages with fresh updates.

5. Consider E-A-T in Content Development

Google E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) are key factors in everything you publish online. From blog content to listing posts, Google wants to deliver accurate, insightful and reliable results. Across your client’s entire web footprint, think about how you are projecting expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • E-A-T – Google assesses E-A-T metrics across a range of industries.
  • Link Authority – Think carefully about the authority of linking pages and domains when distributing business data.

6. Backlinks Are Still Essential

While there is still much debate about the importance of backlinks in 2023, they remain crucial ranking factors for Google. Prioritize high-quality, relevant backlinks and your clients can secure multiple search positions via the local pack and organic results.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • “Expected” Websites – Google uses data to assess websites they expect to link to a page.
  • Co-Occurrences – Think about the words surrounding the anchor text to give it relevancy.

7. Take Directory Links Seriously

Directory links are an essential part of SEO, especially for local businesses. In 2023, low-quality directory links are considered webspam and could result in a penalty. If you need assistance with high-quality directory placement, our listing management services can help.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Low-Quality Links – Links from inferior websites may lead to a ranking penalty.
  • Diversity of Link Sources – Don’t rely on a single backlink source for your clients’ platforms.

What Agencies Should Know About #Google’s 200 Ranking Factors by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Access Listing Management Services and GBP Tools for Agencies Today

Advice Local provides agencies and digital marketers with best choice local marketing tools and services. From our Enhanced GBP Tool to our Data Amplifier Network, we help our partners increase their clients’ local presence. Would you like to try our comprehensive dashboard solution? Then request a demo today, or call (214) 310-1356.

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new sales tool website widget

We’re excited to announce a new addition to our local presence management product suite – the sales tool website widget. Our latest innovation focuses on helping our agency and marketing partners get more sales. As listings management is one of the more important local marketing strategies, it also helps improve local visibility for your brick-and-mortar and service area business clients. Simply put, listings management is one of the easier ways to generate income for your agency.

Using our sales tool website widget, site visitors can run a free online visibility report directly on your website. You’ll receive the prospect’s contact information and Baseline Report in your partner dashboard as a widget lead, and the prospect will receive a white label report in their email – with your logo and wording included.

How Does Our Sales Tool Website Widget Benefit Your Agency?

Through passive sales generation it’s possible to build a customer base, increase trust and credibility, plus drive traffic via worthwhile prospects. Before long, a quality prospect can turn into a valued customer.

We all understand that sales generation equals long-term growth and revenue. And both of these become more attainable when you utilize the proper resources, like the latest sales tool from Advice Local.

As you focus on the importance of leads and sales generation, you might ask how utilizing this brand-new sales tool website widget could benefit you. We’ll explain how Advice Local’s sales widget can make your job easier overall.

1. Increased Revenue

Businesses focus on new customers to increase revenue. Essentially, every lead is a prospective customer – it’s simply a matter of selling them your services and turning them into a paying customer. By generating leads directly on your website (with little to no interaction necessary) the widget will streamline the sales generation process, allowing partners to focus their efforts on closing more deals and opening new accounts.

2. Business Opportunities

It’s safe to say that even the best account managers and sales professionals will miss out on a market opportunity at some point. After all, you just cannot be everywhere at once. But with the sales widget implemented directly on your website, prospective clients come to you. This method opens the doors for new business opportunities.

3. Improve Sales Quality

Securing a prospect with a cold call or an email is a gamble, as the business may not be open to your services. But through our sales widget, the potential client is actively showing interest. They came to your website, took time to fill out the information to receive their free online visibility report and then submitted their business information. Businesses like these will represent a higher-quality sale overall.

Our Latest Sales Tool Makes Closing New Business Easy

Advice Local aims to offer simple, effective marketing solutions for our partners. With our latest sales widget, you can:

  • Boost sales by allowing you to focus efforts on the client, and less on cold-calling prospects.
  • Enjoy total website integration, with the tool displaying directly on the web page in an open or expanding box – and with your agency’s sales copy and logo front and center.
  • Get a full data report submitted directly to the partner dashboard – and ensure it’s easier than ever to follow up with a lead.
  • Every prospect will receive a copy of their online visibility report sent directly to their email inbox, opening the door to your future emails.

