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Search Engine Rankings Today

The state of Search Engine Rankings is a little confusing today. You hear about so much information from so many different people. Who's right? If you are concerned how your business ranks on Google (who doesn't) then try and read as much information on what Google is saying. There are people out there that know what they are talking about and some of them can make sense of it all, but it's a small percentage

Here are some good places to start looking and where you or your web team should be focused:
If your company doesn't have someone that you can talk to about this type of information or doesn't have a Web Team, please contact The Google SEO Help Doc, that's what we are here for.  We will answer your questions and put you on the right path for SEO success. 

Why you need to be using Your Google My Business Page to get found in Search 
It's Still Important Even Though Others Tell You Different
Top 10 Google Plus Local Business Search Ranking Factors
1. Your Local Physical Address within City (Local Area Code)

• If you are a service based business you can choose how large an area you cover or what cities you provide service to.

• Every business that has a physical address (brick and mortar) MUST set up their Google+ Business Page to show up more in Local Search & have more presence on Google Maps.

• It's simple and easy.

2. Owner Verified Google Plus Page (click link to start process) 

• We will help you Set-up this page Correctly for FREE, so you get maximum benefits in Search.

• If you do it yourself...make sure you fill it out completely. Don't just put one sentence for your Introduction/Business Description. This is information you are giving to Google directly, make good use of it.

• Add your logo and a business picture (cover photo).

Localize your description too. Are you located near something that everyone knows, landmarks, major attractions, etc.

If you don't have a website set up, use this Google+ Page as your website!

3. Proper Category Associations

• Don't try and fool them or "game the system" thinking your business will show up more for more categories. It will probably hurt you more than it will help and now Google will send you a message saying made changes anyway. 

• Just be truthful and add as many categories as you truthfully fall into. Pick Categories that represent your business and not the services or products that you provide. Google can figure this out. 

4. Reviews and a lot of them

• If I had to choose 1 or 2 places to get reviews the most beneficial is (1) YOUR OWN WEBSITE and (2) Google Business Page.

• TIP: if you have Yelp, Angie's List, Home Adviser or any other reviews by these Online Review Providers YOUR BUSINESS DOES NOT OWN THESE REVIEWS. Hard to believe I know. If you have reviews on your own website guess who owns those reviews, yep YOU. Check out Leads Nearby product called Nearby Now a trusted 3rd party review company that helps put reviews on your own website. 

Once your get Five Google Reviews you'll have a Star Rating

• This will be helpful if your competition is lacking in this area. 

• Street View for Inside Your Business.

• Showcase Your Brand on Google.

• Google is looking for REAL & RELEVANT content about your business. Is there anything more "Real & Relevant" than your Business?

• This is the best content you can provide and it shows up directly on Google Search, Maps & Google+.

• We can show you how to embed this "Virtual Tour" on your website too.

6. Crawl-able address of your website that matches the web address you add to your Google+ Local Business Page

7. Link your Google+ Business Page to your Website

8. Create Relevant & Real Content after you set this page up

Post information that your customers and potential new customers find interesting on a consistent basis.

• At least 1 time per month.

• Ask people to "Follow" your business.

• These Post will show up in Search Results too!

9. Crawl-able Phone Number matching G+ Business Page Phone Number

• Don't have different phone numbers on your website and G+ page

• Try and stay away from 8xx numbers if possible. They are not local so it will hurt in Search.

10. Add Photos & YouTube Videos

• If you have a YouTube business account make sure you use the same gmail & link the pages.

TIP: If you can stay as consistent in your Business Listings over the web that will be very helpful too.

If you take one thing away from this Post: this is information about your business you can give directly to Google and it's on their Network.
What's the Best Type of Social Media for Your Business? 
Types of Social Media for Businesses
  1. Ask yourself "what channels do my current and potential new customers use the most to find businesses similar to yours?" 
  2. Try and estimate the time and difficulty of developing a presence on each channel (we help explain all the different types below). 
  3. Prioritize putting your business on the most effective and efficient channels. 
There is one type of Social Media Channel your business needs to have especially if you want to take advantage of the search benefits it offers! 
Google My Business
STEP 1: Create or Expand your Google My Business Page Listing

You might also know it as Google+, Google Local or Google Places. Whatever you call it, if you first don't start here your business is just missing out on the "Value Add" it can offer your business.

Yes I know you "don't like it", "it's not user friendly" or you've heard "no one is using it". Two of those might have some truth, but if you believe no one is using Google+ you are losing ground to your competition that is currently using it. Google+ isn't going anywhere. Everything Google does evolves and they are not afraid to change for the better.  

Think about this for one minute: Is there any other Social Media Channel that shows as a Site Link in your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your Website? 
Google+ Snippet in SERP
Some of the benefits of your Google+ Business page include:
  • Brand your business profile on Google
  • Reach Google Users
  • Get Google Reviews
  • Post, Photos and Videos 
  • Create Interactions with Customers
  • Best of all it all ties into Search, Maps and more people finding your business

After taking advantage of what Google is offering your business expand, your online presence where other potential online customer might find businesses similar to yours. 

