News & Views
What's happening at WME and the world of Web Marketing
Competitors are a certainty in business. Adidas has Nike, Coca Cola has Pepsi, and the cafe you frequent has its equally-stylish equivalent across the street! Every business owner does battle with their competitors, and one of the most important tactics in the digital era is getting a leg up online.
However, for new business owners, taking on businesses that have enjoyed auto-generated or local SEO for years can be an uphill battle. What’s more, it can be difficult for local business owners to keep up with Google’s revolving door of ranking factors. One day you think you’ve nailed the local SEO game and then, hey, what? Google changes its ranking factors through algorithm updates that turn the game on its head.
This can be a nightmare for local business owners and especially if they are just entering the Australian SEO optimization arena. Thankfully, the pros exist to help take your business to the top of the local SEO game, covering these imperative elements along the way:
The most important thing to do is to verify your business on Google. Not only will this build trust with prospects, but it also allows you to control and edit over the information that appears on your listing. Over time a listing will be made for your business with duplicate listings appearing. Therefore, you must claim all listings that fall under your business name before removing duplicate listings and ensuring your remaining listing’s information is correct.
Your experts will use advanced tools to locate all these duplicate listings. Once they detect unwanted duplicates they will go to work on claiming and removing them on your behalf. If you would like to do it yourself, simply enter the business name (exactly as written on your website) into a tool like Moz and it will provide you with a full list of duplicate and potentially-inaccurate listings.
Once you locate them all you can then claim them if they are actually tied to your business. Once you claim them you can then go to work on removing duplicates and correcting informational inconsistencies.
Google and other search engines use “trawlers” to analyse your site and gauge its local compatibility. If they find that your site is highly compatible with local search then they will rank it higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The best thing here is to have a specific location page that discusses servicing the local area. The search engine will analyse this content before attributing it to the included location.
This content should always include the most accurate address information possible. This is because it must be easy for Google to associate your website and content with your exact location to ensure that their information is also accurate for Google users.
Google must be able to consistently recognise your business name, address and phone number (NAP) across its search engine. This way it can tell that you are a legitimate business with a reliable NAP that can better serve its customers.
After all, any frustrating customer experience regarding addresses and phone calls reflects poorly on Google, so they will only rank websites with consistent NAPs. This can be easily updated using your Moz local search tool as well as your Google My Business listing.
You can expect to see users coming across your Google My Business (GMB) listing every day. Therefore, it’s imperative that search engines like Google can quickly and easily find this information to make it easy for them and customers. It is easy to update your GMB listing: all you have to do is log into your account and ensure your NAP is accurate. What’s more, don’t forget to include a concise business description, your open hours and a link to your website.
You should make your listing aesthetically-appealing just as you would your website or social media content. You can add your company logo as well as update your location and product photos. They should be high quality images that attract the customer towards them as part of helping them make a purchase decision. Don’t stress if you have two or more locations – there is plenty of information available on how to manage multiple GMB listings!
So, you’re starting to see that your Google listing is a reciprocal process, and Google wants to promote solid listings that reflect well on the platform? Well, the same goes for your reviews! Google prioritises good reviews to ensure that it is promoting businesses that provide an awesome and accurate service. So, if you have a bunch of happy customers who love leaving in-person praise, why not ask them to leave a quick Google review, too?
After all, Google will largely snub a business with bad or no reviews at all, as this makes their platform look bad, too. So, positive reviews will help you rank better as well as give you more content on the results page. To gain more space, you can add schema markups and sub-pages to add to your website.
Social proof is one of the most powerful tools for your local SEO campaign. This is because prospects will see the wealth of five-star reviews and positive appraisals on your listing and happily visit your online or physical store. Not only does this do wonders for your click-through-rate (imperative for SEO) but it will also drive in-store sales!
Content is one of the best ways for Google to recognise your business as a local expert. When you produce local content Google will trust your brand as a local authority who knows the area and is proud to serve your community. There are numerous ways you can create local content, including location-specific landing pages, blogs about your industry within the local area, in-store discounts and even hosting local events.
The Google Ads free Keyword Planner is one of the best tools at your disposal when it comes to finding local keywords. It will help you find the keywords Google needs to associate your business with your local area. It will show which keywords in your area and industry receive the highest search volume as well as the lowest competition. What’s more, it will help you find similar search terms that your competitors may not be using but can be used to your advantage!
Backlinks from partnerships and sponsorships can be used to generate more traffic to your website. Therefore, if you have enjoyed local partnerships or sponsorships with other companies in the past, let them know that you’re looking to enhance your local SEO game and request a backlink on their website.
It’s not only a great way to direct traffic to your website, but Google also trusts businesses that have more backlinks directing to their websites. They routinely reward them accordingly and will likely do the same for your website!
Alongside acquiring links from partnerships and sponsorship, local link building is one of the most imperative elements to local SEO success. You can optimise your local link building through contacting other local businesses and requesting local link building or through creating engaging content that local businesses would be happy to share with their own audiences.
It’s no secret that social media is one of the biggest drivers behind SEO rankings. Not only does it create brand awareness and trust, but exciting social media content can be one of the best ways to win immediate sales. In addition to this, it is fantastic for your local SEO, especially if you create engaging local content that speaks to your area!
The increased visibility you receive from local social media posts has an overarching impact on your entire online campaign and this includes your GMB listing. So, you should take the time to develop a creative social media campaign that speaks to your local audience but also include content that speaks to your wider target demographic.
It’s all about accuracy (and a little creativity)
You want your online information to be as accurate as possible when it comes to your local SEO. You want your local customers to easily be able to find your contact information and for this to happen Google has to be able to easily find it, too.
What’s more, you want to create both website and GMB content that is engaging and attracts customers towards your product or service. For example, hungry customers will likely go to the cafe that has the yummiest looking food photos as opposed to the one that has some dusty, dim-light interior shots with no proper photos of the food.
But covering your local SEO can be difficult, and therefore our experts are here to ensure your listing climbs the local listings like never before. Contact us today if you would like to make that happen!