Here at Advice Local, ensuring that our agency and local marketing partners have the tools and resources to better assist their clients is our priority. It’s our practice to improve, innovate and offer marketing solutions and sales tools designed to solve your problems effectively.

Meet Our #SalesTool #Website Widget for Agency Partners by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Get Our New Sales Tool Website Widget for Your Agency Today

Our sales widget is one more solution aimed at securing new business and turning prospects into long-time customers. For more information on our sales widget for your website, or a peek into our partner dashboard, request a free demo today by calling (214) 310-1356.

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High-quality directory listings for citations

The primary objective of local SEO is to increase the visibility of a business in the places consumers spend their time. For the agencies tasked with helping companies meet this goal, listing management services are among the effective options available. Leveraging free search engine listings and directories is a low-cost method that has worked for years – and there’s no sign of that changing. But with platforms offering varying quality levels, what listing platforms should you prioritize?

The Top Free Search Engine Listings and Directories

As we have discussed previously, it’s true that all directories are not created equal. In brief, listing your clients’ businesses on the best quality platforms will lead to better search placements and more targeted traffic. However, when you choose low-quality listings sites your clients could be penalized. Here are the sites that deliver for our Advice Local partners right now.

Google Local Search

Naturally, the local pack and Google Maps are the obvious choices that top our list. Note that both are powered by the Google Business Profile (GBP). Every local business is vying for visibility in the local map pack and a leading organic search result. Reaching these top spots could transform results for a business. And if you’re familiar with Advice Local, you’ll know that we offer Enhanced GBP Tools to take Google listings management to the next level.

Bing Places for Business

While Bing might not have the user base of Google, it is still committed to innovating the search industry and commands a sizable audience. Know that Bing Places is essential in building a presence on Bing Maps and mobile platforms. In addition, Microsoft reports that 54% of searchers use Bing for online product research.

Apple Maps

Apple has continued to improve its Apple Maps service, making it one of the key listings platforms that agencies should consider. As the default mapping platform on Apple devices, businesses can reach iPhone users conducting searches while in close proximity to their premises.


One of the top reasons to love local citations is their importance in hyperlocal search marketing, and Nextdoor is among the best examples of hyperlocal citations. This hugely popular platform shows users the businesses within their neighborhood – and you can get your clients listed with Advice Local’s listing management services.


Yelp’s reputation as an authoritative business directory means it is trusted by consumers. A comprehensive listing on Yelp can often achieve a prominent search engine listing by itself, helping businesses dominate a keyword phrase. As with the other listing platforms, accuracy and consistency of business data are required to help your clients’ search visibility.

Additional Listing Services

While these platforms are among the most recognized, many more are trusted sources of information and have significant user bases. For our agency partners, these authority sites are all included within our Data Amplifier Network.

Why is this important? Well, a key benefit of local listing management software is the ability to distribute data quickly, accurately and for a low cost. When you consider the alternative approach – spending considerable time researching the authority of a directory and then manually submitting the information – you’ll soon see the advantages of partnering with a listing management service.

The Most Important Free #SearchEngine Listings & #Directories by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Trusted Listing Management Services for Agencies

At Advice Local, we help agencies and local marketing partners deliver for their clients with our best choice listing management services. We provide citation building, enhanced GBP services, voice apps and so much more. To get started, call (214) 310-1356  or request a demo today.

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Directory listings for small businesses

Everyone involved in local search marketing is constantly looking for the next big SEO strategy. So, it’s really no surprise that citation building using listing management services doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. However, citations are fundamental to most local SEO strategies and have been delivering traffic, sales and search visibility for years. To understand why some agencies don’t prioritize listing management, it’s important to look at the varying quality of the directories that are out there.

Why Quality Beats Quantity in Listing Management

Consider this – if two separate businesses both pursue a strategy of citation building on directory sites, how is it possible for them to have such wildly differing results? In all likelihood, you can link the outcomes to the quality of directories being used to promote each business.

Essentially, Google and other search engines value consistent data on quality, relevant platforms. This is exactly why agencies need to submit their clients’ businesses to authoritative listings sites – sites that deliver results.

The Main Features of Quality Directories

From local and vertical directories to maps and premier quality platforms, there’s no shortage of places to build citations. Here are some of the main features found in quality directories.

