Five Crucial Tips for GBP Optimization to Improve Local Pack Visibility

If you have followed up with our past articles, it is time now to focus on how an optimized Google Business Profile (GBP) can help you surface more often in the local pack and search results. Here are the important points for an optimized GBP:

1. Setting the Primary Category (and Secondary)

Choosing the correct categories can mean the difference between your site appearing high in the local pack – or not appearing at all.

Before deciding on a primary category, examine the competitors to see which options are popular. Certain industries, such as plumbing, will have a clear first choice. However, for organizations that provide numerous services, you may be forced to make a difficult decision. Relevancy, competition research, and keyword data can all assist you in making the best option possible. (you may want to consider your ROI on each option)

Secondary categories have the opportunity to add supplemental services. You are given nine secondary categories in total, although you are not required to use all of them. Furthermore, they must be relevant in order to prevent appearing .

2. Website Links & Attributes

The principle category chosen will have an impact on the features and even traits offered to the company. The restaurant category, for example, will include several dining options or qualities. A GBP also has more general characteristics like as accessibility and payment methods.

A GBP’s primary purpose is often to drive traffic to a client’s website. To that purpose, Google offers a variety of local business links, such as arranging an appointment, placing an order, viewing a menu, and more. You should use UTM tracking on your URLs to collect data for your clients.

3. Business Description

You have 750 characters (including spaces) in the GBP company description to grab the attention of readers and fill the profile with pertinent search terms. A brief history of the company, points of uniqueness, and personality can all be included in the description, which also targets industry keywords and fosters consumer confidence.

4. Services

Be succinct and direct with your service descriptions. Keep them to 250 characters or less and be sure to concentrate exclusively on the service being offered. The services tab is only accessible on mobile devices at the moment, but don’t be shocked if it eventually makes its way to desktop.

It’s possible that Google will occasionally pull information about a company’s services from its website, so keep an eye on your GBP. Additionally, keep in mind that Google may occasionally cite services as reasoning for why a company is listed for a specific local pack.

5. Products

Last but not least, GBP Products is a tool that is underutilized but has the potential to really improve a profile. You can create compelling, keyword-rich product descriptions that entice customers to visit the company’s website (with UTM tracking included, of course). Aim for 100 words or less, and don’t forget to update product details that are no longer accurate. Take advantage of the fact that Google is now comfortable with companies listing services under their products.

Please let me know if you have questions:

–Nami

What Will It Take To Develop An SEO Strategy For Your Website?

You are not the only one who may be unsure about developing an SEO  (Search Engine Optimization) strategy for your website. Thousands of companies worldwide are having trouble getting organic traffic (non-paid) to their websites.

Since August of 21, 2022, I (Nami) have been watching with pleasure as Google SERP has risen to the challenge of “factscimilles” – sites that pretend to be factual, but they are not.  I have seen the SERP put the kibosh on the “top 11.1225 best things since apple pie” lists and emphasize the science behind semantic (relevant) search.

It may be difficult to know where to begin your efforts. However if you follow a few crucial measures, your organic traffic will soon improve significantly. Proper use of schema, researching long tail keywords, producing high-quality content and backlinks, technical SEO and proper user information design will be your ticket to stardom.

As you can see, stardom is a long and winding road (I almost hear Paul signing).

Part One: Proper Use of Schema

The search engine is specifically seeking to gain detailed information on your content  via schema markup.  Schema markup is a set of codes that informs a bot what the content on your website is attempting to communicate. Unstructured data (text based) is transformed into structured data and you have aided the search engines in crawling (data gathering), and indexing, thereby improving the website’s rating.

It is worth the time and effort to use structured data. Rich snippets, which can increase the prominence of your pages in SERPs, are enhanced with more content and fed to search engines with extensive information about your websites thanks to your schema markup.

Step 1. Find the best schema type that describes your business and aligns with your business plan. For example, it may be schema.org/music or schema.org/theater.

Step 2. Add as much schema markup to your business entities and services as is necessary to explain them in detail. A schema markup expert will use more ontologies to add data that is more comprehensible.

Step 3. Choose your coding strategy and decide how to use the markup on your website. Many CMS tools can utilize certain schema generating plugins and APIs because they are generally simple to use.

Step 4. As much as feasible, write your SEO schema utilizing natural language processing. The terms you employ matter and should be in line with your audience’s demands and search intent.

Step 5. Schema markup, like SEO, is a continuous effort. Set up a regular auditing program to discover problems to aid in strategic site mapping. Some schema will depreciate with time, while others may add new necessary elements, and sometimes a whole new schema will develop.

