Author: Donahvan Robello

SEO

Top 7 Directories for San Antonio Businesses to Use

In this list I’m going to show you the best local directories for San Antonio Businesses to use. Before I get into the list I want to explain why your business needs these citations and how it can help with your Google marketing. Local directories are a big part of a San Antonio SEO campaign and you’ll need as many high quality citations as you can get!

What is a Directory and Why Does Your Business Need It?

A directory is a website that allows you to submit your businesses info or NAP (Name, Address, Phone) so that customers can find you online. The most common directories are Yelp and Yellow Pages. Google uses local directories to better understand a businesses location since it cannot see the business for itself. A business located in San Antonio is expected to have citations (directory listings) pointed to its business location, its a no-brainer.

Example of a citation used for local seo

In order to rank higher in Google and get more customers coming to your website you’ll need to build as many high-quality listings as possible. The 3 types that we build are General, Location Relevant, and Niche Relevant. You want a mixture of all of these, but for local purposes we want to focus on the location relevant ones.

How to Build a Citation PROPERLY!

Citations can make or break your Google ranking since they are a huge factor in local SEO. For this reason it is imperative that you build them correctly. Here’s our guidelines for building proper local citations:

  1. * Consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number that is on your website and other citations)
  2. Claim Your Listings (if Needed)
  3. Link Back to Your Website (Target Page/Home Page)
  4. Complete Your Citations (Images, Descriptions, Tags)

example of an incorrectly made local citation

As you can see in the image above, this is an example of how NOT to make a citation.Our NAP isn’t consistent, our listing isn’t claimed, and we haven’t completed it as well. By not completing it we are hindering our rankings, as well as giving insufficient info to Google about our business. We want all of our citations to be as high of quality as possible, so that we get a good ranking in return.

Our Pick of Top Local Directories for Businesses in San Antonio

Now we get to the list! We compiled the top local relevant citations that we use for our sites to give them an extra boost in ranking power.

1. SanAntonio.com

This is by far the higher quality citation out of the list. SanAntonio.com is a great resource for both those living and visiting San Antonio. They have many articles throughout their website giving great insight to their readers, which is why it’s a great place to have your business listed.

2. MySanAntonio.com

MySanAntonio.com is a news source for the San Antonio area. They have a lot of articles based around local businesses in the San Antonio area, as well as interested topics that are geared towards SA residence. Their directory is sourced by Axciom, so you’ll have to go to their business listing manager to be submitted.

3. TheCityOfSanAntonio.com

TheCityofSanAntonio.com is a sub-domain of TheCityOf.com, which is a national directory. They one of the bigger directories online, which makes them a good choice for a local business listing. This is also a two-for-one, since you’ll have the location relevance, as well as the power from having a link on an authoritative directory.

4. GoSanAntonioGo.com

GoSanAntonioGo.com is a well updated local directory that caters to all types of businesses in the San Antonio area. This is a great place to be listed because of its location relevance, which will show Google that you’re s true San Antonio business.

5. ActionInSanAntonio.com

ActionInSanAntonio.com is a huge directory of San Antonio businesses that showcases daily deals, classified ads, and networking communities. Their website caters to both consumers and other businesses, which makes it a great place to market for B2B networking, as well as B2C.

6. ShopInSanAntonio.com

ShopInSanAntonio.com is a great place for all types of businesses. It has categories for every business type I can think of, has an easy to use website, and is location relevant! It’s a win all the way around, which makes it a great tool to add to your arsenal.

7. DiscoverSanAntonio.net

DiscoverSanAntonio.net is a great website for anyone in San Antonio in need of finding high quality businesses. They have an easy to use website, which makes it a breeze for customers to find you through them. The location relevance also makes it a must for your SEO campaign.

Let Us Do This For You!

Ranking number 1 in Google poses a great ROI for many business, but is complicated and time consuming. Creating citations is just a fraction of the work, but by working with us you can sit back and relax while we do the heavy lifting!

Click Here to Work With Us

If you like our list leave us a comment below, and if you have any citations that we left out feel free to share!

 

SEO

Simple Real Estate SEO Checklist

As a realtor, I’m sure you hear people talking about SEO all the time. Why it’s important, why you need, and so on. Hopefully you’re already considering SEO and the benefits of implementing a long-term campaign. To get you started I created a checklist you can use to get the ball rolling with SEO.

