First of all lets discuss the difference between being #1 on Google and #1 on Google Organic. Whenever you are performing a Google Search for your preferred keyword, the first 2-3 listings are paid listings using Google Adwords or PPC (Pay Per Click), then there’s Google+/Maps/Business Listings and then there’s Google Organic. Of course the majority of my clients want to be that #1 on Google paid. So what does paid mean? It means just that, you have to pay to be there, and you don’t just pay and magically appear, there is strategy, keywords etc. Check it out.
#1 listing on Google is what we call PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising or Google Adwords. There are many pros and cons to PPC, #1 being, #1 on Google. If your PPC campaign is done correctly the correct keywords are chosen for your specific field of expertise, then you can rank quite well. But strategic campaign must be created, correct keywords must be chosen, and a significant chunk of change needs to be invested, (nothing less than $40 p/day for a 30 day period minimum). Here’s another pro, the results are almost immediate but with a small consequence. Great right? Well here’s a big Google secret, If you are trying to do on page and off page SEO in addition to Google Adwords, Google’s algorithm kind of gets confused about how to rank you. Now whether this is purposeful or coincidental, we will never know however I have found, if you are doing both SEO and PPC Google ranks you on one or the other, not both, unless you are dishing out a great deal of money for adwords. When you are ranking #1 on page on paid you will more than likely NOT rank on page 1 Google organic. Yeah, so you’re doing double the work and literally paying for it. I say choose a side and give it your best effort. So you’re probably asking yourself, why is organic even important? Well as it seems the general population is used to those top 3 listings and the fact that they are paid for. Believe it or not, people are looking for more than that, they are looking for the individuals that are ranking on Google not because they are paying to be there but because they are there for a reason – they were put there by their clients and…
- Quality Content
- Consistent Reviews
- Relevant placement (your business is in more than one place)
- Fresh, interesting and relevant content
- Social Media Listings
- Google Maps
- Google+ Page
People want to know they can connect with you, research you, understand you and see what everyone is saying about you! When 90% of the population is doing their research online, trust me you better be doing yours!
Ranking on page 1 of Google Organic doesn’t come without some work and investment, and the results are not immediate. However, SEO, good SEO, what we call White Hat SEO takes time and due diligence and when done correctly the results are excellent. However, Google does not guarantee results for anything and neither will a good SEO person. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to make it difficult for one entity to dominate Google with just simple SEO. SEO is a constant machine one that needs to be well oiled and maintained otherwise you will fall behind very quickly and will be eating your competitor’s proverbial Google ranking dust.
I recently met with a new client and his first request was “I want to be on Google page 1, tomorrow”. I explained to my client to pump breaks and said let me ask you a couple questions about your brand before we do a search on your business on Google.
1. Do you have a website? YES
2. Do you update your website regularly with content, blogs, photos, web pages etc.? Uh, No
3. Do you have or do you use any social media pages for your business? NO
4. Why? Because I don’t use that social media stuff, it doesn’t work
5. How do you know it doesn’t work if you don’t use it? Because my friends say so
6. Do you blog? No
7. Do you know how many reviews you have? Reviews about what?
8. Have you ever Googled your business? NO
9. Do you have any online directories set up? What’s that?
Ok, so yes this case is a little more extreme than others but this is a very typical conversation I have with business owners that are looking to expand their online branding efforts. And that’s ok, that’s why we SEO/ Website people do what we do, so we can help business owners rank or at least create an online authority for their brand or business. Something is better than nothing. But this doesn’t happen over night. I prefer my clients to hire me to do their SEO/Online marketing because I now with our systems at 512 City Design our results are excellent and we can manage a very confusing aspect of marketing for businesses. However, I do have a few that want to do it their own and this where we come in with our training services. We can train your staff on how to use social media correctly, and effectively! We can re-tool your website, get things updated, new pics, content, template and create a marketing strategy for you. Branding is everything – EVERYTHING and if you are still disbeliever, then so be it, but let me say this, you are missing out an incredibly monumentous and financially gaining opportunity all together. Here’s how and why
1. Social Media is Free
2. Websites are important and they should be treated like a constant tool
3. Directory listings are free
4. Asking for reviews are free
5. Managing Review sites are free such as Google, Yelp, Foursquare
Still want to go it alone, no problem here are a few tips:
1. Website. If you don’t have a website, get one! We can design one for you, but if not us someone else, something is better than noting! Pro Tip: I prefer WordPress template websites. Totally customizable and an easy editing backend and beautiful designs.
2. Logo. Don’t’ have one? Get one and have a professional design one for you! Your logo is your company’s visual thumbprint on the local world and the world wide web. This is a visual version of your brand and logos are memorable (It’s called branding for a reason) names of business are not are not memorable, images are!
3. Social Media. Create social media pages for your business and splash your brand all over them. They are free! It’s a great way to get your brand out in front of thousands of people and customers.
4. Claim Review Sites. Make sure you claim your Yelp and Foursquare listings do it before someone else does!
5. Google+/Google Maps. Make sure you setup your Google+ Page/Maps. Google now automatically lists you on maps and creates a Google+ Local page for you. By setting up a Google account ie. Gmail you can verify ownership of that listing with a few small steps and manage the content and page. Pro Tip: By setting up your Google account and verifying your Google+ Page, now that YouTube is owned by Google, you automatically have a YouTube Account no need for setup. Boom!
6. YEXT. Get on as many Directory listings as possible! I use Yext for my clients now, because it is gives you the option to get your brand on 30+ directory listings all at once (for a fee). It also gives you the option to opt out if you want to manage the listings by yourself. By using YEXT you can create a consistent brand across the board and online.
7. Blogging. Write a Blog 1-4 times a month about your business, products etc.. This is an easy way to keep the content fresh on your website
8. Simple SEO. If you want to really dabble in SEO, you can start out simple and use a company called UpCity SEO. I love these guys! When I first started out with SEO this site taught me much about basic SEO and the importance of creating an online brand through various avenues.
9. Reviews. Monitor reviews. Ask for Reviews from your clients. Stay in tune with what clients are saying about you online. Bad Review? Don’t ignore it, if so, you are automatically guilty in front of a huge audience. Pro Tip: Respond to the negative review, offer the client something in return to make it right? 9 out of 10 times you can get a bad review removed just by reaching to the customer.
10. Interact on Social Media. Follow other local businesses on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ etc.. Like their posts, interact with social media, keep a pulse on your demographic and local community!
11. Internal Marketing. Create in an internal marketing reward system. Reward people for writing a review or liking your Facebook page. Do a social media giveaway to your loyal followers. Create a monthly giveaway that entices people to continue to interact on your social media. Give a $50 giftcard to a local eatery or movie theater to your top social media performer for that month!
In short, here’s the deal with online marketing and Google ranking: if you are not doing anything at all you will get nothing at all. Start simple and create daily tasks for online marketing, one step at a time. Google loves fresh content and they like to see businesses popping up on the web everywhere. You can’t fight the statistics, people are researching 90% of the time online, and if you are not utilizing the web to market your brand you are missing out on a massive opportunity. Whatever your personal beliefs are about websites and social media, set them aside, because the majority rules and in this day and age, the digital world rules and there is not a specific demographic that uses the internet to do their research, the general population uses the internet for everything, rich, middle class, poor, broke, mediocre etc…people are online, and that’s where you should be. Take part in one of the greatest movements in the world, it’s all happening whether you jump on the ship or not this wave is rolling on!