These days everyone wants to appear at the top of Google, and the reason is easy to see…
The main reason is that Google is reckoned to get over 92% of searches worldwide. The number of searches on the platform runs at 3.5 Billion a day, that over 40,000 queries a second!!!!
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What is more the traffic is growing at over 10% a year….
But what to optimise for?
First there is LOCAL SEARCH
We know that 80% of consumers use Google to find a local supplier or information and that a large number of them result in a phone call.
We also know that most of these local searches are carried out on SMART PHONE.
What Does this Mean?
Basically, you must ensure that your website is FULLY MOBILE FRIENDLY and also optimised for VOICE SEARCH.
But what does ‘Optimisation’ mean for LOCAL SEARCH?
On Page – It is VITAL to ensure that the website has the address of the business, and that this is included in the SCHEMA code. It is also a very good idea to give some information about the areas a business covers, this including towns, cities and post codes
Off Page – As ever, Links are needed to give the website the necessary ‘prominence’ (in Google’s eyes). Most types of links will help with Local Search, just as they do for National Searches. However, powerful local sites, like Chambers of Commerce etc, can really help. One way of getting links is to contact local ‘associated’ businesses to see if you can work together to boost each others web presence.
Google My Business – These listings are provided for free by Google and are easy to set up. You must however ensure that you fill in all of the information fields, and that you add pictures and videos. GMB listings themselves can be boosted by CITATIONS. These are basically directory listings (of various length) that list the details of a local business. It is however ESSENTIAL to make sure that the Name, Address and Phone number (known as NAP) is the SAME in all of the citations, otherwise Google can get confused.
Optimising for VOICE SEARCH
The first thing to bear in mind is that you must ensure that your webpages load in less than 5 seconds.
Also, as most voice searches relate to questions, it is essential to focus on the sort of questions that people are seeking answers for and then ensuring that you provide a detailed quality answer for all the relevant ones.
Now let us consider RICH SNIPPETS
These are the listings that appear above the normal Organic Search Results, and are often followed by another set of questions, these being known as PEOPLE ALSO ASK.
These rich snippets come in the form of Paragraphs, Lists and Tables, different types of Snippets being used by Google for different sorts of questions.
Paragraphs are normally used for things like
- What is….?
- Who is …?
- Where is…?
- Why is….?
Lists on the other hand are used for
- How To
- Step by Step instructions
Tables are used for
- Data Points
- Pricing and Rate charts
- Comparison Charts
- Conversion Charts
SCHEMA can help with these but is not always needed.
NATIONAL or INTERNATIONAL SEARCH
Just as with local search you must know the keyword phrases you want to be found for. Some will be easier to get a rank for than others, the longer the phrase, the easier it is to rank. Whilst this may seem not to be an important issue, it is, as about half of all searches are for four words or more. And as they are easier to rank for, offer an ideal opportunity for new domains to target.
On page optimisation is all about ensuring that a page uses the target keyword phrases in the right way, placing them in the locations on the page that Google is going to look for them. You cannot use the target keywords over and over again, and you have to make sure that the page is of sufficient length and quality. As to what this means, well the best way of looking at it is that the page you want to rank has to be better than the ones you want to beat. It can be difficult to work out what ‘better’ means, and it is very much a matter of judgement, but that is nevertheless what is needed.
Off page optimization is mostly down to links. As with Local Search, the majority of types of links will help get a website noticed. However, not all links are equal. To get the very best results, you have to get links from high power sites (Domain Authority being the best way of gauging this). If you can also get links from relevant sites all the better.
All of this is very much a high level look at the subject of Local SEO, National SEO, Rich Snippets and Voice Search.
For more information do contact us, we’d love to explain in more detail ‘what it is all about’ and how we can help your business.
About the author
Graham Baylis was born in 1957 and has therefore seen the birth of the Internet and experienced at first hand, just how it has changed the World we live in. He has been involved with computers since 1983 and helped set up the first electronic mail system used by the Civil Service in 1986. He has gained several qualifications in Computing and Marketing and has written hundreds of blogs which you can find around the web, many being on customer’s websites. He has over 19 years of experience with Pay Per Click and SEO and has an answer for most Search Marketing questions, and, for those that he hasn’t is quick to find one. Continually coming up with solutions, Graham is one person it is worth having a chat with.