Spam-Free Directories

As many agencies have discovered the hard way, listings management services are not created equal. Submitting to a vast number of low-quality platforms filled with spam listings will not benefit a business, and could even lead to less prominence in search results. Recognizing this, our Data Amplifier Network at Advice Local contains only reputable directories backed by analysis.

Niche-Specific Sites

Google places a significant weight on relevance when determining which sites get local pack and organic placements. In fact, along with proximity and prominence, relevance is one of the big three local SEO ranking factors. With listings on niche-specific sites, demonstrating this relevance is possible in many industries. For example, our network contains various legal and healthcare vertical directories.

Relevant Categories

Of course, many businesses will not have a wide choice of niche directories to choose from. However, they can still benefit from categories within broader directories. In the highest-quality platforms you can expect to find relevant categories – and a moderation team that prevents inaccurate classifications.

Location-Based Elements

As mentioned, proximity is a crucial metric in local SEO. Therefore, your local clients will benefit from directory features that pinpoint a business’ location. Integrating a map within the listing is practical – and a valuable sales tool. In addition, because consumers use platforms like Judy’s Book and Nextdoor to research local businesses, you need to ensure your clients are listed there.

The Problems With Prioritizing Quantity of Directories

There are many reasons to love local citations, but if the quality is lacking don’t be tempted by the quantity of directories.

  • Low-quality directory listings build a lack of trust with the search engines.
  • Consider the future negative impact of a mediocre directory without management.
  • Managing a substantial number of listings is tough without a quality listing management service.
  • A broad approach is more likely to result in bad data distribution that harms search visibility.
  • Authority and relevance are hard to achieve when prioritizing quantity over quality.

All Directories Are Not Created Equal by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Access the Top Listing Management Services and Directory Network

Advice Local operates the best listing management services for agencies and local marketing partners. Our services include citation building, voice search readiness, white-label reports and the leading business data distribution network. To see for yourself, call (214) 310-1356  or request a demo now.

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Local SEO for digital agencies

As all successful agency owners know, a consistent local SEO strategy is vital for increasing search visibility. At Advice Local, we have long promoted the benefits of local listing management software, citation building and other proven SEO methods. But as you are probably aware, SEO takes time – and the more complex the strategy, the less profit an agency typically retains. Today we’re offering an alternative way to create an SEO strategy that requires minimal maintenance, yet delivers client satisfaction and profitable returns.

The Critical Elements of a Local SEO Strategy

The best local SEO strategies integrate personalized methods (content creation and social media strategies tailored for each client) with streamlined services (real-time data distribution and hands-off citation building). Here are the main elements of a local SEO strategy for small business clients.

Optimize Business Listings

In the past, agencies could rely on a set-and-forget approach to business listings. Today however, with Google and others aiming to deliver up-to-the-minute information to searchers, the GBP (Google Business Profile), Bing Places, as well as similar platforms need more direct involvement. While each directory does vary, here are some recommendations for a GBP listing.

  • Add NAP, opening hours, a description and attributes.
  • Maintain consistent data using our GBP Sync tool.
  • Add high-quality images that showcase the business.
  • Create Google Posts featuring offers, events and updates.
  • Respond to every customer review, positive and negative.
  • Monitor profile quality with our Google Authority Score.

Take Advantage of Data Aggregators

When it comes to understanding local SEO, it’s critical to truly grasp the concept that Google, Bing and others strongly want to avoid conflicting business data. When search engines can’t determine the exact location of a business, they are quite reluctant to give it prominence. Fortunately, you can avoid instances of bad data by syndicating consistent information to every significant listing platform.

To help accomplish this, Advice Local uses data aggregators to distribute your clients’ information to every important search engine, directory and mobile app. And if that data needs to be changed, our real-time solution gets the job done.

Use GPS and Mapping Apps

From smartphones to in-dash navigation, it has never been easier for people to reach local businesses while on the move. When consumers look up a local store they could easily be making a purchase – within minutes. Consequently, any serious local SEO strategy must incorporate GPS and mapping apps. You can submit your clients’ data manually or use our GPS accelerators for straightforward syndication.

Simplified Reporting

As an agency reporting back to clients, you must not overlook the reporting aspect of local SEO. Companies want to know what you’ve done and how the strategy is working. Thankfully, by partnering with the right local SEO software company you will benefit from automated reporting. Clients receive a detailed monthly SEO report – complete with your agency branding.

