To improve listing quality and limit spam, Google maintains the Local Guide program, which allows people to provide information about local businesses directly to Google. This local search data is very hard to fake, and is comprised of about one-third engagement, one-third local data, and one-third traditional SEO.
In the future, though, engagement will become a much more important factor for local SEO marketing, as it’s the most effective way for Google to separate the quality of one business from another. In part one of our two-part blog series, let’s look at some tactics on how to build your engagement within local searches.
The knowledge panel is one of your primary baselines when it comes to local SEO. It’s the basic “health check” of your SEO, so you should be regularly reviewing all information in this panel. Make sure information is accurate and up-to-date, and update things if needed.
A big part of local SEO is an email newsletter, which helps with engagement in multiple ways. You want to keep customers engaged here to prevent them from unsubscribing – put some resources into creative, consistently interesting newsletter topics.
In addition, customers don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to in any kind of electronic correspondence. When you do have to send transactional emails, try to add value and elements your clients will appreciate.
Google also has a Q&A feature, and it’s important to keep track of this and respond in the proper ways.
Within your email marketing, there’s value to separating Gmail users from those who use other platforms. Within specific Google users, it’s possible to see if people are opening your emails, and this data can be used for local map-pack listings. Other mail services cannot perform these functions through Google.
Google maintains that social signals don’t affect rankings, but they still could be taking note of these signals. They’re pure engagement metrics, so they definitely have some value.
For more on how to build engagement within local search, or to learn about any of our SEO services, speak to the pros at SEO Werkz today.