Getting found online is one of the most important things your business can do.
But standing out above all the distractions of today’s digital world is tough, especially when your competitors are aiming to do the same. Let’s examine a visual example of what users go through when they are browsing the web or using their smartphones...
Users are swamped with distractions. Whether it’s email, calendar notifications, or the infinite Instagram feed, there are plenty of options for users to direct their attention.
Think about this: you are actively looking for Waldo and it’s still a task. Imagine if you weren’t sure what exactly you were looking for and how difficult it would be for him to catch your eye.
That’s what it’s like trying to stand out among all the other digital distractions your customers face. But what if they’re actively looking for you on Google. What might that look like?
Yes, you’re all Waldos in their eyes. You and your competition are all looking to solve the same problems or sell the same products.
You have to make sure you are the first Waldo they see.
Luckily, there are some tactics you can implement today to not only put your local business at the top but to also stand out from the other Waldos up there with you.
Google's Ranking System
The first thing to understand is what determines Google’s ranking system.
Moz compiled this list of all the different factors Google considers when choosing how to rank your site. While all of these are important, there are four key factors that have a special effect on local businesses.
GMB (Google My Business) signals, link signals, reviews and on-page signals are all factors that impact general SEO but have a larger impact on your local pack SEO (regular local 3-pack that appears for most local search terms, as seen below). In fact, these four factors combined account for 70% of the impact on your local pack ranking. In this article, we'll show you some tactics for optimizing these factors and getting your business to the top of the organic list.
Claim Your Google My Business Page
While Google does make ranking difficult, they do a great job of making everything that goes into ranking easy to use. Google will walk you through everything you need to do in order to set up your GMB account.
This is the very first thing you need to do for your business. If you don’t have a GMB account, then you won’t be showing up on Google Maps.
Once you have followed the steps and set it up, be sure to include the following:
- Optimize Your Description With Keywords - You can use Google's keyword planner tool to find the keywords your customers are searching for.
- Use Keywords in Image File Names - When uploading images to your GMB page, make sure the keyword is both in the file name as well as the title and description of the image.
- Choose Your Category - Your business category factors into how relevant you are to the searcher, so make sure to choose the category that best fits your business.
- Get Real Reviews and Respond to Them - Thanking your positive reviewers and solving problems for your negative reviewers can help boost your ranking and shows Google that you are responsive.
- Use a Consistent Address - Having a consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) on your website is more important than ever.
Don't just be a Waldo. Be a five-star Waldo.
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.