Hey everybody, Joe Burnich with Big West Marketing, bringing you another video that simplifies marketing for your business. And what I want to talk about today is an SEO conference for 2019 out in Denver, Colorado. Basically, I had Jess on our SEO team go out to Denver and attend this conference and get all of the notes, all of the latest and greatest stuff when it comes to SEO and ranking a local service business up on Google. Okay?
So what I did is condense the whole conference down in the top five things that I think you need to know about the new things that are really going to help your business. So let’s get started with that right now.
Okay. So I made this little slide show here and the first slide, I just want to show you a couple of pictures of Jess with Big West Marketing. And she’s taken pictures with some of the big people in the SEO world. We’ve got Mike Blumenthal here and Joy Hawkins. If you know anything about the local SEO world, you know that these are the top people. They’re so respected in the SEO community that sometimes even Google will hire them as consultants to get feedback on what exactly is going on and what kind of changes Google should make. So it’s a really big deal for her to be hanging out with this level of people.
And so what I want to do real quick is just give you a rundown of what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about number one service area pages. This has been a big debate for years now. So I want to talk about some new developments with that. I want to talk about using real photos in your Google My Business listing and on your website.
I want to talk about maxing out your Google My Business info. We’re going to talk about website speed, we’re going to talk about bad Google reviews and how they can actually help you. And then, as a little bonus, I wanted to talk about a new backlink strategy that I think is really going to be helpful for you guys and it’s very easy. So stay till the end to get that bonus strategy.
All right, so let’s talk about number one. Service area pages. What do I mean by this exactly? So in the past, Google has always said “Don’t put a bunch of different areas to target different cities for your service area business.”
Well, when Jess went to the conference, a Google rep was actually, there and of course, like I said, the top dogs in SEO were there and they were saying that this is actually an okay strategy now. Okay? But it has to be done in a specific way. You can’t just put up a bunch of pages and just change the city name on there and expect to start getting rankings.
What you need to do is three things. Number one, you need to have unique content. All the words on that page need to be completely unique. No copy and pasting pages, no duplicating pages. You need to have unique content, okay? Number two is you need to have geotag pictures. What is a geotag picture? It’s basically a picture taken with your smartphone and when you take a picture with your smartphone, Google will actually pinpoint where that picture was taken.
We’ve talked about this before but I want to mention it again that when you take a picture with your cell phone, Google knows where that picture was taken and it will actually help you with your Google rankings if you put those pictures on your Google My Business account and on the specific city pages that you’re trying to rank on. Okay.
Another thing they were talking about, which I’ve never thought about, is to mention specific jobs that you do in that city. Okay, so if you’re a plumber you want to mention, “Hey, we did a leak repair job for John and Melissa in Escondido, California,” if it’s on the Escondido California service area page.
So we’re going to start doing this for our SEO clients and if you’re interested in that, if you want to start getting ranked in the organic section, keep in mind this is just for the organic, not the map section, the map section is still restricted to the address, the physical address where you have your business registered with Google. But for the organic stuff below the map, that’s where we want to start getting into the other cities. Get on the first page for multiple cities.
This has been a huge deal with service area businesses. And Google’s starting to loosen up the guidelines. This is good news for us, guys. So we’re going to start adding pages. Give us a call and talk to Jake if you want to talk about the pricing and what’s all involved in getting these different service area pages set up for your business.
Okay, second thing I want to talk about is real photos. Now, something they said that was really interesting was that only 16.9% of businesses out there are doing this. So this is a huge opportunity to do more than your competition is doing and it’s so easy.
So what we want to do is, like I said before, take geotag pictures with your phone, okay. But more importantly, do take pictures of real people doing work. Do not go to Google images and start stealing photos off there and think that that’s going to work. Okay. Google wants to see real photos, taken with your phone of your employees and they want to see logos on T-shirts, hats, et cetera.
So I just grabbed a couple of sample pictures that I think are perfect for this. So here’s an actual employee with a little logo on his shirt, doing some actual work. This is what Google wants to see. No more stock photos. No photos stolen from the internet. Google can tell the difference between something that you stole or something that you purchased rather than something that you actually took with your phone.
Here’s another example of somebody standing with a complete uniform on with their logo showing here, logo showing on their truck in the background. This is huge. Okay, so let me show you an example of my business here. Hold on, let me get over to google.com. All right, so here’s google.com. So if we’re going to search out marketing Missoula, okay, you’re going to see that we come up number one and I want to click on that so I can go look at the Big West page here or the Big West Google profile and I’m going to click down here on photos so you can see all the photos that I have.
