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local keywords location continues to dominate

Last week we discussed expanding a business’ local search visibility beyond Google. Well, with the announcement that businesses with a Professional Account on Twitter now have a location spotlight feature, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Location Spotlight for Professionals on Twitter

When a business switches to a Professional Account, it can build its presence and authenticity on Twitter. The information a business can feature includes the following.

  • Business location – Followers can select a small map to view the location in their default map app.
  • Opening hours – Businesses can list their opening days and times.
  • Contact information – Businesses can add contact information, including phone calls, text messages, Twitter direct messages or email.

These features can make a Twitter business profile look more professional, and make it easier to direct users to your business with as few steps as possible. It’s also worth paying attention to updates like this as they may signal a push towards added functionality for business accounts.

Since Twitter just removed the nofollow off their links, it may be good timing to update your local business clients’ Twitter accounts. In addition, it’s worth considering setting up a tool like dlvr.it to auto-publish new posts published on your clients’ sites via RSS.

Local Queries Accounting for Big Proportion of Keywords

Over at Near Media, Greg Sterling had a number of useful updates for digital marketers. Starting with an analysis of the top 1,000 keywords, a substantial 34% were found to be local queries. This means that around one-third of desktop search queries have local intent, while the number for mobile is higher.

Of these local searches, some used the “near me” search query, while others were focused on brand names with physical locations. This is further proof (if it’s even needed) that consumers are seeking out geographically-relevant businesses that can meet their immediate needs.

We have previously discussed the key ranking factors for the local pack – proximity, relevance and prominence – and it is clear that a large slice of keywords used by searchers are prioritizing proximity to their location.

Another of these factors – prominence – relates to positive brand experience. Greg Sterling pointed to an example of a positive customer experience involving Chewy.com. A customer wanted to return unopened dog food after her dog died. Chewy refunded the customer, suggested the food be donated to an animal shelter – and sent her flowers.

This is an example of providing exceptional customer service and being rewarded for it through improved reputational value and added exposure. Of course, you need not go as far as Chewy did with every customer. But consistent positive experiences will lead to great reviews, all of which will help satisfy Google’s local ranking factors.

Identifying Google Business Profile Strength

Meanwhile, Barry Schwartz over at Search Engine Roundtable discussed a new feature being tested by Google. The “profile strength” widget indicates the quality of a Google Business Profile (GBP) and whether more information needs to be added. We tried multiple different searches for some of the GBPs we have access to and could not replicate these results in desktop search.

As you may know, Advice Local created the Google Authority Score (GAS) to help determine the overall authority of a GBP. The tool includes metrics for brand influence, engagement visibility, reputation health and much more. With Google’s profile strength feature not yet available for most accounts, GAS is still your best bet for analyzing a GBP’s authority.

Bing Seems to Be Testing a New Local Pack Design

It seems Bing is testing a new minimalistic local pack design, with local listings opening on the right-hand side of the page. Khushal Bherwani posted a short video of the test on Twitter.


Local Keywords & Location Continues to Dominate by @BernieColeman via @Advice_Local #SEO
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