Part Two: Longtail Keyword Research

Investigating the subjects for which your target audience searches is a big step in creating an SEO plan. Google is a great place to start since you can look up keyword ideas and associated search terms there. Start with a keyword recommendation that is linked to your niche if you are unclear of what to include in your SEO approach. Make a list of keywords once you have one, then develop an SEO plan. Then, use these keywords into your content to increase the relevance of your website to consumers’ interests.

Please be aware that getting high search engine rankings is the purpose of keyword research while developing your SEO plan. Knowing how competitive a term is can help you prepare for how challenging it will be to rank for that keyword. The ideal keyword is one with high search volume and low competition in your target market, but if you’re going after a competitive phrase, ranking could prove to be an uphill struggle. As a result, if you’re in a highly competitive area, you should concentrate on long-tail keywords.

Use BuzzSumo’s “Questions” tool or “answer the public” to find pertinent questions from millions of forum posts if you’re not sure what to put in your article. To find pertinent questions on your subject, you may also use Quora’s question features. These tools are just a few that can help you focus your search approach and provide the most effective content. There is no better strategy to increase the customer relevance of your website.

Keyword Research by its very nature involves snooping into your competitors’ websitew and seeing what they are up to.  You 2ill get a good idea about the keywords being used, the type of content that has traction, the backlinks that have helped them rise in the SERP … In general, a nice general map identifying areas where you need to fill your gaps.

Part Three: Producing high-quality content and Authoritative Backlinks

If you are set on writing your own articles, always try to answer a “Why” or a “What” and even better do a video version as well.  Make sure you are answering the most common questions your audience has then explain just a bit more to become the ultimate guide!

The  finest content informs readers, addresses genuine issues, and/or provides a solution to a query. In an ideal world, content is also seen as helpful and shared which increases traffic and aids in a high ranking in Google’s search results. But what exactly constitutes high-quality content? The objective of producing high-quality material is arbitrary.

A solid longtail keyword base serves as the first step in an SEO content strategy. Excellent content is pointless without a reliable technical foundation. To have a bigger influence on search results, consider dividing into smaller chunks. You may boost the relevance, impact, and effectiveness of your content by introducing a technical framework into the creation process.

Not all backlinks are created equal, and their place in the hierarchy changes over time.  There are a series of strategies for building strong backlinks but as always, the frivolous ones are demoted by Google.

  • As an example, take skyscraper content, where you find an article in your field that is gaining real traction – the page has generated high number of backlinks, and then you go and try to do them one better.
  • Instead of top 10 ways to quit smoking, you will come up with the top 12 ways.  This used to be an effective tool, but as of the September 9th update it seems Google is trying to put this space under some form of control.

Another step to be a help yourself is to locate sites that are pointing to outdated links regarding the subject you write about and suggest they could replace it with yours.

There are many articles about backlinks, but I really recommend for backlinks you hire a professional, unless you got extended time to create top notch content, and then take time to promote it.

Part Four: Technical SEO and proper user interface design

Last but by no means least is the technical SEO. Technical SEO is the effort to make sure a website complies with the technical standards of current search engines in order to get higher organic ranks. Information architecture, crawling, indexing, and rendering are crucial aspects of technical SEO.

Your site must be mobile friendly at the very least, and mobile optimized in the best scenario, and more than anything else free of duplicate content. You must use 301 redirects, canonical tags, Nice URLs, Meta tags, H1, and H2 Tags, accessible and WCAG compatible code.

In addition to all o the information provided above, you must have a respectable site speed.  Many site owners handle their site speed first without addressing significant optimization work, then wonder why their site is not ranking.  Without SEO optimization work, your site will not rank, no matter how fast.

I do hope this helped answer some of the questions I have been answering lately.  Please note that the changes Google has made to the search algorithm (which others usually follow) since August of 2021 have been very significant, and anyone using older guidelines is outdated and will have varying effectiveness..

In my next article, I will address ROI.  I disagree when folks say it is impossible to calculate the ROI of the digital marketing.  So, I sat down and coded an ROI calculator, but that is for the next blog. ~Nami

SEO updates — keeping our eye on the (crystal) ball

Your finest SEO efforts might fail at any time. The search engine rankings you anticipated don’t occur. Your top rankings abruptly decline or vanish. You are compelled to be cautious, so you turn to the most recent information regarding what Google demands. You examine the search engine’s helpful content upgrade that launched. Even while many algorithm changes are minor and sometimes go unnoticed, the well-publicized upgrade to useful content earlier this fall will prove to be significant.

