As an SEO Expert Manchester team we are well aware of how important local search marketing has become to business owners of all sizes, not least because Google have shown that they are prioritising results that are hyper-local. Therefore, the local SEO services that we offer are bound to become more important in 2019 as they can help businesses to achieve better rankings – and so our team are always on the look-out for ways to help improve your local search ROI by making your business stand out.
Some of the local search engine optimisation services in Manchester we will be focusing on this year include:
Consistency in Citations
Building up a bank of local citations has proven to be a great tactic in the bid to win at local search as the more mentions you have online, the more likely Google and the other search engines are to believe your website deserves higher rankings. This impact on search rankings is also improved if the citations you have on your website are related to the products and services you offer. One thing that is important to remember is to ensure that your business name, address and phone number are correct on all local citations, as they may not include a website link and so people need this information in order to be able to get in touch with you.
There are three types of local citations that are useful:
- Structured Citations. These are usually found on business listing sites such as local business directories and search engines. This type of citation is usually manually built and managed and will include business name, address and phone number. Search engines will use structured citations like this to collect data about your business, such as the accuracy of the data featured, the quality of the platform that the citation sits on, and the number of citations that you have.
- Unstructured Citations. These are usually found on sites that are not aimed at promoting local businesses, such as blogs or news articles. These citations can be achieved by submitting content and press releases to news websites, or by targeting blog owners with engaging content. Gaining unstructured citations on quality sites can lead you to attracting new audiences to your website and can really make you stand out in your market.
Google My Business & Google Knowledge Panels
Google My Business (GMB) has always been important for local search, and it will continue to be so in 2019. If you optimise your Google My Business listing you can make a real impact on your local ranking, and also provide your business with a better position in both Maps and Search. To optimise your GMB listing you should:
- Ensure your business information is accurate. Enter as much detail about your business as you can, including where you are based, what you do, and how people can contact you – and make sure the information entered is accurate.
- Verify your location. If your location has been verified by Google this will give your business a better chance of appearing in both Search and Maps.
- Add Business Photos. Images catch people’s attention so make sure you add some appealing and high-quality images to your listing to tell your businesses story and show off your products/services.
- Respond to Reviews. Managing your GMB reviews by responding to each and every one means your customers will see how important they are to you and how much you value them. This will also appeal to potential clients as well.
Talking about GMB reviews, there is a stat floating around that reveals that 88% of consumers trust online reviews for businesses as much as they trust word of mouth recommendations from friends. Search engines also like online reviews of your business, as they take them as an endorsement and so reward your website with more visibility.
But what have online reviews got to do with SEO? Well, Google crawls your website in order to understand what your business is about and so the more content you have available for it to read, the better it will know your business. When people leave an online review of your business they are describing your business and its products/services to Google which increases Google’s understanding of your business.
Click through rates (CTR) also have an impact on SEO rankings, and the more traffic that goes to your site by clicking on a search engine result the more Google will reward you with better rankings. Reviews are a great opportunity to improve your CTR, as people may read a fantastic review of your business and want to find out more.
Proximity Marketing (or Google Beacon)
Google Beacons are not new technology, they have been around for a few years in fact, but we think that 2019 might be the year that they finally become important. Google Beacons are simply devices that are a small range in diameter and which send signals out over a short period of time. Any device, such as a Smartphone or Tablet, which passes within their range during that time will therefore receive the signal, meaning that businesses can use it to target passers-by with an important marketing message.
Some of the benefits that this type of proximity marketing can offer businesses are:
- In Store Messaging providing customers with promotional offers as they are browsing in your store.
- Frequency Measuring of how often customers enter your business and how long they stay, and what impact this has on their purchases.
- Location Targeting where users are targeted with highly specific messages relevant to their particular location
- Loyalty Rewards for customers as they are completing their purchases
- Mapping your customers as they browse through your store, collecting data on which actions they make during their journey.
- User guides for places such as airports, shopping centres and so on.
This technology could have a real impact on local SEO, and Google is continuously aiming to improve it, with targeting getting more and more specific.
If you want to take advantage of the best SEO in Manchester, then get in touch with the team at SEO MCR today.