Before we get started I want to cut through the noise and set your expectations. SEO is not a set and forget strategy and it takes a while to get going. SEO is like a snowball…you know the saying.

Optimize Your Google Business Listing

Google my business is a crucial part of any SEO campaign. If you don’t already have one setup you can make one here. If there’s already a listing for your business make sure that it is claimed. Sometimes there’s a listing for your business already, but if its not in your control then this can hurt your SEO. Now I’ll show you how to optimize your listing:

Include Keywords in Your Listing – When you create your business listing you want to include location and industry keywords to increase the relevance. Let’s say for example your a realtor in San Antonio, you’re title can look like this: Company Name San Antonio, or Company Name Real Estate.

Check for Consistency – When it comes to local SEO you need to have everything consistent. Your business  Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) all need to be consistent on every web property they are on. A lack of consistency will decrease your relevance and cause Google to serve better optimized listings above yours.

Include Proper Tags – Google allows you to include tags in your listing, which allows you to tell Google what your business is. Are you a housing authority, a realtor, a broker. Include your tags in the business tags section as well as in your business info section.

Include Your Website and Photos – This is almost a no-brainer, yet I see people forget this step still. Be sure to include your web address (either home page or relevant location page) so that you can collect traffic from your listing and send them to your website. Also be sure to add high quality photos of your business so that viewers can see that you’re a real business and get a good first impression.

Tweak Your Citations

In case you don’t know, a citation is a listing of your business online, just like Yellow Pages. The photo above is of a citation for my business that wasn’t properly optimized, and as a result was harming my SEO. Having citations that are optimized properly will make or break your SEO campaign, but are relatively easy to fix. Here’s how to optimize them:

Create Citations on Quality Sites – Don’t create citations on every site you find. The best ones to create are ones that are relevant to your area, your industry, or are authorities (Yellow Pages, Yelp, Angies List).

Consistent NAP – Again you need to make sure that your NAP is consistent between your website, GMB listing and citations.

Use as Many Relevant Tags as Possible – Most citation sources allow you to use industry tags in your listing. Be sure to use as many relevant ones as you can in order to increase your visibility in Google and in the directory.

Add Photos – If you have photos use them! It not only helps your listing, but it also leaves a better impression on those who see it. It’s imperative that you look good online no matter where it is.

Claim your listings – Just like GMB, citations may need to be claimed on certain sources. Each directory will have a search ran for your business name to see if you need to claim a listing for your business. If so follow the process to do so and edit as needed.

Make Sure You Have NO Duplicate Listings – Duplicate listings have a negative effect on your SEO, so its important you fix them. If you search in the directory and have a listing already see if you can claim and edit it. If you already own that listing then just edit it if needed.

Create a Good Description – You want your description to be informative to those who see your listing and give good info to search engines. This is a time to talk about your business, but try to make it relevant to your target audience. They want to know how you can help them more than anything.

Link to EVERYTHING – Many citation sources allow you to link back to social media accounts, YouTube videos, and your website. Link out to as many properties as you can to increase authority over all of your platforms.

Fine Tune Your Website

 

This is an image of an optimized listing ranking #1 for “homes for sale san antonio”. I’m going to cover why they rank so well and the factors that contribute.

There’s literally hundreds of factors on a website that affect SEO. I’ll cover the more prominent of them and how you can optimize them. (For this step I recommend using YoastSEO Plugin as a guide)

Use Keywords and Geo-Modifiers in Your Title – In the photo above, Zillow used every variation of their keywords in their title. Here are the keywords they incorporated: san antonio real estate, real estate san antonio, homes for sale san antonio, homes for sale san antonio tx, san antonio homes for sale.

By doing so their page is relevant for multiple search terms and variations of keywords, which allows them to rank for multiple terms. Incorporate as many keywords and variations as you can so that your page is relevant across multiple search terms, but make sure that your title makes sense to users.

Use a Keyword or Geo-Modifier in Your URL – Zillow also includes a geo-modifier in their URL. You can include both a geo-modifier and a keyword in your URL, like so: homes.com/san-antonio-real-estate

Utilize Keywords in Your Meta Description – Your meta description is the little blurb of info that you see in search engines under the title. This is important both for the search engine and users. The better your meta description is, the better your click through rate will be, and the better you’ll rank. Look at descriptions of Adwords ads for your keywords to get a good idea of how to structure your meta description. Also be sure to include a keyword variation or geo-modifier.

