Local links, tech tools for SME’s, local SEO tips and franchise SEO

Local search and social media marketing news for 19th February 2016

Some really interesting articles out this week covering a whole host of local marketing topics. There has been no major local update from Google so far this year, which means we’ve all been able to focus on the things that matter rather than speculating and panicking.

So this week we’re looking at local link building, which tools small business owners actually trust along with some great local SEO tips and an insight into working with franchises. Enjoy!


Strategies for local link building and engagement
To be successful in local search has always required more than simple NAP citation consistency and a well optimised (mobile friendly) website. Recent Google updates have directed focus more back to traditional web search ranking signals. Domain authority and quality/authority on inbound links are now the top 2 spots in Moz’s annual local search ranking factors. Which brings us to how do you actually build links that matter for local. The two articles below should have you pretty well covered on all points so read them, bookmark them and follow their principles when building your local links.
Read more:
 How to Find Opportunities for Local Link Building via Whitespark
☞ The Ultimate Guide to Local Engagement Strategies by Garrett French

Trusted tech tools for local SME’s (not Yelp!)
Moving along from straight local SEO, there are a great number of other things that SME’s should be looking at when it comes to local marketing. Mobile friendly website, email, social media, ease of taking payment and local advertising all factor in. The first link below summarises a report from Alignable looking into how much trust business owners have in various tech platforms. WordPress is clearly the choice when it comes to websites and mailchimp comes out top for email, quite a distance ahead of ConstantContact. Google is well trusted, whereas sites like Groupon and Yelp perform woefully. Speaking of Yelp, the second link features a great article about how to use Yelp a little more effectively as a business owner. It includes some valuable information about Yelp reviews, so defintely worth a read.
Read more:
☞ New Alignable Rankings Shed Light on What SMBs Really Think of Tech Vendors via Streetfight
☞ 5 Yelp Facts Business Owners Should Know (But Most Don’t) via MarketingLand

More top local SEO tips for 2016
We maybe mid way through February but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for more “guides to local SEO in 2016” type posts. The first one below does a great job of hitting up all the basics of what you should cover. That includes Google My Business, data aggregators, other citations, reviews and more. It also takes a brief look at content marketing, including the need to optimise for voice search. The second article is a handy summary from this week’s #SEOcafe which focused on local SEO and features some nice practical tips.
Read more:

 The 2016 Guide to Local Search Optimization via SearchEngineJournal
☞ Local SEO Tips and Tricks via SEMRush

Franchise SEO … not for the faint hearted
Dealing with local SEO for any multi location business can be tricky. However franchises take that to another level with competing priorities, mixed marketing messages and more. As the SEO you can be in danger of being in the middle and getting it from all sides. This post gives some great insights into the potential pitfalls, how to manage the initial education of all invoilved and who should be in control of which aspects of the project. If you are or are planning to get involved with franchise local SEO then this is a must read.
Read more:
☞ Franchise SEO: For Masochists Only by Andrew Shotland

See you all back here next week!

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Nick Rink

Managing Director at Smart Local
Nick runs Smart Local from its base in Wimbledon and writes about local search, social media, the mobile web and other online marketing issues affecting small businesses.

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