Local SEO 7 pack condensed to 3 pack!

After some research, it appears that Google has changed all 7 pack map search results to a condensed 3 pack.

This changed rolled out in both the United States and internationally yesterday. Google usually doesn’t do global updates like that.

So what is a 3 pack? 

Previously, you would receive 7 listings with the opportunity to “view more,” but now it’s just 3 (you still have the option to view more.)

They have also changed the appearance of these listings (which we will talk a little bit more about in a minute.)

Here is what you are use to seeing in the old 7 pack!

 Landscaping-in-Nashville

The appearance of listings has also changed  quite a bit.

Previously, you could see the phone number and address of a company from the initial search page. Google has changed it to where you have to click through the listing to gather this information  now. The reviews no longer say “Google Reviews,” they’ve removed the word Google. The opening and closing hours are also visible, showing the most relevant time depending on what time of day it is.  On mobile devices, there is a “call” button  which is quite prominent.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 5.56.49 PM

When you click a link (except the website button) it will open up a map with 20 additional listings visible as well.

Here is the new look when you click MORE CPAS:

google local seo chattanooga  fly out view

 

A Google spokesperson said:

“We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”

 

The Condensed Version Of Local SEO

When it comes to local SEO everyone seems to play by a different rule…. “I need 1 million links and 500,000 citations…”

*Sigh*

Below is local seo summed up in 100 words.

1.) On-page + Keywords

Target a few primary keywords, but make your site look natural and create a BRAND!  Please, PLEASE don’t use your keyword plus city 100 times on you home page!  You want to make it easy and natural to read.

2.) Create Google Business + Social profiles

Go to Google My Business and submit your information. A Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin profile are a must, but I would also also recommend setting up a Youtube channel and Pinterest page.

3.) Create 10-20 high quality Citations

You can find the top ones here or simply Google the top 20 citation sources in the US. I would also recommend looking to see if there are any local niche directories you can submit to as well!

4.) Write a press release and distribute

This helps add diversity to your link profile and  hopefully create a little bit of buzz about your local business.

5.) Generate 5 High Quality Links

Easier said than done, but you can either pay someone or simply ask to write a Guest post on another website in your niche.

That’s it, that’s the short version of local SEO, if you do these 5 things you should rank on page 1 for your industry + location keyword.

What NOT To Do In Regards To Local SEO

At Nooga Labs, we work day in and day out to assist our clients with local SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Local SEO means you do not only want to rank globally, which isn’t very beneficial for local businesses, but you want to rank locally, where your results will be much more beneficial to your company, as you’ll become visible to those living in your area. Whether you’re a one location shop, or you have many offices throughout the state/region, local SEO is how you’ll gain the most new clients.

We have shown you how to rank locally, so now we will show you some things you SHOULD NOT do.

#1: No need to over-do it on the registries

A directory is a compilation of listings for consumers to find businesses. There are many different registries. At one time, you could just submit your business to many different directories and your ranking would improve drastically! Services even exist to handle this process for you. But, this isn’t something you want to do. There are a few reasons…First, links from low-quality sites don’t help you, so it’s a waste of time and/or money. There are only a couple of directories people use regularly, such as Yelp. There are a few popular registries for specific niches as well, such as Avvo for lawyers.

It is more beneficial to ensure your profile on the strong directories are as complete as possible, instead of spending a little bit of time or many other registries. Have pictures on your profile, respond to customers, have accurate contact information, and check back regularly. This will be the most influential in your SEO ranking.

#2: Have the right content

There are many moving parts to local SEO, such as maps, reviews, and so much more. But, if your site is not considered strong and valuable, you will not rank well.

Your website will be considered valuable if it has relevant content. You should update this content regularly to ensure your position within search engines. Blog posts are a great way to keep your content fresh!

 

Stop Replicating Pages!

People often create multiple pages within their sites for different cities, in an attempt to gain more traction. This content is not considered to be valuable, and could ultimately hurt you in the long run. Try to create different content for these pages in order to help your local SEO within these different service areas.