Utilize Header Tags – Header tags are the tags in the body of your text. The ones you’ll need to use ar H1,H2, and H3. The best way to structure these is to use them consecutively. Only use the H1 tag once, then move to the H2 tag, and finally H3 if relevant. Header tags are useful for both visitors and search engines, so you want to structure them primarily based on readability, but also to optimize for the search engines.

You can reference this post as an example of proper header tag usage!

Decrease Load Time – Load time is a big factor on your bounce rate, which is the rate that people click your website and immediately click off. This is huge for your rankings, and can be the difference from loads of traffic and a minuscule amount.

To decrease load time you want to optimize your images by using jpeg only, using sizes that are proportionate to your website, and reducing color depth as much as possible. Another easy fix is to reduce the number of plugins you use. If there’s any plugins that you don’t need running be sure to activate them and free up some space on your site.

Link Out to Relevant Resources – If there’s any relevant resources within the body of your pages that will be useful for visitors be sure to link out to it. This shows search engines that your content is relevant and that your site is authoritative enough to reference other sites. If there’s any local sites or content related to real estate that users can benefit from be sure to link to it!

Here’s to Your SEO Succes!

By following this checklist you will put yourself leagues ahead of your competition, and set a good platform for an SEO campaign. There is a lot that goes into SEO, but with the right processes anyone can rank a site. If you would like more info on real estate seo or to hear of my special offers, be sure to join my email list.

 

Uncategorized

Variant SEO Named Top San Antonio SEO Agency by…

Variant SEO joined the curated list of most reputable SEO agencies in San Antonio by The Agency List.

Top San Antonio SEO Agency

The Agency List is a resource created by SEMCentric Online Marketing to help businesses find industry leading agencies all over the U.S. We are proud to be on the list for top SEO agencies in San Antonio!

We’ve spent years developing a system to help businesses grow online through organic search. We’ve gotten SEO down to a science and have been able to replicate success for all of our clients.

It’s something that we pride ourselves on, which is why we wanted to share the recognition. We truly appreciate the effort made by The Agency List to recognize industry professionals for their efforts.

More About The Agency List

The Agency List is dedicated to providing an easy to navigate resource for those trying to find agencies in their area. Their list isn’t a sponsored inclusion, so when you find an agency on The Agency List it’s because they feel they belong there.

The list isn’t biased towards revenue, advertising spend, or agency size, It is purely based on the work an agency does, which is why we are proud to be included.

List Inclusion Process

The list is curated by marketing professionals who research agencies thoroughly to see if they are a good fit. Unlike traditional directories, these listing are manually created and curated to increase the quality of their site. No other directory goes to the lengths that The Agency List does to find quality within the digital marketing industry.

Uncategorized

5 Ways to Dominate Google Local Search Results

I created this video to show business owners how they can dominate Google local with 5 easy tips. There are many factors to Google local rankings, but the ones covered in this video are the most important. They are:

Optimized Google my Business Listings

Optimizing your Google my Business (GMB) listing is a great way to increase leads through local seo. You can do so by using your industry/business keywords in your listing. Ex: a San Antonio Towing Compnay will want to have their title as Business name towing/Business Name towing company/or San Antonio Towing Company. By doing so Google will naturally give you a higher ranking because the map pack uses more keyword related results strcturing.

Aside from that you also want to have consistent NAP or Name, Address, and Phone Number. You don’t want to confuse Google and decrease organic results by having multiple listings on the internet with different info. Consistency is key!

Local Citations

Local citations will not only help your organic rankings but your GMB as well. Citations are mentions of your websites NAP on the web. You an build hundreds of citations on various sites, the most common being Yelp and Yellow pages.

Citations are the same as your GMB, you want a consistent NAP when creating them. This is critical to citations being of use to your google local rank. Build as many citations as you can! You can find niche relevant citations as well as location specific. The more you build the better!

Business/Social Signals

Every business needs to be on social media i they aren’t already. This is an increasingly important factor for Google so make sure you are utilizing it. Grow your following, actively post content, and engage your audience as much as possible.

DO NOT buy fake social signals!!! Make sure that all of the social signals going to your site are from real accounts!

Backlinks

Backlicks are one of the more important factors. You want to have links from other sites back to yours. You can get these by creating accounts on social media, being active in niche forums, commenting on niche relevant blogs, guest posting, getting published in news sites, press releases, and resource pages.

