Posted on June 18, 2013 in SEO, Social SEO by cmblogger
Everyone seems to be talking lately about the importance of capturing customers in your geographic area through effective local SEO. But let’s get to the most important part of that conversation-have you set up your local Google+ places listing yet?
Establishing a strong local profile on Google+ will help organic rankings along with promoting your local social media identity. And with the new Google redesigns, setting up your local places listing page isn’t too different from a Facebook page in layout and design. If you can do that, you can do this, and get your local information indexed by all the search engines at the same time.
First, sign in here, and get to your Google dashboard. You’ll be asked for your country, your phone number and identifying information for your business. Mission critical: make sure the phone number you enter is the same one you want for your business on your Google+ local places listing page.
Once you’re done typing in the info, you’ll need to get a verification code from Google itself, by text, phone, or even postcard, if you’re feeling retro. With this PIN, you’ll be able to immediately finalize your Google Places Listing, and get on board!
Next week: Google+ Local Listing
It’s important for any business concerned with their SEO performance to be aware of Google’s basic strategy behind the way their search engine is designed. By knowing what Google is doing-and why-you in turn can make sure your website and overall SEO program is in keeping with these values, and ensure the success of your own campaign.
For example, Google VP Amit Singhal’s keynote address during Google’s yearly I/O conference meeting for 2013 defined any upcoming changes for their search engine functionality as elements designed to answer, converse and anticipate their users needs.
Already, Google has incorporated this strategy into current Google products. As Singhal explains, relatively new features like Knowledge Graph, Social Search and more are “…critical first step[s] towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.”
Translation? The emphasis is on a search engine made for human beings, not machines.
Make sure the content on your website and the keywords you’re using are natural. Marketing copy should sound real, not canned or robotic. Keyword usage, while important, should never sound artificial or “stuffed.” To do so are red flags for the search engine that will only slow down your organic rankings, not enhance them.
Furthermore, Singhal also indicated that Google is rapidly expanding into conversational search, also referred to as “hotwording.” As Apple has done with their Siri function, you’ll soon be talking out loud to Google too, asking a question rather than typing in search terms. Google will be able to answer a spoken question like “where is the deli?” or “how far to the laundromat?” with multiple relevant, local results.
The game is always changing in this rapidly expanding marketplace. The bad news? Only by staying on top of the newest developments like these will you move past your competitors. The good news? A strong SEO program will help you capture even more consumers than ever before, and guarantee your brand is relevant long into the future.
When it comes to getting great organic rankings, your SEO program and your Google+ pages are increasingly, inextricably connected. Google+ pages allow you to not just engage with a wide range of consumers, but also to provide an easily accessible hub for all your social media profiles, sites, articles and even blog posts. You can link to it all from Google+. Think of it like your personal O’Hare, minus the delays.
From an SEO standpoint, every consumer who shares, links to your post or +1s it adds a valuable link to your arsenal. Google rewards those sites that are well connected to others with better organic rankings. As the company states on its website, “+1′s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query.” And if your post ends up going viral, the sky’s the limit. Google adds even more value to those links, to further encourage you to post meaningful, interesting content.
Google+ also allows you to connect with significant companies and people within your industry, referred to as “high authority profiles.” The more people that link, share and +1 your posts, the more you also become an influencer within your field on Google+.
It’s a win-win, both in terms of a successful social media campaign and as a way to unlock better SEO results for your business. By most analyses, Google+ will only continue to grow in its importance for all aspects of your online marketing strategy.
More users than ever before are making the shift from their desktops to accessing the web with a mobile device. You must take action to capture these mobile searches and potential local customers.
First, make sure your website is optimized for local and mobile SEO. Consider a store locator, as well as individual store pages that feature the correct address, phone number, and hours for each of your locations. Second, create appealing, informative Google + and Bing local listing pages for your company. Your customers may use local search techniques other than Google to find your business, so be ready for them.
Finally, integrate your business into social media, not just to make the most of branding and engagement opportunities, but for SEO purposes as well. Consumer driven sites are now featuring local search functions with their mobile apps, including those for Facebook (with Graph Search), Foursquare and Yelp.
Encourage your customers to write reviews, check in and interact with you on these vital social networks, so others can not only find your business, but see the positive interactions that build trust and encourage buying decisions.
Make sure your business appears at the top of the search results page in both mobile and desktop formats as a local listing. Put your business front and center for your customers. Not only will you gain consumer trust by coming up for local results, but you’ll also make it quick and easy for potential clients to find your contact information.
Trust is essential in any purchase decision-and studies show that your company’s inclusion in local search conveys reliability. Consider the national 2012 Local Search Usage study, which found that 58% of respondents felt that local search results were more trustworthy than the alternatives, which included natural search and paid results.
Like the telephone directory of years past, local search listings are also the new resource everyone refers to when they need information, fast. Appearing in local search results guarantees people will find your website, brick and mortar location, maps, hours of operation, phone number and more.
This isn’t about casual “surfing the web,” but consumers in a hurry, searching for a reliable source for the goods and services you offer. Capture these customers immediately with local search results for your business.
Call Captain Marketing and learn more about how to go local: (888) 297-9977
Posted on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
Data analysts at Marketingcharts.com released a study at the beginning of this year revealing the increasing importance of mobile devices even for organic search-with 27% of Google searches now completed from a tablet or mobile phone in the fourth quarter of 2012. Mobile activity is predicted to grow even more for consumers in 2013, as Americans become more and more comfortable comparison price shopping and researching products and services right from the store. Even for local brick and mortar businesses who don’t sell on the web, having a place on the search engine results pages for their website will now be essential, as customers use Google, Yahoo and Bing the way an earlier generation used the Yellow Pages. Even if you’re just interested in generating foot traffic, making sure your website is maximized for local SEO should be at the top of your “to-do” list for this coming month.
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