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9 Local SEO Tips From Top Experts

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9 Local SEO Tips From Top Experts


Earlier this month, marketers from around the world joined the latest LocalU virtual conference, put on by Local University.

The symposium topics were filled with local marketing tips from top experts on everything from handling fake reviews, to SEO forecasting, and more.

Attendees engaged in lively discussions on Twitter throughout each session, highlighting the speakers’ most helpful and tangible tips.

Below are the top takeaways from each speaker and their respective session.

1. Write For Customers First and Google Second

Charli Hunt, ProofContent

Image credit: LocalU.org

“If you just write content for Google’s algorithm (and not users first), you will be knocked off your top rankings perch.”

Include local identifiers based on what customers are already searching for. Whether that’s neighborhood, county, city, etc.

Create dedicated pages for top FAQs from your customers. This alleviates the need to answer these questions again and again.

Identify your unique selling points (USPs). If you’re unsure of what these are, speak to your customers to help identify them.

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Charli Hunt discusses writing content for users, not an algorithm.Image credit: Twitter.com, screenshot taken by author April 2022

2. Disputing 1 Illegitimate Review Is Equivalent To 11 Positive Reviews

Curtis BoydImage credit: LocalU.org

Curtis Boyd, The Transparency Company

It pays off to dispute fake reviews. Illegitimate reviews are harmful to ratings, which is proven to hurt revenue.

Removing legitimate negative reviews is not the goal. Earned reviews are good; purchased reviews are not. Silencing real customers is not good or legitimate. That’s not what this is about.

Your boss should not be asking you to review the company, unless it’s on Glassdoor. The top types of fake reviews are from vendors, business owners, current employees, untruthful customers, and 3rd party and review clusters.

Dispute fake reviews on the mobile app vs. a desktop. Having data to show the reviews are fake have approximately a 380 times greater success rate of being removed.

If you’ve been hit with a negative review cluster, it’s best to work with a Google Product Expert using the GBP Help Forum.

3. Work Smarter With Practical Google Data Studio Uses

Amanda JordanImage credit: LocalU.org

Amanda Jordan, RicketyRoo

With GDS, you’ll spend less time reviewing your data. You can create local SEO reports that are easily digestible not only for you, but for your clients. There are plenty of templates created for you to plug and play with your data.

“Use Data Studio to find and categorize keywords, and find new ways to utilize data they’re providing.”

There are many free connectors with GDS to help integrate your data, such as Google Analytics, BigQuery, Google Sheets, Search Console, and more.

Additionally, there are free tool connectors for GDS, including Ahrefs, ContentKing, DeepCrawl, SEMRush, and more.

Use data controls in Data Studio. They allow you to manipulate data by date, visitor type, device type, and more.

4. Be Strategic With Your Spam Fighting Efforts

Joy HawkinsImage credit: LocalU.org

Joy Hawkins, Sterling Sky

The percentage of fake listings varies greatly by industry. Garage Door Repair, Junk Cars, and Personal Injury were the top industries with fake listings.

“87.6% of Garage Door Repair listings were spam. This is incredibly damaging for brands, and why spam-fighting can help legitimate brands.”

Spam fighting is not a long-term strategy, but it is something you should try to pursue. Spam can always come back, and Google doesn’t always enforce all their guidelines.

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If there are duplicate listings, don’t delete one. Merging listings can actually help them to rank.

If you are in an industry with moderate amounts of spam listings, then it’s probably worth your time to report.

5. We Only Buy From People We Know, Like, and Trust

Matthew HuntImage credit: LocalU.org

Matthew Hunt, Automation Wolf

Use LinkedIn as a trusted source rather than a stranger. Relationships are built in the comments, not the posts.

It takes 7 hours with 11 different interactions, in 4 different locations to earn the trust of a user, in order to create opportunities to work with and sell to them.

Leverage LinkedIn with short-form content users can discover. Then, create long-form content where there is some sort of interaction (course, webinar, etc.). From there, create a community of trust so users continue to come back to you.

Make sure you have a personal profile, not just a company page. Create a compelling personal headline showcasing who you are and what you do.

The winning formula for a personal headline: Role + Expertise + Value.

6. Content Without Data Leads To Poor Outcomes

Noah LearnerImage credit: LocalU.org

Noah Learner, Two Octobers

Build your content based on client goals, gathering data, cleaning the data, then creating topics based on this data.

Market what is most profitable for you. Make sure to ask your clients what their biggest money-makers are during your onboarding process.

Google has a difficult time knowing what to show, which is why it’s important to make it crystal clear what your content is about.

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There’s a big difference between search trends from Google SERP auto-suggest and Google Trends. Auto-suggest is personalized, while Trends is not.

