How to Perfect Your Local SEO with Google Maps, Yelp, and More!

using Google Maps and Yelp for SEO

Most of the hard work for SEO marketers seems to be on your website – but what a lot of business owners and SEO marketers miss is how important other sites can be to your online visibility and reputation – sites like Yelp and Google Maps especially, as these often appear at the very top of search results and can easily be the only sites customers actually look at when searching on a smartphone (which, as you know, is more common than ever).

There was a great article on exactly this subject on SearchEngineLand back at the end of 2014 – let’s see what the SearchEngineLand staff got right and whether anything has changed in the past two years.

The main thrust of the old SearchEngineLand article is this: you need to set up a Google business account and claim your business on Yelp now. This is as true as ever going into 2017 – so if you haven’t done it yet, you’re already behind.

The SearchEngineLand article also details the importance of reaching out to your customers and keeping your accounts on Google and Yelp updated with the latest and most appealing information. That is also even more true now than it was back at the end of 2014. SEO is a long-term investment, not a one-off thing. That’s the big difficulty of SEO, but it’s also what makes SEO more viable than any other marketing form available today.

So it’s definitely important to follow the advice of the SearchEngineLand article – but there are also a few things they missed.

In addition to Maps and Yelp, Google also prioritizes news information. In fact, in one of the pictures going along with the SearchEngineLand article, a news article is right below Yelp and Google Maps, and above the main site of the business in question.

This brings up an additional important point – press releases still matter going into 2017. They were huge several years ago, seemed to dwindle by 2014, and are now coming back stronger than ever. Press releases can get your business noticed by news outlets, and often boost your search results faster than anything else.

Writing a press release and having it used to write a story is no easy feat, though. Press release writing is so specifically formatted, in fact, that there are several marketers out there on the web that specialize only in press release writing – and we have done a lot of work here at SERP Ability to make sure we can write great press releases too.

Press releases, Yelp, and Google Maps aside, it’s important to remember the fundamentals of SEO. In other words, your site and your social media profiles will still matter in 2017, and on top of that we never know when the next big change from Google is coming.

What this means is that you have to brush up external properties that mention you on the internet while also maintaining your own site to the highest degree of professionalism.

It seems that as time goes on and the search engines get more advanced, SEO gets harder – but it’s important to remember that as it becomes more difficult, it also becomes more rewarding.