The value of local SEO (Even when your customers aren't)
by Gregory Lee, 23 Jun 2017
Despite the name, local SEO is an essential part of your business’s online presence —even if your customers never set foot in your store. That’s because local SEO is not just about making a business appear in a map it’s also about incorporating Google Knowledge Panels, images, directory listings, and reviews. It can even involve information you currently don’t own or control, but still shows up in search and on other websites.
When used effectively, local SEO tactics can help you build your brand. Let’s take a closer look.
How can local SEO build a brand?
Local SEO affects your brand image in three ways:
Just as with straightforward SEO, local SEO can boost your brand visibility and help you rank higher in search results.
Creating a good customer experience means providing users accurate and in-depth information about your brand.
Perception of authority
Things like positive reviews and association with other trusted websites can give your brand authority. It also helps if potential customers perceive your business as responsive to their needs.
How does local SEO affect the customer journey?
It might be best to take a look at an example from a customer’s point of view. Let’s say she does a simple Google search for a hot brand of clothing. The following is a fairly typical progression from customer awareness, through consideration, to making the final purchase decision.
“Google helped me become aware of a few clothing options I didn’t already know about, such as a complementary jacket or a suit from the brand I like”
If your business has strong SEO signals, your brand will show up here. There may also be star ratings or reviews on various brands.
“Now that I’m aware of those options, I search based on the ones I’m considering.”
If your audience searches your brand, what do they see? What about your competitors – especially those they find in Google? Can they explore and get to know you without clicking through to your website? If you have a happy customer base, it will show up here in reviews.
“Based on what I see, I make a decision””
More often than not, she will choose a brand she knows and has positive reviews. Perception of authority counts here—it helps if she believes the brand is trustworthy and responsive to her needs.
Google Knowledge Panels for Brands
Some people assume using Google Knowledge Panels is a paid search tactic, when in fact it is organic SEO. And yep, you guessed it, they appear for brand searches.
Below is a Knowledge Panel for a brand called SecureWorks, an SEO client. This B2B business provides cybersecurity to large enterprise and medium-sized business clients worldwide. Customers have little reason to visit a SecureWorks facility, so the company's SEO is almost entirely local.
However, Google does track Android mobile users and sees when people are most commonly at the location – hence the “Popular Times” bar chart likely showing 9-5 employees and the occasional guest. Google picks up all kinds of information that may appear in a knowledge panel such as images, key personnel, client reviews, social channels, and information about the organization. A brand’s reputation shines through in an instant, whether as a major player or a major ripoff. Local “Brand Building” SEO gives you an upper hand in controlling what appears here.
Here we have another type of knowledge panel that focuses more on information about the organization, pulling in a logo and snippet from Wikipedia.
You may be surprised how many opportunities there are to list your brand online. Consistency is key— your information should be correct everywhere customers look for you. This helps create hundreds of consistent SEO signals pointing to your brand.
For example, with another SEO client we discovered 55 listings sources including review sites, directories, and aggregators (data providers).
Click here to see all business listing sources we found for this client.
Every listing is a potential for a brand citation, mention, and/or link. Each is an SEO signal demonstrating to search engines your brand’s authenticity and “footprint” in the real world. They indicate to Google that your brand has actual buildings with staff. And if your listings cover multiple locations or a defined service area, it shows your physical reach. Furthermore, if you have good reviews from real customers, it proves you are a good choice to serve up in results.
How much should you invest in local SEO?
Local SEO tactics can be very powerful for a brand. The key is to utilize as many SEO tactics that guidelines will allow AND that are helpful for users and your brand. What you should utilize depends on your situation and business structure.
Click below to download the cheat sheet that has all the Local SEO tactics your business needs.
Remember, it doesn’t matter if your business sells ice cream or manufactures paper clips, Local SEO is critical to your digital brand. Your customers expect your business to look professional and reputable and Local SEO is key to making the right impression.