The most important thing is quality over quantity! Make sure you are getting links from spam free sites that are relevant to yours (real estate blog- realtor website).

Content (Blog and Site)

Google likes sites that update content regularly, so you need to put out fresh content on a regular basis. This can be done in the form of blog posts that your customers will find useful and that you can promote on your social media.

By doing so you will show Google that your website is a high quality authority and you will also be able to market to your customers via content. Make sure to interlink your content relevantly to increase your rankings (post about home repair – home repair landing page that you want to rank).

I plan to make more in depth videos on the subject of local SEO but this video shows you the bulk of how we rank our local clients here at Variant SEO. Hope you enjoy the video!

Watch the video on YouTube HERE

Lead Gen

How Realtors Can Generate Leads Through Google

Finding individuals who are ready to sell or buy their home is crucial for any realtor. There are many ways to generate these leads, but the most effective method for doing so is Google. Over 93% of internet activity starts with Google, and over 80% of consumers do business based off of Google search. It’s imperative that your business and website is in front of these highly targeted leads when they are searching for your services so that you can capture them. Here’s how to do just that!

How to Generate Real Estate Leads from Google

When someone is looking to sell their home they go to a handful of places. They’ll go to a company they already know, a site that connects them with a realtor in their area, or Google to search themselves. A majority are going to go to Google and this is where you’ll find the most targeted leads. In order to generate these leads your website HAS to rank in the top 3 results of Google for keywords that these sellers are searching. I’ll explain ho to do so below.

How to Find Real Estate Keywords to Target

In order to get in front of these sellers you need to know what they are searching for. If you are looking for a tow truck in miami, then your search will look like “tow truck miami”. So for those looking to sell their homes or buy, they are going to search for “realtor + area”. Below is a photo of how many people are searching for realtors in my local area.

screenshot-39

As you can see there is a big amount of people searching for realtors in my area, and these numbers are recurring monthly. If you could capture just a handful of these leads and convert them into clients what would that mean for your business? Now that you see the power of using Google for lead generation let’s get into the technical stuff!

Generating Leads in Google 101

There are multiple ways to generate leads in Google. For the sake of this post I’ll just cover the most effective ones and write a blurb on how to do it. Head’s up, I’m not going to include Google Adwords since it isn’t the most effective method for generating leads, but it can be used in conjunction with the methods below.

Generating Leads Via Google My Business (Google 3 Pack)

Google has a small pack of listings that ranks above organic listings known as the Google pack. It is Google my Business listings that have a website link, phone number, and directions for a business. This is a powerful asset to any business because a majority of consumers are going to look here and call directly. In order to get in this top spot you need to do 2 things.

  1. Optimize your website
  2. Build local citations

You need to optimize your website for your local area and keywords you want to rank for. The best way to do this is to make sure your pages have plenty of content, 300 words minimum, and that you have your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) listed. Sprinkle the keywords you want to target throughout your content and make sure to have your NAP in there and you’ll be good to go.

The next step is to build local citations. This allows Google to see your relevance and will increase your rankings in their results. You can build these citations yourself, or outsource them (to me preferably!), on sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc. Any site that allows you to showcase your business address, name, and phone will work for a citation. Just make sure that you have a consistent NAP on all of these sites, as well as your own. Here’s an example:

screenshot-40

Generating Leads With Organic Listings

Another way to generate leads with Google is to rank organically for your target terms. This works the same way as the Google my Business method, you need citations and optimized content, so you can refer to the previous paragraph.

Organic listings may take a little extra push to get ranked, so if citations and optimization don’t work you’ll need to build backlinks. Backlinks are simply links back to your website from other websites. You want to get the best backlinks possible, so make sure to get them from relevant and authority sites (not spammy sites about general topics). You can get links through guest blogging, resource pages, publications, articles, sponsored links, and directories. The key with backlinks is quality, not quality, so make sure you get them from quality sites. The most effective backlinks are going to be ones that are relevant to your area or niche (real estate), so shoot for these as well.

