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For several decades, the narrative has been that small local businesses have been crushed by the boots of large corporations. However, the Internet has in some ways leveled the playing field, enabling independent small businesses to push back against this story. On-the-ground initiatives like Small Business Saturdays, shop local, and the 100-mile concept are bringing many Main Street stores back to their former glory.

As the arbiter of all things search, Google is right there in connecting motivated consumers with businesses in their immediate area. The search giant is using technology to listen intently to local consumers; to understand their needs and bring back the best solutions to answer them.

This increased focus on community commerce is undoubtedly positive for residents and small business owners. It does make it more difficult for enterprise brands like yours to gain visibility in these hyperlocal areas. With so many locations across different regions, how can your larger franchise compete at the local level?

Maintain and Monitor Accurate Listings Across All Locations

Businesses of all sizes must keep their listings up to date so consumers can easily find them in local online searches. You cannot afford to send customers to a closed store due to the wrong hours being posted, or worse—to send them directly to a competitor out of frustration with your online experience.

But with so many locations to monitor, marketers for enterprise brands can easily lose track of this crucial maintenance. When your brand opens a new location or moves from one area to another, these listings must be updated immediately. Ongoing local listings management ensures that you avoid errors, duplicate listings and misinformation on an ongoing basis. Doing so will help you win Google’s trust in your data’s accuracy, maintain your brand’s local visibility, and generate more foot traffic.

With your local listings complete and correct, you can focus on making the additional optimizations that are going to move the needle in competitive markets. Local consumers with immediate needs explore different websites to make their decision. They want all of the information they need to choose a store and get there to be visible right in the SERPs, on your local listings. In fact, just one in every 60 consumers who views the Local Pack will actually click through to a website. Learn more about optimizing your listings here.

Increase Your Focus on Local SEO and Marketing

While search engines are used to find information, products, and services from all over the world, a large number of these searches are local. For on-the-go mobile consumers, the responses need to serve their immediate needs more often than not.


Image: Google

According to a recent Google Consumer Insights report, there has been a 900% increase in “near me” searches with immediate intent over the past two years (ie.: restaurants open near me today, car repair shops with appointments tomorrow). Leverage this trend by improving your enterprise brand’s local SEO strategy, which includes more than simply monitoring local listings. Some of these best practices include:

  • Developing location-specific content for your website, landing pages, and social media
  • Implementing proper structured data (schema) markups and keywords for localized pages and content
  • Linking to and being linked by authoritative local sources
  • Investing in local PR opportunities and targeted local online marketing
  • Increasing  local business reviews across a variety of digital platforms

By focusing on these local SEO strategies, you can improve your enterprise brand’s local visibility while building consumer trust in every unique region.

Manage Reputation and Reviews at Every Level

One advantage small local businesses have over enterprise brands is the consumer loyalty and trust people feel when they believe they have a personal connection. Customers prefer to know the names, faces, and backgrounds of the entrepreneurs within their communities and feel comfortable buying their goods and services.

This inherent trust plays a role in a business’s success, but so does its online reputation. Ultimately, consumers using search to find products or services turn to online reviews to reassure them that they are making the right choice. Without a steady stream of positive reviews, even long-standing local businesses struggle to compete in their area, failing to bring in new customers.

Maintaining a good reputation is even more critical for enterprise brands Of course, the best way to maintain a great reputation is to consistently provide the best service. However, you must monitor customer reviews at every location. This means you must gather, read, and respond to reviews across multiple platforms for various regions. For multi-location businesses, centralizing this data is critical. You need to be able to see local reviews and ratings at the brand level, but still have the ability to engage organizational stakeholders in your stores, service areas, or franchises. Activating your review strategy that integrates with your Local Pages and disseminates customer feedback across the organization, is key.

Read more about crafting a smarter, more effective local reviews strategy here.

Engage With Local Communities

It is crucial for enterprise brands to increase your local online presence, and community engagement is a great opportunity to do so. This could mean hosting or sponsoring a local fundraising event, participating in philanthropy or partnering with local schools and organizations. All of these activities will help increase local engagement both in the real world and online, build community trust and appreciation, and can generate links back to your Local Pages.

