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    What Has SEO Expert Brian Hong To Say About Local SEO?

    Over the last few years, the importance of local SEO has made the term a buzzword. While everyone is sure local SEO is important, not everyone is 100% what it is exactly. So, we thought we’d ask SEO expert Brian Hong for some insight into the matter. Brian is the CEO of a top SEO firm in New Orleans called Infintech Designs. He’s been working in the SEO arena for over a decade and is a cornucopia of SEO intel. If you doubt me then take a look at the blog over at Infintech Designs - it makes for great reading and is a great resource for newbies and those seasoned in SEO alike. So, we asked Brian for some insight on the local SEO landscape as it stands in 2019 and he was obviously very happy to provide. So, read on and learn!

    How Local SEO can Help?

    If the people who you are doing business with are also in or around your local area, local SEO will improve your capacity to reach them. In many different lines of work a good connection with your local customer pools is going to be the most profitable.

    There are a few ways to go about improving your website for better rankings with your local audience.

    First and foremost is to begin claiming your spot in as many business listings as you can find. Make sure that your physical location information is used repeatedly and consistently in each listing. Other good methods are managing online reviews routinely and taking the time to engage with your potential audience on the social media platforms they are most likely to be found.

    The reason all this is so important is because, according to a post on Hubspot, just under half of all Google searches are local. But, local SEO is also a tricky subject because things that work at one time and place may not be so effective further down the line. But, after an intelligent plan has been formulated, it is essential to follow it through to full fruition to reach the ROIs you set out for.

    In order to provide and enlightened perspective on including local SEO in your digital marketing strategy, the following post contains some of our top pointers and methods for connecting with a local audience.

    Emphasize Voice Search

    Voice recognition technology has gotten quite advanced and today all searches and queries can be expressed verbally to your favorite voice search tool. Siri takes all questions from “who makes the best pizza in town?” to “Where is the Holy Grail?” and will produce a decent answer. With voice searches becoming more specific, advanced and popular, it is sure to increase in the near future.

    According to the experts, “The rising trends of voice activated home devices, increasing technology and virtual assistants could lead to over 50% of all searches being made verbally by as early as 2020”. When applied to local SEO this will mean a greater emphasis on long-tail keywords as opposed to the shorter variety. Because voice searches will become increasingly popular the terms being used to find a specific thing could get longer, more conversational and potentially more idiosyncratic –– which means long-tail keywords will be more and more important.

    In order to best prepare for this upcoming change, Google recommends making content on your website sound more natural and conversational. This way Google will be able to provide better answers to more specific questions. Consider that most of the questions users pose will begin with who, what, when, where, why or how and aim to ad answers that answers these questions specifically. Long Tail Pro is a good tool for choosing effective long tail keywords that improve your ranking in the Google search.

    User Reviews

    We all know that the reviews consumers post matter, but it matters a lot. Did you know that Google factors in user reviews when ranking its search results? But of course, Google is trying to provide the best possible results. Furthermore, a recent survey conducted by Podium confirmed that over 90% of online consumers say that online reviews greatly impact the decisions they make for items, services and deals offered. Also, the minimum star rating that a consumer would accept for a business is 3.3. What does this mean to a local SEO campaign?

    Taking the time to collect these online review and display them proudly on your webpage is a good idea. “Performance indicators like frequency, quantity and diversity are among the most important points that will affect SEO rankings,” says a Moz Report. With the great increase in consumer’s reliance on reviews to make their shopping decisions online it is worth investing in increasing reviews and including them in a progressive business strategy.

    Great Locally Focused Content

    Craft cutting-edge local content. It sounds easy enough to cater to a local community, but again this can be overlooked far too often. Capturing community cultures and values is essential according to Tech HQ, who advises “when you are creating content for your local area you need hyperlocal content that is specific and engaging. For example, you could think about discussing local events or traditions that some larger corporations may overlook. Talk about how your company or activities tie into this culture or event.

    You could talk about how your company first started off and how it ties in with the history of the region and the common grounds that you share with your target audience. Take this a step further by interviewing some of the local customers for their positive views and options on the goods, services or business you have provided. Reaching out like this will make your company and business a prominent member of the community and will increase the effects of local SEO.