7. Proximity Is Much More Important With The Vicinity Update

Yan GilbertImage credit: LocalU.org

Yan Gilbert and Colan Nielson, Sterling Sky

The closer you are to a business listing, the higher the chances that listing will rank.

The vicinity update has allowed many more business listings to rank, thanks to the variety in the map packs.

Keywords without location were impacted the most.

Keywords in your business name are not as straightforward as it used to be. Don’t use keyword

Colan NielsonImage credit: LocalU.org

stuffing as a strategy. Google is attempting to balance spammy GBPs while allowing real businesses to rank.

The top action items from the vicinity update are:

  • Focus on explicit keywords
  • Create more GBP real estate
  • Use ads to retarget in areas you’ve lost ranking or traction
  • Go after a wider variety of keywords to minimize damage
Local U Chat on the Vicinity updateImage credit: Twitter.com, screenshot taken by author April 2022

8. SEO Forecasting Can Help Answer Key Business Questions From Stakeholders

Andrew ShotlandImage credit: LocalU.org

Andrew Shotland, Local SEO Guide

The key questions stakeholders want answered are:

  • How much am I going to get out of this?
  • How long is it going to take?
  • What’s the ROI?

SEO forecasting needs to take the individual business’ uniqueness and goals into consideration. Do more than using your own experience and your own data to forecast.

Sometimes accurate forecasts don’t matter, as long as you’re being realistic setting good expectations. Don’t falsely inflate forecasts to look good and get budget approval.

A good scientific method is the RICE Score. (Reach x Impact x Confidence)/Effort = RICE Score.

However, a good RICE score may not return a lot of revenue, even if it’s easy to implement. Determine what is more important: high revenue or a high RICE score?

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9. You Have An Obligation To Make Sure Your Reviews Are Genuine

Mike BlumenthalImage credit: LocalU.org

Mike Blumenthal, Near Media

The business is responsible for how the review platform works, as well as the SEO and reputation management firms’ behaviors.

The new FTC business marketer guidelines include:

  • No review gating
  • No selective review display
  • Positive and negative reviews must be treated equally
  • Incentives must be made explicit

Review suppression doesn’t work. Customers can see the difference between your site and the Google reviews.

You do not have to publish offensive or inappropriate review content. Ensure you have a clear TOS published on your site explaining the FTC guidelines, and publish everything that meets those guidelines.

Summary

The LocalU virtual symposium focused a lot on real updates that impact businesses, as well as content tips that can help anyone who has a physical business or listing.

If you’d like more detailed information on the sessions, be sure to join the #LocalU conversation on Twitter and connect with the speakers. You can also purchase instant access from Local University here.

At the end of the conference, Local University announced its return to in-person events. They will be hosting LocalU Advanced in Denver, CO on July 28th. If you’re interested in attending, be sure to stay up-to-date with Local University for more information.


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LinkedIn Professionals Share Their Best Unusual LinkedIn Marketing Hack

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LinkedIn Professionals Share Their Best Unusual LinkedIn Marketing Hack

LinkedIn is a great place to grow your business.

In the last 12 months, 93% of B2B marketers have used the platform the most to distribute content organically. LinkedIn also topped the same survey for producing the best results.

The same study reveals content marketers are also spending more on paid content promotion. The top platform where they’re spending? Linkedin.

Businesses can also use the network for marketing to and reaching potential customers. In fact, there are more than 1 billion interactions on LinkedIn Pages every month.

With these figures, there’s no denying the power of this social media platform to drive engagement and boost brand awareness.

Are you ready to take your LinkedIn marketing game to the next level but unsure where to begin?

Here are clever LinkedIn tips from seven LinkedIn pros to boost your marketing efforts.

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Leverage LinkedIn Live

Thomas J. Armitage

Sales Executive, Site-Seeker

LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B playground. It’s like a professional conference that’s never-ending.

Live Streams, in particular, continue to be underutilized. That’s because people starve for valuable learning material.

With Live Streams, thought leaders can bypass the headaches typically involved in traditional webinar setups. No landing pages or sign-up forms are needed. You can easily promote the event through sharing and invitations, too.

Although you’ll need a third-party streaming software, most play nicely with LinkedIn.

And Live Streams are a great way to break the monotony of text posts and engage with your audience on a more personal level.

Make sure you identify a niche topic. Write a strong description that includes who the stream is for.

Invite users you know will find it worthwhile. And make sure to promote – both before the event, as well as after, since the full video will be available for playback.


Level Up Your Content Strategy

Adam Houlahan Adam Houlahan

LinkedIn Expert at Prominence Global, Author of “Influencer – The 9 Step Guide to Becoming Highly Influential in Any Industry”

The most effective strategy for LinkedIn lead generation that delivers consistent long-term results is Algorithmically Aligned Content.

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Only 1% of the 850+ million members of LinkedIn share content regularly (weekly). Less than 1% of that 1% truly understand and share content that LinkedIn sees as valuable to its membership and organically promotes for you.

