Many people would equate Ranking with Visibility but it is not quite as simple as that. It is easy to build a website to rank for a specific keyword or phrase and most website developers do that quite well. What many do not accomplish is ranking for a wider range of keywords or ranking in local search results.
What are local search results? These are essentially where there is a location involved. The majority of searches with “buyer intent” (i.e. when someone is ready to make a purchase) involve terms such as “where is the nearest” or “in such and such a town”. These searches are recognised by Google and other search engines as local searches (as opposed to organic searches) and they are served by the maps database. If your business does not have a Google My Business listing it cannot show up in Google’s local search results.
For most businesses wishing to improve sales with their online presence, therefore, it can be more important to rank at the top in local search results than to rank for a specific keyword organically. For those businesses, it is vital to monitor how they rank locally for a range of search terms in comparison with their nearest competitors. That is because they only need to do enough to beat their local competitors in order to rank better than them. In some industries that is extremely easy to accomplish but in competitive businesses (where there is a lot of local competition), it can be quite difficult.
We have written a book called Local Search Optimisation which is available on Amazon and we keep abreast of the changes in local search and therefore how to rank in local search results. But we also have services for Organic Ranking.
Rather like ranking locally, Organic Ranking requires more than one thing to be set up correctly. In the case of local ranking, it helps enormously to have the most important citations set up correctly. For organic ranking, you need your website to be set up correctly. Website building is a huge subject and rather than building websites we prefer to work with website developers to improve our clients’ websites.
Our approach is to understand our client’s objectives, to begin with, and this often involves helping our clients to clarify what they are from an online perspective. This is best done before a website is built but mostly we are too late for that. We can then work out what needs to be done to align the website with the objectives and we can liaise with the website developer to achieve that.
Once the website is structured correctly then it is possible for it to start to rank. But to do so requires some action such as content marketing. Content marketing has the potential to generate links from other online sources. You have probably heard of back-links? Well, they are still very relevant but instead of the quantity which used to work, these days you need quality. We have services to help with link building.
You also need traffic. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Content marketing drives traffic. We have tools available to generate traffic and to train Google’s AI Engine (Artificial Intelligence Engine) known as RankBrain to associate certain keywords with your business. This has proven very successful in improving the organic rank of many of our clients, but it does not work unless the website is structured correctly, to begin with.
If you would be interested in having a chat about improving your business’s local or organic ranking, please get in touch.
The next article is about Video Marketing.