Main Street is making a comeback. For multi-location brands, this is a great opportunity to expand your footprint and increase visibility at the local level. Keep your enterprise brand’s local information up to date, invest in local SEO, prioritize listings and reputation management, and get involved in your local communities.

Want to see where you stand? Take advantage of a free local search audit for enterprise businesses. Discover your most lucrative opportunities to engage searchers and drive foot traffic across all of your locations today.

The post How Enterprise Brands Can Compete at the Local Level appeared first on Rio SEO.

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National holidays provide major opportunities for business across multiple industries to increase sales and foot traffic. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, restaurants, flower shops, luxury service providers, and department stores will all see a bump as families celebrate their mothers. If you are in charge of marketing for a multi-location restaurant brand, you must do everything you can do boost visibility of all your locations while enticing consumers to dine there for brunch or dinner.

The earlier you get started in maximizing local search traffic, the better. After all, many people make reservations early to secure a table. Here are some of the best ways to increase your local search traffic to bring more people into your restaurant this Mother’s Day.

Optimize Your Google My Business Listings

Utilizing Google My Business (GMB) Listings is an effective way to provide users with concise information on your brand, including your name, address, phone number, and operating hours. Enterprise brands with multiple locations must always keep GMB local listings accurate and up to date. Maintaining accurate GMB listings will help users easily find you in local searches and reach you via phone without any problems.

Holidays, such as Mother’s Day, may affect your business hours across all or some locations. People looking for places to dine on Mother’s Day will expect timely, accurate information regarding holiday hours and other temporary changes. Your local listings partner can help you manage any specific, time-sensitive GMB updates for every relevant location.

In addition to providing listing information, Google My Business also allows you to highlight special products or services you may offer on holidays. Flower shops might offer a discount on Mother’s Day bouquets, for instance. Your restaurant might feature a special Mother’s Day brunch or dinner menu that consumers will want to see before making a reservation. Not only will these special GMB products and services help users learn accurate information about your brand for a given holiday, they will also encourage them to visit your location.

Utilize Google Posts

Google Posts are useful tools that work in tandem with Google My Business listings. They operate similarly to social media posts and local ads, allowing you to create temporary, specified content that will rank highly alongside your GMB listings. These posts can greatly benefit a brand’s local SEO, especially near a holiday.

More specifically, a Google Post, which has its own URL, can be up to 1,500 characters, include a single image, and link to your brand’s website or relevant landing page for seven days. The brevity and specificity of these posts make them optimal for promoting holiday offers via local search.

For example, you may create a Google Post regarding your restaurant’s special Mother’s Day meal offer one week before the holiday. Or, if you want to secure early reservations, you could create a Google Post that incentivizes customers to lock in brunch plans a few weeks early and link to the location’s phone number or local landing page.

Employ Event Pages

Conducting and promoting events are great ways for businesses to increase digital visibility and foot traffic. Holidays are no exception. Unlike brand-specific events, however, holidays see widespread, cultural participation. This means many consumers will actively seek things to do near them to celebrate with others. While this results in greater competition between brands, it also provides them with strong opportunities to leverage local SEO.

Rio SEO’s Event Pages target specific marketing initiatives that boost brand engagement and local search visibility. The key features of these pages include:

  • Theme-driven page templates for events, menus, services, etc.
  • Embeds in current site
  • Offers and promotions functionality
  • Centralized brand events and promotions listings
  • Appointment scheduling and calendar integration
  • Schema SEO markup
  • Enhanced UX
  • Integrated social sharing
  • Optimized location finder

By taking advantage of these Event Page features, enterprise brands meet consumers during their decision-making process, especially during a holiday and other cultural events, and allow them to easily make a reservation, learn more about the business, and/or share information with family and friends. Use Rio SEO’s Event Pages to reach more users as they search for gifts and restaurants leading up to Mother’s Day.

Make Mother’s Day and Every Holiday Count

Holidays like Mother’s Day provide challenges and opportunities for enterprise brands as you try to engage your local markets and maximize local search traffic. By maintaining accurate Google My Business Listings, creating engaging content via Google Posts, and investing in unique Event Pages, your brand can reach the top of local searches this springtime holiday season and beyond.

