How to Improve Local SEO With Brand Reputation


A  consumer survey by BrightLocal found  90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 33% looking every day. But consumers who take to local search aren’t just looking for basic business information, they’re looking for validating brand trust signals. That’s why we believe local SEO is your most valuable earned media channel. Read on to learn more about the importance of brand reputation for local SEO. 


What is local seo?


The purpose of Local SEO is to improve the local search visibility of a business by supporting customers in the “Go” moment of their journey. According to Google, “Today people can – and do – prepare for every aspect of any experience, big or small. Whether they’re taking a vacation across the globe or dining at a neighborhood café, people have a low tolerance for surprises.” Local SEO goes beyond optimizing for basic business information like NAP (name, address, and phone number), and extends into growing valuable trust signals in the form of authentic online reviews. 


A Google infograph of micromoments for local seo


Local SEO is most important for the following industries:


  • Restaurants


  • Hotels


  • Entertainment


  • Automotive


  • Hair and Beauty


  • Grocery Stores


  • Medical


  • Clothing Stores


Why brand reputation is Vital to LOCAL SEO pERFORMANCE


When was the last time you chose to visit a new business? Think about what influenced your decision. If you were influenced by what you learned from researching online reviews, you’re not alone. 67% of local search consumers are influenced by a brand’s online reputation*. Brand reputation impacts local SEO in the form of consumer trust, local search rankings, and converting searchers into leads.


A quote about why brand reputation management is important for online strategy


Brand trust and local search


BrightLocal’s consumer survey found Facebook, Yelp!, Google My Business, and TripAdvisor make up 70% of the most trusted review sites for local searches, and over 80% of consumers will only use a business if they have a rating better than 3 stars. But how your brand performs on review sites doesn’t just stay on review sites. Let’s take a look at how brand reputation is displayed in local search results. 


A pie chart outlined the review platforms most important for brand reputation


Reviews and local search Results


Non-Brand Local Searches


When a non-brand local search is performed, Google serves results based on proximity, relevancy, and trust signals (number of reviews, positive reviews, etc.). The most prominent local search result is a Local 3-Pack. A Local 3-Pack is a listing of the top three Google My Business (GMB) accounts. To compete for a top spot in the Local 3-Pack, your GMB account not only has to be verified, but well optimized with high-quality reviews and frequent posts. Similar to SEO for websites, Google looks to fresh, unique, and relevant content as ranking signals for GMB accounts. 


A local 3 pack listing for a non-brand local search   


Brand Local Searches


When a  local search is performed for a brand term, a customer is shown search results for the brand’s GMB account, and data from review sites like Facebook and Yelp!. Review site data is displayed with eye-catching star reviews that show the average rating and number of reviews. Since Google ranks review sites high on the results page,  it’s important to maintain positive trust signals across all review sites, as well as consistent services and NAP. 


An example of a brand reputation result for a branded local search


Although not present in the example above, reviews can also be served from a business web page. In fact, trust signals directly from a business website are now important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. According to Google, “A site with a good reputation is trustworthy.” Adding aggregate review schema to a business website can improve both local SEO rankings and click-through-rates from the search results page. 


An example of a web result with ratings




The key takeaway, actively growing your brand reputation online will improve brand trust and local SEO performance. If you still have questions about local or other SEO services to improve your performance, connect with us today. 


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