Generating Leads With YouTube Videos

Not only are videos great for engaging customers, they also rank super easy in Google. Just like anything else, you will need to optimize your video and have links to it. I’ll show you how below:

Golden Nugget: You can add your video to various citations, which shows Google that your video is local relevant and gives you a backlink!

screenshot-41

As you can see in the photo above, I was able to rank on page 1 for “tow truck marfa” with a fresh YouTube video. If optimized correctly a YouTube video can rank for noncompetitive keywords instantly, and with a few links can rank for competitive terms as well. So how do we optimize?

screenshot-42

 

The optimization on this video is not too complicated. Simply put the target keyword in the title, the tags, and within the first 2 sentences of the description. Also shoot for 100 words in your description, the more the better.

screenshot-43

You also want to add a video location in the advanced settings, as well as a category. People and Blogs will work just fine for a category. That about sums up the optimization of the YouTube video. Just be sure to link to it whenever possible, especially in citations, to get a higher rank for more keywords.

Real Estate Leads, Here We Come!

By following the steps outlined above you’ll be able to generate and capture highly targeted seller leads month after month. Now lead generation is no easy task, and takes time, but if done correctly can yield great results. All of the methods below are included in my Local Lead Gen packages, so if you’d like to get more leads on a monthly basis without struggling to get going, be sure to get in contact with me.

Get a FREE Strategy Session With Me and I’ll Show You How to Maximize Your Inbound Leads! Fill out the discovery form below!

Name:*
Business Name:
E-mail:*
Phone/Skype:
Tell Us About Your Business:

 

SEO

How Realtors Can Dominate Organic Search Results

Organic search is one of the leading forms of traffic for the internet, and an extremely lucrative source for realtors. Organic search yields highly targeted viewers that will easily convert into customers. The trick is to know how to benefit from organic search and dominate your local area.

How Organic Search Benefits Realtors

When a customer is looking to buy a home what is the first thing they do. 90% of the time they are going to go to Google and type in “homes for sale in my area”. Wouldn’t it make sense for you to be the first source of information they find. When they see your brand, your name, your face, they are going to make an instant connection to you for what they are searching for and this is what you want. The next time they think real estate you want them to remember you. With organic search you can put yourself in front of hundreds of buyers who are looking for exactly what you have to offer!

How to Benefit From Search Engines

Like I said before, you want the customer to see you first, not your competitor. If you’re not on the first page of the search results your website is going to get nearly zero traffic, and your competition will get nearly all if they are on page one. The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to be number 1-3 in the results. So how do we do this? I’ll show you!

Search Engine Domination How-To

To dominate the search engines you have to own a majority of the property on page one. You basically want all your internet properties to be in the “good part of town”. So what internet properties do we use?

  • Personal Website
  • Social Media Pages
  • YouTube Videos
  • Other Profiles

By ranking multiple properties for your target keywords you can collect a majority of the traffic and gain the majority of exposure from organic search. So how do we do this?

Step 1: Optimization

Firstly, you’ll need to optimize each web property for your target keywords. If you want to rank for “homes for sale Dallas”, be sure to include the keyword in each web property. Each one will work differently, but as long as you optimize your text you should be good. Here’s a few tips for each platform

Personal Website

If your site is built with WordPress use YoastSEO to help you optimize, it will cut the guess work. If you don’t have Yoast you’ll just have to follow a few guidelines:

  • Aim for over 300 words for your page. I recommend a minimum of 1,000
  • Use your target keyword in the title. Do not stuff it or make it unreadable, it should be natural
  • Use your keyword in H1,H2,H3 tags as you see fit. Again don’t over do it, less is more
  • Add a relevant picture. DO NOT make the alt tags as your keyword, alt tags should describe the image. Ex: a picture of a home in Dallas with a pool, alt tags: Dallas home with pool
  • Link OUT to a relevant authority site if possible. Google likes to see outbound links

If you follow this handful of guidelines your on page optimization should be sturdy enough to rank. On page is only one side of the equation with SEO, we’ll talk about the other side later.

Social Media Pages

Social media pages are a great way to get extra property on page one, and are a little easier to rank since they are made on authority sites. With the right optimization you can get to page 1 pretty quick. Here’s how:

  • Fill out the description as much as possible. Use text that is relevant and add your target keywords. Don’t stuff!
  • Add images of your business, homes, yourself. Be sure to add a description on these as well.
  • Add your location, hours, and phone number if possible. You want your profile to be complete and useful
  • Add a few posts with good pictures and plenty of text. Don’t go overboard with you keyword

This should be enough to have your social media optimized. Just like with your personal site, this will need a little bit of a boost to get it to page one, but I’ll get to that soon.

