How Google Posts Can Help Your Business

Back in 2017, Google introduced its newest product, Google Posts. This tool is intended for businesses so they can post photos and texts using their Google My Business accounts. Google Posts is intended to boost a business’ online visibility, traffic, sales, and engagement.

This free tool is available for those with GMB accounts. If utilized well, it can be a powerful tool that small businesses can use as an edge against their competitors. So can Google Posts help your business? Here are some of the guaranteed benefits:

It improves audience engagement

Google Posts allow companies to post time-sensitive content, including seasonal offers, discounts, sales, and so on. With this immediate content, internet users can be directed easily to your website. If used well, it will trigger engagements, which will trickle down to your website and social media accounts.

This tool is best used with eye-catching graphics as well as excellent content.

It boosts your SEO

A strong call to action on your Google Posts is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Google Posts is also effective in creating backlinks that will bring warm leads to your business.

Also, Google gives more value to traffic that comes from listings instead of those from organic search. With this, your business benefits twice as much as you’d imagine.

It aligns with your marketing efforts

When it comes to your non-SEO efforts, Google Posts gives a lot of advantages to the marketing department. This detail on your listing can be used to market top products, special offers, seasonal collections, and more.

Since Google Posts are short, it’s easier to digest than an entire blog post. This allows you to post fresh and new content every single time. So instead of adding too much fluff, you’re going to focus on information that matters.

It’s a free tool to improve your business’ reach

Who doesn’t want a free yet useful tool? Google Posts is free on Google My Business account, which also comes with no cost. The only capital you need is time, energy, and a little creativity.

This makes Google Posts available for all businesses, regardless of how limited their budgets are. It translates to equality when it comes to the ranking and marketing possibility that this tool offers.

It aids voice search

Voice search is taking over the web, with more and more internet users seeking convenient and hands-free mode for search.

About 46% of all voice searchers will look for a business listing at least once a day. These statistics just show how important voice search is. With proper optimization, you can use Google Posts to increase your voice search traffic.

Final words

Google Posts is yet another important and free tool that you can utilize for your business. It’s a built-in feature on your GMB account, which comes handy. All you need is a little patience and effort to launch your first Google Posts.

Although Google Posts require a different approach than merely posting on your social media accounts, it has a manageable learning curve.


Ways to Establish Local SEO Links for Your Business Website

Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors in Google. Web crawlers consider backlinks as positive signals of a website’s credibility and trustworthiness. The more backlinks a website has, the higher its ranking will be. This is why all website owners seek various ways to earn these golden links.

For local businesses, link building requires a different approach. The following are some of the methods you can use to gain backlinks for your local business:

Try giving special offers

Special offers like discounts for a specific group of people or a limited offer for an organization are effective in giving you solid backlinks. Websites that concern these people will surely link back to your website.

To make this more effective, we recommend that you set up a dedicated page for the offer. Also, discuss the mechanics of the offer so it will be easy to promote locally.

Write about local events

Another effective tactic that you can use is writing about the events in your locality. Is there an open house on a subdivision near you? How about an upcoming food fest? All of these events pique the interest of various people.

You will surely gain a link or two by simply publishing this original content. Still, try to be as relevant as possible with your niche.

Use your existing network

When it comes to backlinking, you can use your existing network to gain more links. It could be another business owner, a website owner, or friends with influence with other people. You can offer them a reciprocal backlinking process.

Try to choose the websites relevant to your niche and those that are well-established. This way, you can get the juiciest links out of your existing relationships.

Work with influencers

Local influencers are a great source of easy backlinks and increased traffic. You can offer a sponsorship program or a one-time offer in exchange for a shout out or a backlink to your website. Usually, local influencers are welcoming of such opportunities.

Make sure that the influencer has a good reputation and that they embody your brand’s image.

List your business on directories

One of the basic things you can do is to list your business in as many directories as possible. Also, don’t forget to include the link to your website.

Aside from that, you can also request the directory admin to give your business a citation on their next list.

Write guest posts

If you have the extra time, you can write guest posts and submit it to local pages. Some local business review websites will also accept guest posting as long as you meet their criteria.

Make sure that you ask for a backlink clearly. Once your content gets published, your website will earn a solid backlink from an established website.

Final words

Backlinking is necessary to bring your business website on top of the search results. With the help of these tips, you can get started in boosting the standing of your pages. Consistency and additional effort will soon pay off in the ranking department.


Tips on How to Do Content Marketing for Your Local Business

When it comes to local SEO, content marketing is a critical component. Through written content, you can optimize local keywords so your website will be associated with a specific location. As much as it sounds intimidating, there are simple ways that you can do to get started.