Share content that creates conversations on the platform and shows you are the authority in your area of expertise without solving your audiences’ problems for them.

I call it “Know How,” with “No How” content.

Consistently implement this content strategy, and your ideal clients will gravitate to you to solve their problems.

Felipe Bazon Felipe Bazon

Chief SEO Officer, Hedgehog Digital

Back in 2017, I decided that the only social network that I would use professionally was going to be Linkedin.

Since then, I have been posting weekly (sometimes daily) posts related to SEO strategies, techniques, and insights.

This has helped build my network and reach decision makers who see my posts and get in contact through the platform or our website to fill in the contact form.

These leads that turned into clients have contributed to the exponential growth we have had since we opened up our office in Brazil.

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Being a well-known SEO down here, I’ve exploited these to our advantage; all leads came from my personal account, not the company’s.

We do have a business page for U.K. and Brazil and do some Linkedin ads to promote some stuff, but it is through the personal profile that the magic happens.

Since then, my posts are averaging:

  • 4,000 views
  • 100 interactions (likes and comments)
  • Five to seven organic leads per month

My tips are:

  • Consistency and frequency. Aim for at least a couple of posts each week.
  • Avoid sharing links on your posts; leave them in the comments. This increases the reach of your posts by at least 30%. For instance, if you want to share a new article from the blog, do a post talking about the subject and say, “We’ve written a complete guide about X, and you can find the link to it in the comments.
  • Don’t be shy in sharing insights, thoughts, and results. The community loves these types of posts. These tend to get loads of interactions.

Optimize Your Page

Virginie Cantin Virginie Cantin

LinkedIn Coach – VirginieCantin.com, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery”

My personal hack uses the experience section to highlight my services and activities. So instead of having a single job title such as “Founder,” I will have several job titles under my LinkedIn company page for each “hat” I’m wearing in my company.

I have a job title for my 1:1 coaching service, LinkedIn PEELING. Another job title is dedicated to my online course, LinkedIn BREAK-IN. Then, I use a separate job title to highlight that I’m a Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Last but not least, I have a fourth job title that aims at getting me found by people looking for speakers and podcast guests.

The beauty of having several job titles is that you can optimize every single one of them for the algorithm so that people looking for a specific service or author, or podcast guest can easily find you.

Andy Foote Andy Foote

Advanced LinkedIn Strategies Coach

LinkedIn makes it really difficult to know who your “Super Fans” and potential “Super Fans” are; it’s as if they don’t want you to build any kind of base.

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You can see this with how they treat followers; they’re not ‘following’ at all – because an algorithm inserts itself between you and folks who have voted to see your content.

Fortunately, there’s software on the market (peakAboo by Daniel Hall) that provides juicy data on everyone who has commented on your LinkedIn posts. This helps me to know who solidly supports me and, more importantly, people who commented only a few times.

It’s the latter category I want to target and figure out a way to convert them into persistent supporters, a.k.a. “Super Fans.”


Prioritize Human-Centric Approach

Sandra Long Sandra Long

LinkedIn Trainer & Speaker – Post Road Consulting, Author of “LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide”

Activate your employee team. Make sure your team’s LinkedIn profiles are co-branded and focused on client problem-solving instead of recruiter oriented.

Encourage the team to search and connect with coworkers, clients, and prospects. Train your team to build relationships with thoughtful, helpful comments and personalized messages.

Say no to automation. Train them to engage, inspire, and motivate their professional networks with valuable comments, original posts, and shared or reposted company page content.

Develop a company hashtag and communicate how to use it on LinkedIn. Most importantly, build your team’s confidence and make it fun!

Josh Steimle Josh Steimle

Founder of the LinkedIn agency BlueMethod, Author of the WSJ & USA Today bestselling book “60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery”

LinkedIn helps me solve my biggest challenges as an entrepreneur, whether it’s sales, recruiting, or finding partners.

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LinkedIn has easily produced millions of dollars in value for me.

Even though I wrote a book on LinkedIn with 60 tips in it, everything I teach in my book can be summarized in two words: Be human. It’s the best LinkedIn hack.

Too many are trying to imitate robots on LinkedIn by sending out spam messages, posting content but never engaging with commenters, and avoiding the time-consuming, truly creative work of one-to-one communication. But that’s where LinkedIn performs best!

When you use LinkedIn to talk directly with others, like a normal human being, that’s the moment when LinkedIn becomes indispensable.

Takeaway

As the world’s largest online professional network, Linkedin makes a remarkable addition to your social media marketing strategy.

Remember to take advantage of LinkedIn features and be consistent – all while offering value and nurturing relationships.

Armed with these tips, you’re bound to thrive on the LinkedIn feed and reap the rewards.

More Resources:

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