To see how one multi-location brand like yours is engaging and converting local consumers, download the case study: “Top Steakhouse Grills the Local Competition with Streamlined Local Listings Management” today.

The post How to Maximize Local Search Traffic for Mother’s Day appeared first on Rio SEO.

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You do not have to be an expert on search engines or algorithms to know of their importance in marketing.

However, seeing hard numbers on how consumers use search engine results regularly can help you gain a deeper understanding of just how crucial they are. In fact, Google is now the largest and most influential platform for local online marketing.

If your business does not show up in relevant local searches, or your local listings are not up to date, you are losing business, plain and simple. A large part of making it to the front page of a search is by gathering reviews.

How Reputation Relates to Results

With smartphones in so many hands today, consumers tend to make more immediate decisions. A quick mobile search is all it takes to find a new place to eat or shop. And 76 percent of those who conduct a local search will visit that business within one day of searching.

With this in mind, you want your business to show up first whenever someone is actively looking. The more reviews your business has, the more highly it will rank in online searches. On Google, for instance, a business must acquire at least five reviews to receive an aggregate rating on the site.

Of course, you want your aggregate rating to reflect well on your business. So, standing out on search engines is not just a matter of gathering more reviews, but increasing your positive reviews. The better your reputation, the more likely someone is to visit your business. The vast majority of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase–72 percent will not take action until they’ve read reviews.

Replying to all reviews is a major part of reputation management. Consumers are 15 times more likely to consider a review helpful if it includes a brand response.

Check Out this Infographic to Learn More on How Reviews Impact Search ResultsIf you are serious about boosting your local marketing strategy, take a look at these statistics we have compiled regarding search results and reviews.

The post From SERPs to Sales: How Reviews Impact Your Performance appeared first on Rio SEO.

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Consumers want to see reviews prior to making a purchase—in fact, 72% will not take action until they’ve read what others think about their dealings with your business. Reviews are critically important even before a searcher has a chance to read them through. Google gives them great weight in local SEO rankings, to the point that it’s getting more and more difficult to be visible at all without a solid reviews strategy.

I moderated a webinar recently with local search and reviews experts Jason Brown and Marshall Nyman in which we explored the most effective ways for enterprise and multi-location brands to use their reviews at scale to drive greater local visibility, more in-store foot traffic, and higher sales.

You’ll find the full webinar video at the end of this post but first, check out these five impactful insights for a smarter, more effective reviews strategy across your brand.

1. Consumers Love Writing Reviews

The volume of Google reviews has exploded, as you can see in this illustration of review velocity in Google between March 2017 and January 2019. Google understands the importance local reviews play in the local consumer journey and started asking for business reviews based on the in-depth search and conversion data they can see in each consumer’s history. As a result of this new effort from Google, we have seen a massive increase in the number of Google My Business reviews across verticals.  

2. When It Comes to Reviews, Recency and Response Both Matter

According to BrightLocal, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. Your prospective customers want to see how you react to criticism, whether you’re engaged and listening, and what kind of experience they might expect if they choose to do business with you, as well. You can instill trust in searchers with an active review management strategy that includes thoughtful, polite responses to all reviews, across locations.

In the webinar, our speakers talked through the finer points of writing winning review responses. You can watch that full discussion below, and here’s an acronym you’ll want to remember for responding to reviews:

Brown also shared with us that 85% of consumers disregard local reviews more than three months old. This doesn’t make them useless—again, we know Google is considering your reviews in their rankings. But if you are just getting started at responding to reviews, it may not be worth your time to go back more than three to six months to respond to every review ever received. Get technology in place to enable you to monitor and measure reviews across the brand, and empower local managers to receive alerts and respond in a timely manner. Create a set of best practices to drive more proactive reviews management going forward.

3. Don’t Step Outside the Review Platform Guidelines

You work hard to please customers and earn great reviews. Don’t jeopardize your reviews strategy by violating review platform guidelines. We discussed Google and Yelp in particular, as they’re two of the greatest concerns for enterprise brands.

Yelp’s position on soliciting reviews is pretty clear: don’t do it. At all. Ever—in any way, shape or form. But don’t take our word for it. You can read more in “Don’t Ask For Reviews” in Yelp Support.

