Throughout 2014 we have experienced continued changes in how Google ranks businesses in the localized results. The introduction of the Pigeon update seemingly rewarded “directory” websites (Yelp, BBB, Thumbtack, Angie's List) with higher page rank, meaning the number of first page locations for an "actual local business" has decreased. However, Google continues to expand the local companies listing opportunity within the local listings, and recently launched Google Business which ties directly into these local listings.
The common question we receive is, "What are you doing to improve our SEO?". Well, here you go.. Here are some ways that Triton Commerce works for our clients on a monthly basis, to ensure we keep creeping up the rankings and display within the organic and local listing results.
Fresh SEO Content
Fresh content is a key ingredient to any SEO and content marketing strategy. With fresh content, comes additional opportunity to not only attract visitors but to gain authority within your subject matter. Our blog and content writing is designed to not only be used for SEO, but it also shows the visitor that your company is an authority within the subject they're searching. This authoritative content helps convert simple website visitors into a loyal paying customers. Each month our team writes hundreds of content articles for our clients and submits them to blogs, content pages, content aggregates, press releases and social media.
On-Site SEO Signals
On-site signals are the "Little Things" that matter. Such as having your business address citations on each page that include your business name, address and phone number. These address citations must match those found on your Google Business profile and throughout the Internet. Google uses this address information to make a determination that yes, in fact your company is located where you say it is. The more citations found, the more trust Google applies to your business within that region. Additionally, it is important to have transparent information about your company. This is why Triton Commerce clients typically have company information pages that specify your company name, address, contact information, store hours, customer testimonials, about us...etc.
Fresh Content such as your blog, that includes citations and references to your target region is another important on-site signal. This is done by publishing blog content that is relevant to the region that you do business. We typically publish authoritative or informational content about your products or services and relate it back to your target city and state. It is also recommended that you provide us with additional content such as industry gatherings, company news, employee updates and any educational content.
Inbound Links & Address Citations
Most people are familiar with inbound links - these are links from other websites to yours. Our inbound link-building strategy is simple... we try to "earn the link". We do this by creating a well designed site with content that is worthy of sharing. Then, other websites (News articles, bloggers, other business websites) who are looking to reference a topic by finding an authority on the subject will link back to this information. This is the best link building strategy that is guaranteed NOT to get your website black listed for spammy link building. We also make sure all major directories and industry related directories are updated with links back to your website.
Address citations are different, these are where another website simply mentions your business name, address and phone number (NAP). A citation doesn't necessarily include a link back to your website. We build your address citations by submitting your company through map and data aggregators and manually adding you to top local directories. This activity not only extends your business reach and visibility on these directory websites but improves the number citations, that is critical in local SEO.
On-site SEO is the most basic form of SEO. This is where we fine-tune your information so search engines can easily determine who you are and what you do. We start by doing in-depth keyword research to come up with a list of the best terms to describe your business and offerings. We then use these to create a keyword site-map and optimize each pages meta tags, site content and URL structure. When the on-site SEO is complete you have set the foundation for all other SEO activities, on-site and off-site.
External Location SEO Signals
Search engines look to external sources for location signals and consistency. External sources come from IYP aggregators and NAP citations on various websites. For all Triton Commerce clients we continually update your IYP (Internet Yellow Page) aggregators and check your NAP (Name Address Phone number) for consistency. We then continue to add business citations throughout your campaign. The overall volume of business citations indicates to search engines that your business is important and cited often throughout the Internet.
Customer reviews are an important part of the Google Local Listings ranking algorithm. Companies within your industry that have more reviews and are frequently receiving them from a diverse group will tend to show more often and higher up the ranking list than companies with a low number of reviews or with few recent reviews.
Those of you who attended our Sept 11 seminar received a heavy dose of client testimonial advice. The reason we are pushing our clients to actively seek out customer reviews is because these can't be faked, made up or done on your behalf. These need to come from actual clients that you interact with. Most Triton Commerce clients have a 'Testimonials' page that links back to the major review sites. This is our recommended method of directing clients to review your company.
Outside of Google + its not clear whether social signals in Facebook or Twitter have any impact on SEO (Although, we do typically post articles within these for additional traffic sources). However the Google Business profile page and having an active Google + will help in your SEO efforts. For this reason, we optimize all Google Business profiles and make frequent posts within the Google+ profile pages.
Local Listings Optimization
The Local listing results are important for all local businesses. Because of the reviews, phone number, and Google maps links, these are the listings that visitors typically focus on. Having your business listed highly with multiple reviews adds instant credibility. By optimizing your Google Business listing, optimizing your website, increasing your address citations and training our clients on how to increase their reviews, many Triton Commerce clients are seeing huge traffic come from the Local Listing results.
Google my Business
"Google My Business" is essentially how Google collects data on businesses across the country in order to best present that businesses information to Google users who may be interested in their products or services. Within this profile you will add your business name, address, website URL, phone number, hours of operation, address, business offerings and the mile radius that you service. Google then uses this information within its local listings. Having your Google Business profile completed accurately and completely is necessary if you wish to be displayed in the Google Local Search Listings.
All Triton Commerce customers have optimized Google business profiles. We frequently audit our client profile pages and spend hours on the phone with Google to get any issues addressed immediately.
Calls to Action
Finally, what is the point of all this additional traffic? Do you really care about the number of impressions and visits? The answer is NO, as a business owner you care about dollars and cents - Did these visits make you a return? The most important aspect of your website is the ability to not only attract visitors, but to convert them into customers. This is why we place such an emphasis on lead capture through phone calls, quote requests or just general email requests.