The evolutions of Google are changing the relationship of users with the search engine, because the interaction with the various features is increasing (and it also changes the way of looking at them, with what has been called pinball pattern) and people no longer limited themselves to simply click on the results. This process is even more blatant in the local SEO, where Google My Business is imposing itself as the main channel for companies that want to emerge, considered even more important than the site’s optimization work.

BrightLocal’s survey

This transformation emerges from the results of a survey carried out by BrightLocal, a platform of local marketing specialists, which involved about 500 local marketers from different backgrounds (mainly United States, but also United Kingdom, Canada and Australia) to take stock of the situation on the best SEO strategies to be implemented for online activities.

At the first place among the services most frequently offered by these specialists precisely is the optimization of the client’s Google My Business profile, which surpasses other consultings such as the building of SEO audits or technical analysis on the site, on site optimization, the work of reports and analytics and, finally, the citation management.

The importance of Google My Business for local SEO

Is not that surprising the relevance of the GMB service, which according to some surveys on the ranking factors of local SEO could represent 25% of the weight for researches. Regardless of this, it is certain that Google My Business is a key contact point for people looking for business nearby or who want to have information about certain activities.

In fact, a previous research by BrightLocal itself reported that 64 percent of consumers use Google My Business to find locations addresses or phone numbers, specifically appreciating the possibility to find information such as opening hours and directions or to read reviews written by previous customers/users.

SEO local, i servizi offerti

Other useful services for local SEO

SEO Audits, reports and site optimization remain fundamental for the success of local marketing, and from the answers it can be deduced that there is another service that is proving itself useful, a.k.a the citation management, which takes the form of citation building and NAP clean up.

This is a cleaning operation of all search results, especially directories, which report outdated or incorrect NAP information (NAP stands for the initials of Name, address and Phone, which represent the identity card of the company obviously along with the website), followed by the construction of a digital reputation through the citation on the main sites that aggregate business activity.

This type of advice is provided by 82 percent of the local marketers involved in the survey and, at least for local SEO, attracts much more interest than the classic link building: only half of the specialists claim to provide such service, and an even smaller share (one in three) is dedicated to anti-spam activities on Google. According to BrighLocal experts, investing in these less-used (but time-consuming) tactics could really help shift the balance needle for local businesses.

Considerations of who is working on local marketing

The success and importance of Google My Business are also confirmed by another answer and from another perspective: in addition to direct companies, even marketing specialists put the special card that appears in SERP and Maps at the first place of the most useful services to make local SEO.

SEO local, gli strumenti migliori per i marketer

Those who work in the digital field, however, know that it is necessary to take care of the site too, and in fact the onsite optimization work is at the second place among answers. Only 8 out of 100 consumers do not look at a site when they choose which local company to use to meet their needs, and in 50 percent users get discouraged and leave the site if they find errors, such as outdated contact information, poor-quality and badly written contents, missing or outdated price information.

Among the other services perceived as useful by marketing experts is the management of reviews, which is certainly a complex work that can be crucial to influence consumer behavior, as well as reputation management, which often involves a strengthen of the brand awareness to consolidate the power and memorability of the brand.

The channels to intercept new clients

Despite the digital age, the best way for businesses to intercept new customers remains the personal recommendation: “the best form of marketing is a happy customer” the study says, and therefore investments to promote one’s own activity must also come to terms with this reality. Curiously, both SEO and PPC have lost importance among local businesses as a way to attract new customers, while instead attract many likes channels such as the Linkedin profile and the content marketing.

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