In the digital era, many businesses are updating their approach to digital marketing. Competition in the arena is fierce, and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. To “get found” online by potential clients, a company needs far more than a simple website and Facebook page. This is why digitally-savvy businesses are turning more and more to marketing strategies that focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Even more recently, there’s been a shift toward GMO (Google Maps Optimization), which is a major component of SEO.
Despite all the excitement surrounding SEO and GMO, a lot of people are hesitant to approach these services. The reason? Because they aren’t certain how they work. And why should they? Just like you might not understand how to complete a financial audit for your business, you probably aren’t going to spend hours upon hours in this highly niche area. Instead, you’ll want to source an expert.
Still, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what these services do and how they work, so you can make an investment in a digital marketing strategy with peace of mind. Knowing what goes into a good digital marketing plan means you’ll be able to select the best service provider.
So, let’s begin by breaking these services down.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Broken down into the simplest definition, SEO helps your website rank higher on search engines. You may be competing against hundreds, thousands, and even millions of other sites to get a top spot on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or various other search engines. SEO uses several techniques to ensure you secure a top spot in the rankings, so your potential clients can easily find you.
SEO strategies are often complicated, because they’re based on mathematical algorithms that search engines use to rank your website. The goal of search engines is to seek out websites that are most useful to users. Search engines like Google look at several factors, such as:
quality of content,
length of content,
how often a website is updated, and,
how many other authoritative websites link back to yours.
What’s more? This is the simplified version!
Leading SEO strategies now go far beyond looking at your website. External factors are becoming more and more important for SEO. Let’s take a look at one of the most important of these external factors: GMO.
GMO – Google Maps Optimization
Google Maps Optimization is an essential component of a well-rounded SEO strategy. GMO is an “off-page” SEO factor. This means it helps your website gain traffic externally.
These days, when you search for a local product or service (particularly on a mobile device), you’re shown three types of Google results, in this specific order:
1. Paid ads
2. Google Map results
3. Organic results
This means that even with great on-page SEO, there may be two sets of results sitting above your organic listing. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have a fully rounded digital marketing and SEO strategy that addresses all three.
Google Maps Optimization covers that second set of results, ensuring your potential customers find you even before they even reach the organic search results. It does this partially through “geo-targeting.” Geo-targeting gears search results toward a specific area. If you Google “furniture stores in Edmonton”, Google Maps will show you results for businesses listed in Edmonton, regardless of where you’re searching from.
That isn’t all GMO does, though. Aside from increasing traffic to your website, GMO can also:
Increase your organic or “on-page” SEO
Showcase your Google reviews
Help clients find your physical location, hours, and contact information
Boost the “trust” factor of your website (i.e. you are a real, local business)
How to Optimize for Google Maps
It may sound easy to optimize your Google Map results. Just update your business address on Google My Business, right?
In fact, there’s a lot more to it than that. Certain factors can either harm or benefit your ranking in Google Maps results. For example, the volume and quality of your reviews, the quality of your Google My Business listing, choosing the right listing category, and proper linking between landing pages and citations all affect how well you show up in the map results. It’s a time-consuming and often technically-challenging process for those who have never undertaken it, which is why most businesses choose to outsource this work to a digital marketing agency.
To learn more about how you can implement a full SEO and GMO strategy without spending hours away from your business, get in touch with us today. One of our Magnolias SEO experts will walk you through the steps to generating more leads and closing more sales online with high-quality SEO and GMO best-practices.