Content marketing is applicable across niches and industries. Through well-written content and winning strategies, you can use your pages to drive traffic to your business and increase your sales.

For starters, here are some practical ways to start content marketing:

Use schema markups

Schema markups are special codes that you need to add on your pages. This makes the content of your website more crawlable. With this, search engines will give your website a better ranking single, thus a higher position in the search engine.

Schema markups are also a great way to increase your pages’ click-through rates.

Consider participating in local events

You can also join local events to increase the community’s awareness of your brand. You can join charity work, drives, and awards. Consequently, you should write about these events.

Being a sponsor or a benefactor for these events are easy ways to gain strong backlinks for your content.

Write guest posts for local websites

If you have the time, you can write guest posts and submit it to local publications. Each city or municipality has at least one business review website. You can submit your entries to them and hope that it gets published. Usually, these local sites will feature businesses in the area, which increases the chance of your business being seen.

Tap media opportunities

For small businesses, local news and publications are free platforms for content marketing. Again, you can write guest posts or be interviewed. Just make sure that the platform is relevant to your niche and your target market.

Since you may not have the budget for paid PR, this is the closest you can get.

Talk about local events and activities

To boost your business’ presence in the community, write about local events and activities. Other websites will surely link back to your website. Aside from that, you can keep your audience abreast of what’s happening in the locality.

Remember not to be salesy or your audience will start to question your motives.

Optimize with local keywords

Above all, make sure that you optimize your content with local keywords. You should pick those that your customers have been searching for like “best XYZ near me” or “best XYZ in Palm Beach”. These local keywords will also tell search engines that your website should be attributed to a specific location instead of showing it at a national level.

Discuss what your customers are going through

Most of all, be human by addressing your customers’ dilemmas. If you have a blog page, you can talk about a specific case and offer a solution. Aside from selling your service, giving sensible information will keep your audience coming back to your website. In the future, they may purchase your service or product.



What Does a Good Local Business Website Look Like?

A stunning website never goes unnoticed by internet users. How your business website looks and functions are key factors when it comes to converting users. It also imbibes a sense of professionalism and your brand’s image. So, what does a good business website look like? Since each industry and niche will differ in approach, this question is often met with confusion.

To get you started, the following are some of the characteristics of a stunning and SEO-friendly website. Check if your own website possesses these points:

The website should be mobile-friendly

A good business website will be responsive across platforms. With this, the site should render properly in mobile, desktop, and tablet view.

Just recently, Google has rolled out its mobile-first algorithm. Search engine crawlers will prioritize websites with mobile-friendly designs. So aside from the look, how your website renders also impacts your rankings on the web.

All the buttons should be working

A stunning website is no use if the buttons on it aren’t working properly. We recommend performing a complete check on all the clickable parts of your business website.

Also, links should redirect to the right pages. If not, it will stir confusion in your visitors, which will increase bounce rates.

The design should be clutter-free

No one wants a design that hurts their eyes. Your business website should be as neat and minimalist as possible. This way, your visitors won’t be overwhelmed with too much information on one page. Also, a sleek website will always win more internal clicks from visitors.

Sometimes, giving too much information on one page may not always be ideal, depending on your niche.

The look should suit your geography and niche

A website for a Texas restaurant will look different from a finance consultancy firm in New York. These variations in geography and industry are important considerations when designing your website.

The look of your business website will set the mood for your visitors. If they don’t like the look of your website, they may look elsewhere.

It should contain call to actions

Aside from making your website look good, you should also utilize call to actions. These are nudges that will push your website visitors into your sales funnel. It’s critical if you want to boost your sales.

Still, don’t be too salesy or your site visitors will be put off.

It should imbibe credibility

Most of all, your website should look trustworthy and credible. That starts by adding your business address, phone number, and other details that will allow the visitor to confirm your authenticity.

Also, avoid putting up information that will cause your visitors to have negative feelings about your business.

The design should be visually appealing

Setting aside all the technical and informational aspects, a website that appeals to the eyes of the customers will win in the traffic department. A visually appealing website will help reduce bounce rates. Still, content is essential to keep your visitors within your pages.



How to Perform a Local SEO Audit

Many local businesses are always at a loss about where they should start with their SEO campaigns. For those who are new to SEO, an audit is always the way to go. This is the process that lets you see where you’ve been lagging or the areas of your website that need improvement.

Also, an SEO audit will show you where your website stands. From there, you can plan your SEO campaign for better results and maximized resources.

