5 Local SEO tips for Businesses during Covid-19

SEO has not been spared by the pandemic. It is more important than ever to make sure that new customers in your local community can find you in search results. 

In this article, we will look at 5 SEO tips that will help you boost your visibility online during Covid-19. 

Search Marketers Cater to New Customer Needs for Holidays

Grocery stores are doing more business than pre-pandemic, with average weekly household grocery bills surging from $120 to $161 at the height of statewide lockdowns this spring. Many restaurants are pivoting right now to promote their takeout and delivery options. Health and wellness websites are fielding questions about coronavirus, as are many news publishers.

Leaning into the changes means understanding and responding to the challenges consumers are facing right now and setting up a search strategy that focuses on providing the best experiences possible.

Why Your Local Pages Might Be Happier on a Subdomain

Whether to build local pages on a subdomain or within a subfolder has long been a topic of heated debate. I’ve never sought to sway anyone’s religious conviction, nor do I intend to begin doing so. If you’re a devout subfolder-er, then I’m sure you have your reasons, and I look forward to hearing them. I’ll add that I haven’t yet thought of any other instances wherein I’d argue in favor of a subdomain, but I believe local pages are an exception. So, for those of you still open to opportunity, prepare to be opportune.

Street Fight’s November Theme: Google’s World

Google’s World is shorthand for the fully fleshed-out concept: “It’s Google’s world… we’re all just living in it.” The main thrust is that Google’s search dominance gives it enormous control in impacting the fate of businesses everywhere who rely on search for traffic and customer acquisition.

Google’s ongoing updates to the search algorithm, ranking factors, and SERPs continue to have ripple effects on marketers everywhere. It’s becoming more challenging to follow the moving target of SEO effectiveness. This game has its own set of rules when it comes to local search.

How To Grow Your E-Commerce Sales Outside of Amazon

I do not mean to suggest that you should stop using Amazon as a means to make a sale – just that investing in a marketplace that you personally have more control over and leveraging an integrated strategy (that will also include your Amazon pages) can prove to be the more lucrative option.

Here’s what you need to do to grow sales on your own website. 

Identifying Content Opportunities from SEO Keyword Trends During Covid-19

Keywords that were optimized to improve inbound sales aren’t doing their job because people are no longer inputting those search terms. Does that mean that your product or service isn’t needed? No, absolutely not. Your brand’s content is needed. But the keyword trends that you had been relying on have changed.

To be able to once again reach your audience, you need to study search trends as they stand now and determine how you can create content around those terms.

Marketers, Don’t Stress About Zero-Click Search Just Yet

Did you know that over 50% of Google searches performed do not result in a click? Did you know that Google is continuing to expand the number of queries to which they are applying zero-click SERP features?

Did you know that it’s not something that you should be too worried about yet? 

“Wait… But it’s taking away search opportunities from my website!” 

That depends on how you are defining search opportunities, so let’s jump to it. 

How to Solve the Franchise PPC Cannibalization Problem

Working with dozens of franchise brands, it’s been interesting to see how digital teams have structured their national pay-per-click (PPC) programs. Actually, maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word. It’s more so concerning. Many are so narrowly focused only on their national campaigns, they’re aloof when it comes to the local campaigns their franchisees are running. If corporate marketing teams are running digital campaigns on behalf of local franchises, they’re likely not set up and optimized in such a way where they’re being given enough TLC to drive meaningful results at the local level. While some brands get it right, many others have failed miserably. 

The ideal scenario is executing local store PPC correctly alongside and in cooperation with national programs and gleaning insights from the data on one program to benefit the other in a symbiotic fashion.

Brands Can’t Tell Stories If They’ve Lost the Plot

In 2020, a marketer’s goal should not be to create more content. It shouldn’t even be to create better content. Most brands, after all, are already doing a good job of generating content that provides value, service, comfort, and utility to people’s lives. What’s missing is a fundamental alignment between content and other marketing disciplines. Content, from a metrics standpoint, needs to speak the same language as paid media so that marketers can demonstrate the impact it has to their CMOs.   

How Can Brands Capitalize on Google’s Latest Ads Update?