YouTube Videos

YouTube videos have to be one of my favorite ways to get targeted traffic and easy rankings. YT videos work best for long tail keywords, but you can also rank them for your target keywords with extra effort. I made a post about ranking YouTube videos that you can read here, or you can keep reading below.

  • Video file name: Have your keyword as the file name. Ex: “keyword my area.wmv”
  • Title – Make a clear title that includes your target keyword and makes sense. Tip: Add phone number in title
  • Description: Use at LEAST 100 words and include your keywords in the first 2 sentences. Don’t go crazy!
  • Tags: Try to incorporate your local area and keywords in your tags with as much variation as possible. Type the most relevant ones first. Mix between “keyword my area” and “keyword, area”
  • Location: Add your video location in the advanced settings tab.

With that your YouTube video is fully optimized. I would test this method with low competition keywords first so you understand how it works before trying to do it for competitive keywords.

Other Profiles

These are any profiles that you have on the internet. It could be a Yelp, a Directory Listing, or a profile on a realtor site. As long as it has your name, business name, phone number, and a link back to your site it is useful. We can optimize these like so:

  • Have consistent Name, Address, and Phone for the profiles. This is super important
  • Include as many links as you can. Website, Social Media, YouTube video
  • Make a unique description for each one that uses as many words as possible
  • Add photos/video if possible

By doing this you not only help all of your other properties rank, but you have more ways for people to find you online, which equals more traffic. Now we move on to the other side of optimization; link building.

Step 2: Link Building

So optimization is the first half of dominating the search engine, the second half is link building. Links from other websites count as votes that show Google your site is relevant and authoritative. We want to build as many RELEVANT and AUTHORITY links as possible, but keep in mind quality over quantity. So how do we do this?

  • Publications in local and niche relevant news sites, directories, blogs, and websites
  • Guest posts on niche/ industry relevant blogs
  • Links in resource pages on other local business sites
  • Links from social media pages and other profile pages (we talked about this earlier)
  • Press release and article links (not highly recommended for beginners)
  • Comment links (do not use keywords for anchor text, use brand or personal name)
  • Local citations (Name, Address, Place) from sites like Yelp, Angies List, etc.

These are all good ways to build links to your personal site and other web properties, but there’s a few rules to keep in mind when doing so.

  1. Don’t OVER optimize anchor text. You don’t want each link to be your target keyword. Mix between your brand name, naked URL, your personal name, long tail keywords, and then your exact match keywords. Make it look as natural as possible and keep your exact match to a minimum.
  2. Don’t build too many too fast. Keep a natural rate when building links
  3. Don’t build too many links on the same site. 1 or 2 links from one site is more than enough
  4. Don’t build links from 1 type of site only, mix it up. A few directories, a few guest posts, a few profile links

TIP: A good way to get an idea of what links to build look at what your competitors are doing. Where do they have links at? How do they market their business online. This is a good start to getting results!

That about wraps it up for this post. If you liked the info be sure to let me know in the comments, and also ask me any questions if you have them. I hope you found this post useful!

 

SEO

How Local Businesses Can Increase Sales With Google

Google is a gold mine for finding local consumers that are ready to buy. The problem is that most businesses don’t know how to use Google to their advantage. In this post I’ll show you the many benefits of Google marketing and how it can be done to get the most bang for your buck.

Benefits of Ranking in Google

Google is the top search engine in the world and has over 35 billion daily searches. When consumers do research before purchasing they turn to Google. An estimated 73% of consumers use Google before making a purchase decision. So if your business doesn’t show up in Google than you are missing out on 70% of consumers! So here’s the benefits:

  • You can target consumers who are looking for what your business offers
  • You don’t have to do any outreach, theses leads or customers will be inbound
  • Each lead is highly targeted because they are searching for your exact services or goods
  • Google acts as a 24/7 marketing machine that will get you leads, customers, and sales even in your sleep
  • You can track results with a Google campaign, versus traditional methods that you cannot (billboard)

The benefits to marketing on Google are very high. Certain markets have tons of potential and people searching, but most business owners don’t know how to benefit. You can get in front of consumers and benefit from Google, just keep reading.

How to Reap the Benefits of Google

In Google there are 3 ways to benefit from Google.