Click here for the Local Brand Building SEO Strategy Cheat Sheet, a one sheeter that outlines:
- How local SEO affects brand image at each stage of the customer journey
- Which local SEO tactics to use depending on your situation
Get updates; just enter your email below. Simple as that.
- 7 Digital trends that will change how you market in 2018
- How to use content marketing to finally unify marketing strategies
- 10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review
- How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit
- What advertisers need to know about Apple's intelligent tracking prevention
DRUM Speakeasy Series: Finance Edition
by DRUM, 03 Dec 2019
by DRUM, 15 Nov 2019
Onboarding Done Right
by DRUM, 15 Nov 2019
Experts Roundtable: See What DRUM’s Specialists Recommend for Your Giving Tuesday Strategy
by DRUM, 06 Nov 2019
What’s missing in your Giving Tuesday strategy? A convo with DRUM’s eCRM expert.
by Kelley Coram, 06 Nov 2019
Mythbusting your Social Strategy for 2020: Our Social Expert Weighs in
by Megan Marks, 06 Nov 2019
5 Impactful Web Design Practices for Landing Pages in 2019
by Joshua McKnight, 25 Jun 2019
Why Brands Need to Focus on Propensity, Not Personas
by Jonathan Zajicek, 19 Jun 2019
Why Video Scalability Should Be A Top Priority For Your Content Budget
by Michael Cruz, 28 May 2019
How to Get Your Brand to Produce More Content
by Michael Cruz, 15 May 2019
Silo Focus May Cost Brands Millions
by George Wiedemann, 13 May 2019
Personalized Video Connects You to Customers
by Rosann Bartle, 30 Apr 2019
AI Generated Content : Fast & Affordable Comes at a Cost
by Steve Steger, 18 Mar 2019
3 Lesser Known Ways to Leverage Video
by Lyndsay Hoff, 18 Mar 2019
When People Start To Get Wealthy Today, What Do They Want From Banks?
by Ben Heiser, 04 Mar 2019
Content Tells. Direct Sells.
by Rosann Bartle, 21 Feb 2019
Behind the Click: Five Cognitive Biases That Drive Action
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, 12 Feb 2019
The Real Game: Google vs. Microsoft
by Jana Ferguson, 05 Feb 2019
Did the Super Bowl Ads Live Up to the Hype?
by Steve Steger, 05 Feb 2019
Super Bowl Quick Takes
by Lesley Goldberg, 05 Feb 2019
Ten Emails I’m Glad I Didn't Have to Read Last Month
by Stephen Steger, 28 Jan 2019
The Top Three Tips to Make You King of the SERP This Black Friday and Cyber Monday
by Margaret Davis, 20 Nov 2018
Voice applications and natural language are bigger than the kitchen.
by Bryan Knouse, 29 Oct 2018
Are you ready for Amazon advertising?
by Debra Wang, 25 Oct 2018
Even Mighty Amazon Can’t Deliver on Grocery Delivery
by David Randolph, 15 Aug 2018
Google’s ready for Its face-lift
by DRUM Media, 25 Jul 2018
Why it’s important to invest in non-branded paid search
by Kelsey Chadwick, 27 Jun 2018
Why paid search should be your go-to media
by Katherine Jianas, 18 Jun 2018
Why Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal makes me thrilled for the future of content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 21 May 2018
YouTube for Nonprofits
by Virginia Doty, 15 May 2018
Takeaways from MarTech 2018
by Michael Cruz, Chief Content Officer, 15 May 2018
Which do your consumers prefer? Inbox or Mailbox? (Infographic)
by DRUM, 14 May 2018
Get smart with Google smart bidding
by Hailee Sosnowski, 27 Apr 2018
The amazing power of personalization
by DRUM, 19 Apr 2018
Beyond once upon a time: dialogue and the art of storytelling 2.0
by Michelle Gunn, PhD, VP/Creative Director, 17 Apr 2018
SEM 101 for Nonprofits
by Jay Reyes & Chase Bender, 12 Apr 2018
How to inspire workplace creativity
by Stephen Steger, 03 Apr 2018
Local SEO for brands and franchises: Top 3 tips from 15 SEO experts
by Greg Lee, 02 Apr 2018
Next steps for advertisers after the Cambridge Analytica Facebook breach
by Traci Hendrix, 26 Mar 2018
Are you ready for the GDPR? A guide for advertising agencies
by Jerelle Gainey and Debra Wang, 15 Mar 2018
Q&A: Experts dish on the future of paid search
by Chelsea Huston, 06 Mar 2018
Why content moments are the key to understanding content marketing
by Ben Heiser, 28 Feb 2018
Why bad advertising is a form of bad manners: lessons from a Ugandan storefront
by Scott Johnson, 20 Feb 2018
Retailers and the lower funnel trap
by David Randolph, 06 Feb 2018
What’s the body language of your content really saying?