Almost a month has passed since Google officially killed its ‘average position’ metric. The metric was retired on September 30, and marketers using Google Ads have been encouraged to transition to using ‘prominence metrics’—made up of the search top impression rate and search absolute top impression rate—instead. Google’s announcement was designed to give brands the opportunity to update their strategies before the average position metric was axed to hopefully make the transition a seamless process.

To understand how that transition is actually working in the real world, and how brands are adapting to the change from one metric to another, we connected with Walker Sands Digital’s Ryan Sorrell. A digital marketing expert with experience deploying competitive content analysis for B2B clients, Sorrell shared his thoughts on how Google’s decision to axe the average position metric will impact brands going forward and which new opportunities are at play as Google shifts its sights toward automated bidding strategies.

Low-Hanging Technical SEO Fruit for Local Ranking

Local SEO is powerful. If you run an ice cream shop out of Wichita, Kansas, then you’d probably want to show up on Google when a person there searches for ice cream. Search engines have become crucial for existing and potential customers to connect with businesses. 

Some business owners unintentionally set up obstacles to appearing on local search by improper site structure. Here are some low-hanging fruits to help your business appear for local searches.

Google’s Fake Listings Problem Gets More Attention—and May Spur Regulation

Blumenthal to Mihm: It seems to me that Google could take the fake listings issue off the table by seriously investing in cleaning up the fake listing and fake review issue. I just don’t think that they think that way.

At a minimum, as the company that has the monopoly in the local space, Google faces the expectation and responsibility to provide a service that truly serves the public and businesses. And they seem to forget that.

Google Antitrust: Is It Enough for Yelp?

Mihm to Blumenthal: I’m not averse to the idea of the government regulating Google’s practices in Maps or local search, but it feels like rewarding Yelp in particular is not going to bring consumers any particular benefit, nor will it meaningfully benefit small businesses, as Elizabeth Warren seems to indicate is a primary goal of her plan.

If anything, Google has gone out of its way to help small businesses compete in its search results with the introduction of the local pack and the Venice update, whereas small businesses continue to rate Yelp as poorly as any company in tech.

Who’s Winning the Reviews Race? How Do We Define Winning?

In their latest Street Fight conversation, Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm examine the state of the local reviews space and assess the reasons for Google’s dominance. “For me, the question of the future is whether Google’s behaviors will impact the remaining vertical sites over the next 10 years,” Mike writes.

Beyond SEO: How to Reframe the Local Marketing Conversation

“I am looking for a language framework that helps business understand that the idea of ranking only makes sense in the context of not just getting more customers but also keeping them. While businesses might want a floodgate of leads, there are many things that they could be doing that would be cost-effective and productive,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest Street Fight discussion.

Voice Marketing Starts with Smart SEO

How can enterprises better leverage voice search for brand marketing? To start, winning in voice search demands many of the same strategies as search engine optimization (SEO), as the goal in both cases is to get your content to rank position zero on search engine results pages (SERPs) by focusing on authority.

Brand Building Beyond Reviews: Is the Local Marketing Ecosystem Ready?

“I think it makes more sense for a small business to buy ‘brand building’ that includes some community events and link building than for that same business to buy SEO,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. Find out what tech tools can build a local brand and why David disagrees partly with Mike’s suggestion.

3 CRO Techniques That Actually Convert Visitors

The web is filled to the brim with quick conversion rate optimization tips. These include changing the color of your CTAs, making headlines catchier, and changing the background image of your landing page, among many others. While these strategies have shown results, there are a few effective CRO techniques that are often overlooked. In this article, I discuss less common CRO techniques that have the potential to drive significant results. 

mobile data

Why Conversion Mapping and SEO Go Hand in Hand

Terry Cane: Search engine optimization isn’t just about on-page technical elements. Not anymore. These days, it’s as much about user experience as it is how well you can appeal to search engine robots. And a big part of that is conversion mapping—understanding the route your leads take from their first click to their purchase.

As Voice Gets Established, Brands Grapple with Implementation

Consumer demand for voice technology has never been greater, and industry heavyweights like Google and Amazon are gearing up for a platform war as they work to integrate voice assistants into virtually every area of the connected consumer’s life. But behind the scenes, many brand marketers are struggling to connect the dots and design campaigns around a technology they don’t fully understand.