What are the core trends in organic search and lead generation for small business in the near future?
A notable chagce that we have noticed is that “Top” search engines are putting more and more effort into their local search algorithm, and the options that they can provide. The developers are really making those maps interactive with businesses (even going inside buildings eventually) and making them social with their new Google+ Plus network.
Then integration of the “Places” platform with the new social network will be huge for reviews and sharing, as well as user identification. It is exciting to watch this technology unfold, including the recent additions to the login options that “add accounts” for users managing multiple accounts, via cookies. They are connecting the dots of what users are doing 😉
The top search engines will continue to dominate with their easy access to core information, reviews, and directions to small businesses, especially service based businesses in regional areas. So get setup with Google’s tools because it will keep that phone ringing.
Facebook is now jumping in the game, recently adding a rating and reviews tools to the business pages of the network. With the potential to connect millions of mobile users to the perks of “checking-in” at local businesses Facebook could jump ahead and get a big boost, even in ad revenue.
Nowadays, when anyone looks for any kind of local service they’re just going to “Google” it and that local map is going to be the first thing they see, so if you don’t have a verified listing on the Google places system already, you need to do that right away.
Our marketing techs can do this for you and put a little power behind it to catch up for lost time and compete with the listings already ranking.
If you don’t see your business on the page 1 – Listings A, B, C, D, or E – and if you’re not in the top 3 positions, you know you’re really not going to get any traffic from those local keyword searchers, and there are a lot of them. If you can get ranking for them you’ll really see the traffic and backlinks from referring websites start to come in.
What see top online marketers do is try to build up the authority of the website. How they do that is from a local perspective, they want to get you involved in every local network that there is out there.
What is a local network?
You should be getting your business listed in every nook and cranny – yellowbook, Super Pages, Yelp, Angie’s List – all those types of review sites and local service based listing sites. And don’t forget local community websites and social networks. All these really help your ranking, because they give you a backlink to your website.
Start by building a “network” of local business listing with your verified address and contact information.
The key thing is these listing services will display your business address. Online marketers have found that search engines and listing websites will scrape the company’s address and compare it against their database, or Google’s map to see what places pop-up.
Every time they scrape a business address and it matches a business address that’s already on their map, then that can show some credibility for you and your business. Many suspect this helps your business listing rank you higher in the search engines. The more times crawlers come across your business address, the more authority it’s going to look like your website and business has, so we really get you in to every nook and cranny of a lot of local websites.
We also keep a list of hyper local pages. What do I mean by that?
This is like your local news media pages, so for example in Seattle, WA there is King-5 News and Google will actually pull in reviews from King-5 News business listings into the Google reviews, so you know it’s really powerful because they’re scraping the actual reviews.There are a ton of these that would help, such as Seattle PI. The more local authority webpages that you can get your website listed on, the better and the higher your business places listing will rank on Google.
The majority of those clicks go to the top 3 search results listed. You really need to be in that top 1-5 to get the benefit of the traffic, and that’s when the leads start to come in
The best thing is, it’s all trackable, which is the beauty of internet marketing. It’s all measurable, so once you set up a verified listing, a marketing technologist can optimize that listing with everything from images to videos to a ton of details about your business.
Get web tools setup to track your traffic, content engagement and rankings.
Next, we can track the impressions that it gets, we can track the actions that people take, such as clicking on links and sharing it on social networks. You can watch your analytics and metrics to pinpoint which traffic sources are going to be your hottest lead sources. Since these are actually people searching for what you have, and they’re going to be calling you directly off the Google search results because your phone number is going to be listed right on page 1!
A Few Code Tricks
Now we have two additional little secrets that we use to increase that click-through-rate from search engine listings a ton, and most businesses are not using these. This comes down to special code snippets that you can put in your websites.
We will put a code snippet into your website that identifies you as the author on any of the pages, such as blog posts. When your listing shows in the search engine, it’ll show a little thumbnail image of your author profile picture right next to the page listing.
All the other search results are just text, so it makes it really stand out. When you get to cheat a bit and have a little image showing, it can really draw people’s eyes.
For more information, check out schema.org for code to mark up your structured data posts.
HINT: Make the profile image something very eye-catching…
Other highly beneficial schema.org data that we can include are review ratings that will display as stars under your business listing. This is really powerful because people love stars!!! It gives them confidence when they see a lot of those stars. If you have them, it’s going to take clicks directly away from your competitor’s listings.
Those are the two big elements that should be used in your search engine marketing strategies, which can do wonders for your local business’s lead generation.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, visit the Contact page, or you can always reach out on Facebook. To learn some more strategies for getting your local business listing ranked in the search engines and other rating websites, give us a call (855) MKTG-TECH.