  1. A Pay Per Click campaign
  2. Google my Business ranking
  3. and an Organic Ranking

So Google works one of 2 ways. You either rank organically or you pay to have ads in the top of the search engine. There are pros and cons to each one, which I’ll be sure to include.I ‘ll expound on each below, but first lets go over the Laws of Google.

The Laws of Google

The laws of Google are quite simple. If a website is not ranked within the top 3 organic listings it is missing out on over 70% of clicks. If a Google is not in the Google my Business 3 pack, it is missing out on a majority of the clicks. If a site is not on page 1 in Google, it more or less doesn’t exist.

Quite simply, if you’re not on page 1 of Google your website isn’t generating leads or sales. Now on to the methods I mentioned earlier.

Pay Per Click or PPC Campaign

Pay Per Click is the paid avenue of Google that allows you to put ads in front of consumers searching for keywords related to your business. By doing so you can target these customers instantly and show higher than the organic listings. Although this might sound great, there are some drawbacks to this:

  • You have to play to play, and not all keywords are cheap (competitive niches can be as high as $50 a click)
  • Each CLICK is going to cost you. Not sale, not call, not reservation. Each CLICK
  • Not all people who click are going to convert into customers, and your site has to be conversion optimized
  • PPC opens the door to conversion optimization, split testing, and copy writing (not really beginner friendly)
  • Most people overlook the ads and go to organic listings and the Google Business listings

With that being said, Google ads are still useful. You can get results much faster than an Organic campaign (which can take 1-6 months) and you can attract people who want a quick result. Google ads are better suited in my opinion for emergency services and call-out type businesses, but there are ways to make a campaign work with proper testing.

Google my Business Ranking

This ranking is probably the most important of the 3. This is the little section in Google that shows the business name, directions, phone number, and website. Typically there are 3 spots for Google my Business in the organic listings, so its imperative that you rank. So how do we do this?

First you’re gonna need to have your business registered. Most business owners already know how to do this, so you can skip to the next paragraph, but if not just keep reading. To get set up type in Google my Business and login with your personal Google email. From here you should be able to create a listing for your business. You will need to make sure you use accurate Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) on your listing. After set up you will be send a confirmation code via mail that you will need to use to confirm your business location. Once this is done your listing will be live. So how do we rank it?

To rank your Google my Business you will want to make sure you have it fully optimized for Google. This is done by having a consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number for your business all over the internet (Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.) and a thorough description that includes your target keywords. For an added boost try to add your keywords into your business name (easier to do when initially setting up, you will have to reconfirm via mail if you change your business name). Google my Business rankings rely heavily on local citations or mentions of your NAP all over the internet. Try to get as many local citations as possible (Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, any local directories) to give Google more indication that you are a local business that should rank in the 3 pack. It is essential that you keep NAP consistency.

Organic Ranking

Organic rankings have to be one of my favorite methods, but it does take a little more persistence to get this ranking. This ranking is achieved by 2 main factors: On-Page Optimization and Off-Page Optimization. These are just fancy ways of saying that your site has content that fits what a searcher will be looking for and that you have links from other websites that are related to this content. So how do we achieve this?

For on page optimization you want to have your keywords sprinkled throughout your content in a readable format that will be beneficial to the reader. The main focus is for readability and relevance, so don’t go overboard. I suggest using the YoastSEO Plugin if you have a site built with WordPress, it makes this step super easy. The alternative is to just follow a guideline for on page as follow:

  • Set a meta description
  • Add a relevant image if possible
  • Include keyword in URL: http://variantseo.com/blog/my-target-keyword
  • Link OUT to a relative authority site if possible
  • Shoot for at least 300 words
  • Keep your page title relevant but short
  • Use your keyword in Heading (H1, H2, H3), but try to use variations of it

By following this handful of guidelines you can insure that your on page SEO is of high quality and will better your organic ranking. Now on to the Off-Page Optimization.

Off-Page is the method of building links from other websites back to yours. These link count as votes from other websites that show Google you’re an authority, so its important that your links come from good sources. You can get links in the form of: directory link, news or publication, press release, comment link, guest post, resource page, social media, or citation. This each have there use, but for the sake of simplicity I recommend resource page links, publications, and citations/local directories. To acquire these links you can simply build them yourself by setting up a profile and adding your URL or contacting the webmaster to have your link added. This can be a tedious process, but the ranking is well worth it.