Look at all these personalized photos. I did not take these off of the internet that I found somewhere. I didn’t buy them off some stock photography site. I took these of our office or areas, you know, the areas that we work and see, you can see a logo here on my shirt. You can see a logo here on my hat, pictures of everybody in the office, taken at the location. Very, very important.
You can see there’s a logo here. Let’s scroll down and see what else we got. Logo here. Google can actually detect logos in these photos. This is very important, guys. People actually doing work, the type of work we say that we do which is web design and internet marketing. So we’re in a computer and we’re working on marketing stuff. Okay.
Here’s a Google employee that I had met that I got a selfie with. All this stuff adds up. There’s a logo on the door there and we actually got a new logo on the door, so I need to update that picture, but you see what I’m talking about?
Real people doing real work with logos, okay? It’s that easy and only 16.9% of your competitors are actually doing this. If you get in here, you’re going to be in the top 20% of people in your town, your city, maybe even higher than that of people that are actually doing this, okay? Let’s move on.
Number three, we want to max out your Google listings. They made a big deal about this at the conference that you want to, number one, get the Google My Business app. This is not optional anymore, guys. Everybody needs to download it. It’s free. Once you download it, you just put your Google username and password in there, you log in, you have access to all kinds of stuff and Google can actually see that you’ve downloaded the app. This is good. This is good for SEO.
Okay? And you can do all kinds of cool stuff with this. You can do Google posts, do posts on Google. You know what? Actually, I’m going to do a post right now so you guys know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve done videos on this before, but why not do a real one real time because I’ve got one lined up that I want to do anyway.
So here I am in my Google My Business account, I’ve logged in, I went to business.google.com. I’m going to go down here, I’m going to click on create post. And then what I want to do is actually a special offer. And so I created this little picture, and I’m going to … Let’s see, I’m going to click here and Google’s going to allow me to drop it in here. So I drop in my picture. You can do this with special offers, guys. Special offers are huge for service businesses. You know this.
So I’m going to do a one month free SEO. This a special offer we’re running right now, and then I’ve got some texts that I typed up for this and then let’s see. Okay, so I put in the text there. That’s right. Limited time offer. We’re giving away one month of free SEO for new clients. Okay. So start date. Let’s go September 25th. I’m going to actually set this down to October 25th, add more details. That’s where I’m going to grab some more texts that I got here. The coupon code is going to be askforJake. . He’s the one that’s going to be doing this.
I’m not going to put a link in there. I don’t have a link set up right now. I don’t want to put terms and conditions. I want people to contact us and find out the details. Learn more about it. Okay. So let’s preview and see what this looks like. So we’re going to have this show up on our Google page, so let’s publish that.
Okay, this is too long. So maybe take that out. We are offering a special for new SEO clients. Let’s see if Google accepts that. Preview and publish. Still too long. You know, for that, I’m going to put a … One month free SEO offer. Okay, preview that. Publish. Okay, now Google accepted that.
So what’s going to happen is when, let’s see, I’m going to go back to google.com … When people see my profile now, it just made my profile that much bigger. Okay, so what it did is it added this whole extra section here and sometimes, Google will put down suggested competitors here and it’s not doing it in this example. But sometimes they’ll put suggested competitors down here, your competition. The more information that you have filled in here, the less chance they are going to have of seeing your suggested competitors. So really important you fill out everything.
Once again, photos are big. Let me get back to my slide. Google posts, like I just did right there. Geotag pictures like we talked about before. Fill those out, get as many pictures as possible in your account with your logos, your team members inside your office, outside your office, all that stuff. Google also has Q&A, Google has a feature called Google messages, which I did a video recently on that where you can actually go back and forth with text messages to communicate with clients.
And then the short name, this is another thing they made a big deal about, which I haven’t set up yet, so this is perfect. Let me see. Let me get back to my Google page, not that one. There it is. Okay, so when you go over and click on info over here, you’re going to have this little option for ad short name. Google says this will actually help when people are searching for your business, make it easier for people to find your business if you add this short name.
So I’m going to do that. I’m going to type in Big West Marketing. I’m going to use a suggestion there. That’s my business name. I’m going to apply that. Okay. And we’ll see how this plays out. This was something new, something we’ve never done before, but Google made a big deal about this or the people at the conference and the Google rep made a big deal about this. So go ahead and go into your info section and add your business name as the short name there. More to come on that in later videos.