Here are some of the things you should include in your SEO audit checklist:

Audit your Google My Business account

Your GMB account is a critical area of your business’ visibility on the web, so always start your audit here. Check if your business’ NAP (name, address, and phone number) is correct. Also, you must include your operating hours.

Take note that Google releases new tools in GMB from time to time. Currently, the newest one is Google Posts. Make sure that you include it in your content marketing plan.

Check for Google penalties

If you notice that your website experienced a sudden drop in organic traffic, you may have been penalized by Google. Check for algorithmic penalties and try your best to fix each one.

You can do this by accessing your Google Analytics and performing an algorithm check. To make it easy, you can also employ a third-party tool to audit your website for penalties.

Audit backlinks and citations

When it comes to local SEO, managing your citations is critical to the visibility of your business online. Aside from gaining the possible citations, you also have to ensure that each one is accurate. Otherwise, it’s only doing your business a big disservice.

Remember that citations are in the fifth position as the most important ranking factor for local businesses. This is why it makes total sense why you have to perform this necessary audit.

Check your reviews and ratings

Online reviews can make or break your business. Regardless of what niche or industry you are in, you should never dismiss online reviews as mere feedback.

You should be proactive in addressing your customer complaints. Compare how many of the concerns you have answered against those that remain unanswered. Also, it’s best to come up with a response plan for future reviews.

Audit your social media accounts

A social audit is imperative, much so if your pages have been filled in digital cobwebs. Focus on check-ins, your NAP, and the consistency of the content.

Make sure that your social media accounts don’t have duplicates. This is to prevent confusion as well as a bad reputation from your customers. Duplicates should be removed so you can manage all your brand content in one place.

Final words

A local SEO audit on your website is crucial in determining problems and planning out a solution. It could be a very detailed process, so expect that it will take days or even weeks. What’s important is you keep your audit organized and don’t be afraid to tackle major issues.



How to Optimize Your Presence for Apple Maps

When we talk about SEO, the discussion is always consumed with Google stuff, from listings to advanced algorithms. This makes business owners shy away from other platforms where they could perform better and give their business an added edge. One of which is Apple Maps.

While it’s true that Google Maps is a giant, we shouldn’t dismiss Apple Maps as a mere speck of dust. Starting in 2013, Apple Maps has gained traction with the proliferation of iOS devices. With about 35 million people using an iPhone, optimizing your Apple Maps is almost a no-brainer.

So how can you add your business on Apple Maps? Here are the simple steps:

Look up your business

The first thing that you have to do is to look up your business on Apple Maps. If your business is already there, you can skip to the third step. If not, you have to perform an extra step here.

If you can’t find your business on Apple Maps, it’s possible that the database doesn’t have it yet or Apple Maps is attributing it to the wrong location.

If this is the case, you can move on to the second step prior to creating your listing.

Add your business

For US-based businesses, there are three ways to add a business to Apple Maps. Here’s how:

*Report your location. Look for your location and click Report a Problem. After that, choose the appropriate problem that suits your situation. After that, you’ll be prompted to add information about your business. Soon enough, Apple Maps will update its database with your business in it.

*Add it to Yelp. By adding your business to Yelp, you’re also syndicating your business info to Apple Maps.

*List your business in Localeze. Localeze is a business listing provider for Apple Maps.

Make your listing

Once your business is already available in Apple Maps, it’s now time to make a listing. Choose the exact location of your business and drop the pin in it. Make sure that the address is accurate by zooming in and out of the map. Once you’re sure, click next to fill out the pertinent information about your business.

After that, you’ll be prompt to choose categories. Again, make sure that what you choose is relevant to your business.

Once you’re done filling out the information, click “Send” and wait until Apple Maps publishes your listing. Unfortunately, there’s no specific timeframe on which the database will be updated.

The rule of thumb is to check once every week as Apple Maps sometimes takes around 3 to 6 weeks to list a business on its system.

Final words

Apple Maps is a powerful tool where you can get your business listed. Aside from Google+ and Google Maps, you should also utilize this database to increase your business’ visibility.

Patience is needed if you are to list with Apple Maps since it takes longer to publish a listing. Also, your business may not always be readily available on their database. Nevertheless, it’s an easy process that you can use to boost your business’ visibility.


Simple Steps to Perform Local SEO Keyword Research

Ranking a business website at the top of the search results isn’t possible without local keywords. These are the phrases your audience is searching on the web. By optimizing your pages with these keywords, you’re bringing your website closer to your target audience.

It’s also important that your keywords indicate your location. This way, search crawlers will attribute your business on the right location.

