You can spend a lot of time and money on numerous sales channels to attract inbound enquiries or outbound leads but SEO is frequently overlooked. Indeed, SEO can offer many more advantages to your business than just a great sales channel of motivated prospects. It can also provide numerous hidden benefits that can help guide the business from marketing strategy all the way through to product development. Read on to find untapped opportunities are available to you.

1/ Your organic search audience is by their very nature motivated to want your services

As with all inbound marketing, the prospect is actively looking or at least considering your services unlike any form of outbound marketing. Any traffic that is generated (other than of course by competitors and would-be suppliers) are already interested, to some degree, in your offering. So, it probably comes as no surprise that the conversion rate for organic searches is over 10 times higher than for outbound leads. The key is in the choice of keywords that narrows down their intent.

For instance, ‘SEO Consultant’, might mean ‘I’m interested in becoming one’ as much as ‘I’m interested in hiring one’. Whilst ‘SEO Consultant Costs’ suggests someone who may be interested in hiring an SEO consultant whilst ‘SEO Consultant Salary’ suggests someone is interested in how much they might make if they become one. Of course, there may be many other interpretations, but generally, the longer the search term the more prospect intent can be narrowed down.

2/ It gives you a better insight into what your customers are actually searching for

SEO is a great way of addressing prejudices held within your company as to how people are finding you and what search terms they are using. It comes as a surprise to a lot of clients that in my experience, for most companies, 80% of all organic traffic to your site was already looking for you eg by either your brand or company name-based search.

Additionally, by understanding what search terms are generating sales and those that aren’t converting, you get a valuable insight into the terms to concentrate your SEO efforts on. This also helps to determine which phrases are where in the sales cycle and where you want to be in terms of gaining traffic (see point 1).

3/ Without investing in SEO the cost of your website will be just that

Website costs for most companies are a relatively large investment and not getting them to rank means that they remain only a cost rather than lead generating revenue stream. Many companies still spend a huge amount on new websites with little or no budget in place for either its on-going maintenance or on getting it to rank for search engine results. Moreover, it pays to invest in your website since it’s money devoted to a sales channel that can serve multiple clients and prospects simultaneously and is open 24/7 365 days a year.

4/ SEO lets you use the language your customers are using

It’s might seem obvious but you’re probably aware of a gap in terms of the terminology much of your staff use in comparison to what prospects might use. Understanding the search phrases that people find you for helps you adopt the correct vocabulary and tone that prospects can relate to on your website, in your marketing collateral and even face to face.

5/ SEO helps audiences not just find your website but the right part of your website for them

It’s important that your site is structured get prospects entering the website at the right point. So many sites are still totally geared to all traffic coming through their Homepage and spending a disproportionate amount of time and money at the expense of other pages that might better serve particular search prospects.

6/ SEO has a durability that pay per click (Adwords) and other paid advertising doesn’t

This isn’t to say that it doesn’t need maintaining, it does. However, when you switch off your Adwords then that’s exactly what you’ve done; all visibility is lost. The decline in an organic listings rank can vary massively but it’s frequently a slow process of erosion.  

7/ SEO is cost-effective

With the money you spend on SEO, you pay the same for one visitor as you do for a hundred or a thousand. The attraction of motivated prospects to your website for a set amount, as opposed to paying per each visit as with Adwords, can mean an effective SEO strategy can work out as extremely cost conscious. Combine this with its lasting effect (see point 6) means you can be gaining the benefits from the SEO carried out today for months, even years to come.

Of course, given that most SEO isn’t immediate in its impact, it often puts off many companies that are drawn to the immediacy of pay per click (Adwords) methods. Ironically, effective SEO and Adwords have much common ground, including highly optimised landing pages and effective user engagement. This means that they can make effective methods combined to get immediate results as well as enabling great feedback on the keywords that are the highest converting.

8/ SEO gives a long-term view of your marketing

Yes, there can be some quick win gains in some areas of SEO but the overall methodology is to work over a period of months, if not years, towards securing the most highly converting key phrases. This creates a culture of using the same phrasing and developing content that addresses your prospects interests or concerns around a topic that they are searching for. It’s, of course, true that phrases come and go and being on top of emerging and declining search terms is also part of SEO.

9/ SEO gives a holistic understanding of your online marketing

With SEO, it’s not simply about driving people to your website. It’s also analysing those keywords which actually convert into traffic. This means viewing prospect journeys through the site, where they bounce off or don’t convert. It can be easy to judge a phrase as not a conversion keyword without viewing the page in question and how that page addresses that search. Moreover, user experience on a site is now a well-recognised signal to Google so how well customers interact with your site and can have an overall impact on how well your site ranks in general.