 

As I mentioned before, there are many different pieces to local SEO, and it can be quite overwhelming at times. Following these simple steps will have you well on your way to page #1.

 

The Importance of Local Search Listings

What’s local search? This:

 

local search results

Pretty simple, right?

Believe it or not, there is an easy way to parse this complicated graphic down to a level that’s easy to understand.

Nooga Labs wants to help your business succeed in search results by taking advantage of the local search ecosystem, something that dilutes typical search ranking factors and creates results on a local level first.

There are many aspects of local search: links, content, mobile-responsive, search-engine-friendly websites, social media marketing, and more. But the most important aspect of a local search strategy?

Local listings.

Listing Management and Local SEO

Not just claiming one local listing, creating an incomplete listing, or even a few randomly scattered listings; but a robust, qualitative local listing management strategy that ensures your company’s basic information – name, address, phone number, website, and so much more – is listed correctly, in an optimized manner, and placed everywhere it needs to be.

Because of our knowledge of how search engines pull local listing information, Nooga Labs has created an efficient manner for your business to get all the listings it needs and none of the listings it doesn’t.

By letting us take care of local listing management for you, your business can forget about appearance and performance in search and let our local listing management skills increase your business’ appearance in search, local packs, and drive more visits to your website.

Why You Should Care

Still not sold on the benefits of local search? There are countless studies and reports that confirm the effectiveness and power of local search from both a clicks and web visits perspective and a consumer intent perspective.

Your customers are looking for your company online using search engines and other popular platforms, and if your website isn’t listed in a complete, optimized manner it not only makes your business look bad, it likely means you’re losing out on customers!

This data – from Google and other professional, reliable sources – just begins to scrape the surface of how powerful local search is regardless of the user’s device, specific location, or purchase intent.

Looking up business information is relevant to all customers – new and returning – those who are looking to buy, or just looking for basic product information, and everything in between.

 

If you need help optimizing your local business for search, stop trying to figure out this incredibly complicated ecosystem by yourself.

Nooga Labs will gladly work on creating and maintaining local listings for you in order to increase your business, create a more professional appearance in search results, and get a jump-start on your customers.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing (SEM)—more commonly referred to as “search marketing”—is the process of earning additional traffic and visibility via both paid and organic search listings.

SEM is the large umbrella comprised of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertisements (PPC). If you’ve been reading our previous posts, a lightbulb should’ve just went off:

SEO doesn’t live alone in a silo. It’s part of a bigger, more robust marketing strategy.

That’s because Google has become our be-all and end-all for information. What was once a fun way to find answers to weird questions—remember Ask Jeeves?—has now become our preferred tool to find places to go, things to do, and products to buy.

Whether it’s on a desktop, laptop, or smartphone, your prospective customers are using search engines to make decisions. What’s the likelihood they’ll run into your business while looking for content, products, or services in your vertical?

If you haven’t invested in search engine marketing, I’ll give you a hint: not likely. There’s an unprecedented level of competition out there, and businesses who are ignoring SEM are getting left behind.

Fast.

Still don’t think search engine marketing is worth the investment? Check out these alarming search engine usability statistics:

  • Search is the number one source of external traffic to content sites. (Outbrain)
  • There are more than 11.9 billion Google searches performed each month. (comScore)
  • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (Forrester)

The most eye-popping stat? According to Search Engine Watch, during Google’s rare, complete outage that lasted between one and five minutes in 2013, 40% of global Internet traffic simply disappeared.

40 percent of GLOBAL traffic… Let that sink in for a minute.

If marketing is placing your company’s message where your ideal customers are, why isn’t your business investing in search engine marketing?

That question just blew your mind, didn’t it? It’s ok, you’re not alone: it blew ours, too. That’s why we started Nooga Labs! If you’d like to learn more about how you can start investing in SEM to help grow your business, give us a call. More people need to hear your business’ story, and we’re experts in both telling and selling it. Let’s get started, shall we?