Get Found With Voice Search

We’ve intentionally left this critical component of a local SEO strategy until last. But just because voice search doesn’t get enough attention, you certainly should not be among those ignoring it. As part of a collection of listing management services, voice search optimization reaches Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Home and other uses in your clients’ local areas. And while you might not know it yet, at Advice Local we let you create voice apps in moments – directly through our dashboard solution.

Create a Local #SEO Strategy for Your Small Business Clients by @BernieColeman #Marketing
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Simple Local SEO for Marketers and Digital Agencies

Advice Local helps agency clients streamline their SEO and local marketing strategies with high-quality tools. Our listing management software offers simple solutions for local presence management. To see for yourself, request a demo now or call (214) 310-1356.

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5 New Year’s Tips to Help Agencies Have a Profitable Year

As 2022 came to an end we looked back at Advice Local’s most popular local search topics of the year. With 2023 officially up and running, we’d like to offer some recommendations on how to ensure a profitable year. From our listing management services to our Enhanced GBP Tool, we always like to give our agency partners an edge over the competition. So with that in mind, here are our five tips for the year ahead.

5 New Year’s Tips for a Profitable 2023 for Your Agency

The prime goal for agencies and local marketers is to help their clients succeed. Here are five ways to achieve this aim.

1. Remember, Offering Better Tools to Your Clients Means Better Results

The online demands of local businesses have grown dramatically in recent years. Of course, local clients want to be found in Google – but they also want visibility on voice apps, popular review platforms, alternative search engines and more. Because a wide-reaching local presence demands the use of tools, integrating these into your agency operations is more important than ever.

2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communication is at the heart of a good client-agency relationship. From brand identity and project goals to new milestones and unexpected challenges, talking to your clients ensures that both parties understand the direction of travel. For example, our reporting solutions make it easy to deliver white-label reports to clients with minimal effort.

3. Happy Clients Equals Repeat Clients

In last year’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Digital Marketers, over-delivering for clients was a key theme. We’ve found that focusing on local visibility and brand reputation is a path to pleasing customers consistently. We built our listings management tool to boost Google visibility for your local business clients, while allowing us to monitor and quickly respond to changes in a business’ NAP data.

4. Move Quickly Without Sacrificing Quality

In online business, speed of implementation can make all the difference. For an agency or local marketer, clients expect changes to be made quickly and for issues to be resolved without fail. At Advice Local, we like to facilitate this need for fast action using integration tools. From syncing Google Business Profile (GBP) client data to monitoring reputation, influence and engagement, agencies can make smart changes without delay.

5. Partnerships Fuel Your Growth

Scaling your operations is a crucial way to be more profitable this year. And the simplest method for low-risk growth is through strategic partnerships. Our Data Amplifier Network is an excellent example of working with a distribution network of quality partners that helps us distribute data far and wide.

There are many types of service providers you can partner with to offer quality services to your clients. Determine what their needs are – then find the solutions you can resell to them. This will help your clients while also making your own business more profitable.

Take Your Local Agency to the Next Level With Advice Local

If you like the sound of our 2023 tips and want to start implementing them, Advice Local has the tools to help. From our innovative GBP tools to client-friendly reporting, we can help you deliver a first-class local marketing service. Request a demo to try our local presence management tools for yourself, or call us at (214) 310-1356.

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2022 local marketing blog posts

2022 was another big year for local marketing, with plenty of new updates, insights and strategies to discuss. As always, a lot was happening within the Google ecosystem, but we also saw innovations across the wider local search marketing sphere. Each year at Advice Local we highlight the most popular blog posts and draw attention to some content you may have missed. So, let’s start our roundup of the year with the post that gained the most traffic in 2022.

10 Most Popular Local Search Posts of 2022

1. Google Business Profile Features You Can’t Get Elsewhere

You probably won’t be too surprised by the topic of our most popular blog post of the year – the Google Business Profile (GBP). An optimized GBP remains one of the most effective ways to improve search visibility and grab an all-important local pack position. In 2022 Google made some significant updates to the service, and Advice Local was on the scene with the product features you need to succeed.