10/ Without SEO you may be missing opportunities that your competitors are capitalising on

It’s obvious that if you aren’t ranking for certain search phrases that have a high search volume with good conversion rates then somebody is.

11/ SEO is often about maximising the effect of what you’re already doing

Unless you’re a brand-new company then you’ll have a ‘digital footprint’ to some extent. In this day and age, it’s simply inevitable. SEO is partly making sure that there is consistency in this footprint as well as gaining an optimised output for your comms as well as in the makeup of your website. Understanding where you can improve on existing strong ranking positions for short-term gains as well as determining where you want to rank on a longer time scale is part of this process.

12/ SEO, when local, gets you leads on your doorstep

Organic listings, the normal 1-10 listings under Adwords, are not the only listings you can rate for organically. You may have noticed that for certain phrases a ‘local pack’ is visible above the organic listings showing a map with suppliers that are nearby that provide services. This is a very underrated part of SEO and one where you should expect even higher conversion rates for prospects who are within typically 0-5 miles radius of your location.

If you’d like to know more about how you’re business can specifically profit from employing SEO then don’t hesitate to fill out the Free SEO report form. We’ll provide you with not only insights into your existing digital footprint but also many valuable opportunities available to you. We’ll even show you insights into three competitors of your choosing which can be incredibly illuminating!

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Local SEO, reputation management
So you’ve claimed your business listing, included some attractive pics and ensured you’ve got the right business category, opening times and NAP (company Name, Address and Phone) info. You’ve even managed to get some great reviews with some great feedback. So that’s GoogleMyBusiness done, right? Wrong! There are lots more you can do and here are three things most companies overlook.

If you type in your company name (and also your location for multi site companies) into a Google search on a desktop or laptop you’ll generally be presented with Adwords and organic listings on the left and your own ‘Company Pack’ on the right (see image below).

Company Pack view on a laptop

On a mobile device search then this Company Pack frequently dominates the search with it coming up first; on Android devices at least (see image below).

Company Pack view on an Android Mobile

Given this prominence, it makes sense to give the best possible impression for something that isn’t your website and yet in many search scenarios is seen long before they get to your site! Moreover, it turns out there’s a lot you can do to enhance and add to this pack to improve this incredibly valuable real estate for you.  

1/ Respond to your reviews

Most clients I work with understandably worry about the almost inevitable bad review that they’ll receive at some point in the company’s life and how to respond to it. What none of them ever worry about is responding to the great reviews. This is a missed opportunity. It obviously demonstrates to both Google and your existing clients that you’re a responsive company and that you value their comments, regardless of the feedback you receive. However, it also gives you the chance to explain how you ensure that great service or product is made consistently great.

You don’t have to labour the issue but you can give an insight into the process or attention to detail that your customers may be unaware of. Say for instance you hire out cars. If someone says what an excellent car they picked up from you then perhaps you can mention the 38 point check you do before a car goes out on hire. You might not, however, want to list out all 38 points!

2/ Integrate reviews from other sources
So you’re held in high regard by reviews on Google, what if you’re also great on Facebook, 118, Yell, Checkatrade etc. In that case,  ensure that your NAP data is consistent and you verify where needed. For instance, have you verified your Facebook company page? Very few companies do!

In due course, you should start to see these summaries beginning to start populating your GMB underneath your address and opening hours. Ideally, look to get at least two other review channels to start registering here to assist in banishing the ‘Competitor Pack’ from appearing (more about this below).

3/ Post promotions, news or events
In the last fortnight, Google has introduced a new Post item to your Google My Business console (see image below).

Google My Business Console with new Posts option

This not only lets you promote an event, recent news or a current promotion but also gives you the opportunity to create a tailored call to action (CTA) that can take your prospects to a specific page on your site.*

This is an incredibly powerful opportunity to sell your brand which shouldn’t be overlooked. After all, the rest of your information you provide in the Google My Business profile is quite neutral data whereas this gives you a genuine opportunity to sell your company and what distinguishes you from the competition.
  
*This is generally only seen in Chrome and not necessarily by other browsers

Lock out the competition
What happens when you do all of this? Well, first and foremost you increase the real estate of your page and undoubtedly make any prospect feel more favourably towards progressing to visiting your website or even calling straight away. However, there is another more hidden and yet just as important benefit from this.

You may have noticed that for most GMB profiles, where you’ve used your exact address, that something unexpected and irksome happens. Despite the fact that for most GMB profiles your Company Pack will only turn up if you type your company name Google decides that if a prospect is looking on a laptop or desktop that this prospect would also like to know about your competitors, the so-called ‘Competitor Pack’. You’ll notice that at the bottom of your company pack also shows 5 potential competitors under the heading ‘People also search for’. So how can you get rid of this? Well follow the three steps above and you should be able to banish this irritating ‘Competitor Pack’ from your company pack whilst maximising your company image. See the example below.