Google, on the other hand, encourages businesses to “remind your customers to leave reviews” and to “Let them know it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers.” The search giant even gives businesses a way to create a link that asks their customers for a review. They just don’t want you doing shady things to get them.

4. Reviews Are a Key Aspect of Your Success in Local SEO

Google is the major force in online reviews, both for their impact on the consumer buying journey and in their impact on your brand’s local visibility. According to ReviewTrackers, 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business—more than any other review site.

Another of their studies shows that 21% of consumers agreed that Google reviews are one of the most important factors in their search for a local business, ranking them as more influential than price estimates, proximity, and SERP.

What’s more, Google Reviews are fairly heavily weighted in the Local Pack search ranking algorithm, according to Moz:

5. Getting Started is Easier Than You May Think.

ReviewTrackers data tells us that people who leave negative reviews aren’t just complaining needlessly; 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. However, 63% of those who’ve left a negative review say the brand never responded.

Often, brands just aren’t sure how to manage reviews at scale without giving up complete control to local managers, which results in sporadic performance, inconsistent responses, and the loss of this important local customer data at the brand level. Multi-location enterprises need to be able to:

  • monitor reviews across locations
  • listen to customer feedback in real-time across regions in one dashboard
  • create a workflow that works, with alerts and assignments to ensure that no customer review falls through the cracks
  • sentiment analysis to identify areas of opportunity and potential service improvements
  • data-driven insights and competitive benchmarking to maximize the value of your consumer review data

Jason, Marshall, and Krystal shared more tips to help brands get started and hosted an informative Q&A session for webinar participants. You can watch the full webinar below, and get in touch with Rio SEO with any follow-up questions. We’re here to help!


Want to see where you stand?

The post Local Reviews Insights to Improve Your Strategy at Scale [Webinar] appeared first on Rio SEO.

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Do you need a voice optimization strategy for your brand? In this article, you’ll learn:

  • The prevalence of voice search queries continues to rise
  • Whether or not enterprise marketers should buy into the hype and develop a voice search strategy
  • Existing local SEO tactics overlap improving voice search optimization
  • Long form custom content is paramount for better voice search visibility

While voice recognition technology has been around for decades, it finally reached mainstream consumers in 2011 when Apple’s Siri became a standard iPhone feature. Today, the install base for Siri devices includes over 500 million users. Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are not far behind, with over 100 million and 400 million users, respectively. Google currently reigns over them all, however, with an install base of over 1 billion. Clearly, voice assistants are here to stay. This increasing user base across platforms has driven many analysts to speculate over the implications of voice searches for all industries.

The more accurate and prevalent these assistants become, the more users will turn to them to find recipes, showtimes, directions and everything else. This means enterprise brands must pay close attention to how voice assistants gather information from online sources and relay answers to their users. After all, you want Alexa, Cortana, Siri and/or Google to prioritize your business above the rest.

So, how can you position your brand in such a way that these voice assistants go to you first? As it turns out, improving your current local SEO strategy plays a major role in optimizing your brand for voice recognition technology. In other words, much of what you are already doing to improve your brand’s online visibility also applies to voice search optimization. This raises some questions, then: is all the hype and speculation surrounding voice search optimization warranted? And does the growing pervasiveness of this technology mean that enterprise brands must incorporate new strategies moving forward?

How People Use Voice Assistants

To begin unpacking these questions, it helps to understand how voice assistants are most commonly used today. Generally speaking, voice queries are informational, not transactional. People mostly use their devices to ask questions, not make direct purchases (there are some exceptions, of course, such as re-ordering previously purchased products using Amazon’s Alexa). Of course, most non-voice searches work the same way. Whether typing or speaking, consumers often begin a search with “where,” “what,” “how to,” “when” or “who.” Voice assistants are also commonly used for local searches as people often want to quickly find products and services close to them (“near me”).

If you manage a multi-location brand, you must focus on boosting your local online presence to compete with smaller, Main Street businesses by employing both local and organic SEO strategies. Typical local SEO best practices that play a role in determining these results include position 0 ranking, maintaining accurate online listings, and providing relevant localized content. These practices should be in concert with organic SEO techniques like increasing page speed and security and increasing backlinks.

