[ ] Check Business Listings in Local Directories
First thing on your Holiday Local SEO to do list: Make sure your business listings are live, accurate, and consistent across local business directories. Be sure to include Google My Business, review sites, and social networks locals use to find your business. Managing and monitoring your business listings year around is essential, but especially around the holidays where traffic is high, and hours change, you don’t want any potential customer having difficulty reaching you.
Inaccurate, duplicate, out of date, or differently spelled business listings can lead to a long list of problems for search users such as:
- Not finding your business in search
- Driving to a wrong address
- Calling a disconnected number
- Showing up when you’re closed because you didn’t update holiday hours
- Location pins in the wrong place on navigation maps
Avoid all of these problems by updating your local listings with holiday hours and verifying that your Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) are correct and the same across all networks. Don’t stop in the New Year though – make sure you are monitoring and managing your business listings throughout the year.
[ ] Update Your Holiday Hours on Local Online Listings and Your Website
Many businesses change their hours over the holidays. Look at the hours on your listing and make sure they are set for your holiday hours. Updating your hours on various days over the holidays may seem like a lot of work as you change but mobile search users are given this information when they are looking for somewhere to spend money.
This is especially important for Google My Business accounts. Navigating with Google Maps, and selecting a business that Google believes is closed or closing soon, you will be asked if you still want to go to this location even though it is closed or closing within the hour. Don’t lose customers because you have wrong hours listed. While you are at it, update your payment options if they have changed to avoid disappointing paying customers.
[ ] Calendar Google Posts to Highlight Your Specials and Events
Google My Business introduced Google Posts as a way to share fresh content with people who find your business through Google Search. This new Google My Business feature lets you create posts with content you want to be displayed to customers when they find your business on Google. Most businesses aren’t doing this yet, so here is just one area where the Holiday Local SEO to do list gives you massive leverage over the competition.
Google My Business doesn’t allow you to schedule out your posts, and they only stay live for a week to keep the content fresh. You should create a calendar where you can pre-write and schedule your Google Post to make sure you always have something showing in search results for your business name. Publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search in the Knowledge Panel and Maps to let search users know what is going on with your business right now.
Promote your sales, holiday hours, specials and events with Google Posts. You can learn about Google Posts and how to leverage them for your business here on the Reputation Loop blog.
[ ] Promote Your Best Reviews on Social Networks and Your Website
The social media world is fast-paced and has a very short memory. Consistency is key with your profile postings and interactions if you want to keep your audience engaged. Posting your best reviews on your social media profiles puts the information consumers really want right in front of their faces.
The reviews you post are not only part of the feed seen by your connections, friends, and followers, but they are also part of your timeline. If prospects search your social media networks for your products/services by your business name or your locality, they will see these five-star reviews.
Another SEO win is when people do online research on your business name, your social media profiles are usually part of the top results. Those prospects who discover your social media profiles can also travel back as far as they want in your posts stream and see not only the smart content you’ve posted but real reviews, by real people who think everything your business does is fantastic.
The best way to raise your social media ROI is to automate many of the tasks associated with maintaining and growing your social media presence with software that will automatically post your five-star reviews to your social media profiles on the major networks.
[ ] Have a Review Management Plan in Place to Handle Bad Reviews and Complaints Immediately
Customer Review Management is a real thing; it is vital to the success of your business. Monitoring and responding to reviews is especially crucial during the holiday season where competition for business is high, and consumers are relying on reviews to make fast purchasing decisions. A customer’s holiday spirit can deteriorate quickly during a season many people find stressful. That could lead to bad reviews for your business.
Having a Review Management Plan in place lets you leverage good reviews and handle bad reviews with equal ease. Read “Handling Negative Reviews by Creating a Process” when you get a chance but here’s a quick tip list on how to responding to negative reviews.
Responses to negative customer reviews should:
- Be prompt, short, and to the point
- Customized to address the issue specifically
- Offer an apology for the negative experience
- Provide a resolution or improvement when possible
The Holiday Local SEO To Do List – G.S.D.
Check off this Holiday Local SEO To Do List and get off the local optimization naughty list. Maybe this is the season you get everything you wanted. Imagine higher ranking in local search, an increased click-through-rate to your business website, more sales, and a better search engine and purchase experience for the user all wrapped up in a pretty bow just for you.
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About The Author
Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.