All right, next we want to talk about website speed. Now this has always been a conversation when it comes to SEO and conversions, getting people to call you. You know, we want your website to load up fairly quickly and we’ve taken lots of precautions to make sure that all of our clients’ websites load up fairly fast. But we’re taking it to a new level now. We just hired a consultant that we’re meeting with to come in and we want to start getting the fastest websites in the industry. That is our goal for the next few months.
Okay. And so we’re going to start updating all of our SEO clients’ websites and all of our current web design clients. We’re going to start working on getting your website speed faster than anybody else in the industry to help with SEO and help with conversion. So stay tuned, I’m going to have a lot more videos on how exactly we’re doing that. It gets pretty technical. It’s actually very complicated to make a website load quickly. So we’re going to be working on that. More videos to come stay tuned.
Number five is, you know, we all know that we need to ask for Google reviews. Okay. But what some really interesting information that came out of this conference was that it’s actually … People would trust your business more if you have less than five star review average. So they said that between three and a half and four and a half stars will actually gain you more trust than having all five star reviews. And they actually said the sweet spot is 4.2. Any business that has a 4.2 average rating with Google actually has the highest trust possible with anybody that’s looking for your business on the internet. So very interesting.
So don’t be afraid to get a few bad reviews, just make sure that you respond to it. You’re allowed to go in there and respond to all your … You need to respond to all your reviews. But definitely respond to the bad reviews. People will go directly to your bad reviews and read that bad review. You probably do this on Amazon or if you’re looking for a business on Yelp or Google and then they’ll read how the owner actually responds to that bad review and you just want to keep it very professional and offer refunds, offer to reach out and correct whatever problem they had. Don’t get all emotional and start bad talking the client. That’s the worst thing you can do.
And the ways to get Google reviews is, number one, ask in person, send them a text message after you do the job and ask for a review with the link over to your review, the place where they can leave a review and also do that with email. The best way to do is in person. Second best with a text message. Third best is with email. Make it as easy as possible. Do not expect people to leave reviews. Been talking about this extensively over the past few years, but it’s becoming more and more important for Google rankings and SEO.
Another thing you can do is actually create a link on your website. Have your web designer … We do this for all of our clients, but put a link from the website over to your Google review page so that people can easily leave reviews. The easier you make it, the better chance you are of getting these reviews.
And then, like I promised, guys, the bonus backlink strategy that we learned at the conference, this is pretty cool. So what they’re saying is a lot of businesses that are doing this are getting really strong backlinks and really helping out with their Google rankings is they do these three steps, okay? Number one, they donate work to a nonprofit like a women’s shelter or some sort of charity. They’re going to donate some free work. So you’re going to go out whatever service you offer, you’re going to go out and do that free work. You’re going to offer that free work to a charity, okay?
And then what you’re going to do is you’re going to notify the local news outlets. So newspaper or TV and say, “Hey, we partnered with this nonprofit. We’re doing free work for them. Will you run a story?” These news stations and radio stations, newspapers, these news outlets, they love these kinds of stories, okay?
So go out and do that. And then ask for backlinks from both the nonprofit website and from the news outlet. A lot of times they’ll just automatically do this anyway, but you’re basically going to get two links from very powerful, important high authority entities on the internet back to your website. If you get a link from a high profile nonprofit and a link from a news outlet in your local city area, your rankings are going to jump. I guarantee it. They’re going to rise.
Okay, so just a little bonus there. Another thing I want to show you that they talked about was that there is actually a website that’ll connect you with these nonprofits that are actually looking for this kind of stuff and it is called, let me grab it here, zipsprout.com. So go to zipsprout.com, click on for businesses and marketing campaigns. This is created for this strategy I was just talking about. You click on this, you fill out this information and they’ll actually connect you with local nonprofits that are interested in doing this with you and so you can build up those two powerful backlinks.
Okay, so that’s it. Real quick, I’m going to put the review slide here. Get service area pages for all the different cities that you want to rank in Google. Talk to us about that. If you want us to do it for you, take real photos with your phone, max out all the info of your Google page, get your website up to speed, make it load as fast as possible, and then it’s okay to get some bad Google reviews because they can actually create more trust with your potential clients and then go out there and get those two backlinks I just talked about. Like I said, I am Joe Burnich with bigwestmarketing.com. If you have any questions, if you’d like to discuss any of this stuff, give us a call or schedule an appointment. It’s 406-4931881 or just go to bigwestmarketing.com and you can schedule an appointment right there. Thank you very much.