Of course, you are probably already doing all of these things. So, what makes optimizing for voice searches different than regular SEO practices?

Developing a Content Strategy for Voice Search Optimization

Customized content, while also crucial for improving standard SEO, might have the strongest influence on determining voice optimization results (read our POV: “7 Types of Content You Need in a Voice Search World”). The main difference between text and voice searches has to do with how we speak. Users tend to talk to their voice assistants much like they would speak to another human being. Likewise, voice assistants are built to respond conversationally. In other words, they will typically prioritize results that can reply in easily readable, conversational sentences. In general, voice search queries are long-tail keywords (phrases that exceed 3 or more words). Knowing this, you should create content that anticipates customer queries and answers them in a concise, conversational manner.  

One recommended way to develop relevant long-form content is to add FAQ pages to your site or including a Q&A schema markup to relevant posts. These question-answer formats do more than just increase social engagement, but also lend themselves well to voice searches since users often ask their assistant specific questions. When writing this content, brands should also focus on long-tail search queries to target more industry-specific searches. Additionally, though still in Beta and only available for news outlets, Google’s Speakable schema aims to identify optimal portions of webpages for audio playback.

Not only should your content be more conversational — it should also be more locally relevant since users are often seeking local brands. Including local terms frequently and organically in your content will help your brand appear more often in voice queries.

Voice Optimization: Is it All Talk?

Considering how ubiquitous and useful voice assistants have become, there is no denying that brands should focus on voice optimization. However, this focus might not be as big of a shift as some early analysts predicted.

As of now, voice search results largely depend upon the same local and organic SEO strategies to boost brand visibility marketers have been refining for years. If you want to better optimize your brand for voice recognition technology, continue to improve your SEO, putting even more effort into creating custom, conversational content. Anticipate industry-related questions and come up with answers that are best suited for voice assistant devices. And, of course, keep all your listings and Google My Business pages up to date so local consumers can easily find your business.

Actionable takeaways:
  1. Add FAQ and Q&A scheme markup to relevant posts.
  2. Focus on long-tail search queries to target more industry-specific searches.
  3. Use conversational and locally relevant language.
Want to learn more about optimizing for voice search?

Download your free whitepaper with actionable takeaways and tips from MindMeld, iProspect and Rio SEO: Local SEO Strategies to Capitalize on Voice Search

The post Do You Need a Voice Optimization Strategy, or Is It All Talk? appeared first on Rio SEO.

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In today’s saturated digital marketplace, awareness, attention, and convenience have become the most valuable currencies for businesses in every industry. This holds especially true for the restaurant industry, which has significantly benefited from recent technology trends. Delivery services like Grubhub and Uber Eats and review platforms like Yelp and Facebook are rapidly changing the way consumers choose which food they will purchase. Today, most people assume that a restaurant will have an online presence that is easy to find and accurate in its information (menu, locations, phone numbers, etc.). Managing online local listings, then, has never been a more important task for food providers than it is today.

Managing Listings, Reviews, and Brand Reputation for Restaurants

Several distinct methods fall under the umbrella of restaurant marketing, and each is designed to increase brand visibility. But for a food provider to be successful, it must understand and utilize all of the marketing strategies at its disposal, including local seo, outbound marketing, advertising, listing management, and online reputation management. Restaurant owners, franchise leaders, and marketers cannot cut through the competition locally or nationally without incorporating all of these methods for online brand promotion and consumer engagement. Managing online listings, however, is perhaps the most foundational component in this pursuit. Today, not showing up in listings is close to not existing at all.

Read the Definitive Guide to Managing Online Listings for Restaurants

In this eBook, we outline the several components of a successful restaurant marketing campaign, primarily focusing on managing online listings and local search success. Here you will also find information on recent technology trends shaping the industry, the most prominent listing platforms, best practices for managing customer reviews, and building consumer trust. By keeping your listings fresh, responding to online reviews, and optimizing your digital presence, restaurants have a better chance at thriving in this highly competitive space


The post The Definitive Guide to Managing Online Listings for Restaurants appeared first on Rio SEO.

