Why Reputation Management Marketing is Essential for Local SEO
When you look at the local ranking factors by Moz we notice there are up to about 5 different places where reputation management marketing and local search factors intersect. So if you are a small business focusing on just your reputation you can do quite well for yourself rather quickly. Now these are the fundamentals I have every one of my personal clients focus on, and for good reason
External Location Signals. These would be claiming your online business directories and citations such as your Google business page, Yelp page, and making sure your name, address and phone number (NAP score) are consistent with each listing. Something little such as a suite number (Suite 101, Ste 101, #101, Suite # 101) can throw your listing balance out of whack with search engines because unlike the human brain, a computer is somewhat limited to interpretation. We start with the top 50 citations that are searched by both search engines and online users and work our through manually creating each and optimizing the listing with pictures, industry categories, keywords, descriptions and appropriate call to action.
On-page Signals. One of the best ways is on-site SEO. When you see a picture on a website you can tell what the picture is (usually), however search engines are told by SEO managers what that picture is. An example would be a plumber, what specific keywords can be provided can be filtered down to local city and specific service (commercial plumber, new plumbing, toilet repairs, etc.). We also make sure the titles, domain names, urls and a host of other things are named for search engines in a way that is optimal for search engines to pick it up.
Reviews have become the word of mouth marketing online.
Review Signals. Most well known piece within the reputation management marketing campaign up to date reviews can be your best friend online. Not only do they give confidence to potential customers, but they can signal to search engines why your business should come up in search results before your competitors. On going positive reviews on local business directories such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google business page, etc., will increase your local presence because your customers are providing up to date positive content that can help other people searches online.
Review Monitoring. Not a direct ranking factor, but if you are not monitoring your online reviews you can be in for a world of hurt. Since online reviews are the new word of mouth marketing you need to be alerted to whenever a positive or negative review arises. Most consumers are aware that businesses are run by people and people are not always perfect, so they don’t expect a perfect 5 star rating always but if a negative review does show up it is important to respond to the negative review to try and correct it. So syncing your email with your business directories is a way of monitoring your business reviews. We use a proprietary program which monitors the top 50 directories where reviews can be placed (including Facebook), and notify our customers via email/text message and we can include custom directories as well. The point is to limit the negative and accentuate the positive. Just as ongoing positive reviews will increase your local presence, ongoing negative reviews will have the opposite effect and can hurt your local SEO.
Social Signals. Facebook likes, Twitter retweets and many others social interactions can have an effect on your local online presence. I’ve noticed that with my customer and personal reputation management marketing campaigns that customers will also leave Facebook reviews, add twitter mentions, Yelp check ins and many other social signals that can not only lead to an increased following of users online but an increase in new customers and being seen easier in search results. My suggestion is to send out emails, and texts for reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp and other online platforms that are important to your industry and in turn you’ll see an increase in social signals. Again, we use an automated program which helps save time in the process, but these are things you can do on your own as well.
There are many ways you can sync all of these processes up and automate the process of asking for reviews, following up with customers and showing customers how to leave a review. And in turn you can also have reviews automatically populate on your website. Taking time to research what works best for your business and what you can outsource for can save you hours every month and triple the number of requested positive reviews.