As a digital marketing agency, we get a lot of great questions from our clients.
“Which of these three Google products is the most important for my business?” is one of our most-asked.
So we’re going to answer it here, publicly, for all to see!
But first, a little introduction to each of these valuable products.
Google Ads is an online advertising program. Through Google Ads, your business can create online ads to reach people, based on their general Google search engine use, exactly when they are interested in the products and services that you offer.
There is no minimum spending commitment, and you can control and set your own budget.
You choose where your ad appears and can easily measure the impact of your ad. Google Ads is a great way to get interested customers into your website when they’re searching for your product or service.
Google Local Search Results
Local Results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They’re shown in a number of places across Maps and Search.
For example, you’ll probably see local results if you search for “Italian restaurant” from your mobile device.
Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit. In the image below, Google uses Local Results to suggest some options.
The great thing about Local Results is that it’s so easy to update your details like your business contact details, trading hours or address if they change. There’s even an app for that. Use the Google My Business App to easily update your business details wherever you are.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the process of improving your website and its presence on Google’s Search Engine.
The SEO process requires quality content, technical changes to the website as per Google algorithm and backlinks from other high authority relevant websites to rank higher in the organic listings of Google.
When you tweak and improve these factors on your website you’ll notice a significant increase in the traffic on your website through organic search results.
Improving the content, trustworthiness and mobile phone accessibility of your website will greatly improve the ranking of your website on search engines.
Although it might feel like SEO is “free”, it actually takes a lot of time to properly implement SEO strategy on a website, as well all know, “Time is Money 💸!”
Which is best?
If you only use one of these methods, your business is going to miss out on a whole lot of potential customers.
If you don’t optimise your local search, then your business won’t be as discoverable to people nearby.
The same applies if your website ranks below Page 1 on Google – you are ultimately sending a range of potential clients to your competitors’ website rather than your own.
And finally, if you fail to run relevant ads for your products or services when potential customers are online and search for keywords, you are missing out.
Using these three Google products together have a cumulative effect. Meaning, the more you are able to put your brand in front of your potential customers, the more likely you are to gain their attention, prompting them to take action and enquire about your product or service or ultimately – make a purchase.
If your business website can get a high position in all three Google Search categories, you’re going to see a lot more traffic than if you were to focus on only one.
So, when you are evaluating your business’s digital marketing strategy, be sure to incorporate all three to ensure success for your business.
Why You Need Local SEO for Your Business Website
Google now place much more importance on local search results, which makes local SEO crucially important for businesses, even if it’s a national or global business. There are approximately 7.5 billion local searches per month, and 87% of people who search locally online will contact one within 24 hours. This makes the need for local SEO clear to see, as the important thing online is what people are searching for, how the internet responds and the actions people take as a result. Search engine optimisation has changed and continues to change.
This is why you need to get local SEO for your business. It can make the difference in the long run.
At one time local businesses could get away with relying on foot traffic and more traditional forms of advertising to compete, but today many more people are using search engines to find local businesses. With the creation of Google+Local, local SEO has become a necessity. Even if SEO was already a priority for your business, the ranking factors for local SEO differ from traditional SEO. This is particularly true of link building.
Updating Your Business Information Will Help Your Local SEO Strategy. But Make Sure It’s Perfect…
Updating NAP information (name, address and phone number) accurately and consistently on your website, but also across online directories and social media, is very important. This is not simply so that people can contact you, but also for effective local SEO. Something as simple as a typo in the name or the address of your business in a single directory can negatively affect your business’ ranking. That is why it is imperative that you take your time to ensure that you can manage your local SEO strategy properly. If you don’t, you risk the prospect of missing out on so many positives (which we will mention below for you). But we before that…
Update It As You Go. You Don’t Want To Fall Behind.
If your business has ever changed its name (even slightly), moved addresses, or changed/added a phone number it can hurt the consistency within directories if this information isn’t exactly the same on your Google+ page, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. Other important aspects to include in both your website and online social media profile include hours of operation, forms of payment accepted, pricing, general product/service information, reviews/testimonials, links, and proximity to customer’s location.
You must focus on ensuring that your local SEO is up to the shape for your strategy. It can make the difference in the long run. So focus on it and focus on doing it right. There is one more factor that can also help: Google Maps. Which if you keep reading below, you’ll find out about it:
Local Maps Overview – How It Makes The Difference.
In an attempt to appeal more to small and medium-sized businesses, the major search engines have all implemented a local map system that identifies and provides information on businesses from a local perspective. These local maps are integrated into the search engine. People can now search for a particular type of business within a particular locale. Search engines reward businesses who take the time to set up local profiles on Google Maps. Because the major search engines are all geared towards local search now, companies that perform well in local maps will also be bolstered in national and international search engine listings.
What Are You Missing Out On When You Don’t Have Local SEO?
Without utilising all of these online strategies, your local Melbourne business will undoubtedly be left behind. Even the smallest local businesses and cottage industries are using powerful SEO techniques, and huge global companies are also competing locally with the latest search engine optimisation strategies. With this in mind, it’s clear that all business websites need local SEO even to get noticed. Yet with the right attention to detail, they can also be highly effective and will thrive.
The Tips to Master Local SEO for Your Website
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is surrounded by different strategies and ideas – many of which are counter-productive or outdated. This short article should help you to keep things simple and stay on the right track with your local SEO.
Keep content of high quality with good keywords, relevant to your business and with plenty of links out to related local businesses. There are different approaches to SEO content depending on the intentions of the business. We are assuming here that you want to build a successful website for the long-term which will also help build your brand and identity within the local community.
The second tip, then, is: don’t overdo it. If you are engaging in so-called ‘black hat’ tactics such as keyword stuffing or spamming, then you are likely to cause more harm than good to a local business. Use keywords sparingly and treat all visitors to your website (and all internet users) with respect, just as you would when they walk in through your door.
Make sure your name, address and phone number is prominent on your website (your NAP details). First of all, these details are important for people to contact you, but also the search engines will rate your website much more highly if these details are present and up-to-date.
You should add your business to local business directories, and provide as much information to them as you can. This gives you backlinks from trusted and popular websites which strengthens your SEO, and also means that local people could find you within those directories.
The more you create pages on social media sites and link back to your website, the more relevant and useful your website will appear to be. If you run a taxi firm in Melbourne, for example, then you want to be popping up on mobile phones when people are searching for a ride home. If you are present on all the social media sites then you can have recommendations and links galore, plus the SEO benefits by linking back to your website are also invaluable.