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Google’s Local 3-Pack is an incredibly valuable piece of real estate for local businesses, especially in competitive local markets. Displayed prominently at or near the top of the search results page, the Local Pack contains all of the information a motivated mobile consumer needs to take action and fulfill their immediate need.

At a glance, the searcher can see the name, address, map location, phone number, open or closed status (and closing time, if applicable), number of reviews and overall rating for each of the three businesses Google has deemed best able to solve the searcher’s problem. With a single click, the searcher can get driving directions, call one of the locations, or visit a business website.

The convenience and enhanced visibility of Local 3-Pack listings mean that conversions are now happening right in the search results. Far more consumers will see your listings than will click through to your website—a 60:1 ratio, in fact. And from the Local 3-Pack, consumers can phone, get driving directions and otherwise convert without ever having visited the location’s website.

In this post, you’ll learn what Google is looking for in local listings worthy of the 3-pack right now, which ranking factors impact Local Pack listings most, and how you can help all of your locations improve their local visibility.

What is the Local Pack?

In Google’s search engine results, the Local 3-Pack is a colorful, prominent map listing that presents to consumers the three businesses Google considers most relevant to the query and searcher’s location, and of the highest quality.

Take this desktop query for a “residential electrician,” for example. Google has picked up on the searcher’s location without any geographic context; the search engine assumes that these types of queries are likely local. As you can see, there is no opportunity for a local business to appear organically on the front page at all, outside of the Local 3-Pack:

In this example, the top organic listings are not those of individual businesses, but informational articles and job listings by larger publishers. If your service area-based local business were to appear on the front page, you would need to either outbid all other advertisers or own a Local 3-Pack listing.

On in another example on mobile, the Local Pack is the top result. There are no ads between the searcher and what Google considers the best answer for their immediate need. The listing is designed to immediately convert the searcher to an in-store customer.

If your locations are not appearing in the Local 3-Pack, you are leaving valuable business on the table.

Which Ranking Factors Impact Google’s 3-Pack Listings?

Traditional SEO best practices are still impactful. In 2017, we analyzed the local performance of over 50,000 major brand business locations and found that locations positioned well organically did well locally, as well.

This is in keeping with Moz’s findings in the more recent 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey. Links, on-page SEO, citations, personalization and behavioral signals make up the bulk of Local 3-Pack ranking factors. Simply put, traditional SEO is table stakes; getting your corporate and local sites’ SEO in order is the bare minimum it takes to appear.

Where the real opportunity lies is in the 40% of Local 3-Pack signals made up by Google My Business optimizations and Reviews.

Image source: Announcing the 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, Moz.com

Moz confirmed what many local SEOs had theorized: that Google is now giving much greater weight to GMB ranking signals.  This is where your locations have the opportunity to shine—and to outperform the local competition.

How Does Google My Business Impact 3-Pack Rankings?

About 25% of the weight of your local 3-Pack ranking signals belongs to GMB—more than any other signals category. If Google My Business management isn’t already a part of your brand’s local marketing strategy, it needs to be in 2019.

Inside the GMB dashboard, you can control:

  • Critical business information including business name and category, location and/or service area, hours of operation (with special hours for holidays), phone number, website URL, business description, and more. Having consistent and accurate NAP information across various directories is a positive SEO metric.
  • Advanced information such as store code, labels, or Google Ads location extension phone.
  • Opening, removing or permanently closing a location.
  • Google Posts including Events, Offers, and What’s New, which can dramatically increase the visibility and interactivity of your business listing in search.
  • Reviews, which you can respond to within the GMB dashboard.
  • Messaging, which allows searchers to contact the location via direct message right from the listing.
  • Photos, which can appear on the listing and also in Google Images.
  • Users, with different permissions for Owners, Managers, and Site Managers, enabling brands to involve local managers and franchisees in permissions-based content publishing.

As with all other types of local listings management, information accuracy across all of your brand’s locations is critical. Google’s trust in your brand is an important ranking signal, and inaccurate information can result in negative consumer experiences (such as driving to a closed store).