To get you started, here are some of the steps you can do:

Step 1. Look for industry-related keywords

Start by searching for industry keywords. These are generic phrases that your audience will use to look for your business’ niche or industry. Ask yourself: “what phrases would I use to look up a business like mine?”.

Here’s an example: if you have a seafood restaurant, some industry keywords include seafood buffet, seafood restaurant, or unlimited seafood.

Step 2. Add a keyword modifier

After that, you should add keyword modifiers to your industry keyword. Some examples of keyword modifiers are “best”, “top”, “where”, “affordable”, “cheap”, and more. So for the examples above, you’ll then come up with modified keywords like “best seafood buffet”, “top seafood restaurant”, or “affordable unlimited seafood”.

Play around these keywords and make sure that it has search traffic.

Step 3. Indicate your business location

The last step is to add your business location. Consistent to our examples, your local keywords will then be “best seafood buffet in Atlanta”, “top seafood restaurant in Palm Beach”, or “affordable unlimited seafood in West Avenue”.

Additional tips:

Use Google Autocomplete

If you don’t have any idea for a keyword, you can use the Google Autocomplete. Just enter a starting industry keyword then click the space bar. The autocomplete suggestions will show up. This is an excellent way to find other topics and keyword variations for your business.

Spy on your competitors

If you want to soar past your competitors, you have to spy on their keywords. There are online tools that will help you scrape your competitor’s keywords. By knowing what your competitors are doing, you can mimic it and do it better.

Always check the user proximity 

You must be optimizing keywords relevant to the location of your audience. This is why location modifiers are important. It will also prevent confusion on the part of the search crawlers so your business will be indexed in the right location.

Utilize online keyword search tools

You can use many online tools to perform keyword research for your local business. This way, you’ll never run out of ideas both for your keywords and your content.

Online tools like Ubersuggest, AnswerThePublic, KeywordsEverywhere, and are free to some extent. Utilize these tools to find the best keywords that will suit your niche. Also, it will help you discover low competition keywords that will rank better.

Final words

It’s important to optimize your business website using local keywords. This way, you will reach your target audience and your pages will appear on the first page of the search results.

Important Tips to Rank on the Map Pack with a Local Business

The Map Pack is the coveted spot among businesses. It’s the spot after the sponsored results where the top 3 businesses are listed. By being included in the Map Pack, businesses enjoy better visibility, increased traffic, and improved conversion. Still, it’s not easy to earn a spot in the 3 Pack area.

Being in the Map Pack requires a focused SEO campaign. Aside from aiming for this position, you also have to ensure that you are ranking organically and have met the following standards.

Getting mobile-friendly

Before you intend to get a spot on the Map Pack, you have to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Remember that Google rolled out its mobile-first indexing algorithm recently, so the mobile-friendliness of a website is a leading ranking factor on the web.

Besides, according to studies, customers will be 62% less likely to patronize a product or service if they had an unfavorable mobile experience with it.

So before we dive into the ranking, make sure that you have fixed this part.

Aim to rank organically

You have to boost your organic ranking if you want to be on the Map Pack. Google usually uses organic ranking signals to decide which businesses will be on the Map Pack result.

What if I have a local business, shouldn’t I rank locally? Of course, you have to be visible in your locality, but for this phase, you have to ensure that you are not limited to a specific geography. Below, we have discussed how you can boost your local rankings while enjoying topnotch organic rankings.

Don’t forget about proximity

For this part, you’re going to zoom in to your audience’s proximity. So how can you do it? If you have a local business servicing multiple cities within a state, you should create individual pages for each one.

On each page, optimize with local keywords indicating the location and services you’re providing. Through this, you can have local signals as well as organic signals to rank your website.

Always focus on the small details

As much as you want to exhaust all your time and energy on search rankings, you also have to ensure that you’re not missing the small details. Add landmarks, specify your services, update event calendars, and so on. This way, you’ll be on the radar of your target audience.

Make sure that you indicate as much information as possible for your business. This will be helpful in surviving the next point.

Stand out on the local filter

The reason why you have to rank organically is the local filter. Local filtering happens when two businesses offer similar services in the same locality. For example, you have a dental clinic on the sixth floor of a commercial building, then there’s another dental clinic on the ground floor. With this, Google perceives the redundancy, which means someone will be written off the Map Pack.

If you and the competitor are in equal footing in terms of listing information, organic rankings will be the determiner. The one with the higher organic ranking will be chosen for the Map Pack.


4 Ways Consumers Look for Local Businesses

Every local business wants to get as much exposure as possible. But for them to succeed in winning customers, they should know how the consumers look for businesses in the first place. Nowadays, mobile devices have been dominating web search, with about 52% of the entire global search coming from smartphones and tablets.

