Best of Digital Summit 2020: Greg Gifford and The Goonies Guide to Showing Up in Local Search


Highlighting some of our best sessions from Digital Summit at Home 2020, this recap and session video is fast-paced and FUN — The Goonies Guide to Showing up in Local Search from Greg Gifford, VP of Search at Chicago SearchLab from DS at home August.

Greg will be giving a fresh new talk at our upcoming Digital Summit GO! event on Jan 27. Grab your free ticket to that today! 

For years, marketers have been tasked with solving the daunting, ever-changing puzzle of increasing brand visibility through search. To make this even more timely, 2020 and COVID-19 has changed customer behavior at a fundamental level with nearly every purchase starting with a search on Google. This shift in behavior makes it even more critical for brands to perform well in local searches in order to have a chance to succeed.  

In this session, Greg Gifford uses classic 80’s movies (let’s hear it from Gen X!) to draw parallels to the world of search marketing and provide useful tips on how marketers can make a difference in how people find their business.

Do I Need Localized SEO? (4:30)

Local search pertains to businesses, such as restaurants and stores, that serve people in a specific area. Ironically, most of the businesses and brands that NEED local SEO don’t even know that it exists. Developing a local SEO strategy is even more challenging since there are additional factors that don’t pertain to traditional SEO, like location-based tracking.

PRO TIP: Brands should invest in an employee or agency that is dedicated to managing local SEO to stay ahead of changes to Google’s algorithm while constantly testing to ensure top performance. 

Factors to Determine Local SEO Success (9:30)

All local businesses want to be featured in Google’s “Map Pack” that will list them as a result when someone searches in their area. There are two factors that are critical to local SEO that brands and businesses must consider, including:

  • The proximity of the search result to the person conducting a Google search
  • Having a physical address in the city being searched

How Marketers Can Influence Local SEO? (11:30)

While businesses can’t change their physical locations to influence where they appear in a search, there are ways that they can influence local SEO to ensure that they are part of the conversation, including:

Local Search Rankings Factor Study (11:25)

Local business marketers need to pay attention to the local search rankings factor study, which contains valuable information on what successful businesses can doing to maximize local SEO.

PRO TIP: Keep an eye out for this annual report to get key insights from the world’s leading local SEO experts.

Link Signals (13:05)

Focus on link signals, which are links on other local websites that point to your business site. These link signals are one of the most essential factors in determining how Google and other search engines rank your site.

PRO TIP: Become active in the local community to encourage other businesses to include links to your website, which will power organic searchability for your business.

Content Signals (20:00)

Quality, not quantity, of the content, that a business website contains is extremely important in determining local SEO ranking. The content should be unique, relevant information about their business, and also contain the proper keywords and tags.

PRO TIP: Ensure that your site content is fresh, conversational, and contains information that will not be found on competitor websites, including text that is specific to your location. Blogs are a great way to accomplish each of these things.

Citation Signals (26:45)

Citation Signals, which are any other sites that mention your business website, are a requisite piece of the puzzle.

PRO TIP: Search through the first 2 pages of search result sites where your business is mentioned and ensure that the information is correct.

Review Signals (27:35)

Reviews on important sites, such as Google Reviews and Yelp, are very important to a local SEO strategy. Ensuring that you have as many reviews as possible will boost your site’s local search performance.

PRO TIP: Make leaving a review for your business as easy as possible to encourage a higher volume of reviews.

GMB Signals (30:05)

Your Google My Business listing is your new home page as far as local SEO is concerned.

PRO TIP: Ensure that all of your content is as accurate as possible and select the most relevant categories for your business, as well as using beautiful images to represent your business.

Local search is more important than ever and presents a great opportunity to those ready to take it seriously. By following some of these guiding principles for local search, marketers can get a better grasp on how local SEO works and ways that they can influence their business’s ranking.

To hear from experts like Joe and hundreds of others that teach at Digital Summit, check out our 2021 calendar of virtual and in-person events. 

If you can’t wait until February for more Digital Summit in your life, join us on January 27 for Digital Summit Go!, a FREE 1-day online event featuring 12 of our best speakers (including Joe!). Hear 12 rapid fire talks on Content, Social, Email, and SEO with tons of actionable takeaways to help your marketing soar in the new year. Did we mention that it’s FREE? 🙂