Are You Achieving First Page Ranking on Your Own?
Can you achieve the coveted first page ranking, or even more desired the 1-3 spot, all on your own? Local SEO is the only way to dominate your market and the truth is, it can be difficult without a slew of tools that Search Engine Marketers, like us, use. These tools are costly and difficult to learn for everyday business owners. However, there are a few things you can do to help bolster your position.
Who are you competing with?
You may think you know your competitors, but do you really? Chances are, you are actually competing against people you may not have even known about in your digital space. Read on to learn how to determine who you are actually competing with.
Write compelling content
It sounds easy, sure, but compelling content can be a chore to write even for the most seasoned business owner. The key to this is to add uniqueness and authenticity to your content. These content pieces usually come in the form of blogs and other articles.
Include geographic references
So many times, potential customers who are searching for what they need will use their city, state and neighborhood in the search terms. That is why it is crucial to make sure you are including any and all geographical indicators in your digital content references. Taking that step will help you outrank those national level competitors.
Make sure your Google My Business is up-to-date
Google My Business (GMB) plays an important part of Google’s PageRank algorithm which evaluates the authority and relevance of search content. Google local business clusters which are the local searches that come up in the top organic and are the first listing many searchers will see, after the sponsored lists at the top of the search page. Having a polished GMB will help you slide into those highly sought-after spots.
Backlinking your content
What the heck are backlinks? Backlinks are simply inbound links to your website; we promise there’s no smoke or mirrors. If these aren’t something you think about when looking to help increase your search ranking and visibility, they definitely should be.
Why You Need Competitive SEO Audits
Understanding who your true competitors are is an integral part to understanding how to attack your SEO problems. Many times, people who you think are your competitors are not actually who you are going against. It’s time to take a step back and determine whether you think they are your competitors or if you know they are. Maybe you only consider them competitors because you drive by them on your way to the office, they have always been competitors or you envy something about their business. When analyzing SEO competitors, you need to analyze only those competitors that rank above you in cluster local searches and in organic text searches.
“It’s important to know that unique doesn’t necessarily have to mean original.”
Tell me about unique and compelling content
There’s no doubt that the web is filled with an abundance of information, making competition for high quality content fierce. Google places a tremendous amount of clout on unique content. Your content differentiates your products and services from everyone else’s on the web. It’s important to know that unique doesn’t necessarily have to mean original. You can reform ideas to meet specific niches, locations or businesses in general. So much of your uniqueness relates to your brand and how you can position it throughout your content. One of the most important parts of that its thoughtfully laying it out and writing it in your own words.
How Does Geographic Targeting work in SEO?
Geo targeting is the hidden key to all your SEO efforts, take advantage of it. What makes you stand out as a local business is that you are local and have an area you can target. This is a huge part of creating keywords and top-notch content. Centering these attributes around geographical references, that potential clients use in their search, will help you rank for those specific terms and bring you that much closer to your customers.
The Advantage of Google My Business for Local SEO
Having a complete profile is the biggest mistake businesses make. Its imperative that you fill out every single available field in your GMB profile. Google has put more authority on GMB profiles and included some subsections into it that are also important to focus in on.
Q&A – These sections are important for potential customers. They allow a quick glimpse into common questions that other people have had and allows users to review your product or service without having to go to your website. Most business owners are leaving this area unanswered, which is a big turn-off for both Google and potential customers.
Reviews – Reviews seems like a no brainer, right? This is one of the first indicators that people use when educating themselves on new business they may not be familiar with. They are typically either looking at overall ratings or diving deeper into what actual customers had to say about the business. Businesses have to take active steps when asking their customers to review them. There are even integrations you can include on your WordPress website like “Google Reviews Widget”, making it easy to integrate this into your business’s digital marketing plan.
Google Posts – Say what? Yes Google+ is dead… some find it sad, but Google has re-integrated a format into GMB that allow businesses to do micro updates. Google posts in GMB allow businesses to post events and other important information about their organization, much like your social media channels. These posts can include a Call to Action (CTA) button, making them that more attractive. These posts do “go dark” every 7 days, so it is important to at least post once a week to stay relevant. Google offers four different post types: what’s new, event, offer and product posts.
What the heck are backlinks you are asking? Any inbound link to your website is considered a backlink. Now, backlinks can vary in strength and only a marketing agency can help gauge strength with Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR). We frequently work with these metrics to determine optimal backlink strategies for our clients. Some easy advice for all of you is to focus on those backlinks you can effortlessly control. Some examples are directory listing from sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, or local listings on your Chamber website and your kid’s school. The more backlink that you can get, the more they will help you bolster your search engine ranking.
Search Engine Optimization Is Not Instant
A final thought on local search: SEO is not an instant success metric. It’s a part of marketing strategy that you have to constantly and consistently devote time and effort to. Month in and month out, you have to carve out marketing time to the tasks above for you to see the results you are looking for. Remember, SEO is free; you aren’t paying for advertising space on these search platforms.