That’s All Folks

I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with Google jargon, I know it can get confusing really fast. Optimizing a website is a full time job and takes a certain level of skill to be done correctly. If you would like your site to be handled by myself you can fill out the form below. I handle all aspects of Google campaigns and will be able to get results faster and easier than if you were to bootstrap as a beginner. Make the move to have your business grow online and fill out the form below.


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SEO

Instant Google Rankings With YouTube Videos

If you keep up with internet marketing buzz then you know that video is booming. Video is the most engaging form of content and a great way to showcase a business to potential customers. On top of that video converts way better than text, which is even more reason to get on-board with video marketing.

Instant Rankings with YouTube Videos

This post isn’t to preach about video marketing and why you should convert to video, its to discuss how I managed to get an instant ranking. Here we go…

So recently I started a site in the Automotive Services niche that generates leads and sends them off to a network that handles all of the customers. In other words it’s a lead gen/ pay per call site. The site is on a brand new domain, that will have links built to it, but in the mean time I needed a way to get rankings and calls fast. My solution…YouTube.

Strategy

So my strategy was to target low competition keywords and make videos for multiple local areas. Local is already a noncompetitive space, and when you couple that with long tail keyword targeting you are almost guaranteed a ranking.

Most of the keywords I targeted were super low competition and had very low monthly volume according to Google’s Keyword Planner. Some were as low as 10 searches per month for the target area. I know this may sound pathetic, but look at it this way –

You have 10 searches per month by people in need of a service that you can provide them with. The searches are super targeted and a big chunk of these people searching are going to call. On top of that the keyword is easy to rank for, which means you can attract a majority of these people.

Now 10 searches a month may not be much, but when you scale it to multiple keywords in multiple areas the numbers start to pick up. Now you have 10 searches per month in 10 areas, which gives you 100 potential customers. That doesn’t sound to bad to me!

Keyword Research

Ok, so we how do we find these keywords. There’s a great tool for finding long tail keywords call Long Tail Pro. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve never used this tool but I’ve heard great things about it. Personally I’m on a budget so I have to do things the tedious way – Go into Google and start searching.

I like to start by searching for something I would expect my target customer to search for. Example: Let’s say I have a lawn care business, my customers would most likely search for lawn care + my area. Now although this is a great start, chances are this keyword is going to be too competitive and will take time to rank for. We want to find all the low hanging fruits so that we can get rankings instantly!

You can do this by running a general search in Google for your target keyword and then look at the bottom of the SERPs where you’ll see Searches Related. Here you can find some related searches and more commonly searched keywords. Plug em in to the Keyword Planner and see what kind of traffic they get (but don’t trust the numbers 100%). You can also find keyword variations in the keyword planners suggested keyword section.

Finally go to Google in Incognito mode, so results aren’t fudged, and run searches of the keywords you gathered. Look at the first page results and you’ll easily be able to determine competition. If you see nothing but local directories and sub-pages you’ve found a gold mine!

Implementation

So now we get to the fun part, ranking the videos! Now you can either make a fancy video or just a slideshow with some images. All I did was take a photo and put my pay per call number over it. For each area I made a title page and put it in the beginning so that YouTube would see it as a unique video. I just used Windows Movie Maker to create the vids. Keep it simple! You could also have a Fiverr video made, which looks clean and professional.

After I made the videos for all of my target areas I got to uploading and optimizing. Here’s the steps I took:

  • Optimized the video file name: “target keyword + local area”.wmv
  • Optimized the video title in YouTube: “target keyword + local area (phone number)”
  • Wrote a decent amount of content (at least 100 words) that included my target keywords in the first 2 sentences
  • Added targeted video tags
  • Put a video location for the target area (in advanced video settings)

By doing all of these I was able to create highly optimized videos that Google likes and naturally ranked. Now not all of them got to page 1, but a handful did (3 out of 10) and this was just from a raw upload. I also took it a step further and embedded each video into a PBN post that targeted the same keywords to see if I could get an authority ranking for the same keyword and boost the video at the same time.

Final Thoughts

All in all ranking YouTube videos is great. It can be done in under an hour and you can have rankings in the same day. All it boils down to is proper keyword research and an optimized video.

By having multiple videos targeting multiple long tail keywords I now have assets that will bring in calls on a monthly basis, and benefit from something that took 10 minutes to implement. If you’re not using videos to rank for local or long tail keywords you need to get on-board fast!