By Keyon Thomas
Here we are guys, the final article in the Local SEO series. Thanks for sticking around. If you missed the other 2 articles in this series, please click here
to learn what Local SEO is or click here
to learn how you can incorporate it into your own website. This article will focus on how to utilize web personas to maximize your Local SEO.
What are web personas? Web personas are the customer-facing interaction points that exist on the web (besides your website). These include your company Facebook Page, Yelp listing, Foursquare page, Eat24 listing, Google Local entry, or any other similar site. These pages are not only gateways to ranking your own site with Local SEO, but in some cases are more important for ranking.
This is for a number of reasons:
- Web persona listings traditionally rank higher than a website simply because of their domain authority.
- In many cases, web personas are places where users can leave feedback, which means that a lot of new visitors come to the personas first to hear what others have to say about you and to see the conversations you start.
- Lastly, this is another place users can find your product outside of normal search engines so it is always a good reason to keep these up to date.
So how do you utilize web personas? Well, you should:
- Make sure you claim ALL of your listings.
Google, Bing, Yelp, and other sites can list your company without you even knowing it. These sites also provide a mechanism that allows you to claim a listing in order to start managing it. It’s imperative that you claim your listing or else you might be in for a world of hurt when it comes to Local SEO.
- Reserve your social names.
This is just as important as the first step. Make sure you create social media pages that claim your branded vanity URL. This way, when people search for you on Facebook they will find your company instead of, for example, a slam page made by one of your competitors.
- Complete/confirm the data on your personas.
Search engines use this information to determine your relevance to your Local SEO keywords. Make sure to both confirm that the data is correct (in the case of sites that already have your company listed) and complete all the data fields.
- Use high quality images that will draw in customers.
All web personas allow you to upload images and edit the ones they may have already grabbed for you. Make sure to upload high quality images starting with your logo. The logo is going to help visitors remember your brand when they see your store in real life. Next, make sure your listing uses relevant images to your business, whether it be a photo of your clothing store with one of your team members interacting with customers, food dishes from your restaurant, or clients participating in one of your yoga classes. This is going to help your customers create a human connection with a inhuman medium.
- Monitor, embrace, and acknowledge feedback.
This is huge. Customers that land on personas like Yelp or Google Local make their decisions largely based on the feedback that has been left by your customers. Make sure that you monitor feedback and you acknowledge it with a real response – especially if it is negative, and embrace the feedback by trying to change the experience this customer had. This will go a long way to not only letting new visitors see what stellar customer service you provide, but also will allow you to improve your business.
- Post to these sites regularly and keep your customers engaged.
This can be things like creating coupons that are specific to each web persona or hosting regular “flash” deals that your audience can embrace. This will help customers stay connected and help draw in new ones, and is important since engagement is weighed into your rankings.
- Get your in-store customers to rank or “like” you online.
You have to encourage your customers to go online. The higher they rate you the better your ranking will be and the more feedback you’ll receive, resulting in driving you more customers. How can you do this? If you’re a restaurant get every server to say “Make sure you rate us on Yelp!” The same can be said for sales associates at a clothing store. You can add your Yelp or Google Local address to the bottom of your receipts or menus. The goal is for you to direct happy customers to your web personas because they are your largest advocates.
- Link to your website.
Above all else, you need to make sure your social personas link to your website. This will help elevate the rankings of your website.
- If you have multiple locations, you will need to maintain listings for each location.
This is imperative. If you combine your listings then you will hurt your local specific rankings.
And that’s how you can get the most out of your web personas. This hopefully will get you off the ground, and let you hit it running. But I am not the ultimate authority on Local SEO. What are you doing that is working for you? What advice do you have for others trying to tackle Local SEO? Leave those tips in the comments below, and best of luck with your Local SEO.