Google uses the term organic meaning people search Google with a KEYWORD, different from direct visibility where people search with your name. Most business owners want to reach the vast audience that lies beyond the scope of their referral program. And this is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play — not just for your website, but for your entire Internet presence.
When Mary Jo speaks or types one of your keywords, to tell Google what she’s looking for, you want YOUR business to show up. There are three types of search results.
You want your business to show up in all three types of results. So, how do you make that happen.
How do you rank? You Search-Engine-Optimize your internet presence better than your competition. Does the thought of competition give you a shiver? Here’s what we would say to you. “Don’t worry about the competition. Be the competition.”
Note: the over all percentage of SEO impact each element gains you or causes you to lose..
Google My Business has become almost as important as your website. Google My Business is a free platform Google provides. It holds an extensive profile of your business: Your contact information, hours, business description, description of services, photos, videos, and article like content.
There is a link to your website, and directions to your place of business.
The work: Set up and verify Google My Business. Google My Business drives both the knowledge panel and the maps.
Why is this important? Google My Business controls the first thing people see when they search. In some ways, Google My Business has become your new “Home Page.”
When your NAP (Business name, Address and Phone) shows up on a listing of local business such as what you find with: Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, that occurrence is called a “citation.”
Google views uniformity as a sign of authenticity. In other words, when Google sees that your Business Name, Address, and Phone appears identically on all of these different listings, you get a check mark for being a real business. However, these listings are like digital weeds. They just crop up. Often, the information is incomplete or not correct.
So part of local SEO is to make sure all of these listings, or citations of your business are uniform.
The Work: Go into each listing and fix anything that is not correct or incomplete and remove any duplicates. If allowed, you add pictures, descriptions, keywords, and categories to make your listing complete. Many of the sites will let you claim the site. This adds another layer of authenticity and makes it official.
Why are Citations important: When your citations are consistent, complete and free of duplicate clutter, your Internet Presence is in order. Google believes that indicates your business off line is also in order and gives you props for that!
There are dozens of specifics. but here are few of the most important.
Why is this important? Your website is your business online. If it clearly speaks of who you are and what you do in an engaging and easy-to-use way it tells Google you may be recommendable.
When other websites in your industry or that are relevant to your industry link to your website it gives another strong signal to Google. So building these “backlinks” is one more important SEO activity.
The work: Build back links.
Why is this important? Backlinks say other businesses recommend you.
88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, Google looks at the reviews a business has received as a measure of authenticity and quality.
In all of this Google wants to give searchers results that will please that searcher. Since Google can’t investigate every business, it identifies signals that are out there which indicate good things are going on at a business.
Each of these eight factors forms part of that picture and reviews is one important factor.
The work: Put a system in place that facilitates getting reviews…then ask for reviews.
Why is this important? It says people recommend you.
The more connections the better and with that, you need to maintain at least a minimum of activity.
Why is this important? It goes to what Google calls “social proof” When you have people connecting with you on Social Media, when Google sees high levels of interested engagement between you and them, it indicates good things about the quality of your business. Beyond that there is the importance of how your social interaction affects the impression you make on both your present and future customers. Social is on Google’s list of thing it considers of ranking importance, but social is even more important when it comes to your own customer relationships.
Two more Things:
We said there were eight things Google looks at to decide who’s websites make it to the top of it’s search results. These first six things we can do something about. The last two things we can’t
These first six things concern what Google knows about your business.
These last two items have to do with what Google knows about the person who is searching. Because of what Google knows about an individual, in general, and given what type of key words they use, Google thinks it knows the motivation behind their search. The “personalized” results it gives that individual, then, are based on that information. For example, If Google thinks they are doing some sort of research it will give one type of website in its results. If it believes they are looking to buy something, it will show a totally different type of website. That’s what these last two things involve.
Obviously there is very little if anything you and I can do about these two things. But it is fun to think about.
Intent –Google looks at the specific key words and other things they know about the searcher to determine whether they are they doing research, gathering information for future reference, or looking to buy right now. Based on that sense of the users intent, Google shows selected websites and locations.
Some people are genius when it comes to buying the perfect gift. That’s because they pay attention to what someone likes. They buy the gift based on what they have come to know about the person. Google has been paying attention to what people like and shows each SEARCHER personalized search results. It is extremely important to Google’s business model that people have a, “That’s what I’m talkin about” feeling when they see the results of their search.