Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They're shown in a number of places across Maps and Search. For example, you’ll probably see local results if you search for “Italian restaurant” from your mobile device. Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit. In the image below, Google uses local results to suggest some options.
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Paid search results are those in the top and bottom of the results page, indicated by the small “ad” icon. These are placements that businesses pay for to show up when users search specific keywords. Google Ads can be a very effective way of utilizing ad spend for those who are new or struggling to compete against businesses that rank higher in organic search results. It’s also great for businesses targeting keywords with high revenue potential.
Spread content, get links, and get noticed. I highly recommend doing this the “white hat” way. White hat is a SEO term that means you are linking your content for customers, and not just for Google to see. Back in the day, people would post links like crazy everywhere. There would be websites just full of links called link farms. Google created updates to combat this type of black hat scamming. So, don’t risk your site’s SEO, and go the trusted route of getting links from reputable sites.
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After you hit “Get ideas,” you will see the number of average monthly searches for the term you entered, plus other related search terms that you may want to use as keywords on your website. Create a list of the keywords and search terms you want to rank for, and fold them in to your website copy and content as naturally as possible. As Google sees your website using these keywords, it will view your site as a relevant and quality search result.
This is not to say that small businesses can’t show within the top organic results. If your business is located in a less competitive market or industry, like a nail salon in a small town, you have a better chance of ranking high in organic results. Most small businesses find it easiest to rank within local results, though small businesses can also rank high in organic results by investing in search engine optimization efforts.
This one is so obvious, we’re going to look at it first. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising (try our Smart Ads Creator!) are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card.
Before you say it – no, true guest blogging isn’t dead, despite what you may have heard. Securing a guest post on a reputable site can increase blog traffic to your website and help build your brand into the bargain. Be warned, though – standards for guest blogging have changed radically during the past eighteen months, and spammy tactics could result in stiff penalties. Proceed with caution.
Keep in mind that the number of average monthly searches for each suggested keyword is an estimate. However, it does represent the popularity of that keyword or search term. This makes a difference when doing your keyword research, as it gives you insight into what people in your market are searching for. Understanding what they want allows you to better position your business to provide them with relevant content and information.
The title tag is used by search engines to display a page in search results, as well as appearing at top of the browser. These tags tell search spiders and users what your page is about. Google only displays between 50 – 60 characters in their title tags, therefore its important to keep descriptions short, compelling and relevant. Keywords and page topics should feature towards the front.
A backlink is a link to your website from another website. Backlinks from complementary businesses or industry influencers will not only get your business in front of a larger audience, but it will also drive qualified traffic to your website. In addition, Google picks up on backlinks and will increase its trust in your business if it sees other trusted sites pointing to yours. More trust from Google leads to higher rankings, which leads to more traffic. Get noticed on Google for free with quality backlinks.
For example, a plumber could first find a service that has search volume on Google, but may not be talked about that in-depth on their competitor’s websites. In this example, a service like “leak detection” may be listed with a small blurb on your competitor’s sites, but none of them have elaborated on every angle, created FAQs, videos, or images. This represents an opportunity to dominate on that topic.
“Syndicate carefully: If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.”
Many small businesses fail to write clear, concise headlines on their websites. Headlines are a big ranking factor for Google and other search engines. Because headlines are big and important looking, many small business owners are tempted to write clever or fun headlines, but this is a mistake. Instead, write headlines that convey a single who, what, where, when, or why statement that summarizes the content that follows. Imagine someone only reads the headlines—will they understand the content on your page? Clearly written headlines will help your readers and search engines understand your content.
2. Provide testimonials. Every company relies on other businesses to supply products and services. Brainstorm a list of all the businesses that you use and recommend and offer to provide these businesses with testimonials. Often companies will have a dedicated page on their website for testimonials, acting as social proof to potential customers. Usually the company will jump at the chance to receive a testimonial from a satisfied customer and will be more than happy to link back to your website. This technique is a win-win for both websites and helps cultivate a good relationship with suppliers.
Free products and services are great for getting free traffic to your site and one of the best varieties in this aspect is viral content. Viral content is called so because it distributes like a virus – i.e. when users like your content, they send it to their friends, post it on various sites, and promote it for free in many different ways. Viral content distributes on its own and your only task is to create it and submit it to a couple of popular sites. After that users pick it and distribute it for you. Viral content can be a hot video or a presentation but it can also be a good old article or an image.