STEP 2: The Other Types of Social Media Available 
Facebook Social Media
• Facebook = Supporting Personal Relationships & Referrals 
These are your current customers; they know who you are and what you do. This is a very popular social media channel, the biggest for a personal connection but have you ever seen one of your business post show up in Search from Facebook?
Twitter Social Media
Twitter = Focus on Real-Time Information, Deals or Offers 
If you can regularly tweet about things your customers will find interesting and they will share your information, this can work. Remember you are limited on the number of characters you can use but if you have short, quick things you want to communicate and your customers will respond, use it!
LinkedIn Social Media
• LinkedIn = Creating Business Connections 
Connect with other professionals in your industry. Use it to connect with like-mind people or businesses and join communities and the discussions. I like that they recently set up a better platform for blogs/post. 
You Tube
• YouTube = Video Platform 
More content on Google. What do you think is the 2nd largest search engine...yep YouTube. We all love videos and people love to share good content. You can connect this channel to your Google My Business page too. 
Pinterest Social Media
• Pinterest = Visual Discover Promoting   
Promoting your products and digital scrap-booking at its best. 
Instrgram Social Media
• Instagram = Connecting with Targeted Audiences 
Share some emotional connection with Pictures.
  • Step 3: Choose which Channels you feel are best for your business & develop a presence on relevant channels.
    • Remember there is no need to have a presence on every channel, just the one's that make the most sense for you business. 
  • Step 4: Put yourself in the shoes of your current & potential customers.
    • Make sure you address their needs.
    • Posting information just for the sake of posting is a waste of time. Give your potential new and existing customers what they want and give them a reason to do something with you (call, buy, visit your website...anything). 
  • Step 5: Create your CALL-TO-ACTION
Address the important information on any channel and stay consistent over all business listings.
    • Business Name
    • Address and Phone Number
    • Website
    • Hours
    • Areas your business serves
  • Step 6: Let your current customers know your business is online.
    • Let them know you appreciate feedback
  • Step 7: Build Strong Engagement.
    • State Your Value-Add
    • Answer potential questions that your customers want answered
  • Step 8: Link & Cross Reference all your Channels.
    • Add Links to your Website also
    • Helps unify your online presence
  • Step 9: Remember your Login Details.
    • You'd be surprised how many business owners don't know them if someone else sets up your Channels. 
What you need to know today & what each one does for your business
Social Media and Your Business
Begins April 21, 2015 - Get Mobile Friendly
Mobile as a Ranking Factor
It Gets Shared & Improves Your Business Brand - Content Google Likes
Have you ever wondered what "Content" really is and what Google is looking for?  

Google Business View is a new product that brings your business to life and connects to Street View. 

Quality Content & More Engagement

Top Reasons to have Google Business View for your business:
  1. It's content Google "likes"
    1. The more quality content you provide about your business that engages your audience, the more you will show up on Google 
  2. Improve your SEO capability like never before
    1. There is nothing more real and relevant you can give Google about your business
    2. This goes directly on Google's network - do you think that they have a better chance of noticing it!
    3. How about gaining a edge in your market place before your competition does it
  3. Enhance your presence across Google
    1. Shows up on Google Maps
    2. Shows up on your Google+ Page
    3. Shows up in Search Results when people find your business
  4. Improve your Business Brand across Google and the Web 
    1. It is easily embedded on your website after it shows up on Google
    2. Invite potential new customers "inside" your business before they make a trip to visit
    3. Your Bounce Rate (the amount of time spend on a webpage and how people are interacting on different pages on your site) and the amount of time spent on your website improves dramatically!
  5. It’s simple, fast and affordable
    1. This will probably cost less than what you pay for in auto insurance per year for Small to Medium sized businesses.
    2. The results are live on Google within a few weeks.

5 Reasons for using YouTube to Improve Your SEO

The Impact of Video on Your Local Business Search Results

  1. It's content Google "likes"
    1. It's already uploaded on the Google Network so they will "like" it more or recognize more easily.
    2. People stay on web pages with Videos much longer than text.
    3. Sites listed on the 1st page of Search generate 90% of the traffic.
    4. People love Videos so the Search Engines love them too. 
    5. People also love short to the point information and remember a "picture/video is worth a 1000 words". 
  2. Have you ever seen a Facebook, Twitter or any other type of video showing up in Search Results?
    1. Google includes YouTube Videos in search results.
    2. A video stands out over other search results.
    3. People will share it becoming a salesperson for your business.
  3. Videos make people "Click"
    1. Videos have a much higher Click - Through - Rate (CTR) almost double that of other content. 
    2. Get more traffic, leads and sales.
    3. If people stay longer on your webpage (video page) it's much more likely to rank higher.
  4. Videos build "links"
    1. Build your Brand and link your business name in the title.
    2.  This is the type of content that is personalized, gets people engaged and best of all it is shared more than any other content.
    3. Video communicates useful information quickly.
    4. Engage people about your products and services.
    5. Create tutorials, conduct interviews and demonstrate your products.
    6. You can add information about your business in the description fields like address, city and phone number (call-to-action). 
    7. You can also embed it on your Website!
  5. YouTube is the 2nd most used search engine and the 3rd most visited website worldwide after Google (owns YouTube) and Facebook. 
    1. YouTube gets more search quires than Bing and Yahoo probably combined. 
    2. 1 billion people visit YouTube each month.
    3. YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.
    4. If you have a Google+ Business Page you can add these videos to your page and link both accounts. 

How would you like to have your own Spokesperson to Advertise your Local Business on YouTube?
Check out this example by Amy Simon for the Apex, NC area. 

What you can learn from it & why you should be looking at it!
Google My Business Insights Page graph

Find out what's trending on Google right now.

Google Trends What's Trending Now on Google
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