When you’re marketing a local business, optimizing for mobile devices is key. These days, people spend much more time on their smartphones than they do on their computers—which means they’re doing their internet searches on mobile, too. Mobile devices take a user’s location into consideration whenever they search, particularly with the local pack and Google Map results, making “near me” searches that seek hyperlocal results increasingly common.
In 2017, Think With Google found that local searches using the qualifier “near me” had grown 150%, much faster than comparable searches without that phrase. This tells us that when people are searching for these businesses, they want to see a list of results closest to their current location.
More recently, Think With Google data is showing that users are getting even more specific with these types of searches, now adding terms like “where to buy” and “on sale,” in addition to the “near me” qualifier. This knowledge should shape how you perform local SEO for your business.
These days, when people pick up their smartphones to search for a business, product, or service “near me,” they’re delivered results that aren’t just in their town, but perhaps in the neighborhood where they’re conducting their search.
On Nextdoor, users enter their addresses in order to use the site; they are connected with the relevant neighborhood, then they are asked to add a recommendation before searching for a (hyper-)local business.
Results for these Nextdoor searches are hyperlocal to the user’s designated neighborhood. When AdviceLocal set up a test account and searched a business that was outside of its neighborhood, they were unable to see the business in their search results—only businesses within the neighborhood were displayed.
We anticipate that hyperlocal is where search is headed over the next several years, and we’re seeing an increasing number of online businesses set up in such a way, from news websites like BubbleLife, to food delivery apps. Now is the time to claim your business listing in Nextdoor, if you haven’t already, and stay up-to-date on new hyperlocal opportunities for your business.
In May 2021, Facebook announced testing of its Facebook Neighborhoods in Canada.
Conceptualized as a competitor to Nextdoor, Facebook Neighborhoods allows neighbors to connect and make recommendations. Popular features like polling will be integrated into these Neighborhood communities, allowing residents to vote for their favorite hyperlocal businesses, services, and places.
Should Facebook Neighborhoods be introduced in the U.S., it will be important to claim your business listing and take advantage of other features offered by the service.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the move to hyperlocal and the increasing demands of local search for your business, Let It Be Local can help. Contact us today to learn more about our local SEO services and how we can help you stay ahead of the competition.
(Image credit: AdviceLocal.com)
If you run a small business, it can feel like keeping up with the latest in SEO and social media trends is an endless task. As soon as you have a handle on optimizing your website, an algorithm update changes everything; your Facebook posts are getting good engagement, then suddenly, it drops off a cliff and you can’t figure out why. Now, Google My Business has added another new feature to the mix—the ability to create posts from your account.
Below, we’ll go over where Google My Business fits into your local SEO efforts and the importance of GMB posts for small business owners.
Google My Business is a feature Google offers local businesses that allows them to manage their own Google Maps and Google Search presence. Assuming you own or run marketing for a small business if you’re reading this, you should know that local search is the front door to any SEO strategy; if you’re not active on Google My Business, it’s time to get started.
If you don’t use GMB, Google decides what information it will share with its users about your business—and it may not always be accurate. Being active on GMB gives you the opportunity to take charge of your own information. You can make sure your address, business hours, and other critical information is correct, ensuring that potential customers or clients are able to connect with you.
While Google My Business began as a means of sharing the nuts-and-bolts information about a business, it’s evolving into a marketing platform, giving local businesses the option of sharing updates via GMB posts. General updates, CV-19 announcements, special offers, and more are available to help drive additional search traffic to your business’s website.
Here’s what a GMB post looks like:
If we were to compare Google My Business posts to another social media platform, we’d say they’re most like Facebook updates, as you can include text, images, video, and links to share your latest blog posts, promotions, or news. The two are so similar, in fact, that we recommend simply repurposing your Facebook posts for GMB if you don’t have the time or budget to create dedicated GMB posts. Aim to share a post on GMB at least once a week.
Just like with Facebook, your GMB posts should have at least one image attached to them, along with text that engages your audience and encourages them to contribute to the conversation. GMB posts are perfect for sharing upcoming events, offers or discounts, hour updates, and new products or services. Here are some quick tips to get you started:
Right now, we’re observing that the optimization of Google My Business profiles is the number one ranking factor for local businesses. As with everything related to Google, there’s no disclosure about whether and how GMB posts factor into local search rankings, but we do know people will see them when they search for your business. GMB posts give you the control to share what you want potential customers or clients to know about your business at the precise moment that they are searching for what you have to offer.
If you’re struggling to keep up with Google My Business posts, our team of local search experts can help. Contact us today at 203-979-4013 to find out more about our SEO services in southeastern CT.