How to Get on All Three Areas of Google

Why You Need to Be in All Three Areas

With 97% of consumers searching online for local business1, it’s no secret that getting on the first page of Google is critical to local marketing success. Most small businesses owners understand the importance of local Search Engine Marketing, but they are not taking full advantage of marketing their business in all three areas of the search engine results page (SERP). Showing up in all three areas gives you the best chance of getting in front of people looking for what you sell.

Combining pay-per-click, SEO, and local map listings into a single internet marketing strategy has several advantages:

  • A prospect is more likely to click to your website instead of those of your competitors.
  • Advertising dollars can be allocated to what works best in your market.
  • Prospects will view your business multiple times in the results and know that you are the “player” in your area.
  • You will capture all prospects – no matter if they click on PPC, organic, or map results.

Pay-Per-Click Ads Provide You Instant Local Exposure

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is the quickest way to the first page of Google. When most internet marketing companies promise you first page Google rankings in a few days, this is what they are talking about. PPC is a paid ad that appears on the SERP where advertisers bid on keywords in an auction style environment. Advertisers only pay when the ad is clicked, so this is a great way to get traffic to your site.

Getting a perfect quality score is not an easy task.

Why PPC Matters

  • PPC can be paced to allow for steady stream of website traffic.
  • If effectively managed, PPC campaigns can start generating calls immediately.
  • A Pay-Per-Click campaign allows a website to rapidly gain targeted traffic.
  • PPC allows you to quickly switch focus for seasonality and promotions without massive site overhauls.
  • PPC can get you on Page 1 for Keywords that don’t rank well organically.

Improving PPC Ad Rank

  • Match the keywords on your landing page with the keywords in your ad.
  • Focus on click through rates, not impressions.
  • Group keywords into relevant themes.
  • Create ad variations.
  • Test different keyword match types (broad, phrase, and exact).
  • Choose and promote your best performing ad.

Common PPC Mistakes

  • Excluding negative keywords – words that you don’t want to come up for (ex. “How to” or “Free”).
  • Dead landing pages.
  • Flash on landing pages.
  • Irrelevant keywords in ads.
  • Irrelevant keywords in landing pages.
  • Setting it and forgetting it.

Map Listings Show Your Business Location for Searchers

More and more people are using search engines to find local businesses. Google noticed the trend and changed its search algorithm in early 2012 to include more local map listings and localized web pages in the search engine results.

People click on the local map listings now.

This study by autonetmedia.com indicates that Google Places results attract eyeballs. The heat map below shows the visual tracking activity around a Google search for “pizza.”

Why Map Listings Matter

  • 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.
  • 74% of people will use a recommended business.
  • Local map listings are displayed even when no geographic term is used in search.
  • Phone number is displayed even if you don’t click.
  • Local listings are prominent on the first page.

Improving Map Listings

  • Claim your listing.
  • Reach out to your customers and ask for reviews.
  • Ensure that name, location, website, phone number and description accurately represent the business.
  • Ensure accurate information on third party sites – Google will pull information from these sites to create map listings.
  • Include images and videos to help your listing stand out.
  • Add information regarding opening hours and payment types.
  • Add relevant, specific categories to business.

Common Map Listings Mistakes

  • Not checking your listing to make sure it’s still active – sometimes Google will take down your map listing without notice. This can happen if someone says the information was not accurate.
  • Setting it and forgetting it.

Organic SEO Takes Time to Build

Organic rankings are the more “traditional” method of getting on Google. They are displayed below paid search and interspersed between map listings. Having keyword-rich content is not enough to get you high organic rankings.

In the olden days, internet marketers would just stuff words they wanted to rank for in the “keyword tag.” That doesn’t work anymore. In fact, most search engines ignore this tag altogether. The best way to get on page one for the organic listings is to target specific keywords. The longer and more specific the keyword, the better chance you will have ranking on page one.

long-tail-vs-short-tail-keywords

Targeting longer keywords gives you a better chance of converting.

Why Organic SEO Matters

  • These listings tend to last for a long time and provide credibility.
  • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
  • Organic clicks generate 25% higher conversion than equivalent PPC.
  • Organic SEO allows for multiple listings on the page.
  • Once you build organic listings up, you don’t have to pay for each click.

Improving Organic SEO Ranking

  • Target longer, geo-specific keywords (i.e. “Hot water heater repair in Houston”).
  • Have keyword themed unique content for each page.
  • Use keywords in important HTML tags (Page Title, Meta Description, Heading Tags, Alt Tags, and Body Copy).
  • Have a website that loads quickly.
  • Create and Submit Sitemaps.
  • Submit your site to local directories.

Common SEO Mistakes

  • Using the same title tag on every page.
  • Trying to target too many terms on one page.
  • Using Flash on your website.
  • Missing alt tags on images.
  • Lacking a proactive link building strategy.
  • Setting it and forgetting it.

Getting on the first page can be a challenge, and staying there is even harder.

If you need help getting on page 1 for all three areas, give us a call. We are happy to help.

References

  1. http://www.biakelsey.com/company/press-releases/100310-Nearly-All-Consumers-Now-Use-Online-Media-to-Shop-Locally.asp
  2. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/14416/100-Awesome-Marketing-Stats-Charts-Graphs-Data.aspx
About Darren DeMatas

Darren DeMatas is Product Marketing Manager at Web.com. He enjoys writing about PPC and SEO. He has a MBA with a specialization in Internet Marketing.

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