Here's what happened in the world of local SEO in the past week.

Google My Business and the Buyer's Journey

Ben Fisher of SteadyDemand wrote a great article about the local buyer's journey on the GatherUp blog.  Many local SEOs talk about the management and optimization of GMB but fail to communicate just how big an influence their listing has on the buyer’s overall journey.

The article really dives into how important it is to mine your GMB profile for insights, whether it's found in the reviews, or in the Q&A section.  Anywhere user generated content (UGC) is found is a great opportunity to gain insights into how customers view your business.

Reviews are a big part of the buyer's journey, but it's not enough to just have reviews. Potential customers are searching not just for any reviews, but for recent reviews, preferably left within the last two weeks.  Having helpful replies (especially to negative reviews) is also an easy win that most businesses pass up.

Recent reviews may be more than simply a positive user signal.  According to a case study done for Persuaded.io, having more recent reviews appears to feed into the local ranking algorithm as well.

More on the Buyer's Journey from Charelle Griffith

The local buyer’s journey varies from business to business. All experiences are not the same, nor can you expect to provide the same user experience as another business. Hubspot calls this the process a buyer goes through when becoming aware, considering and evaluating, and deciding on purchasing a product or service.

Buyers go through the awareness, consideration, and decision stage before they go with your product or service. You want to direct them to you, and @CharelleGriffith out ways to expedite that process.

  • Use video in your marketing (you can use media on your GMB too)
  • Create content that helps the customer through each stage of the journey – including local attributes will also help with local SEO ranking
  • Be approachable for questions or make questions easily answered
  • CTA – Have a call to action that gives them a reason to buy now
  • Share testimonials about your business
  • Make it easy – no one wants to waste time figuring out how to navigate your site, let alone how to purchase from you
  • Sweeten the deal

Chatting User Experience With Ryte

Although not specific to local SEO, this upcoming session with Ryte should interest anyone involved in SEO!  This session will discuss website user experience and go beyond the traditional ranking factors.

Edit Business Profile, Hours, Photos, and More from Web Searches

Search Engine Roundtable published an article on April 14th showing that it's now possible for GMB owners to edit even more profile attributes directly from web search. This isn't totally new (this ability was first added in 2017), but it continues the transition of making more and more possible directly from search.

Stefan Somborac seems to have been the first to notice this update over on Twitter.

GMB Optimization Guide From Kogneta

This isn't a weekly news item, but I wanted to highlight a great guide to GMB optimization from Kogneta that I just recently discovered.

The guide covers all of the initial setup involved with a GMB profile, but it also dives into helpful optimization tips, like seeding your GMB Q&A to help get the conversation started.  It's also easy to follow, with plenty of screenshots to guide you along the way.

The guide is free for download here, and requires only an email address.

See you next week

I'll be keeping an eye on what happens during the next week, so stay tuned for another local SEO recap!