SEO on the Rise
Google has this really cool tool called Google Trends. Part of it is called Explore. It allows you to play with their search data to research… anything.
In the charts below, I compare the beginning of this year against the past 3 years, for the search term “seo”. Now this is very simplistic, but it gives you clear indication that people are more interested in this first month of the year in comparison to the past 3 years.
You’re reading this, so obviously you’re interested in SEO for your business. Pat yourself on the back.
Now on to the past 2 Weeks in Local SEO:
Schema.org markup, Google reviews, and content for your preferred audience.
Schema (that’s scheme with an ‘a’)
This is super geeky, but super cool for helping you do more than the competition when it comes to ranking in search engines. I’ve mentioned “schema.org” a couple times but to summarize, it’s what the 3 major search engines came together on as a way to format your web pages.
And it’s very UNDER-utilized.
In this blog post by David Deering of Touch Point Digital Marketing, he goes super-geek on schema on how you can markup all sorts of data on your website to tell Google and the others more data about your services and location.
For example, say you have a pretty picture of a kitchen renovation. As you see below, your competition most likely has the HTML code in the top half (or not even that). The search engine keywords being: “kitchen renovation“.
Now, the below half is flexing some schema muscles and tells the search engine:
The Parker Kitchen Renovation
The complete Parker renovation project after all of the new appliances were installed.
Taken on Nov. 28th 2014
Project Location: New Orleans
Taken by a HomeandConstructionBusiness named Our Construction Business
Google Plus URL: http://googleplusurl com
Notice the bold a few times there. Imagine a paper form with a few blocks for name, date, location, details, etc. This is “structured data”. You’re telling the search engines very specific details about that image for them to use in their own geeky ways.
Action: Search your home page using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Does Google really know what your website is about or where your business is? This will tell you.
Google Rewards Reviewers
For a long time, Yelp had a program called “Yelp Elite” for those users who left lots of reviews. There was occasionally controversy about special treatment to these “Elite” such as invitations to free meals at restaurant events for glowing reviews.
Enter Google’s “Local Guides”. For maybe 2 years now, Google has had a similar program called “Google Experts” in limited cities. Well starting February 16th, it’s open everywhere, globally, as Google Local Guides. The premise is, the more a user leaves reviews, they’ll get a little recognition with a badge next to their name when you see their public reviews and other community stuff that surely only those who take the time to leave lots of reviews will care about.
Then why does this matter? I expect controversy in the future about whether the reviews of the trusted Google Local Guides reviewers will hold more relevancy in search results. Time will only tell.
If you’re curious about the details of the levels and such, Mike Blumenthal shared his welcome email in his blog post; Google Replacing City Experts with Local Guides Program.
Write what your audience reads
This week’s Whiteboard Friday on Moz was from Rand Fishkin and he discusses investing in knowing what your audience wants before creating content for them. It’s an 11 minute video well worth your 11 minutes if you’re at the stage of your internet marketing where you should be adding content to your website.
Action: Take a recently asked question from a preferred client and write down a very detailed answer. Really take the time to describe all the steps needed. You can even take it a step further if you have a smartphone to include some video in your explanation.
This is valuable content for your website.
That’s it for this week. As always, shoot me an email and tell me what you need help with.
In 2 weeks I’ll be going to Seattle to pick the brains of local search trailblazers at the LocalU and Moz conference; LocalUp. If you’ve got any burning questions about future predictions or have a really complex situation related to internet marketing, reply and let me know. I’ll find the right person to get the right answer while I’m there.