Manta hosted a killer webinar with Andrew Shotland that highlighted local SEO ranking factors that matter most (or "Local Search Secrets" as the presentation titled.) In essence, Shotland outlined the best practices of local SEO while highlighting which ranking signals to invest most your efforts. If the conversation was too long for you, and you didn't listen (tl;dl), then your welcome. I've extracted what I believe to be the golden nuggets worth noting.
There are an endless supply of articles about local SEO and how to optimize your web pages for better rankings. And yet, there's less actionable insights that specifically surround Google My Business pages and how to optimize these listings for better rankings in the Google local 3 pack.
There’s big misconception about what defines Google Maps marketing. “Google Maps marketing” is used mostly in reference to the local “3-pack” listings associated with the Google Maps snippet. These competitive listings provide prime marketing real estate for all types of businesses. Although the 3-pack is probably the most coveted means of search visibility, Google Maps marketing involves much more.
Late last August, Google updated its rules for Local Business's use of review rich snippets. Parallel to its release of the critic review snippet extension, Google's new rules for review rich snippets are significantly different than those that were previously in place. In essence, the new rules help to ensure the legitimacy of local business reviews (tightening-up control over potentially fake reviews.)
The art of local SEO is constantly progressing with new tactics and techniques spawning every year. And yet, there are certain processes and platforms that remain relevant in optimizing a business's local search presence. The strategies outlined below have been considered local SEO best practices for last 5+ years, and we expect them to remain that way for many years to come.