2. Best Practices for Writing Business Listing Descriptions

Business listing descriptions can be one of the most challenging parts of creating a profile – and this point was highlighted by our runner-up for the most popular article. In this post, we offered some best practices for crafting engaging business descriptions, from building a keyword list to demonstrating credibility.

3. The Value of Near Me Search Optimization in 2023

2022 saw a lot of discussion around the topic of “near me” searches in Google. The late 2021 Google Vicinity update led to some sites losing local pack placements after a crackdown on business name spam. But was this the end of “near me” search optimization? In this article, we looked at why hyperlocal optimization still matters.

4. Google Maps Is Now Featuring Updates From Customers

During the early part of the year, agencies and local marketers began to pay attention to a Maps update from Google. An “Updates from customers” feature allowed users to submit their own business photos along with a message. This post focused on the need for close business listing management, as Google looked to roll out additional user-generated content features.

5. Mapping Apps & Navigation Solutions You Can’t Ignore

This blog post looked at one of the core aspects of search visibility for local businesses – mapping apps and in-dash navigation solutions. Along with outlining the importance of a mapping and GPS navigation strategy, we listed our top picks for the best mapping apps your clients should be listed on.

6. Is “Near Me” Search Optimization Effective in 2022?

A second “near me” search optimization article in our top 10 highlights the interest in hyperlocal search in 2022. This blog post offered a strategy for your business clients who lost search visibility from Google’s updates, and showed why relevance, proximity and prominence are so important.

7. A Refresher on Data Aggregators & Why Businesses Need Them

Citations are still a cornerstone of local search marketing, and this doesn’t look likely to change. However, any approach to citation building needs to focus on data accuracy and distribution to quality listings platforms. In this post from February 2022 we looked at data aggregators – platforms that distribute business data to hundreds of relevant sites.

8. A Google Business Profile Roundup, Including Dispelling a GBP Myth

Straightforward GBP errors consistently prevent quality businesses from achieving significant local pack visibility. We used this particular post to address a couple of GBP myths and mistakes that we have noticed, including a common link-building mistake that keeps reappearing.

9. Justifications Are Appearing in Google Maps, Images & More

In this article from June, we covered two GBP topics to improve search visibility. The first update was Google’s addition of justifications for Maps mobile, which included business categories and review snippets. The second key update demonstrated the importance of adding images to a GBP.

10. These Key Factors Can Influence the Local Pack in Many Ways

The big three ranking factors made up a key local search theme of 2022. These factors are relevance, proximity and prominence, and in this blog post we detailed how they influence local presence – and why they matter to local businesses.

Honorable Mentions Go to These Local Search Articles

These additional popular articles that our readers loved deserve an honorable mention!

How to Improve a Website’s Placement With the Right Content

This article was published back in 2019, but it’s just as relevant today. The post shows the right way to create content to improve a website’s placement.

Why Business Listings Are Essential for Local Businesses

Why do we keep returning to the subject of business listings? To be brief, their importance should never be underestimated. This post demonstrated why business listings are so essential – and which platforms are most crucial.

How to Run a Google Business Profile Audit & Why It Matters

Auditing a Google Business Profile usually highlights opportunities to enhance a listing. Back in November of 2022 we outlined an auditing method for agencies and local marketers to use with their clients’ profiles.

Our Most Popular Local Search Post (Published in 2015)

How to Submit a Business Listing to Foursquare

This post deserves a mention because it was published in 2015 – yet still managed to win over the most visited article of 2022. Follow the step-by-step guide to submitting a business listing to Foursquare.

A Popular Local Search Post Published in 2021

2021 Local Search Ranking Factors – Applying Them in 2022

This local search ranking post (published at the end of 2021) is second runner-up in 2022 over all the other topics for traffic. Interestingly, an article on the Local Ranking Factors made the top 10 last year, receiving the most traffic in 2021.

Most Visited Product Page

Enhanced GBP Tool for Agencies

Our Enhanced GBP Tool was a big success in 2022, with agencies loving the GBP Sync, GBP Auto-Rejection, Google Authority Score and Profile Insights features. Try it for yourself and see how easy it is to optimize a GBP listing.

Most Visited Resource

Applying E-A-T to a Google My Business Listing

Google EAT was as relevant as ever in 2022, and we were pleased to provide a leading resource on the subject. Our downloadable content showed how to apply Google EAT to a GBP listing for an improved Google authority score.

