6 Local SEO Trends for 2019

6 Local SEO Trends for 2019

You’ve probably heard the old saying that all politics is local.

Well, you could almost say the same thing about SEO. The days of brands competing to be on top of the generic Google SERPs (search engine results pages) are behind us. Today, companies mostly care about ranking well for searches conducted in their own neighborhood.

This is especially true for brick and mortar businesses. Say you have a pizza joint in San Diego. There’s really no reason to spend time or money trying to rank for searches conducted in Boston. Those aren’t the search engine users who are actually going to give you their patronage. You need to connect with hungry people in San Diego.

With all of that said, what’s the best way to achieve local search visibility? Here are just a few local SEO trends to be aware of in 2019.

1. Create hyperlocal content.

When we say hyper local, we don’t just mean content that references your city; it’s also important to hone in on the specific neighborhood or part of town you’re in. Streets, freeways, subdivisions, nearby businesses, and shopping centers—all of these can be meaningful reference points in your content. Also, make sure you blog about local events and news that pertain to your business. For example, if you own a restaurant, blogging about local food festivals makes sense.

2. Optimize for local search.

“Siri, where’s the nearest burger and beer joint?” More and more consumers are seeking information through their voice assistants, so make sure you’re optimizing for natural-language inquiries.

3. Handle on-page SEO.

Take advantage of advanced on-page SEO technologies that give you a competitive edge—technologies such as:

  • AMP pages
  • Local Schema markups
  • Fast page speed
  • Local keyword content (above the fold)
  • Localized images/videos

4. Think beyond Google.

No, really: Not everyone uses Google to find local businesses—especially those who use voice assistants (see above). For instance, the Amazon Echo doesn’t use Google. A Google-centric approach means limiting your opportunities.

5. Cultivate user-generated content.

Encourage user-generated content on your local pages—such as comments, reviews, even hashtags that you can show on your page.

6. Use Google Posts.

Sign up for a Google My Business page, then use the Posts feature to promote your content, offers, sales, events and products.

Bonus tip: Host local events.

If you have the capability to do so, host local events at your shop. Doing so will help you because the event promoters will also promote your location, in addition to their event. They may even link to it.

These are just a few of local SEO tips you can do to connect with local search engine users. Remember that with local SEO, you need to get creative at the individual location level, treating each location as its own independent business even if it belongs to a part of a larger chain store. The localized experience is priceless; indeed, it’s the entire point of all of this.

An Effective Local Funnel That Uses Facebook

An Effective Local Funnel That Uses Facebook

Digital marketing has changed the way we think about the sales funnel—yet many of the lessons we’ve learned from the digital space are easily applicable to brick and mortar retailers. Indeed, a good digital sales funnel can actually bring in some foot traffic and increase sales. Here’s a few tips for how local businesses can build their sales funnel using Facebook.

  • Install Facebook Pixel on your website/blog. Make sure you’re tracking the folks who visit your online assets, and following up with them as they continue down their consumer journey.
  • Blog about local events. Simple example: If you run a burger and beer joint, blog about local food or beer festivals. Just make sure your blog content is 100% unique, and that it’s fully localized.
  • Share your post. Once you complete that localized blog post, share it widely—using social media, Google posts, email newsletters, etc. On social media, make sure to tap into the power of good localized or event-specific hashtags, as well. Tag all vendors of the event to piggyback their following and traffic.
  • Promote your posts. It’s worth pitching in a few bucks to boost your post on Facebook and Instagram, which will help you get more exposure. Just be sure you change your settings so that the boosted posts only show up to local (No sense in promoting a local event to people halfway across the country.)
  • Create offers related to these events. Maybe you have a special sale on beer/burgers to coincide with the food festival. Even if your business isn’t participating in the festival, this can still be a good way to tap into that reservoir of enthusiasm.
  • Use your retargeting options to send your offers/coupons to people who have visited your website. This is where having Pixel installed will make a world of difference. First, make sure the offer is really good—as good as you can afford to make it. For example, you can give free drinks or appetizers to attendees of the local food festival if they bring in their ticket stub then, you create an ad that caters to them but the ad should only target those individuals that read your blog post about that event previously, and that is why we installed a Facebook Pixel; to track the visitors. After they click on your ad, make sure you request email addresses before showing the offer—a good way to build your email list for future remarketing. Again, make sure the offer is only shown to those who visit your blog post about that specific event—that’s where Facebook Pixel comes in. And, make it time-sensitive—something that’s expiring within a few days will create a sense of urgency.

And that’s it—a simple yet effective Facebook strategy to piggyback off local events and bring more interested buyers into your brick and mortar location.