February 13, 2018 – We welcomed local SEO expert Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn, to speak at this month’s event. Greg explained that ranking number one in search results is not where your primary focus should be anymore. Thanks to personalization, localization and proximity, every user sees slightly different results. Between signals you can optimize, signals you can’t optimize and changes Google makes, local SEO is not a simple process. With that in mind, Greg discussed five signals that we can optimize and should place our attention on.
- Link Signals – Get involved in your community and it will be easier to get links. Consider, for example, local newspapers, charities, organizations, schools, etc. Asking the right questions when onboarding new clients will help with this. Also, pay attention to your internal link strategy.
- Content Signals – Unique content is no longer a differentiator. Create content that’s localized and provide an exceptional user experience. Optimize for city and/or state in the tags and use local content silos to build relevancy.
- GMB Signals – It’s critical that you choose the right categories. Upload plenty of photos and change them often. It’s also important to add UTM tracking to your website link to ensure clicks are attributed correctly.
- Citation Signals – This is mostly a foundational tactic. Your citations must be consistent. Pay attention to both structured and unstructured citations, and remember that all of your citations play together. Check your top 15 citation sources using Moz Local’s free tool, or go even deeper with Whitespark’s tool.
- Review Signals – Spread reviews between platforms i.e. Facebook, Google, industry sites, Yelp) and consider using a review survey system such as getfivestars.com. Make sure your responses to reviews are well-written. Remember – you can’t fake caring about your customers.
Greg ended his presentation with a generous Q&A session addressing a wide range of audience questions.
Sarah is a search marketing consultant, helping clients improve ROI through paid search, SEO and social media initiatives. She is also the Official SEMpdx Event Blogger and can be found at all of the monthly events.