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A guide to conducting a local SEO audit

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of boosting traffic to your company’s website through organic search engine results. SEO is crucial to a company’s success because it brings the exposure and attention you need.


If you’re reading this, you may already know the difference between SEO and local SEO. 


But if you’re new here, let me give you a recap: SEO and local SEO are the same thing. The only difference is that local SEO is specifically for the location your company is located at. 


We recommend reading this blog post first, as it will give you insight into why you should conduct a local SEO audit and the benefits of doing so.


A checklist to conduct a local SEO audit:


  • Google My Business: Everyone knows that Google is the way to go when searching for anything, to the point that the word “googling” is a universal term that people use. Creating a Google My Business account will give your company extra visibility in local searches and maps done on Google, and it might even recommend your company if it fits the search criteria.

  • Online reviews evaluation: Other than Google, there are other platforms that people can make reviews on about your company. Yelp, Facebook, and even social media are a few of those platforms. Make sure you review what is being said about your company to make the necessary changes to improve.

  • Website evaluation: What you have on your website can make or break your chances of gaining potential customers. This includes keywords, structure, and speed. Constantly making updates to enhance your website can greatly improve an online user’s experience.

  • Citation evaluation: A citation consists of your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). There are two types of citations: structured and unstructured. Structured citations are used for authorized company directories. For example, your profile on Yelp would be considered a structured citation. On the other hand, unstructured citations are when your NAP is used but not necessarily for company directories. An example of this would be a local magazine mentioning your company and including its NAP. 

  • Social media evaluation: Trends come and go in social media. Monitoring what’s considered “in” on social media can help your company stay relevant. Social media also allows you to see the comments your audience has in regards to your company. We highly recommend interacting with them to boost engagement.

  • Competition evaluation: Keeping tabs on your competitors is a tactic that every company does. Evaluate what they have internally and externally, and discuss what your company can do to be better.

  • It might seem overwhelming to conduct a local SEO audit at first, but regularly doing so will lead your company to the success it deserves. Your efforts will gradually show with the engagement it receives online.


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    First things first: What’s the difference between SEO and local SEO? SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” is the process of escalating traffic to your company’s website through authentic search engine results. Local SEO is a subset of SEO; local SEO is the same as the generalized term but specifically catered for the location your business is located at.


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    4 ways customer reviews can benefit your company

    By having an online presence, both small and large companies can build their brand awareness. Maintaining a positive online reputation can drive new leads to your business, but only if you successfully manage what people post online about your company. Your company is vulnerable to the negative reviews people leave about their experiences – with your staff, services or products, so you must be vigilant in managing your online reputation, especially in this technology-driven age.

    It is increasingly easy for people to post comments about businesses on the hundreds of public review sites and through social media – tagging the company or using hashtags that sometimes cause a viral effect like what happened to Huggies in 2015. More often than not, a customer with a bad experience will leave a review over someone with a positive experience. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews as well as to make amends with the customers who leave negative ones.

    The major benefits of encouraging your customers to leave reviews about their experiences are:

    1. Receive free online advertising. When your customers post online reviews about your company, your brand awareness expands. People who come across those reviews are more aware of what your company sells. When positive reviews outweigh the negative ones, more people are willing to do business with your company.
    2. Improve your SEO. If several people post reviews about your company, Google takes notice. The search engine giant ranks your company higher in search results, regardless if you’re receiving more positive or negative reviews. However, if a search for your business yields negative reviews, prospective customers may seek service elsewhere. Encourage your happy customers to leave reviews about your company.
    3. Tackle the negative reviews. It’s important to reach out to customers who leave negative reviews. Apologize for their unsatisfactory experiences and try to make amends. For example, offer them a free service or product the next time they visit your company or give them a discount. When you solve customers’ issues, ask them to consider updating their reviews or to leave more favorable reviews online.
    4. Form a closer connection with the customer. When a business replies to customers, it sends the message that someone is reading their reviews and is listening to them. You should try to engage with customers who leave positive reviews as well as negative ones. You might not be able to respond to everyone, but a simple thank you can go a long way. When responding to reviews, it is important to personalize your messages to ensure customers know they aren’t reading automated or canned responses.

    Managing online reviews can be frustrating and time consuming unless you use online reputation management software. Online reputation management software, like ReviewMaxer, saves you time and energy. It can alert you when someone posts a review about your company, instead of you having to search for reviews yourself. ReviewMaxer makes it easier to respond quickly to negative reviews and engage with the customers who left positive ones, ultimately improving your online reputation.

     

    Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

    Written by: Paul Cook


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    The importance of positive reviews and how they drive your company

    You own a successful company. Your customers tell you they enjoy working with your company and that they would recommend you to their network. However, you’re not getting the traction you desire from your website. Have you considered your online review presence? What about your SEO presence? Is your company listed on the first page of online search results? Is your online review presence negative or minimal? These factors may be negatively impacting your business, and SEO might be one of your biggest areas for improvement in driving business.

    According to a consumer review survey by SEO research company BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers read online reviews and 90 percent claim that positive reviews influence their buying decisions. Online reviews matter, and in a world of web searching – especially for local companies – it can make a business stand out amongst its competitors.

    Here are two ways online reviews improve your SEO.

    1. Reviews improve trustworthiness.

    The more online reviews you have and the better representation you have online, the more likely customers will consider doing business with your company. It’s the power of social proof. People want reassurance that they are indeed making the best decision for their money. The more confidence you give prospects, the better chance they will choose you. A strong presence of online reviews influences your rankings in SEO.

    1. New reviews produce traffic.

    Search engines want to see that your website is making new content, whether that’s through new landing pages, blog posts or customer reviews. They want to see that reviews are frequently added. A search on tripadvisor.com for best hotels in your area usually gives you the most recent and top-rated review for a specific hotel. The newer the positive review, the better it makes your customer feel about the recent activity of your business. This leads to your website getting more clicks, which in turn influences the consumers’ purchasing decisions.

    Online reviews are important to the growth of your company and help generate a better return on SEO. ReviewMaxer is an online review management software application that helps companies manage customer reviews. ReviewMaxer monitors and collects your online reviews. Sign up today for a free demo or visit the ReviewMaxer blog for more tips.

     

    Photo credit: Pablo

    Written by: Justin Hamilton


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