In this episode of the I’ve Heard That podcast on the Hurrdat Media Network, host Meghan sits down with Local Search Manager Alexi English and Social Media Director Kirsten Smith to chat about how local businesses can use social media and local SEO to get in front of more local customers.
What can you do on social to help local SEO?
Smith: I think the most important thing is to always claim your Facebook pages. There are multiple times where someone will go to a business, check in online, and then that’s the end of it. It’s just a floating Facebook page that’s out there that businesses don’t even know exist. So claim all of your Facebook pages and optimize them with correct imagery and About page information. Fill everything out, and do it all accurately.
English: I don’t think a lot of people realize that Facebook is one of the top five directories that you should claim as a business owner. Your business name, address, phone number, website URL—make sure all that information is on your Facebook page. The About section is huge, so make sure you’re filling out completely.
How do extra Facebook Pages function?
Smith: You will have your “parent page,” then you will put the others in the hierarchy of the location pages. But it’s still going to be pulled up based on where you’re located, too. There’s no way to turn new location pages (child pages) off because people check into them, and if they mistake the location, it’ll create a new page that’s wrong, and it’s just going to be out there. You can do low-maintenance work on them, like making sure the information is correct or turning off settings so people can’t post on that page. But they’re not going to go away, so there’s going to have to be a little bit of management.
English: Facebook is a directory, so you should want to have a page with all your locations, but location pages are also another way to manage your reviews. A lot of businesses only have one page, but have 20 locations, so all those reviews would go to that one page, rather than to the location page they actually belong to.
What features has Google rolled out to keep up?
English: One feature is Google Posts, which a lot of businesses neglect. Not only does it take up real estate on a search engine results page (SERP), but I would go to a business listing quicker if I saw there were Posts there. If you’re going to be posting on other social platforms like Facebook, why wouldn’t you post on Google as well?
Smith: It’s nice because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with your Posts. If you post on Facebook, you already know what your audience likes and what they want to see. So why not use that same strategy with Google Posts as well?
How can you implement direct messages into your strategy?
Smith: It’s another way to execute great customer service and gives you an opportunity to create that connection with a customer, which is what a lot of people online are looking for. But you can’t just set it up with a bot and then forget about it. You need to have a strategy. There’s still that human interaction that people want, even if it’s through a chat.
English: In Google Messenger, it will actually get turned off for your business if you don’t respond within 24 hours. That’s why we tell business owners, if you want to turn on this feature, you better be prepared to respond promptly.