GoogleMyBusiness Ready Steady Go SEO

So implementing these steps is a win win for you.

Please let me know how you get on implementing these steps and if you’d like any free advice concerning local SEO practices or more general SEO techniques then don’t hesitate to contact me on 07985 676506 or email me at [email protected] [/md_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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Local SEO, reputation management


You may have noticed a drop off in your internet traffic since the end of February. What might have caused this? Has Google updated its algorithm? Have you received a Google penalty? Will you need to get your web designer or SEO specialist to look into what the problem might be? Or is it something a lot more obvious that staring you in the face?

 

 

It’s just possible that you hadn’t noticed that your Google local listing review visibility got a whole lot more visible. It might have escaped your attention but did escape the attention of your prospects? Up till late last month, the star rating system for listings only showed your star rating out of 5 a maximum of 5 stars if you had a minimum of five reviews already. This made poorly reviewed companies quite insulated from a poor review profile. The first image, before the change, actually had four five-star reviews, but could just have easily hidden four very damaging number of poor reviews. After the change, as in the second image, it’s clear whether a company has good or bad reviews, even if it’s only one review. The change makes poor reviews become a lot more visible and potentially a lot more damaging. Particularly if you happen to have had one poor Google review from one particularly aggrieved customer; and let’s face it, it’s fair to say that generally, the most motived reviewers are those that feel considerably negatively towards you.

Many business owners can get obsessed with their own website’s performance or for that matter the social platforms they also have under their control but your Google local listing can be more important than any of these. Why? Because it often gets seen first. Why? Because unless your prospect was searching for you then there’s a good chance they’ll see on a Google search is a, after the Adwords, a local listing before the organic listings that most companies get hung up about.

Of course, you could argue that yes a bad review there might be bad for people searching for my services but most of my work comes from referrals. Well, in that case, it’s still a problem. If they’re on the web and they don’t know your web address then they’ll search for you by company name. In which case they’ll see your company listing on Google on the right-hand side and guess what. That bad Google review will be following you around in your prospect’s faces before they choose to proceed, or not to proceed, to your website.

However, you may be in the position where you don’t have any reviews. Nothing good or bad. Sounds OK but of course, this leaves you just one heartbeat from a bad review. Might be a great time to start harvesting lots of positive reviews from your clients? On the other hand, you may have several good reviews, it’s a safer position to be in but again you’re still open to several bad reviews spoiling that. So what’s the answer?

The answer is to have an on-going campaign of seeking to maximise the good will that comes your, or for that matter your staff, every day. Don’t wait for someone to maybe leave a good, bad or less likely indifferent review. Instead, leap upon all the positivity that is generated. If someone is singing your praises then provide them with the opportunity to leave a review in as simple and easy way possible.

The great thing about harvesting all the positive feedback you receive is not just simply the way to demonstrate and promote your company or to head off any negative reviews coming your way. It also allows you the chance to create a virtuous circle. For every review created, regardless of it being good or bad, you can respond. For good reviews, you have the opportunity to explain how you ensure a great service in a particular instance. For bad reviews, it gives you the chance to show you care and how you may wish to redress any issues the client has. From this perspective, there is no bad thing as a bad review, but a person browsing your profile may not drill down to see your response and simply take the negative review on face value. This will largely depend on the scale of bad reviews.


If you’d like to know more about the services that Ready Steady Go SEO can offer, then visit our reputation management or local SEO pages.

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Local SEO is a shockingly undervalued resource in today’s SEO battlefield. Your local listings (or local SEO) on Google have been with us now for over 3 years and yet they are still criminally overlooked by both end clients and SEO agencies alike. It’s 2016 and yet most SEO’s still talk about organic listings as being the peak of SEO when there’s something above them. I mean if I told you there was a free listing that cost nothing to advertise on Google’s front page that was actually above organic listings and yet had more credibility than the Adwords just above it you’d bite my hand off wouldn’t you? Well, that’s exactly what Google offers all companies every single day and yet the opportunity is seldom exploited.


In fact, local listings are the great leveller. Whether you’re big or small you have the opportunity to fight whether you’re a single site concern against a multi-site mega corporation, well at least in your own locality, which is at least probably where your audience is sited anyway! ‘So show me where to sign up?’ I hear you say.
The first thing to do is go to Google My Business and check whether your company is already listed. Chances are if you’re an established company you will be. The problem can be if it’s already been claimed by somebody else. This may have been an employee or agency working for you previously. In that case, you are looking at a somewhat protracted process of requesting it from the previous claimant if you can’t work out the partial e-mail that Google will provide you as the only information for you to determine who it might be. If you have difficulty then feel free to contact us to help you reclaim what is rightfully yours.

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