February 28, 2018 / #SEMPOchat, Local Search, SEO 101

Hangout Date:  2/27/18


Duane Forrester, VP of Industry Insights, Yext

Gyi Tsakalakis, Founder, AttorneySync and EPL Digital

Andrew Shotland, Founder and CEO, localseoguide.com


Andrew Beckman, Founder and Chairman, Location3


Top Takeaways:

There are a lot of ranking factors for local listings, but one particularly important ranking factor is local links.

Search engines are using every bit of data they can to determine a consumers’ patterns of behavior, which affects how they behave when interacting with local businesses, even when the data they’re gathering doesn’t seem like it affects local SEO.

Consider tactics like encouraging users to leave positive reviews with valuable keywords in the reviews.

Once your local listings are up-to-date and consistent (name, address, phone number, etc.) move on to more valuable tactics like local link building. To find potentially valuable local links, look for businesses near you on Google Maps.

Directories are still valuable, but be sure to pursue links from industry-specific directories as opposed to a broad set of unrelated directories. This provides search engines with more context.

Listen to how customers talk about your products, for example, looking at voice search data. Do they use local neighborhood names? Use these keywords to optimize your local SEO.

Business reviews are an area that’s still inundated with spam. While it’s tempting to fight fire-with-fire, bad actors trying to game the system will most assuredly not last for the long-term.


SEMPO Google Hangouts:

SEMPO Chats with Industry Experts are developed by SEMPO’s Education Committee to help industry professionals learn about topics and ask questions in an informal setting. Chats are interactive discussions in Q&A format, conducted as a Google Hangout on Air. All hangouts are streamed LIVE on Google+ or on YouTube (pick your preferred site). Please make sure to add SEMPO to your Google+ Circles so that you can be one of our on-camera participants and receive notifications as Chats are planned. We also encourage you to take the conversation on Twitter at #SEMPOchat.


Presented by the SEMPO Education Committee and Industry Experts, SEMPO Chats cover topics in an open question-and-answer format live on YouTube. This month the theme is Voice Search. Our committee members and guest speakers will tell us about themselves, dive into the details of the monthly topic, and encourage questions from the audience throughout. If you’re not camera shy, you can join on-air through YouTube during the live event.

Andrew Foster (contributor)

Andrew specializes in lead generation using search engine marketing (SEM). He spearheads lead generation campaigns from strategy to execution, from small businesses to startups. Specifically, Andrew specializes in Google AdWords and Bing Ads as well as paid social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Andrew is also the Google Grant Manager for Safe Kids Georgia. Foster Ideas was founded nearly five years ago and has managed over $10 million in ad spend. Foster Ideas is a Google Partner and member of SEMPO. To learn more about Andrew and Foster Ideas, go to www.fosterideas.com.

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