That brings our most popular local search content of 2022 to a close. If you’re looking for our prediction on the big theme for 2023, the safest bet is with the Google Business Profile. Continuing the theme of 2022, the GBP will surely be at the forefront of local search marketing for the upcoming year.

The Top 10 Local #Search Topics of 2022 by @BernieColeman #GBP #SEO
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Level Up Your Local Marketing Strategies in 2023

2023 will be another busy year at Advice Local with new digital marketing insights and strategies. If you want to offer the best services to your local business clients, make sure to stay tuned to our local marketing blog.

We also operate the industry’s leading local presence management tool, providing real-time listings management and data distribution. Request a demo today or call (214) 310-1356 to learn more.

The post The Top 10 Local Search Topics of 2022 appeared first on Advice Local.

Near me local search optimization

In recent years, one of the most common questions in the local marketing space relates to the value of “near me” search optimization. As developers of Enhanced Google Business Profile tools and listing management services, it is something we are deeply engaged with. Do “near me” searches still matter, or has the search landscape evolved beyond the trend? For a closer look at this subject we’ll start by considering what Google has to say.

The Importance of Near Me Search Optimization

A perhaps surprising statistic released by Google this year was that searches for “open now near me” grew globally by over 400% year over year. While we may have grown accustomed to hyperlocal searches in the digital marketing world, only recently have many consumers shifted their behavior to conducting searches on the go – or with an immediate buying intent.

We can also see similar patterns on the Maps service. Google Maps searches for “shopping near me” grew globally by over 100% year over year. Online shopping may have seen dramatic rises over the last decade, but consumers still want to visit local stores, restaurants, doctors, dentists, car dealerships and a host of other business types.

Today, consumers are consistently turning to search engines to research local businesses. A recent survey, BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2022, highlighted this fact, indicating that 81% of participants used Google to evaluate a business compared to 63% the previous year.

And with “near me” searches taking place on desktop, mobile and voice search – and with varying intent – it’s more important than ever before for businesses to be optimized across diversified platforms, from Google and Bing to hyperlocal directories – sites like Bubblelife, NextDoor and MapQuest.

Google Is Focused on Hyperlocal

A reason some are skeptical about “near me” search optimization comes from Google’s Vicinity update. One aspect of the update was the push to tackle Google Business Profile (GBP) spam in business names. With some companies adding “near me” to their name, Google took measures to penalize this attempt to hack the popularity of the search term.

The Vicinity update meant that under some circumstances, Google treated “near me” searches as an indicator of proximity instead of a keyword-matching phrase. And some businesses have suffered from this adjustment, but many others have continued to gain visibility in the local pack and maps.

Why? This is because a “near me” search indicates hyperlocal interest. Therefore, Google wants to show GBPs, listings and websites are the closest, most relevant and prominent results.

Taking a Comprehensive Approach to Near Me Search Optimization

You may remember we discussed dominating Google search results using local business listings. The concept involved getting multiple local pack and organic search results for the same keyword. With an optimized GBP, widely distributed listings and a quality website, this approach is highly achievable.

A well-optimized GBP will appear in the local pack when, along with proximity, it also demonstrates quality and relevance. To achieve this you can follow our GBP optimization tips, including name, address and phone number (NAP) details and opening hours. Advice Local partners can use GBP Sync to guarantee data consistency, and use the available auto-reject public edits feature to ensure unwanted changes are not implemented. These are just a few of the GBP features available within our partner dashboard.

However, understand that focusing solely on a GBP is essentially an oversight. Listings sites frequently appear in organic search for locally-relevant searches, increasing the visibility of a business. For example, a study by Fresh Chalk found that for every Google query containing a city and business category, Yelp appears in the top five search results 92% of the time.

Listings platforms are designed to help businesses hit the metrics of proximity (NAP details, integrated maps and local categorization), relevance (business categories, product details and keyword-rich descriptions), plus prominence (reviews and accolades). Consequently, as long as an agency develops and maintains accurate data for a business, with the help of listing management services such as ours, the business is highly likely to be rewarded in “near me” search.

