Many small business owners don’t understand why their website doesn’t show up at the top of the Google search results.
You've probably tried to ask an expert before who quickly launched into explaining algorithms, keywords and links, DA, PA, trust flow and I know for a fact your eyes would have glazed over.
Here is one truth about SEO that most people don't realise...
There are two different types and one of them is going to be the key to dominating your competitors online.
Organic SEO - The Business Killer
To put it simply organic SEO is an uphill battle. It's for the bigger companies who have the budget and the time to establish their online presence. If you engage in organic SEO, you'll be fighting against some of the biggest companies with some of the biggest budgets in the world.
The most important thing to note is that organic SEO is only be for companies who sell to the nation and the globe.
Most small businesses like florists, car dealers, supermarkets and dentists, where the majority of their customers are local don't need organic SEO but have been bullied into playing the organic SEO game by agencies who want to put more into their own back pocket.
Example of the Competitiveness of Organic SEO
Let’s assume that there are 20 used car dealers and 2 new car dealers actually in your suburb. There are 17 spots on page one of Google if you count the organic results and the map pack… but after the recent Pigeon update, there are a lot of directories showing up. After we remove the directory spots, that leaves 11 or 12 possible spots.
22 dealers – 12 spots = 10 dealers that won’t be on page one, just in your suburb…
But, you obviously want to target the larger metro area to bring in more search traffic. There are 8 suburbs in your area, so let’s adjust the math:
22 dealers x 8 areas = 176 dealers
But, we also need to account for the dealers that are in the main city in your surrounding area. Since it’s a much bigger city, let’s conservatively say that there are three times as many dealerships there. Now, our equation looks like this:
22 dealers x 11 areas = 242 dealers
That’s 242 dealers fighting for the 12 spots on the first page of Google search results – which means 230 dealers won’t make it to page one.
Thanks to the recent Pigeon update, it’s extremely hard, if not impossible, for businesses not located in the main city of a metro area to show up in the map pack for queries targeting that metro area.
If you want your site to beat out the hundreds of other dealers fighting for the top spots, you’ve got to send the right signals to Google so that you can outrank competitors. That means you simply must have great content, you must have an awesome user experience, you must optimize your content for local searches, you must be active on social media, and you must be getting great reviews.
If you're in the world of organic SEO this is what you're dealing with.
It's expensive, it's slow and most of your visitors won't be from the local area which means a much lower conversion rate. I'm not saying don't engage in SEO but I'm definitely saying this should not be your focus!
How Local SEO Can Save Your Business
But there is a silver lining! It's called the 7-pack and it's what us as SEO agents like to show off to our significant others...
You can see the Local SEO 7-pack in action on the picture below. It is the 7 local businesses that show up in each local search on Google and it draws this data from your Google My Business page.
The most amazing thing... it appears above organic searches! That is what most companies spend 5-6 figures a year trying to secure!
In Google's latest update they have reduced this 7-pack to 6 and sometimes even 5 results depending on the industry making us SEO's a little more self-conscious about our body...
But enough joking around. Local SEO is where you should focus your time and energy on and here is why.
- Most other businesses don't realise they should be focusing on Local SEO! This gives you a massive advantage and much less competition.
- Local SEO has the highest return on invest for local businesses.
- It's not expensive. 25% of local ranking factor is made up of creating a citation (a citation is a website that references your Name, Address and Phone number, often called NAP). Yelp, Yellow Pages, FourSquare are all examples of citations. 10% is made up of reviews. Get more of these than the florist down the road and you'll most likely be ranked higher, it's as easy as that.
- Local SEO helps boost your organic SEO! A massive benefit that helps you hit two birds with one stone. The more citations you build, the more backlinks your business has from highly trusted sites and the more your organic SEO will improve.
As an example here are the results we got after we went and built an extra 50 citations for our business in the SEO industry and note that SEO is literally the most competitive industry on Google.
In a few weeks our keywords jumped on average 68 positions and organic traffic went up 6,400% - That's ridiculously awesome. Now we're not saying these are typical result but these are the results we got.
Three Steps To Building Your Local SEO
Step One - Citations
Citations, citations, citations.
Citations are currently 25% of local search ranking factors as of 2014. They are the single biggest factor to local SEO.
Examples of websites that you can create citations on are...
We also provide citation building services for businesses here! Starting out at only $5 per professionally constructed citation, this is one of the best decisions your business can make online.
Step Two - Consistency
But make sure you are consistent. Google requires consistency between your citations which means that your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) are exactly the same on every citation you create. If you type it in a little differently, even one comma astray, you will be punished by Google because now your business listing is inconsistent.
Bonus: Also go and make sure your Google Business website is up to date with the right information so it's looking professional.
Step Three - Reviews
Reviews make up about 10% of the local ranking factor and although this may seem low, the side benefit is that reviews improve social proof which leads to more sales making reviews another top priority.
How Do I Build Citations?
Citations do require a time investment and that's probably why most local companies haven't bothered which makes it the perfect opportunity to get ahead!
We've actually gone and compiled a list of the 20 top citations in New Zealand and Australia which you can see by clicking here!
You can take the pain and hassle out of getting ahead by using our recently launched local citation builder! We've been building citations for our clients for years so we've streamlined the process to create the best service at the best price.
We hand create citations for your business for just $5 a listing. We make sure all the information is consistent, optimised and helping you rank as high as possible.
So go out and get ranking on Google's local search! The faster you start, the further ahead you'll be by the time the competitor down the road finds out.
And finally remember to stop competing in the organic SEO game. If you're a local business after local customers, do the smart thing and get your business ranked locally.