Prepare for the Holidays with this Local SEO Checklist 

The holidays have historically been a time for large crowds to shop in-store. However as we all know, the 2020 holiday shopping experience will be vastly different this year due to COVID-19. The pandemic has created a shift towards online shopping for consumers, so it’s vital for brands to prepare with a solid local SEO strategy to reach 2020 holiday shoppers. This guide will give you several essential local SEO strategies to maximize your reach to consumers in the 2020 holiday season.

1 – Update Your Listings

Local business listings will be important in giving consumers accurate information at the start of their search process. Make sure that your special hours are in place and you’ve added the latest to further describe the shopping experience you are providing. In addition to business information updates, you can also , a free tool Google released in April to help consumers easily shop for local products. As you continue to make these updates, think of other holiday-friendly ways to optimize your business listings. 

Here are the steps for setting holiday hours on

Here are the steps for setting holiday hours on

‘How to set holiday hours on :

‘How to set holiday hours on Bing:

2 – Be Proactive about Google Q&A

The Google Q&A section of GMB, is an important local SEO strategy to answer consumer’s most common questions. One important thing to note is that anyone can answer questions in your brand’s Google Q&A, which is all the more reason to provide brand-verified answers. Go ahead and create Q&As for holiday-related questions like holiday store hours, holiday products, contactless experiences,  and COVID-19 questions. If you want to answer more questions that are relevant to your consumers, head to . Through here, you can do some research to see what questions consumers have related to your competitors, products, industry, and brand. 

3 – Update Local Pages & Optimize Your Website

Optimizing your local pages for the holidays will help improve your online visibility for local, web, mobile, and voice searches. Each of your local pages should have localized holiday content such as holiday-specific items, holiday offers, holiday hours, and more. Adding in holiday-specific information increases your chances of being found for holiday consumers who are searching with queries like “Christmas deals near me”. Don’t forget to add in links to your social media channels, delivery services, and booking services. 

Another strategy to reach local holiday-shoppers is by optimizing your website for mobile searches. Holiday shoppers will be turning to the hassle-free convenience of their voice assistant and phones to order holiday gifts. are done using a mobile device. Websites that are mobile-optimized and have a fast site speed will directly increase search rankings and improve the online shopping experience for customers. 

Test your website speed with to see if site-speed is under 3 seconds, the optimal load time. If your website speed isn’t at the optimal time, a quick fix is to optimize the size of images on your website. Images are often the largest culprit for lengthy load times since they are typically larger files. Tools like can help you compress image sizes while retaining the quality. Another strategy is to scan your website to see if there are any plugins you can remove. Plugins are amazing for adding special features or additional functionalities to your website – however, too many plugins can drastically slow down web pages. A routine plugin check will help you know which plugins are the most important to keep and are up-to-date. 

4 – Create New Review Response Templates

The have given way to consumers submitting more reviews this year, highlighting that your review management strategy will matter more now than ever. This holiday season will be unique and come with its own set of new challenges. It’s also likely that your brand has recently implemented different services, technologies, and new rules that may not go over well with customers. No matter what circumstance or situation it is, creating new can help you stay on top of reviews and respond quickly to the large influx of customer feedback. Your brand can stay on top of reviews by building that address any kind of situation. 

How to Respond to Positive Reviews:

 How to Respond to Negative Reviews:

5 – Optimize Your Social Media Channels

It’s a good idea to prioritize negative reviews so you can provide a resolution and regain any lost customers. More often than not, an unhappy customer can turn into an advocate of your business if they see you’ve taken the time to address their issue. 

Plan your social media calendar in advance to make sure your brand’s content is approved and ready to publish when the holidays hit. Holiday content such as product giveaways and holiday themed contests are fun ways to get consumers excited about your brand. However, you also need to inform consumers of the safe and sanitary shopping experience your brand is providing this year. Create regularly scheduled content that discusses COVID-19 protocols, safety procedures, business information updates, omnichannel experiences, and anything else you think will be important for consumers to know. During this time, you also need to check through your social media channels to ensure you have accurate business information, special hours, links, and ways they can reach you for customer care. 

Convenience will continue to remain a top priority for consumers even after the holiday season, so make sure your brand is utilizing all the shoppable features from social media. Facebook and Instagram are some of the most popular social media channels consumers use to directly purchase from brands. Through (also available on Instagram), your business can create a shopping section with a catalog of products for your visitors to browse, save, share, and purchase. Don’t forget to remind your customers that they can easily reach out to your brand on social media for customer service issues, support, and other requests. 

With this holiday season being dramatically different than many others, your brand will need to adapt any in place to reach today’s consumer. Consumers on holiday gifts this year. Take the time to ensure that your holiday messaging is price-conscious and relatable to your audience. 

6 – Turn on GMB Messaging 

Did you know that through messaging on GMB, customers can message you directly on your listing? GMB Messaging is another avenue of communication that makes it easy to answer all your customer’s questions, provide support, and give more information on your products and services. This messaging feature functions just like a text messaging service and enables you to provide immediate customer service and even share photos.

Here’s how you can set up messaging on GMB: 

7 – Stay Ahead with a Task Management System

Staying on top of your brand’s reputation management and local SEO is already difficult enough, but even more so during the holiday season. Streamlining your workflow with a task management system like can help you rest easy knowing you’re on top of it all during this busy time. With Chatmeter’s Workflow, you can create auto-assigned tasks, alerts, and notifications to stay ahead of review responses, social media, and local listings. 

Want to take advantage of Chatmeter’s all-in-one local SEO and reputation management dashboard for the holiday season? to see how your brand can stay ahead of the competition this year with Chatmeter.

This content was originally published here.

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