by Zoë Courtman-Smith, 31 Jan 2018
10 things to look for in enterprise SEO software: 2018 tool review
by Greg Lee, 30 Jan 2018
The top 3 PPC marketing search engines of 2018
by Debra Wang and Vladimir Bradic, 26 Jan 2018
How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit
by Shelby Huckeba, 19 Jan 2018
Latest Giving Tuesday campaign ideas from marketing-minded nonprofits
by Adam Binkley, Jay Reyes and Ruby Wustrak, 18 Jan 2018
State of Social in 2018
by Ashley Reed, 17 Jan 2018
Top 7 posts of 2017
by Jamie Wigington, 17 Jan 2018
How should SEM experts prepare for voice search? [INFOGRAPHIC]
by DRUM, 17 Jan 2018
7 Digital trends that will change how you market in 2018
by DRUM Media, 17 Jan 2018
What advertisers need to know about Apple's intelligent tracking prevention
by Jerelle Gainey, 06 Oct 2017
Using direct mail to reactivate online customers
by Rosann Bartle, 22 Sep 2017
Bing shop ‘til you drop
by Hailee Sosnowski, 14 Aug 2017
Finding a web design process that works
by Todd Chambers, 02 Aug 2017
3 Commandments for creating incredibly engaging content
by Ben Heiser, 02 Aug 2017
Twitter ads and targeting techniques that work
by Annie Green, 27 Jul 2017
5 benefits of paid social advertising
by Karina Khemani, 14 Jul 2017
Oh snap! Snapchat just upped their ad game
by Traci Hendrix, 12 Jul 2017
Dying is easy, comedy is hard
by Scott Johnson, 10 Jul 2017
Marketing and the meteor test
by Scott Johnson, 05 Jul 2017
The best Facebook ad types and targeting options for driving sales
by Annie Green, 15 Jun 2017
Linking online marketing to offline consumer behavior
by Heather Roach, 08 Jun 2017
To push a nonprofit's mission, you have to push with passion
by Nicole Bendel, 05 Jun 2017
7 ways B2B marketers can find success in social media
by Traci Hendrix, 31 May 2017
Google’s data-driven attribution: what you need to know
by Kimberly Honore, 23 May 2017
The skinny on Yahoo's native search retargeting feature
by Shelby Huckeba, 15 May 2017
Why you should always include brand search in your digital strategy
by Katherine Jianas, 04 May 2017
How to use content marketing to finally unify marketing strategies
by Gregory Lee, 16 Apr 2017
5 things we learned at Google’s “Search in 2017 & Beyond” event
by Kimberly Honore, 05 Apr 2017
To sell to the ego, you gotta talk to the id.
by Zoe Courtman-Smith, 04 Apr 2017
Social listening inspires smarter business strategies
by Alicia Trahan, 03 Apr 2017
Brand safety: how programmatic partners protect our clients' brands
by Brittany Altman, 31 Mar 2017
How inactive subscribers can affect deliverability
by Billy McNair, 27 Mar 2017
5 reasons to insist on 1st party data for CRM targeting
by Samantha Halpin, 22 Mar 2017
Conversation, not content, is king
by Scott Johnson, 15 Mar 2017