In this episode of the Unbottleneck Podcast, Steve Wiideman is joined by local marketing expert, Krystal Taing, to dive into effective strategies that boost your game and success with Local search engine optimization (SEO).

About Our Guest: Krystal Taing

Krystal Taing has spent more than a decade working in SEO and e-commerce with a core focus on local SEO. She assists brands and agencies with ongoing marketing challenges by devising winning local strategies. Krystal is Strategic Partnerships Solutions Engineer at Uberall, a Google My Business Gold Product Expert and a faculty member at LocalU. 

Sponsored by Ryte

  • Today’s Emerging Local SEO Landscape 
  • The Online vs Offline Buyer Journey
  • How Agencies Can Best Support Clients
  • Knowing Where to Be Listed
  • Local SEO Best Practices

Local SEO Landscape: What Have We Learned? 

The pandemic stopped the world in its tracks. Our lives and behaviors changed in an instant and we were forced to make adjustments. 

As we were forced to accept a new way of living, businesses were forced to pivot and quickly roll out new features to meet the new demands of society (UberEats, curbside pick-up, virtual consultations, etc). Now that the world is shifting into a post-pandemic landscape, businesses have the opportunity to reevaluate what’s working and what’s not. 

Some important questions to help refine everything that was done in the past year include: 

  • What was successful last year? 
  • Where did we move too quickly? 
  • What are the responses to new features?

Use these answers to decide whether or not you will continue to offer these features. 

Online vs Offline Buyer Journey

In order to win at local SEO, you must understand the buyer journey both online and offline.

At one point in time, the online and offline aspects of a business were treated separately. However, the pandemic has proven that online and offline experiences are very much intertwined and cannot operate separately anymore. 

If you are a business owner, you need both an online and offline presence. Having a digital presence allows you to share more information with people before they decide to visit. Nowadays people need to know important information before leaving the house such as: 

  • Product availability 
  • Safety protocol / mask requirements
  • Curbside pick-up 
  • Outdoor dining 
  • More about your offerings

Therefore, you should have a strong presence online and offline. 

Agencies: How Can You Support Your Clients

For agencies, you can provide ongoing support for your client’s local search efforts by asking one simple question – what are the things we can do for them that they’re not thinking about? 

Becoming an expert at your client’s business can take you a long way because you will be able to provide valuable insight on processes that can improve their bottom line such as hiring, curbside service, safety, etc.

Pro-Tip: Having a good, working relationship with clients will ensure everyone is one the same page and  can prevent them from doing something that will interfere with SEO efforts. 

Where Should I be Listed? 

Business listings are key to your local SEO strategy so it’s important to get it right. 

Before you list your business online, you should start by organizing and optimizing your data. This data will include general information about your business such as name, website, hours, etc. The last thing you want to do is list information that is inaccurate, so make sure that everything is correct before proceeding. 

There are many aggregators available for you to submit your business information, but it’s going to be in your best interest to show up in the places that make the most sense to your business and your customers. 

Here are the types of aggregators that you should consider in order to diversify your listings and meet your customers where they are: 

  • Navigation Engines (Apple Maps) 
  • Search Engines (Google, Bing) 
  • Social (Yelp, Facebook) 
  • Niche (Angie’s List, Psychology Today) 
  • Local (City / County / State Websites)  

Pro-Tip: Google will use your listing on smaller aggregators as trust signals to rank your business. 

Local SEO Best Practices 

To stand out in the search results, you have to master the three critical areas of local search: reviews, reputation, and messaging. 

For example, reviews can often make or break someone’s decision to purchase your goods or services because they want to go to a business that they can trust. It’s not enough to have a 5-star rating if you only have 2 reviews. You should make it a priority to get real and honest reviews from customers to give people an inside look into your business and what you offer. 

Overall, pay attention to important details that not only help users find your business but will make them convert. 

Keep up with the best local SEO and digital marketing strategies. Follow Steve on LinkedIn!