What's the joke online?
Where do businesses go to die?
The 2nd page on Google.
So what do companies do?
They buy Adwords
Try to use key words over and over
Attempt to manipulate the algorithm
Assume videos attract more
Having tons of positive reviews - removing negative ones
While ALL this is great and seems legit - here's some REAL ways to drive your SEO and rankings - All without spending a dime on Adwords.
Tip 1 - Accurate Listing Online
Having an accurate listing online all the time is key. It doesn't matter is you have ONE office or 1000 retail locations. It doesn't matter is you have a home office if you are self employed or a one person operation.
You MUST HAVE an ACCURATE LISTING!
Google and other search engines rank based on accuracies. So Very minimum is:
Hours of operation
If any of these are not present - that will hurt your ranking.
So what if you work from home? And you don't want to use your home address?
Shared work places and shared office locations like Regus offer to "lease" an address for a small monthly fee (Usually less than $100). You won't get mail there or anything. It's simply to use the address. And it's much better than a PO Box. Looks better. Plus real addresses are more legit.
If you think this is an oversight, think again. Search engines and Google leading the way don't take this lightly. Accuracy and all information needs to be there.
(If you don't know how to manage or have multiple locations - CONTACT US - we have a listings management software that will manage & protect your listings from 3rd parties & bots that can change your listings at anytime, keep your branding & photos online accurate - and not a picture of a dumpster and more).
Tip 2 - Helpful Content on your website
The old way of just blasting out 5 keywords on your website is gone.
What does that mean? It's like a law firm putting on their website, "Top leading law firm in southeastern Wisconsin" and just spraying that all over their website.
It doesn't work anymore.
Also what doesn't work - just talking about products & services.
Yes - you have to tell about your products & services, after all that's what makes your business revenue and grows your company. However - it doesn't matter if you are a consultant, coach, fitness guru, author, software firm, a logistics company, a pet retail store, a dental office, in the b2b space or b2c - EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE HELPFUL CONTENT.
Google has changed the way companies get seen. They are leveling the playing field. From those who simply bought their way to the top with Google Adwords and had the big budgets to do so vs those who couldn't.
So what is "Helpful Content"? - You're looking at it. It's tips. It's something that is helpful. And it's different than a case study. A case study is great to have (as we have a lot of them) but they aren't considered helpful content.
You know your business. What did it take to get there? What are some key things people should know?
If you own a pet store or are a pet franchisee owner, some of the helpful content can be giving feeding tips on different types of dogs. I have four dogs. Check them out. Aren't they cute?
So the two on the bottom are my puggles. For anyone who has puggles or pugs KNOW exactly how they are BUT, I guarantee, it was all learned.
A great how to tip is puggles like to EAT! They will eat. My other two dogs are grazers. They eat when they are hungry. So I can leave their food out and they will eat it whenever they feel. But puggles have to be regulated and on a schedule, otherwise they will eat and eat and eat.
So how do you manage four dogs when two of them are eaters and two of them are grazers? That's the helpful content.
Those are things you can use to be helpful but also align with your business.
Tip 3 - Reviews
This is an area a lot of companies overlook. They either think it doesn't matter or think they aren't big enough or (did I mention) think it doesn't matter.
It matters. Why? Because Google will rank based on reviews as well. So along with helpful content, accurate listings but reviews play into ranking higher.
If you don't have reviews or know how to get them, simply CONTACT US and we can get you set up to start getting those reviews.
Tip 4 - Responding to Reviews
Uh oh - Wait, you have to respond to reviews?
Remember seeing on Amazon "Verified Review?" All that meant was that the company was offering giftcards to leave a positive review. So then all these reviews would SEEM like the product was great. But all it was................paid reviews.
Google caught wind.
What's Worse Than NOT having Reviews?
Companies think having a ton of reviews is great. Which it is. It shows your customers care to leave a message and tell what a great experience they had or simply leaving a star rating. But it's not enough.
Google now takes reviews into consideration in rankings with those who actually take the time to respond. But how do you respond to reviews, especially if you're a company that gets hundreds of reviews a month or weekly basis?
You can automate those responses to help, which is a great way to create customer service as well. People and customers want to feel appreciated and heard. If you want to help manage your reviews CONTACT US and we will get you all set up. It's easy. In fact, we can get you started by asking customers to leave a review. Super fast way to boost reviews and rankings!
Tip 5 - Removing Negative Reviews - Is A NO NO!
Companies thought or even think, removing negative reviews is a good thing. After all, having a negative review reflects badly on your company, so they assume only showing positive reviews will help increase business.
Not the case.
Google got wind.
Removing negative reviews will actually hurt your rankings in a negative way vs responding and leaving negative reviews will increase your rankings.
It also shows your company isn't perfect BUT you care to make it right. Even if it is just responding and show you care.
Do not remove negative reviews. Again Contact Us as we can help you in this aspect.
Bonus Tip - Capturing Key Words FROM Reviews
Why guess what keywords to use?
Many companies try to think of what words to use for SEO. They guess based on their industry or what Semrush says (lol), but why not make it easy? I mean, use what your customers say!
The great thing about capturing keywords from your customers, is that you can use those in same words on your website, in advertising, for both negative and positive aspects to capture from your competition.
But you need to be able to capture those key words to show which ones rank highest. And you can't do that by simple gathering and reading through all the reviews you have.
But you can with us. Because they will change month over month. Combine the above with our easy to sue SEO solution - we can literally build a comprehensive SEO roadmap for you and literally tell you what you need to do every month.
Perfect for people who don't know anything about SEO or have lean teams or simply want to streamline.
Plus since we are partnered & authorized resellers of Birdeye & Yext - we can give you (best pricing) but also more hands on than you would have otherwise.
Dan Marx is the CEO of ReShift a full service comprehensive Sales & Marketing firm. A firm believer in fixing the process and not just throwing on a template. With solutions that can help with the plug & play, it makes more sense to fix the process or what is not moving the needle forward or delivering ROI than to spend money on templates or nonsense, if it doesn't work.