Of course, a business website also provides opportunities to reach local searchers. Citations from business listings still play a role in search visibility, along with locally-relevant content. In fact, data from Sterling Sky indicates that adding “near me” onto a website had positive results for “near me” searches. If a business has multiple locations, developing targeted location pages will also help.

The Value of Near Me Search Optimization in 2023 by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Contact Us for the Best Local Presence Management Solutions

Advice Local helps agencies increase their clients’ visibility with our leading business listing management solution. Get fast results with our listing management service and deeper insights with our Voice Search Readiness Test, Google Authority Score and much more. To get started, request a demo now or call (214) 310-1356.

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Google Business Profile Features You Can’t Get Elsewhere

Last time we were here we talked with you about how to complete a business listing audit. Today we’d like to switch gears and discuss the Google Business Profile.

The Value of the Google Business Profile Is Undeniable

We talk about the Google Business Profile quite often at Advice Local, and yes, there’s a sound reason for that. With the Google Business Profile (GBP) being one of the most important Local Ranking Factors according to the latest study, it’s important to us that our agency and local marketing partners are provided with the best information and resources.

The Google Business Profile needs constant attention, and that’s just a fact. From monitoring changes to publishing GBP posts and getting the best results from it, the GBP can put demands on your time. As you know, the smallest changes to a business’ GBP can significantly impact the local pack and/or Google Maps visibility – so let’s take a look at how we help with this.

You Need These Four Google Business Profile Features Available in Our Partner Dashboard

At Advice Local, we have a few very specific features available within our platform to help you maintain your clients’ Google Business Profiles more easily.

1. GBP Sync

Are you finding subtle changes that appear on your clients’ profiles? With our GBP Sync feature, we can continuously ensure the data on your clients’ GBPs matches our database. You can either sync the GBP to our dashboard, or sync our dashboard to match the GBP.

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For all our clients, to turn off the GBP Sync feature you’ll need to adjust your dashboard settings at the partner level. You can select to schedule a sync within your partner dashboard at the client level. You’ll need access to the client’s GBP, then connect the account in your partner dashboard to use this feature.

2. GBP Auto-Rejection

How many times have you visited one of your client’s GBPs to discover that services they don’t offer were added to their GBP? Or even that a change to the primary category has been made without your knowledge? These types of changes happen to businesses on a regular basis, and if you are not watching a GBP closely they might go unnoticed for quite a while.

While we cannot stop Google from adding more services (services they may detect from the client’s website) onto your client’s Google Business Profile, we can auto-reject public edits for you.

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These public edits consist of changes to the business categories, address, phone number, website URL and much more.

To use this feature you must turn it on at the partner level in your dashboard. You’ll need access to the GBP, and you’ll need to ensure it is linked in the Google Business Profile tab in your partner dashboard.

3. Google Authority Score

The Google Authority Score (GAS) created exclusively by Advice Local was designed to help you better understand how a business’ GBP is performing.

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GAS looks at Brand Influence, Engagement Visibility, Influence Velocity, Q/A Quality and Reputation Health.

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To access this information you’ll need access to the client’s GBP – and ensure the feature is enabled in your partner dashboard.

4. Google Profile Insights Data

With the most recent change to managing the GBP from search, the data you count on to understand how well the actions you’re taking on a client’s GBP perform – the traditional insights data – may have seemed to disappear. But when you turn to your Advice Local partner dashboard, you’ll find this data available in the Google Business Profile tab.

Post views, photo views and combined customer actions taken are just a few examples of the data accessible in your partner dashboard.

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As mentioned above, you’ll need direct access to manage the GBP and have it connected in your partner dashboard at the client level.

We can’t close without sharing a few more Google Business Profile resources with you.

And that’s it for the special Google Business Profile edition! We’ve had quite a few partners frustrated with the recent changes to the GBP, and limited access to free GBP tools. Know that all of the features mentioned here are included in the Advice Local partner dashboard at no additional cost.

Google Business Profile Features You Can’t Get Elsewhere by @BernieColeman #GBP #SEO
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Find Out Why Listing Management Partners Choose Us Now

We can help you distribute business listing data to the top directories, data aggregators, mapping apps and much more. Request a demo today to learn about all these features, plus the free GBP tools available in our partner dashboard. Call (214) 310-1356 for help today.

The post Special GBP Edition: Google Business Profile Features You Can’t Get Elsewhere appeared first on Advice Local.

