Learn how to outrank your competitors and show up when your potential customers need you most—when they are looking for you.
If you were to get lost in the woods and come across a fruit-bearing tree, you would be so excited to find food. Since you are likely starving, you would likely immediately start picking fruit and eating. Would you climb to the top of the tree and try for the fruit hanging far above the path, or would you start with those delicious fruits hanging from the bottom branches which are easily accessible? I would start with the easiest first. Using SEO and SEM are the marketing equivalent of capturing the easiest-to-get business first.
There are people searching for your product or service right now. If you don’t show up when they are looking for you, they will go to your competitors. It depends on your business as to how many people are looking for you on search engines, but it could be a significant number. Even if it is only a few, you need to show up where people search, when they are searching. There are two ways to do this. The first is SEO which is covered in this blog post today, and the second is SEM (Search Engine Management) which will be covered next month. Both work but think of SEO as the long-term play where SEM is quicker and can generate leads as soon as tomorrow. We offer both at Connection Media Co. Let us know if you need more leads.
I have had 3 clients recently tell me that our paid search efforts are their number 1 source of leads. This is important, don’t underestimate how this could help your business.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO in simple terms, is convincing Google or other search engines that you are relevant to the person conducting the search. Google understands its role is to give us what we want when we search and that we are happy with what we find so we come back and ask them again next time. If I was looking for a mortgage and it brought up a loan officer in Colorado, I wouldn’t trust Google results very much. Again, Google wants to give us what we want, so we trust them and continue to use them.
For local SEO, search engines look at a lot of factors, but here are some of the primary factors.
#1 Proximity-- Are you located near where the person is searching? Map apps on our phones are becoming the number one search engine for local searches. People aren’t going to websites anymore, they are just going to the map, searching for what they want and either clicking the phone number or clicking for directions. This makes managing Google google and Apple Maps of the utmost importance. That is why we added that specific product to our lineup last year because we wanted to meet customers where they are looking. Let us know if you want help with maps.
#2 Authority--Do you actually do what someone is looking for? Are you trusted in your industry? Does your website contain proof of your expertise? One of the best ways to do this is by blogging about your expertise, and by understanding and using keywords to make sure search engines like Google and Bing can see that you are an authority in the industry. We can also help you get consistent blogging information on your site. We have 5 on-staff writers who are excellent at this.
#3 Relevance--Do people get what they were after when they do find you? This is why when many people “bounce” or immediately leave your website it can hurt your SEO. It tells the search engine that they didn’t find what they were looking for on your site. They are also looking for new content. If your content is 10 years old, they don’t know if you are even still in business, or if your site is just still hanging around.
#4 Technically Correct--There are some things that Google asks us to do to make sure your website will work well and feed their engines’ information well. Here are some examples of their requirements.
Maps SEO is a little different. This requires some of the same efforts, but it is also heavily tied to your Google My Business profile and category selections. Maps don’t use keywords, they use broader categories and are heavily influenced by reviews. We can help with this, too.
With either of these approaches, you must make the effort continually. If you don’t, you will be impacted by competitors who are making more effort than you are. You might rank well right now, and then two to three competitors come in and do a better job of showing their relevance, and suddenly you are outranked. Making this an ongoing investment is a wise choice.
Ranking well in local search results will attract nearby customers.
Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) must be consistent. Consistent NAP data across the web boost local search rankings. This means not only on your site, but also directories, linking websites, and anywhere else you might be listed. Consistency is key.
Reputation Management is also crucial to online success. What are people saying about you? Again, Google wants people to get what they are looking for, so they will weigh the sites and listings of companies that treat their customers well. There are many solutions out there to help with reputation management, and we can also help you here.
The best piece of advice I have for you with regards to your reputation is to answer negative feedback. When you messed up, admit it, apologize, and tell the person, publicly, how you are going to do better going forward. When you get incorrect or unjustified negative feedback, don’t get into an argument. Just say you’re sorry they had a bad experience, and that you are going to adjust something or simply that you are aware of the situation. No one expects you to be perfect.
They want to know that you care though. Never let a bad review just hang out there with no response. Say something, and keep it civil. If they are combative, be the bigger person. Keep calm and type with a smile.
Backlinks are just outside websites that link back to your website. Here is why those links are important as generated by ChatGPT.
Media companies have large audiences. If you can get media – free or paid media spotlights on TV, Radio, Blogs, Podcasts, Newspapers, and Magazines—all are great sources of media coverage. Linking that coverage back to your website, or social media, also adds a ton of credibility to your site and you.
Often media coverage can also be a powerful marketing tool that is perceived as content, not just advertising. When I have spots on TV it is usually my use of the piece afterward that is more valuable than the piece itself. It shows relevancy and personalizes me as a business person. Plus, it only shows up in the media once, if I repost it on my website and social media, it lives for a long time. It can influence a future customer even years down the road. This will also help your website’s SEO.
Your social media can lead people to your website with the right strategy, further boosting your relevancy and traffic.
When you have a business, I find you usually have time or money, not typically both. If you have time you can do these things on your own; if you have money, you can hire someone to do it for you. We would love to be your marketing company. We have so many great solutions and we are happy to talk about your goals and challenges. We'll do our best to help you rock and roll!
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