But if you can be patient and roll with the punches until things get ironed out (and you are a local home services provider), we think it could be worth the experiment. Google Ads not long ago, most searches produced two or three super obvious ads at the top of the page. Lots of people didn’t click. But times are changing. AS you saw in the search above, ads aren’t even at the top of the page anymore, and they’re becoming less and less in-your-face. Organic SEO will always be a great investment, but as of now, even if you rank first in the local pack for “air conditioning repair,” your listing is below the fold of a search result on desktop. Mobile? You’re way down the page. Wordstream reported recently that 65% of people click on google Ads when searching to buy an item online. Obviously, not everyone is looking to buy online, but this statistic tells us that some types of searches (transactional and commercial) do earn clicks. And as ads become less and less intrusive, we think that number across all industries and intents will rise. All that said, ads may be a channel you consider dipping your feet into in two thousand and nineteen And Google isn’t your only option, there are plenty of Digital advertising platforms. The Local Pack and Google My Business Here is yet another feature that is worth taking advantage of. Unlike LSA’s and Google Ads, you don’t have to pay (although some SERPs will show local ads here). The process of ranking well for local searches like this is called Local SEO – a crucial channel for small businesses. How to range for the Local Pack in two thousand and nineteen There are countless factors involved in ranking for the local pack. The biggest factor is proximity to the searcher. so don’t expect to rank in this for a search performed a county or two away. in short, the contents of your website, links to your site, and your brand’s reputation across the web (think: reviews, mentions on other sites, etc…) all play major roles – but the factor we want to focus on most in this post is your Google My Business page. The experts agree it’s the most important factor. How to Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Profile The GMB profile isn’t only important for ranking in the local pack. in general, we’re seeing lots of people searching for brand names (read: you forgot the exact URL and it’s 2019, so you just type it into Google). From here, lots of people aren’t making clicks. This means they’re finding everything they need on your GMB profile! It’s very important they can find what they need. The first step is to claim (or create) your Google My Business profile. Google your brand name and see if your company appears in the left-hand panel. If so, look for an “Own this business?” prompt. If you don’t see it, this means someone has claimed it – perhaps someone in your office or an old web provider. Posts are a relatively new feature in GMB. They’re an easy way to let your audience know of recent news, offers, deals, products, or simply a recent blog you’ve published. Include a photo and a link to learn more. Don’t set it and forget it. It appears Google is paying attention to engagement, relevancy, and recency. So here are some signals that appear to be influencing the local pack more and more: Most recent review date Quality and relevance of reviews Regularity of postings Phone calls made from GMB Organic Rankings When it comes to organic rankings as a whole, the biggest shift we’re seeing is a sort of specialization of SERPs based on industry and intent. It appears Google is honing in on certain searches and intents and crafting the results in their own way. For instance, “Digital marketing in greenville” might display Digital marketing companies’ services page and a local pack, but “Digital marketing company in greenville” may display job boards. To succeed in Digital marketing via search in 2019, you have to segment the queries you’re trying to rank for. Because how you attack one query may look a lot different than another. Competitor analysis and finding out why company x is doing so well for y searches, but company y is doing better for z searches – this has to be happening in 2019. A brochure that talks about why someone should work with you? Not what we’re talking about. A page on your website that walks through the process of working with you? Not quite. A blog post that outlines how much it usually costs to work with someone like you, some tips for working with people in your industry, and some red flags to look for when hiring someone in your industry? Great content. Now that we’ve addressed that, what is happening in the world of content in 2019? The Internet is Saturated with Content Very similar to what we’re seeing in search, the internet is becoming crowded, even for small businesses in local contexts. Everyone and their mother has a blog. so many businesses are pushing out content – and some of it is even pretty good. Depending on your industry, a short blog post titled, “3 Tips for x,” and published in two thousand and fifteen might have gotten a lot of attention. But in 2019, it’s probably not doing a lot for your business. So how can you succeed in a saturated content market? Make Your Content Better Rand Fishkin coined the term “10x Content” a few years back. The idea is that when you’re thinking of publishing something, in order to truly stand out, you need to make it ten times better than the next best piece on that subject. How can you do that? Tackle a subject no one has addressed yet Address a popular subject in a new way Address a difficult subject in a way that’s easier to understand Make a piece more beautiful / with better design than everyone else’s *Unsure of how to find out what else is out there? Google the topic and see what appears. For example, if you’re in the air conditioning repair industry – instead of a simple text filled “How to Identify What’s Wrong with Your AC” post, you create a visual with illustrations and photos that outline some key issues someone could be having, and exactly what to do to fix them. Or, as a pool builder, instead of a post on “3 Options for Pool Lighting,” create a great case study that looks at three different clients, their lighting considerations, how you helped them decide, and beautiful photography of the finished products. Use Your Resources Wisely One of the biggest problems we see with small businesses who have limited budgets and resources is the idea that they need to blog every single week. So over the course of a few months, they’ve logged 10 hours on 10 blog posts – all of which are pretty good posts, but won’t do anything more than get a few clicks upon publishing. Instead, we would recommend putting those ten hours into two or three really great, creative, and unique pieces. This will be of greater value to you in the long run. Content Marketing To Do’s in two thousand and nineteen If your resources are limited (you’re a small business without a huge team of writers), focus on quality over quantity. Instead of one post / week, consider one great post / month. Set your goals around reach, traffic, and engagement – not frequency of posting Treat your blog as a collection of resources instead of a place people come to browse two thousand and nineteen sociable Media Marketing Trends Facebook has managed to stay in the news (the global news, not just the Digital marketing news)
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