Business owners must know how customers behave in terms of online search. Through this, they can devise an SEO and marketing plan that will yield the best results.

If you don’t have any idea yet, the following are four of the leading ways on how customers find businesses online:

Mobile search

Again, mobile search is king in web traffic. In fact, experts forecast that by the end of 2019, mobile search will be bringing in $30 billion worth of sales across the internet.

True enough, Google has released its mobile-first indexing algorithm, which gives an added edge for mobile-optimized websites.

Remember that about 75% of all consumers will start their purchasing journey on their mobile devices. It’s a convenient choice than going to physical stores or browsing on their laptops.

Voice search

Voice search is becoming a massive trend on the web. About 40% of adults and 55% of teens are using voice search to look up a query on the web. Most importantly, about 57% of all voice searchers would be purchasing at least one item through their voice assistants.

This is in line with the emergence of smart speakers and voice assistants across platforms. If you own a business, you must keep up with this growing trend. Just like mobile search, voice search is seen to be massive in the coming years.

Hyperlocal search

Local consumers always assume that their online queries will yield local results. As the business owner, you should always aim to boost your local visibility. Aside from organic search and being on the Map Pack, local optimization is very crucial.

About 63% of consumers will use search engines to look for a business provider. This just proves how visibility can drive traffic and conversion into your business.

Consumer reviews

Online reviews are the make-or-break part for businesses. About 97% of all consumers will search for business reviews to form their opinion and purchasing decisions. And if they see negative reviews, they will move on to another option, considering that mobile search offers convenience all the time.

Every consumer, regardless of socioeconomic status, will always aim to minimize the risk of their purchases. Buyer’s remorse is the enemy of every business because one negative review can impact their online reputation.

So aside from enhancing the user experience, you should also try to resolve complaints. This will not go unnoticed among new customers. Showing that you care and you want to fix the problem somehow vindicates your business.

Final words

If businesses want to grow their sales, they should know their consumers’ search behavior. From there, they can devise a campaign that will maximize their resources. In the end, your customers are always right.

A Quick Guide to the Google Knowledge Graph

The Google Knowledge Graph is a tool that shows on the sidebar or carousel of the search results. It is where all the information about a business is collated. It was unveiled in 2012 and now contains the business listing, Google Posts, and other elements that allow a user to contact a business without clicking on a web page.

Aside from giving the internet user more firsthand information, optimizing for the Knowledge Graph also allows search engines to understand your business better.

How does the Google Knowledge Graph look like?

The Knowledge Graph appears in two possible areas in the search result. The most common is on the right sidebar of the search result and the other is at the top in a carousel format. The goal is to provide the internet user brief but informative experience about a business.

However, before Google generates a Knowledge Graph, it has to decide if your business is suitable for such a tool. Here is where optimization becomes crucial.

How Google generates a Knowledge Graph

There are three ways in which the search engine determines if a brand is fit for the Knowledge Graph. Here’s a quick look at each one:

Entity indexing – Google has a mapping process called Entity Recognition and Disambiguation. This involves the cataloging of all entities so the search engine can compile factual and accurate information about a business.

User behavior – If there’s one big factor that affects the generation of the Knowledge Graph, it would be user behavior. Google analyzes how long an internet user stays on a page, what they search for, and what devices they use to search for it. By connecting all these data, the search engine will decide if the generation of a Knowledge Graph is necessary for a business.

Semantic search – This process takes into account the context of the user’s search, the location of the user, LSI keywords, and other related elements.

Is the Knowledge Graph beneficial for your business?

Google will not roll out a tool if it doesn’t have any benefit for a website or business owner. Businesses that optimize for the Knowledge Graph earn better edge on organic rankings.

Also, if your business gets included in the Knowledge Graph, it will increase the visibility and conversion rates of your website. The Knowledge Graph displays your business’ contact information, address, email, and other pertinent information.

This way, potential consumers can easily reach out to inquire about your business. Some will directly purchase from your store.

Benefits of the Knowledge Graph

*Enhanced user experience

Since the Knowledge Graph shows the information about your business, it’s already serving hungry internet users with the information they need to digest. In just a single box, you can gain conversion, increased traffic, and better brand awareness.

*Increased website traffic

Using the Knowledge Graph, you can drive traffic to your website. Take note that this tool also shows the Google Posts you published on your GMB account. That increases audience engagement as well as their interest in knowing more about your business.

*Gives out information right away

Not all consumers will click through a website to look for information. So with your Knowledge Graph in place, you can nudge your customers to patronize your business.