Local SEO Expert Q&A: 7 Answers from Jason Parks

Today we feature Jason Park’s seven answers to seven questions from our exhaustive local SEO expert Q&A featuring 56 answers from some of the top local SEO experts. Check it out!

Q 1: What do you think are going to be the biggest changes in local search within the next year that small businesses should pay attention to?

A 1: Local backlinks. This isn’t new I just think more emphasis needs to be put on getting quality, authoritative links in your local market.

Q 2: If you were a small, local shop selling baked goods or beverages with limited time to work with your online marketing, what are the top three things you would focus on in order of importance? 

A 2:

  1. Reviews – I’d make sure to get reviews from my customers. People are going to do a Google search for your bakery or look on Yelp so reviews will be a big trust indicator and can help increase conversion rate
  2. Local Directories – I’d sign-up for a local directory service like Moz Local or Aabaco. This will make all of your listings consistent and make it easy for your customers to find your business
  3. Facebook Ads – I’d serve Facebook ads to people living around my bakery – This is low cost and would help generate instant exposure

Q 3: With the increase in mobile device usage, what do you think restaurants and online retailers should be doing as a minimum in regards to local SEO?

A 3: Make sure your website is responsive on mobile. This should have been done years ago. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. Make sure people can easily navigate your site on mobile. SEO does no good if people just immediately bounce from your site.

Q 4: Do you think local SEO will get more or less important as time goes on?

A 4: Local SEO will get more important. More people do research online before making a purchasing decision. Your local SEO can help people find you during that search phase.

Q 5: How do you think the advancements in virtual reality will affect local businesses in search, if at all?

A 5: I’m not an expert in virtual reality. I think we’re at least 5 years away from this going mainstream so I’m not too focused on that at the moment.

Q 6: Do you have any suggestions for in-house marketers to get buy-in on local SEO initiatives?

A 6: I think you just need to bring up Google.com and get your decision maker in front of a computer or their phone. Ask the decision maker how they are going to find a restaurant for this Friday night. Chances are, they will start on Google. This will prove the importance of local SEO within 30 seconds.

Q 7: How important is Google My Business and Reviews as it relates to restaurants in local search?

A 7: Very important. If people search for your brand or you populate for a coveted search term, this will be the first thing people see pertaining to your brand. Your business needs to focus on customer service and a review strategy that will compliment solid customer service.

Jason’s Bio:

Jason Parks is a proud Buckeye and the owner of The Media Captain, a digital marketing agency based in Columbus. Jason has been featured in the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Inc., Yahoo News, Search Engine Watch, The Columbus Dispatch and Entrepreneur.com. Jason has assisted in launching successful digital campaigns for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies to medium and small sized businesses.