Timing your local SEO activities

According to the Moz 2013 Local SEO Ranking Factors report conducted by David Mihm, the following activities contributed the most to local SEO success:

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    • Review signals = 10.3%

What does this data tell us?

By looking at this information there are a few things that we can glean and take away:

    • Optimization of your website is critical – Don’t forget to make it mobile-friendly to capture the attention of mobile users and make sure that they have a positive experience!
    • Building links and creating relationships / networking on a local scale is important – Work with directories, local blogs, local websites, local businesses, etc.
    • Social activity is still a must – Even though it doesn’t rank highly on the list above, there is no denying that social activity is important. Having an active social presence is essential, and monitoring / responding to feedback left by web users can’t be overlooked.
    • Search directory listings are vital – Creating and keeping your search engine directory listings (think Google Places pages) current and accurate is very important because these pages can help people find your business and learn more about you.

How should you spend your local SEO time?

Generally speaking you should spend time generating activity around your business first, but don’t neglect overall optimization in the doing.
Daily: Tend to your social media activity and reviews monitoring, also focus on link building. One social post, review response, or link built is better than nothing at all!
As needed: Tend to website optimization and updating your search engine directory listings.
Specifics (how many hours a day / week / etc you spend on X activity) depend on the needs and resources available for an individual business. Bigger businesses might not have any trouble devoting a staff member or two full-time to these tasks, while smaller operations might have to work hard to squeeze a little in wherever they can. Because of this we have only given general guidelines – everything is very open to personalization and customization.
Obviously taking care of things like on-page optimization for your website and keeping up on your social channel activity is important, but only you will know what is right for your business when it comes to the little details.

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Your takeaway

According to the Moz survey we mentioned earlier on in this post, there is a lot to be said for keeping your search directory listings updated; if you haven’t set any of these up yet, you need to get on the ball and get started ASAP! They might not look like much or seem very important, but when it comes to searching on the go, a lot of what mobile users see is related to these search listing pages. They’re a bit different from a website home page or a social media profile, but if you’re focused on attracting local consumers there isn’t much more that you can do that is more important.
Of course things like social media activity and link building are also important; balance is the key in this situation!