On the Google Search Central Blog, it was suggested that content marketers that are SEO-focused consider the following questions:

  • Do you use a lot of automation to create content across a variety of topics?
  • Are you primarily summarizing other people’s arguments without really contributing anything?
  • Do people who read your material feel like they need to recheck their sources for more accurate information?

If you answered yes to any of these, Google will not be happy with you.

Quality is at the core of this transition. Google has always highlighted the need for websites to provide a pleasant user experience with timely, pertinent content that loads quickly. Google has consistently emphasized content quality since the Panda update, which was launched more than 10 years ago and targeted pages with little to no substance. Google Search AI is a complex code created for a very complex content environment.

Because of the sophistication of the technology, websites now frequently rank for terms that aren’t even in their content. All of these developments have been gradual. With little fanfare, Google quietly updates its search engine algorithms, making over 4,000 changes in 2021 alone. One of the aspects of the complexity of the code, looks at the authority of a site in its space. When last year I was telling everyone to avoid duplicating their show names from one season to the next, I was repeating the Google’s mantra. But, as I quickly found out, the rules didn’t apply to the customers that were leading authority in their space, and for example, an Aladdin show for 2022 was indexed even though it had Aladdin indexed twice before showing under the identical name, with near identical content.

For us mere mortals, the rules will apply. However, if you are building your site authority then there is flexibility to this September’s announcement. So, what should you do if you are not one of the sites of authority?

  • Ensure quality, relevant content is on all pages
  • FAQ about your programming, your stage, your product, or service should be added wherever possible
  • Make sure you have your program book, press release or e-book, or product manual attached in PDF and HTML versions if possible.
  • Use a lot of videos but be sure to include transcripts and captions
  • Pay attention to WCAG for accessibility

The impact of this is not yet clear but applying these will help SEO and it never hurts to prepare. By the way, if you are an ARTdynamix® customer, you already have the tools needed to make the above points reality. In fact, the tools have been available for your use since 2013. Voice search and “Near Me” search are now built into the latest version of ARTdynamix®.

Often when we inform folks that ARTdynamix® has a Press Release module, an FAQ builder, a program-book uploader, etc. that can be attached to their shows or content on demand, that is met with excitement because of the efficiency changes but it also substantial for SEO and authority. Here’s the impact: Google has been hinting at this change for a decade (especially if you can read between the lines), and now Google has made it a standard.

As a reminder, in February 2022, Google has already made the schema a mandatory of their SERP (search engine results page) rules, and now followed by the above noted content update

~Nami

How do I select keywords…or do I? Context is King Near Me

There are so many factors that to into key word selection — the first being:  Do I need keywords?   Many folks will tell you key words are no longer relevant but that doesn’t tell the whole story.  Indeed, you should consider keyword strings or key phrases (approximately 3 – 5 words).  And while it is correct, key words don’t have the same impact on search bots they are important in these ways:

  • It establishes your goal and needs for a particular page — page content should match the meta tags  CONTEXT
  • They keep your team on the same goal
  • Structured data, if implemented, can use the key words to enhance search engine placement
  • Different search engines gather different information  – if you want them all: give them what they want

How do you pick the right key words?  Remember that this, like all marketing is some trial and error — that’s OK as long as you learn from it.

  • The first thing I do is think.  Who and why do I want folks to land on this page?  So for example if my desired audience is tourists, I might use the term “Jazz Event Calendar for New York” or “Jazz in Los Angeles”.  Whereas if I were trying to capture a local market, I might use “Jazz live performances near me” or “Jazz concert schedule for New York City”
  • Map out the pages on your site and select the strings that match the content — context is important and strategic.

Recently Google published information about Key Word  and search trends:

Top 2021 Trends per Google
(be sure to read #2 about evolving entertainment)
-near me with outdoor seating  +150%
-stadium seating +600%
-in theater near me +500%
-live music near me +40%

Search Trends
‘Cheap’ searches

Sorting and selecting your keywords is as simple as knowing your clients and what is trending.

Mobile First…and Primary

DWG has been building and spreading the word on mobile first for a long time…remember “.mobi?”  Times have changed since then and at some point the emphasis flipped from a mobile site as an accessory to your desktop version to mobile primary. This concept is so important that we thought a refresher may be helpful. The idea is simple – the site needs to respond to the visitor and visitors are on their devices.

A few reasons:

  • It is now often your first impression.  Where do you open your emails and click links?  So do your visitors
  • Google – This isn’t a surprise or a secret especially if  you keep up on Google various email channels. If your site does not have mobile friendly interface, you will be downgraded.  Google considers mobile primary — they are not wrong.
  • Why not?  At the end of the day, all of your versions should be well-designed and fully functional.

Your visitors use your mobile first, so it should be primary to your design.