Local Marketing Strategies for the Upcoming Holidays

Last week we looked at how to boost local search presence with data amplifiers. This week we’re switching focus to the local marketing strategies that are perfect for securing seasonal buyers.

Local Marketing Strategies for Boosting Holiday Sales

Last year (at around this same time) we spoke with you about how to use a business’ Google Business Profile for holiday marketing campaigns.

And while you’ve seen it, have you ever really considered why stores start putting out their holiday merchandise so early? And yes, we’ve all noticed that this timing seems to be well before the start of each season.

Let’s look at Home Depot. Have you been in a Home Depot in the last two weeks? If so, then you were most likely greeted with Christmas trees – at least this is the case in Texas.

So, just why do stores start their sales earlier and earlier each year? Will the one who starts their holiday marketing first be the biggest winner? The answer to that is… maybe! However, it all starts with a plan – and we’ve actually outlined a seasonal local marketing plan before.

In an article on Street Fight there’s a quote that really sticks out. Paul Brenner said: “Advertisers don’t have to wait until someone is in the right aisle to engage with them. The customer doesn’t need to be anywhere near the seasonal candy section but the message can help guide them there.”

5 Untapped Holiday Local Marketing Techniques

Now apply this to the local marketing strategies for your clients. Where can you engage your clients’ prospective customers to get the results your clients are looking for? Hint: you might not normally engage them there. Let’s explore….

1. The Google Business Profile

Offer posts are not being used to their fullest potential. Consider creating bundled deals, free consultations, downloadable guides and limited-time seasonal coupons. Also, make use of photos or videos to enhance offers.

Event posts for open houses, seasonal sales, product launches and seminars. Be sure to include the benefits of attendance to get the best deals – and include eye-catching imagery.

2. Premium Features on Business Listings

For example, businesses listed in Judy’s Book through Advice Local get a premium Judy’s Book listing at no additional cost. This premium listing includes ad impressions on the free listings. You’ll need to log into the Judy’s Book listing through your partner dashboard to take advantage of this feature.

3. Advertising on Websites That Are Not Chock-Full of Competition

Advice Local’s BubbleLife is just one example here. This hyperlocal online newspaper offers ad space to reach consumers in a very specific geographic area. Take a glimpse at the ads displayed in the Park Cities BubbleLife to get a visual of what we’re talking about.

BubbleLife’s subscribers also opt in to get this online newspaper email delivered to them each day. This is an audience that most definitely wants to hear from local businesses in their area. You should suggest/consider submitting an article to these hyperlocal sites. It’s yet another way to support the business’ local community – and introduce consumers to the business.

Nextdoor is another hyperlocal site to consider. Listing your clients on Nextdoor is easy with Advice Local. Also examine any additional hyperlocal advertising opportunities available in the area in which your clients are located.

4. Supporting Community Events and Organizations

When the kids head back to school, the fundraising and advertising opportunities start up as well. By sponsoring various athletic teams, businesses can get listed as sponsors on banners, t-shirts, team Facebook pages and much more.

And if athletic events aren’t a fit for your clients, look to other local events such as advertising opportunities at the downtown festivals. Quite often these are starting now – and on through to the end of the year. Also, fundraisers like CASA or Boys & Girls Club of America are always an excellent way to support the local community – especially when you can donate items (services) for a raffle or silent auction. Lots of people will see your client’s business name when buying raffle tickets or bidding in the auction.

Consumers want to do business with other businesses that show they care. Supporting the community will go a long way towards this.

5. Don’t Forget the Traditional Methods

While focusing on new ways to reach consumers, don’t skip over the traditional ones.

  • Social media is great for building an engaged audience and increasing brand awareness.
  • The website blog is important for demonstrating credibility with readers.
  • Display banners and downloadable coupons on the business’ website to drive up engagement.
  • Email campaigns that include exclusive deals and offers for those who’ve opted in is always a winning idea.

Local #Marketing Strategies for the Upcoming Holidays by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Trusted Local Presence Management Software for Agencies and Marketers

At Advice Local, we want to simplify the local marketing process for our agency partners. Our business listings dashboard solution makes it simple for you to understand your clients’ online visibility, improve their local presence with business listings and more. To get started, request a demo now or call (214) 310-1356 to learn more.

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