The Secret to Winning Local SEO: A Conversation with Trustpilot
As a multi-location marketer, local SEO can be the difference between becoming an industry leader and struggling to make sales. Trustpilot recently joined SOCi for a conversation on what it takes to win local SEO. Throughout this blog, we’ll recap the discussion and highlight which areas your multi-location business should focus on to level up its local SEO efforts. If your multi-location business is already crushing your local SEO efforts, we’ll share easy-to-follow tips you can use to boost the strategy that’s already in place.
Organic vs. Place-Based SEO
Before diving into the secrets to winning SEO, let’s look at the difference between organic and place-based SEO. Organic SEO is the marketing practice of optimizing your website to make it search engine friendly and ranked for relevant keywords. Organic SEO impacts organic search results found under Google Ads and the Google 3-Pack, as seen below.
On the other hand, place-based SEO is the practice of optimizing each of your business locations’ local listings and local pages to appear in local or local-intent based searches and queries. This optimization affects the Google 3-Pack results, which appear right at the top of local intent searches right under the Ads. Digital presence has gone local, and while both organic and place-based SEO is essential, we’ll spend the majority of this blog explaining how your business can improve its place-based SEO. With 50 percent of searches now including local intent and the fact that 80 percent of search engine results page traffic clicks on Google 3-Pack results, a solid place-based SEO strategy is a must.
Put an Emphasis on Localization
The data speaks for itself, and consumers are craving a local connection more than ever. To help build your place-based SEO, your multi-location business should focus on localization. There are two areas to keep in mind when it comes to localization – local search and local social. As far as SEO goes, local search plays more of a role than local social. If you want tips for boosting your multi-location business’s local social strategy and the importance of localized content, download our Localized Social Content Guide.
Looking at local search ranking factors is a great way to better understand which factors Google considers when deciding where to rank your business in relevant search results. Nearly 40 percent of the ranking factors have to do with controlling your local Google My Business (GMB) profiles. For instance, GMB signals include your primary and secondary categorizations, keywords in your business’s name, and proximity to the person searching. On-page signals include the presence of your business’s name, address, and profile in your local listings, keywords in your business description, and domain authority.
As you can see, review signals also make up 15.44 percent of the local search ranking factors, which we’ll dive into next.
Build a Presence on Review Platforms
Reputation management is a must to increase your business’s presence online. Data from our 2021 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report found that leaders in local search had an average Google 3-Pack visibility of 70 percent, but what areas should your multi-location business focus on when it comes to reputation management?
Reviews help businesses get seen in search results. When it comes to reviews, there are three areas that your business should focus its efforts on, including:
- Search platforms such as GMB and Yelp
- Social platforms like Facebook
- Third-party review sites like Trustpilot
If your multi-location business has local reviews on all three platforms, it’ll positively impact your business’s presence in relevant search results. While knowing where to focus your reputation management efforts is one thing, it’s also important to understand what it takes to build a robust review strategy. When managing the ratings and reviews your local businesses receive, consider the following metrics:
- Increased review volume
- Average star rating
- Response time
- Percent of reviews responded to
Ensuring that your business keeps track of all of the benchmarks listed above will help ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy online reputation. For more tips on what it takes to create a solid ratings and reviews strategy, download our full 2021 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report.
Additional Ways to Improve Your SEO
While local search ranking factors and reputation management are crucial to winning local SEO, Trustpilot closed the conversation by providing additional ways for businesses to improve their local SEO. For instance, Trustpilot explained that featuring customer reviews on key landing pages can improve how often your business shows up in organic search results. Specifically, adding location-specific reviews to your site if you have designated location pages will help you optimize those pages with search engines, telling them to include those pages in local results.
Although most of the conversation was about improving your ranking on Google organically, Trustpilot also shared that customer reviews can help improve paid digital campaign performance. According to Google, “on average, ads with Seller Ratings get a 10% higher CTR than ads without ratings”. In addition, a higher click-through rate should increase your sales and will usually improve your Quality Score, meaning you’ll get traffic at a lower cost per click. This, in turn, gives you a lower cost per acquisition and frees up more budget for other tactics needed to win local SEO.
Now that you have what it takes to crush your business’s local SEO efforts, what are you waiting for? It’s time to put these tactics into action. With 100s or 1,000s of business locations, it can be tricky to manage your online reputation at scale, but SOCi is here to help. SOCi’s Reviews Solution allows users to view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Now, your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect. There’s no longer an excuse for letting your review strategy fall behind.
Similarly, SOCi Listings empowers businesses to manage their business listings at scale and effectively optimize their online presence and local search rankings. From syncing, updating, and managing your local listings to custom audits and profile recommendations, SOCi Listings covers every step of the process to launch your listings to the top of search results. As previously mentioned, updated and accurate listings will impact your visibility on Google, and SOCi’s here to make sure it happens.