Take action:

  • Fill out every available section in the GMB dashboard for each location and make good use of your ability to incorporate photos and video. Up to 4x as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it!
  • If you do not yet have consumers interacting with your location via the Q&A function in GMB, populate this space with frequently asked questions and answers from other areas of your business.
  • Use this guide to improve your GMB performance by optimizing local listings and reviews.
  • Get the Google Posts Playbook and learn how to outpace the competition using this engaging local content feature.
How Do Local Reviews Impact Local Pack Rankings?

Both the volume of Google reviews and their overall ratings impact both organic and local search results. Reviews account for about 15% of the weighting in Google’s evaluation of your local listing for the 3-Pack.

Reviews can have an even more significant impact when incorporated into your local landing pages. They provide essential social proof for consumers and help others understand the experience you offer, in addition to products and services.

Your reviews strategy needs to close the loop for consumers in each location. Respond thoughtfully to all reviews, whether positive or negative, to show that consumer and every other one who sees the review what they can expect in doing business with you.

Take action:

Not sure where to start? Take advantage of a free local audit and see where your locations stand, across the brand. Rio SEO’s local search experts will determine your greatest opportunities and help prioritize your local listings, local rankings, and local reviews optimizations for maximum impact.

The post How to Optimize for the Google Local 3-Pack appeared first on Rio SEO.

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The prominence of search engine use in daily consumer life is no small part thanks to Google. Of all the search engines, Google still reigns as the most influential. People utilize Google’s search engine to find information on products, services, and businesses both around the world and just down the street. In fact, HubSpot reports that 97 percent of consumers use search engines to find local information. To increase local visibility, then, businesses must take advantage of all the services Google has to offer. In this white paper, we break down our original study on a more recent feature that Google implemented for businesses: Google Posts.

Using Google Posts to Build Brand Awareness

In effect, Google Posts are temporary, highly optimized pieces of content that receive a high ranking when searched for directly. For instance, if a consumer searches for a specific local business, that business’s Google Post will be the first item to appear following the search. In a way, these Google Posts are like targeted social media messages that help build brand awareness and engage potential customers. It is a way for businesses to control their local online presence.

But just how useful are Google Posts in boosting online brand promotion? To test the effectiveness of Google Posts, Rio SEO’s team created a study to track, identify, and analyze the benefits of this feature in the final quarter of 2018. The scope of the study included the analysis of 5000 Google Posts created for multi-location brands within various industries. Specific benchmarks were measured, such as website actions, total views, direct searches, phone call actions, and more.

For most of these benchmarks, the results were staggering. For instance, on average, these brands saw an increase of 76.54 percent in search views one week after the Google Post campaign.

Read the White Paper: “Measuring the ROI of Google Posts for Enterprise Brands”

Read the complete study to see the results of Rio SEO’s analysis of over 5000 Google Posts. Here you’ll find a breakdown of key indicators for these eight unique campaigns, and how Google Posts influenced these parameters over time.


The post Measuring the ROI of Google Posts for Enterprise Brands: An Analysis of Over 5000 Google Posts appeared first on Rio SEO.

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The prominence of search engine use in daily consumer life is no small part thanks to Google. Of all the search engines, Google still reigns as the most influential. People utilize Google’s search engine to find information on products, services, and businesses both around the world and just down the street. In fact, HubSpot reports that 97 percent of consumers use search engines to find local information. To increase local visibility, then, businesses must take advantage of all the services Google has to offer. In this white paper, we break down our original study on a more recent feature that Google implemented for businesses: Google Posts.

Using Google Posts to Build Brand Awareness

In effect, Google Posts are temporary, highly optimized pieces of content that receive a high ranking when searched for directly. For instance, if a consumer searches for a specific local business, that business’s Google Post will be the first item to appear following the search. In a way, these Google Posts are like targeted social media messages that help build brand awareness and engage potential customers. It is a way for businesses to control their local online presence.

But just how useful are Google Posts in boosting online brand promotion? To test the effectiveness of Google Posts, Rio SEO’s team created a study to track, identify, and analyze the benefits of this feature in the final quarter of 2018. The scope of the study included the analysis of 5000 Google Posts created for eight multi-location brands within various industries. Specific benchmarks were measured, such as website actions, total views, direct searches, phone call actions, and more.

