Due to COVID-19, many businesses have had to make quick changes to their marketing and SEO strategies to stay afloat. As different parts of the country seek to reopen, it’s important to take inventory on your SEO strategy to stay competitive. Our SEO checklist is a great starting point for SMBs who want to get into that SEO mindset or who may have neglected SEO in the last few months and are ready to restart their efforts. Let’s take a look at these three essential strategies for optimizing your business online.
Watch the broadcast here, or read on for some of the key takeaways.
Rich Results Optimization
To give a little context we want to refresh everyone’s memory of rich results and then dive into how you can strategize for landing these types of results.
What Are Rich Results?
Rich results refer to results that include styling, images, and other features. Rich results help to draw the eye and they interact more with the search engine results page(SERP). They include a highlight of some sort, like a snippet directly in the SERP. Because of this stylization, if you land a rich result, you get significantly more real estate online. It’s good for any SMB to aim for these results to improve your conversion rates as these results pull higher intent traffic than the norm.
What Are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets, or “position zero,” are the selected search results that appear at the top of the SERP. They typically appear in either a paragraph, table or list format. Winning the featured snippet will add authority to your website and brand recognition cannot be understated. Not only do business owners want to be in the top position to get clicks, but it’s also good PR. If you’re at the top of Google, you’re an authority in the space and your voice is heard. Because this is such a coveted spot by many, Google is only pulling from the best results and so if you’re not already on the first page of Google you don’t have a chance at landing the featured snippet. You need to put in the basic SEO groundwork before you start to target rich results.
Other Types of Rich Results
You can also aim for your content to be featured in the carousels at the top of the SERP in a list or gallery. The carousel rich result features a variety of publishers, like top news stories, recipes, blogs, or videos. We mentioned a significant change in Google’s SERPs with the COVID-19 landing page right here if you want to see a page with tons of rich results.
Strategy for Landing Rich Results
Your content strategy for landing a featured snippet should be well thought out. Evergreen doesn’t just happen, you have to plan for it. Re-evaluate your current content and consider refreshing language that is commonly used in the majority of rich results. This is conversational language with an emphasis on question/answer dialog. You should always keep your content organized with basic HTML and relevant on your website. Include microdata for Google (reviews, articles, local business, video). Microdata, like Schema.org, is the data that identifies what’s going on in the content and communicates clearer with Google than basic HTML.
The process is a circle. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to match your intent with the right search results. If you’re stagnant with your SEO strategy you’re going to lose your ranking to competitors.
Google My Business Utilizations
Google says its Google My Business local strategy revolves around relevance, distance, and prominence.
- Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for.
- Distance is the physical location from which the search is happening.
- Prominence is how well-known a business is. Think about reviews and actual foot traffic.
Keep your profile up-to-date with all current information in regards to your business operations. Add complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches. If you are a business that doesn’t offer services in a physical local, add your service area rather than address to your profile.
How Should My GMB Description Look?
You don’t want ambiguity when it comes to your Google My Business profile. Be concise about your business description but don’t include sales or promotional language. Describe your business in an elevator pitch and then expand on that on your website so people know exactly what you do.
Consumers are re-evaluating what businesses they want to visit or purchase from. Build trust by showing your customers your safe-commerce and safe business practices with GMB photos. Include a photo of your storefront from the street so people know exactly how to get to your location If your hours or services have changed because of COVID-19, keep those up to date on your profile with specific GMB features. Post images that help instill trust with your customers. Be consistent with the information listed on both your website and your GMB page.
GMB Q&A/FAQ Feature
FAQs are a great resource for both your website and your GMB profile. Combine the two and have your questions featured on both. Ask questions on GMB and answer them yourself.
GMB Category Advice
When choosing categories, there are 3,942 different business categories to choose from. We recommend businesses choose between two and three categories. If your service category is not listed, utilizing the description can help bridge the gap of informing potential clients what you do.
Educational Content Promotion
If you want to be an authority on Google you need to be an authority in your industry. Make sure your content is featured on your website, blog, GMB, social media, as well as your email marketing. Be authentic in your content. Create educational content and update it regularly. Continually updating information and refreshing already-ranking content can help bring in a wider audience as more keywords start to rank for that post.
Co-Marketing and Influencer Marketing Opportunities
Expand your reach with co-marketing. Partner with local industry experts on content or promotions. Find marketplace influencers in your area and cross-promote with each other. Be a thought leader with your posts.
Social Media Syndication
Syndicate your content on all your relevant social media platforms and create different types of mediums for content delivery (video, .pdf, slide deck presentation). Take into account the audience you’re trying to reach when deciding the platform.
Email Marketing Promotion
Email marketing can help influence your SEO ranking. Keep in contact with clients and keep them up to date with your products and information. Promote blog content and educational content that are worthy of ranking and that provides value to the consumer. Your business is 6x more likely to get a click from an email campaign than a tweet.
Link Building Opportunities
Link building is a crucial element in your SEO strategy but remember: link building takes time. It’s a powerful and important tool. Get links by writing engaging and relevant content to your industry so others will want to reference it in their own content. Ask industry partners to include your content in other expert’s posts with a DO-FOLLOW link.