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SEO Strategies for Business with Physical Locations

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Mike talks about tips and process for brick-and-mortar businesses.

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Transcript from the "SEO Strategies for Business with Physical Locations" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Let's talk a little bit about a specific niche of businesses, and those are ones that have a physical location like Frontend Masters does, right? Frontend Masters is interesting in that it has a physical location for in person workshops, right? But they also target customers who are interested in buying up membership for video courses globally.

[00:00:22] So, when you have a physical location and can take advantage of that, you want to make sure that first and foremost you complete your Google My Business page. And they'll actually mail you a postcard with a code on it that you have to type in. That's their way of verifying that you actually are at that address and that it is factual information there.

[00:00:43] What you're doing is you're establishing your presence in Google's Knowledge Graph. So if you ever searched for a business name or potentially like a movie, and you see that rich tile show up on the right side of search results, that's a Knowledge Graph tile. And that's not relevant information, that is factual, verified information about that entity.

[00:01:07] And so when you can fill in your My Business page and put your hours of operation and your phone number and your address, like this is a great way to show up for high intent users that are saying, I already know I want to search for this particular business, or this product, or this app, now like show it to me, and that you have a lot of control over how you're presented, in search results.

[00:01:32] And you have to be above a certain threshold of relevance to get these Knowledge Graph tiles, but it doesn't hurt. All of the approaches I'm taking today, we'll see that I advocate for like doing everything that you can and that way in the future, if you do cross some of these these thresholds.

[00:01:50] And we do see that social networks and search engines evolve in the way that they're indicating they're evolving, like you will already have the data all over your important content to take advantage of tomorrow's features. So, make sure that you are set to receive reviews for your business.

[00:02:11] The big places to look for reviews, for sort of generic businesses are Google. So these are the reviews that are integrated with Google Maps, you have star ratings. Facebook is also a place where you'll get a good star rating coming back. Those will both show up in search results as ratings.

[00:02:29] So you'll see a star rating show up right next to your business and that is that is social proof, right? That is you presenting to your customers that you do a good job. Often times people try to incentivize like leaving a review and you'll get a coupon and something like that.

[00:02:45] So you want to just motivate as many people to leave positive feedback as possible.
>> I'll just add that as we enable the reviews on Facebook and it was actually surprising how many people reviewed it like right away cuz Facebook actually sends them a message or whatever pops it up like, hey, what do you think of Frontend Masters, like leave a review or whatever and people have been saying some really cool stuff, so it's a good thing to do.

[00:03:09] I didn't even know that existed until like two weeks ago,
>> You would have known today, I would have told you.
>> Yeah.
>> [LAUGH]
>> And so one thing that Frontend Masters does that is effective is you have these live events on Facebook. And I believe at attendees of those live events will be prompted after the fact to review their experience of attending that event.

[00:03:31] So anytime that you can sort of loop users in to having accountability from the networks to sort of leave some feedback, right, that's not your business saying, please leave us a review but it's Facebook saying like we saw you're here. With one tap, give them a star rating.

[00:03:47] Do you have anything else to say? And building that kind of history and that kind of social proof behind your brand is really important. So, local business directories are a really easy first step to building links referring back to your site. So if you have a chamber of commerce or equivalent entity in your area that is a really easy, like highly trusted, highly influential source that can refer back to your site.

[00:04:20] They often keep a listing of all of the members of their business so like, if it's a couple hundred bucks to make a donation to the Chamber of Commerce. Like you will actually get proportionally like more SEO value out of that, then you're likely to get from spending that same amount of money on ads to try to show up to customers again and again, right?

[00:04:43] You start to look like a local authority. And by the way, mobile search indices oftentimes will bias local results as well, particularly if you're like a brick and mortar business where you have customers coming in like, search engines identify that kind of search and will favor like, you're looking for Thai food and here's a restaurant down the street.

[00:05:07] So you wanna make sure that whenever you move offices, that you update your address everywhere possible, because what will happen is customers will potentially find wrong information and they'll flag it as incorrect and that will suppress your SEO a little bit. And at the very least, it'll start to erode some of that subtle trust you get from knowing like, this is the address, these are the hours, here's the phone number, this is an established company.

[00:05:39] If it's sort of like, we're not sure where this place actually is, and I see this one address over here and this other one over here, that is a less positive and concrete face to put forward. So if you have other businesses that you work with, like vendors, partners, so, for example, I work with a couple consultancies who don't offer training services in and of themselves.

[00:06:04] They refer back to my training site, so that you can indicate that like, these people like they trust my site and they're referring to me as their authority on training. That's an easy one to get. Just make sure that you are tasteful in the way that you link back and forth.

[00:06:21] You don't wanna be doing like link trading, which we'll get into later as sort of one of the negative, like black hat things that search engines pick up on. And then finally in the Google Search Console, which is a free tool that pretty much everyone should should put their URLs through to see how they appear online.

[00:06:41] There are ways you can indicate that you are in fact a local business and you're opting into showing up in relevant local search results. So, these are some great tips if you have a physical location, if you have walk-in customers, or even vendors that visit you on sight, definitely worth filling this kind of thing out.

[00:07:04] My business in particular, my training business is sort of, its virtual so I'm not at my address to receive a customer if they come and visit me. So this kind of thing would not apply to that type of business.