- Posted by Tim Roberts
- On July 20, 2016
Now that you’ve claimed and verified your Google My Business listing and have started to write your own business directory citations, it’s time to start the tune-up and enhancement process of your Local SEO presence. Just like a fine-tuned racing machine or well-conditioned athlete, your local SEO presence requires constant monitoring and improvements so that your business stays competitive.
Below, are two important suggestions that can enhance SEO results and conversion rates. This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are numerous factors that contribute to a location’s overall rank.
GMB Description – Geo/Niche Descriptors
A great place to start nudging your listing in a positive direction for your own local search results is the Description field for your Google My Business listing. In the last year, testing has confirmed some evidence that keyword-related approaches in the GMB introduction data yield positive results (Jim Rudnick, KKTI – The 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors).
Google has very strict guidelines in how your business should be represented, so caution is suggested when modifying this area. Keyword stuffing and irrelevant data should be avoided.
When using Geo-Descriptors, keep the information relative to your immediate location, such as referencing at the village/suburb level or a nearby public attraction like a park, lake, monument or public building.
Niche keywords should be limited to the category that you are promoting and not related to describing your offerings. Including too many keywords for specific products and services is not helpful. Keeping the description concise and related to your main category is preferred.
Let’s use the following NAP example to illustrate good Geo/Niche descriptors within your Business Introduction information. This client’s primary category is “Cajun Restaurant”:
Great Jones Cafe
54 Great Jones St.
New York, NY
Great Jones Cafe located in the East Village remains the same. Once an outpost in a no
man’s land, it is now one of the last down to earth neighborhood joints in the “New” Bowery. If you’re in the East Village, drop in and wet your whistle! We are the #1 Cajun Cafe in New York City, offering the finest in Creole Cafe Cuisine. Come explore the history and flavor of a New York Classic. Be sure to save a quarter for the jukebox!
I’ve highlighted in bold, above, several Geo/Niche descriptors that showcase the restaurant’s location relative to village and neighborhood as well as city and state. You’ll also see several Niche descriptors that mirror the restaurant’s Primary and Secondary categories. The description remains brief, concise and fun.
Citation Featured Message Link – An Opportunity for Something Special
An important area of interest for those who are writing their own citations on multiple business directories is the Promotional Link or Featured Message link. This is your opportunity to share something special about your business. The spirit of the link should be something timely and recent, and should be updated often depending on your business model with regard to promotions and specials.
This link should resolve to its own dedicated page on your website. For a restaurant, this could be a specials page dedicated to daily specials that are static or updated daily. For a bar, it could be a drink specials menu or a Happy Hour promotional page. Themed parties and special events are also a good consideration.
The following is an example for a Cruise Ship Line featuring river cruises in the New York City area. The business wanted to feature “Wedding Cruises” as their promotional link.
In the example above for the CitySearch directory, you’ll note that the business listing has the promotional link prominently featured under the company name. The link is specific to the content associated with the verbiage, and the resulting page is what is displayed.
When this link is propagated throughout all your business citations, the result should be an increase in traffic to the page and an increase in rankings for the associated search terms and categories.
Timing is essential with this link. Most providers will indicate that changes take up to 72 hours. Keep this in mind when creating the link ahead of a dated special and remember to remove it sometime prior to the ending of the special or event to allow the directories time to update.
By making small changes, there are many more ways to enhance your local presence through the Google My Business listing and through your directory citation providers. You can also edit the copy to highlight specific aspects of your business that best appeal to your audience and improve conversion rates through CRO. The above examples are just a couple. Be patient with your expectations for results, as providers take time to scour and update information and Google takes time to evaluate all of the data from those providers.
Be cautious in making your changes. Make small updates and wait for results before taking the next step. Allowing time for results will give you a much clearer picture of the impact a change has (or hasn’t) made. Fine tuning and zeroing in on the right combination of settings and data will yield more results, helping you to win the race!