Many local businesses are concerned with how to drive more customers or clients through online awareness and search rankings, but internet marketing tactics can seem quite overwhelming. It’s easier now more than ever to incorporate a strategy for driving more business leads through SEO, and by dedicating a little time and effort on the forefront, you can see major results through increased traffic and sales. Here are a few tips on how you can gain a competitive advantage for your business with SEO tactics.
Link building — or increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage with the goal of increasing search engine rankings — remains the foundational element of increasing SEO in 2018. However, now it is manifesting through images and video. Posting images and video related to your business via Pinterest and YouTube present phenomenal opportunities to share quality content and simultaneously reap SEO rewards.
You may think that Pinterest is a just a place for soccer moms to post pictures of crafts, but it is an incredible SEO tool. Firstly, Pinterest is the second largest referrer of traffic to websites, which means that only Facebook refers more site visits. Secondly, an image that is linked back to your website counts as a backlink and that link can be measured in the Google Search console.
The key here is that every time the image is re-pinned (shared) that link duplicates. Google created an artificial intelligence platform in 2015 called RankBrain, and it quite accurately recognizes images. This means that a picture that is relevant to your business can create hundreds of backlinks, which is an SEO win-win.
Speaking of artificial intelligence, did you know that every English word spoken on YouTube is understood and measured by Google’s RankBrain? If you want to expand your understanding of SEO, look no further than the ubiquity of video, especially video content on YouTube. Becoming the voice for your brand, or hiring someone to do it, is going to be an investment. However, your YouTube channel’s role within SEO has become undeniable. Here are the key points to focus on, to have YouTube videos increase your rankings:
• Always include cards or annotations that link back to your site.
• Edit the closed captions.
• Include a link to your site in the description.
• Embed the video into a blog on your website and share it on social media.
• Share the blog with your email lists, and always ask viewers to subscribe and like your videos.
Follow these steps and you will be ahead of 95 percent of local business owners who are intimidated by the price of video and the time commitment.
RANKING IN GOOGLE MAPS
Local rankings are oftentimes the only piece of the SEO puzzle that matters for small businesses. Google My Business is the Google product that makes your local listing appear.
Google has recently added two options that you should incorporate. The first are Google Posts, which allow you to write a small offer that potential customers will see when your map listing appears, the second are 30-second videos.
Even if no one sees your posts, which is highly unlikely in our experience, and no one watches your videos, the additional content that you are adding to your Google My Business profile will be judged and understood by RankBrain, and this could set off a change of events that leads to your local rankings improving.
Video is oftentimes the SEO factor that separates the strong from the weak. Fully optimizing your Google My Business profile, leveraging all of the tools offered by Google including posts and 30 second videos, will result in a more robust profile and better Google maps rankings.
BE CAUTIOUS WHEN OUTSOURCING
Recently, we hired an SEO consultant who took it upon themselves to write fake reviews for a client of ours. No, just no. If you intend to outsource SEO work, you need to be completely clear on what your provider is doing for you and don’t settle for jargon and buzzword explanations.
They should be able to provide a crystal-clear outline of exactly what they are doing for you. For example, “We are writing eight blogs per month and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.”
Kellen Kautzman is the founder and operator of Send It Rising Internet Marketing, a Las Vegas-based internet marketing agency with more than 30 local and regional clients. Kautzman is a well-regarded expert on growing small business with digital marketing and SEO, a public speaker and published author of the book, “Everybody’s Doing It — Advertising Redefined by SEO expert Kellen Kautzman.