For most of these benchmarks, the results were staggering. For instance, on average, these brands saw an increase of 76.54 percent in search views one week after the Google Post campaign.

Read the White Paper: “Measuring the ROI of Google Posts for Enterprise Brands”

Read the complete study to see the results of Rio SEO’s analysis of over 5000 Google Posts. Here you’ll find a breakdown of key indicators for these eight unique campaigns, and how Google Posts influenced these parameters over time.


The post Measuring the ROI of Google Posts for Enterprise Brands: An Analysis of Over 5000 Google Posts appeared first on Rio SEO.

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Online shopping is undoubtedly more convenient than venturing out to a store. And as more consumers opt to make their purchases online, businesses must ensure that their digital front is as strong as their physical location.

However, plenty of customers still enjoy getting out of the house and entering a store directly. According to Google Data, “near me” searches featuring “can I buy” or “to buy” increased 500 percent between 2015 and 2017.

Going shopping is still a popular social activity, and it yields other benefits that cannot be achieved by browsing for items online. For instance, most consumers like to see, touch and/or immediately try on a product before buying it, which can only happen in-store. Time plays a factor, too, as purchasing items in-store eliminates the need for shipping, delays or postal mistakes.

Still, getting people in the door can be challenging. Consumers need a reason to make the trip, stay a while and purchase something.

There are a number of ways to boost foot traffic both offline and online. And because most consumers spend much of their time on their phones and computers, these online means are becoming the most powerful way to incentivize people to visit a storefront and reduce the friction involved in finding one.

In fact, 72 percent of consumers end up visiting a local business (within 5 miles) after conducting a local search. And most consumers are willing to spend 3 percent more on products and services from businesses with positive reviews.

Here we will examine the several ways in which online reviews can boost foot traffic and sales.

Make Your Brand More Trustworthy

Nothing yields a better return on investment than building consumer trust. Today, increasing positive reviews online is the most effective way to do this. Online reviews are becoming increasingly influential in consumer decision-making. So, the more glowing reviews a company has, the more likely it is to capture the attention of those seeking relevant products and services in their area.

New customers will feel more comfortable visiting a business that has already established a level of trust with the community. A 2017 BrightLocal survey found that 54 percent of consumers visit a store after reading a positive review.

And as long as the business continues to provide excellent goods and services, they will continue to receive good reviews, creating a positive feedback loop to further boost foot traffic.

Engage With Current and Potential Customers

Online reviews should not act as a one-way street. In fact, these reviews provide opportunities to increase social engagement. In the age of social media, this engagement is critical for businesses of all kinds to increase foot traffic.

When receiving reviews, business managers should do their best to respond to each one, paying close attention to the review’s content and generating a unique reply. Doing so serves to build consumer trust but also encourages consumers to continue engaging with the brand both online and offline.

In this way, responding to online reviews can result in bringing more people into a storefront.

Improve Your Local SEO Ranking

Word of mouth should not be underestimated, but it can only go so far in promoting a business and reaching new customers. A business must employ effective local marketing solutions to let people know it even exists, and, more importantly, that it is worth visiting.

Search engines, namely Google, have become the primary resource for consumers when seeking new businesses. Today, then, one of the most effective marketing strategies for local businesses is optimizing their online presence via search engine optimization (SEO).

There are many ways to achieve local SEO success, including increasing online reviews. Search engine algorithms feed off the habits of users, and most users actively seek online reviews before making decisions. Therefore, search engines boost the rankings of businesses with a greater number of genuine reviews and a higher degree of engagement.

Of course, the better the reviews are, the more enticing the business looks to new consumers. Whatever the case, more reviews leads to an enhanced online presence. And the more visible a business is online, especially locally, the more foot traffic it will receive.

The Power of Reputation Management Services

Online reviews help businesses receive more in-store customers by building consumer trust, increasing engagement and enhancing SEO rankings. But all of these benefits largely depend upon a company’s ability and willingness to read and respond to these reviews.

This is why reputation management services should be a part of every local online marketing strategy. These services allow businesses to access all reviews across platforms, gain valuable insights from them and reply to everyone in a timely fashion.

The post How Online Reviews Can Boost Foot Traffic appeared first on Rio SEO.

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