This past month Yext, a local listings management, went public and raise 115.5 million in their IPO. By their estimates, they
“believe that the market for digital knowledge management is a large and mostly untapped market…we estimate that there are currently over 100 million potential business locations and points of interest in the world that could benefit from our platform, representing an estimated addressable market, solely with respect to locations, of approximately $10 billion annually for our existing platform in 2016” (Search Engine Land).
So, what does this all mean? It means that if your business is not actively managing your local listings (Yellow Pages, Google My Business, Four Square, etc.) than you are missing out on easy local SEO “points”. Making sure your name, address and phone number appear consistent across all listings and ultimately points back to your website, the authority of your brands information. In fact Moz, a leader in all things SEO, states “no fewer than three of the top five positive local search ranking factors hinge on citations”. According to Search Engine, “1 in 3 Google searches now (have) local intent”, meaning competition is tougher than ever to grab the top 3 organic listing spots on the SERP.
With that being said, if you are not taking actions to improve your local SEO, you ought to begin now.
1. The first step is to go through and claim and verify all local listings of your business. Making sure that they are found in reputable listings and consistent are the easiest way to improve on this. However, you may want to consider a local listing management company to assist with ensuring consistency across the boards. Moz Local, Whitespace and Yext are three options, each with varying degrees of complexities.
2. Properly optimizing your business’ Google My Business is another easy way to help improve local SEO ranking.
3. There is evidence to suggest that social media and reviews affect local SEO, so my actively participating and encouraging positive responses may assist your business’ local rankings.
4. Receiving backlinks from other domains with a certain element of localization will help as well.
What are your thoughts on local SEO?