It’s one thing to have a high ranking website. But it’s another thing getting people to click through to your website.
Not all people will click on your website if your the search result. You certainly hope they would. But there might be something turning them off.
Then it got me to thinking, why not write a blog post about this very subject!
Improve Meta Description
Over the last month I’ve had the good furtune to gain three more clients. As with all of my new clients, I start improving all on site SEO.
I will run each new clients website through the Hubspot Website Grader. What I find is that most of the webpages on their sites have no meta tags. So no page titles, descriptions or keywords they are targeting.
Todays post will talk about getting your image to show up beside your website. The image to the right is for a new website I just started called Best In Victoria. It’s a way to help my current clients get more backlinks to their website while increasing their exposure.
A nifty idea I think. But enough about that plug!
During a recent search you may have noticed images showing besides website results in Google.
You may have also wondered how to get that image beside your website or blogs search result. Well I will show you how in this post.
This is known as Google’s rel author. It’s a way to tie your Google + profile to your website or blog.
The biggest benefit I see for local businesses is improved click through rates. Seeing a business owners image before they view the website builds trust before they have visited your website.
Mark Traphagen posted on Google Plus a few studies from website owners. No matter what the increase % is, it will boost your click through rate.
I had a potential lead contact me a few months back. I asked him why he clicked on my website. Keep in mind this was before I was ranking high for SEO Victoria BC. He said it was because I had an image beside my website.
Already the time I spent doing this was well worth it.
Setting up Google Rel=Author
1) Setup a Google + Profile.
If you already have a GMail account, you should have a G + account too.
2) While fully filling out your profile, add your website(s) to your “Contributor To” section.
The “Contributor To” area is located under the “About” tab in your Google + profile and down at the bottom in the “Links” section.
Obviously replace your profile link where mine is listed in blue.
4) Head over to the rich snippets testing tool and enter your website url. You will find out if your G + profile and website has the link above properly displayed. If not, something has gone wrong. If that’s the case, post below in the comment section and let me know.
Hopefully you know understand how to get an image beside your website in Google search results.
I’ve picked up a few SEO Victoria contracts in the last month. Mostly because I am now ranking #1 & #2 for the search term Victoria SEO.
Back in April I decided to change the keywords that I was targeting. So I went after every combination of SEO and Victoria. Considering it only took 7 months to get to the top spot (I was ranking #2 after 4 months), I feel confident that I can help anyone get there in a shorter period of time.
After all, my competition is SEO experts. Your competition is not.
As much as I like to boast about this, I want to give away a few tips to help your website. Although Google states that this will not help your rankings, it will help the search engines learn where your business is located. No matter what, it’s always a good thing to please the search engines!
Much like my 10 part series on the best free internet marketing tools, I’m going to give you a series of blog posts on how to please Google and help your search rankings.
Tell Google You Are a Local Business
One of the first things I do with any of my clients is add structured data to their main domain.
Here is the definition of structured data:
“If Google understands the content on your pages, we can create rich snippets—detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range.”
Even though you can tell Google and the other search engines that you want to rank for city related search terms, it’s still a good idea to add these rich snippets to your website. Once again I do this by adding some coding to their website to tell the search engines that the business is local and more specifically, what industry it is in.
You can test to see if this has already be done by visiting the rich snippets testing tool. Simply enter your main domain name and hit preview.
Your results might be blank. So to see if you’re listed as a local business, you might see something like this test for StudioYDesign:
Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Looking at the above, we’ve notified the search engines that we are a Victoria Furniture Store.
Add This Coding to Your Website
You can add this information to your website coding in two ways.
For the item type, find out if your business and industry is listed at Schema.org. Once you click on that link you will see “local business” and “restaurants” links. I’ll assume you are one or the other. Click on whatever link applies to you and scroll to the bottom where you will see more links like this:
Click on your proper industry if it’s listed. Don’t see your business? I’ll cover what to do in a bit.
Back in days of telephone books, we had no way to tell if the business was trustworthy. We just went through a page at a time and made our decision based on very few things.
So there was no first impression outside of a logo and advertisement.
However the internet has given everyone a voice. And with that voice people can say what they want about anyone. Including businesses.
When people find any Google Places business listing, they want to see what others have to say. Especially if they’re a first timer. It’s why Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor are so big.
Reviews are like a comment card. But everyone can see them. It’s not like the old days of comment cards when management were able to discard the bad reviews.
To sum it up, your reviews are your business’s first impression.
More the Merrier
Having just a few reviews is fine. But just about every Places page I see has 0-5 reviews. I believe the more reviews you have, the higher your social proof.
It also means that your business must be pretty remarkable. Especially if your competitors have very little reviews. If people love your business and take the time to write a review, you’re doing something right!
The more reviews you have the easier it is to stand out from the competition.
Getting More Reviews
I started this post off by saying all you have to do is ask. And that’s what I want you to do.
If you’ve been in business for over six months, chances are good you have repeat clients. Those are the ones who would be willing to write a review.
All you have to do is ask them.
There are only two ways we communicate (outside of body language) so here are the two methods you can ask for reviews:
1) After checkout (verbally)
If you have a physical storefront, you probably have a computer with a POS system. When they’re finished their checkout ask them how their visit was and if they have a Google or GMail account. If they enjoyed it (I’m sure they did) kindly ask them to write a review on the spot.
This might be hard for some of you to do. I suggest asking those repeat clients whom you’ve built a good rapport with.
When you do this, make it really easy for them. Have your browser on your Google Places page and be sure you’re logged out. Then all they have to do is click on the “Write a Review” button and they’ll be asked to sign into their Google/Gmail account.
Some people might not know their password. But you can ask them to follow step two.
What you do next is simply answer that question by writing a blog post about it. The keyword you then target is that question.
So simple. What’s extremely beneficial about this is a qualified lead is landing on your blog post. They get their question answered and their happy.
It doesn’t stop there though. Perhaps this question has other questions tied to it. If you have a ‘recommended posts‘ plugin or links to other blog posts in the blog post they landed on, they can read more of your blog posts.
There is a slight problem with this SEO strategy which is known as targeting longtail keywords. But it can be easily overcome.
You’ll be targeting people from all over the world. Here’s a screenshot of the visitors locations.
Not exactly targeted. However I can easily change my settings through my Google Webmasters tools account to target searchers in a specific country.
If you don’t have Webmaster tools setup, do it know by reading this post.
So you’ll receive visitors from all over your home country. But in the example a few images above, Ryan Apsy and his shoulder pain found a Doctor who blogged about shoulder problems in his city. Depending on your average bill of sale or the lifetime value of a client, the ROI on even 5 people doing business with through your blog is massive.
The Ball Is in Your court
I’ll leave you with this. Write down every question you can think of when it comes to your business or service. Then get blogging!