You may have already noticed that certain platforms keep coming up if you’re just getting started with local SEO and are looking into what you should be doing to fully optimize your site for better local search visibility.
Names like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and even Facebook are sure to pop up repeatedly, whether you’re reading up on best-practice local SEO methods or creating a list of tasks to do on your clients’ websites. What’s behind that? You should utilize these platforms frequently in order to fully maximize your search presence because they are connected to well-known local SEO ranking signals.
The main local SEO platforms that you should be familiar with are as follows:
- Google Business Profile
- Google Business Profile Insights
- Google Analytics
Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is the most crucial platform on your radar when it comes to bringing more local customers to your website or physical location. This is because it is strongly tied to local SEO success in a number of areas. In fact, according to our research, Google uses various elements of your Business Profile to ascertain what your company does and how pertinent it is to a user’s search query, accounting for almost a quarter of your Local Pack and organic search ranking overall.
Consider setting up a Google Business Profile as creating a business listing where you can tell Google (and nearby customers) everything about your company. This includes:
- The nature of your business
- Your physical business location
- The products and services you provide
- Your opening hours
- Contact information
- Accessibility information
- Customer reviews
- Business updates and more
In other words, a Google Business Profile has all the information that Google or a local customer may possibly require to determine whether you are a good fit and supply the goods or services they’re looking for.
Google Business Profile Insights
The majority of marketers concur that their efforts perform better the more significant data they have at their availability. Accurate and readily available data can be difficult for small business owners to find, especially if you’re not a marketer by trade and have little time in the day to spend reading over statistics.
A satisfying middle ground is offered by Google Business Profile Insights. This simple tool, which is part of your Google Business Profile Dashboard, provides you with information about the performance of your Google Business Profile and your local search presence.
You may assume to find information on how people are finding your company online, the Google properties they are using to do so, and the most frequent activities people who view your listing do, such as whether they call you or ask for directions to your location.
You may better understand your local search presence by using data from Google Business Profile Insights to identify trends and areas for performance improvement.
Google Analytics is a web analytics program that monitors how visitors to your website interact with it, how they find you, and what they do once they are there. If you want to delve further and truly understand how your local business website is functioning, how visitors engage with your site, and where possibilities to modify strategy or eliminate performance gaps exist, this is a more sophisticated tool than Google Business Profile Insights.
Through a variety of reports, Google Analytics enables you to organize and query the data. These are divided into categories and include “Acquisition” (how visitors found your site), “Engagement” (how users interacted with your site), “Monetization” (the amount of money your site made, broken down by item, discount, or promotion), and “Retention” (how long visitors stayed on the site and how often they return).
By giving demographic data, such as age, interest, geography, and the type of device used to visit your site, analytics data can also help you better understand your audience.
Google Analytics is perhaps the most advanced local SEO program you’ll utilize because of the volume of data it provides. There is a learning curve associated with this, but if you master the fundamentals and comprehend which reports are most helpful, the data retrieved can facilitate more informed decision-making and make it simpler to hone your local SEO strategy for increased performance.
You probably looked to Yelp at some time if you’ve ever needed a local company, or sought a recommendation for a pleasant bar, a reputable restaurant, or a reliable hair salon after moving.
Yelp is a hybrid of a Yellow Pages and an online review site noted for its user-generated ratings and suggestions. It’s one of the six essential local SEO platforms because of this, and you’ll undoubtedly use it frequently during your local search marketing strategy.
Yelp is crucial for local consumers since more than 90 million people use the platform each month to identify local businesses, and 97% of those visitors go on to make a purchase.
Yelp performs much as Google Business Profile does in many ways. To share helpful information about your company with Yelp users, such as your street address, service regions, web address, phone number, available goods and services, and business hours, you may claim your free Yelp listing. Similar to your Google Business Profile, you may use it to gather and address customer feedback, reply to inquiries, and share pictures.
It goes without saying that Facebook is useful for marketing purposes in general, but you might not be aware that it can also increase your local search visibility. Because of this, it becomes one of the most crucial local SEO tools you’ll frequently use.
The benefits of Facebook for local SEO The popularity of Facebook among customers looking for local company information, how simple it is to establish a citation, and the opportunity to interact with local prospects are the key factors in this situation.
The ability to use Facebook to gather reviews and ratings for your local business is maybe the most valuable addition Facebook can make to your local SEO approach. Reviews are a key ranking factor, therefore the more you can collect, the higher your search visibility will be.
There are further, indirect advantages too. Your Facebook Business Page provides a variety of information about your company, much like a Google Business Profile and Yelp.
Facebook is a key source of traffic since, according to Square’s research, 52% of customers found new businesses there in the last year – more than any other medium. Furthermore, a customer may use the information you provide in your Facebook profile to confirm conclusions they have made elsewhere, giving them the assurance they need to schedule a visit or contact.
Best practice approaches for local SEO frequently evolve as a result of new research, data analysis, and trial-and-error. The pressure to stay up and make sense of everything can be overwhelming when you consider how frequently new tools and capabilities are added across these well-known local SEO platforms.
BrightLocal combines a number of practical solutions, including automated local search audits and reputation management, with helpful content hubs, thought leadership articles, tutorials, and professional guidance. It’s a one-stop shop that enables you to implement certain elements of your local SEO plan and learn how to utilize these and other local SEO platforms, methods, and tools.