How is My Website Performing in Organic Search?

We use a variety of metrics to evaluate a website’s performance in search engines. These metrics mirror that of the industry-standard and give the business owner – and the SEO strategist – clues as to what’s effective, what’s not, and where the opportunities lie.

Some of these metrics include – but certainly aren’t limited to – ranking for relevant search terms, amount of organic traffic, conversion rate, and the number of new visitors to the site arriving from organic sources.

 

Typically, marketers and their clients will look at one thing – and one thing only – when trying to measure an SEO campaign’s impact: rankings. This is a critical mistake. Nooga Labs does track rankings, but we steer clear from making that our top key performance indicator (KPI).

Why? Because rankings can be deceiving. Extremely deceiving.

Let me give you an example. If you type in your business’ target keyword and your website link is the first organic result, great! Right? Wrong. Did you know that personalization (being signed into Google), browser history, location, and data from your social media profiles can all skew organic results?

Take that same search, but do it in an “Incognito” window in the Google Chrome browser. Incognito mode eliminates all these factors – personalization, location, etc. – and gives you a much truer set of results. Where’s your business’ website when you search for your target keyword now? Can’t find it?

That’s why ranking should not be a top KPI in your SEO campaigns.

Need help determining your website’s performance in organic search? You’ve come to the right place. Running an SEO campaign is confusing for anyone but an expert and could have disastrous effects if “SEO tactics” are done by somebody who isn’t in the industry daily. We’re living in the search world 24/7 and would love to help you measure your past, present, and future success.

How Important Is Local SEO?

How Important is Local SEO?

In short, very important.

The importance of local SEO is equal to the importance of the public’s ability to find your brick-and-mortar location.

Have you ever been on vacation in another town and had trouble finding a particular restaurant or business—or even the street it was located on—even after asking the front desk clerk at your hotel for directions?

A business can be located on partially hidden side streets or away from heavy-traffic roads, minimizing the amount of people who see it naturally. Unless the business moves, the owners have to rely on other means to make their company more visible.

Things work the same online. You get to choose whether or not your company’s website is located at a busy intersection in the heart of downtown or down a random side street 40 miles from town.

People should be able to find your business when they search for it—and find it easily. Not only should your business appear for branded terms, but also for non-branded keywords that describe your industry and the products or services you provide.

Creating, claiming, and/or optimizing your local listings ensures you’re feeding correct information to users and search engines, so when people go to their search engine of choice, they find the business they’re looking for. If you’ve invested in local listing management, that business they’re looking for will be yours.

This is local SEO.

Local SEO is one of our specialties, and we’d love to help your story spread locally, regionally, and nationally. If you’re interested in finding out where potential customers are searching for your business, which websites your business should be listed on, and how to increase the number of organic leads through your site, give us a call.

How Do I Build Links to My Website?

The Million-dollar Question: How do you build links to your website?

You know a little about SEO. You’re aware that your site should be optimized for certain keywords and easy for visitors to use. You know it should have a large, quality backlink profile in order to increase the authority of your domain, thus increasing traffic and leads from organic search. But how are you going to build links to your website? That’s the million-dollar question.

Okay, it might not be a million-dollar question, but it’s a big one.

 

For years, SEOs and other inbound marketers have known about the power of links and how they correlate to better ranking and more traffic from search engines. Unfortunately, spam artists began to flood the market and link building strategies quickly progressed toward fabricating results rather than earning them organically.

Have you attempted to build links in the past for your brand’s website? Your business’ existence could be on the line.

Spam is taken extremely seriously by Google, Bing, and other relevant search engines. Businesses have seen their online performance fall through the floor due to their sites being hit by a variety of different search-induced penalties. Most of the time, the penalties were the result of poor link building strategies centered around spam tactics.

Most business owners and webmasters aren’t aware of the harm a spam link does to their sites’ organic search visibility. If you take your online marketing efforts seriously, you should let a professional oversee ANY link building campaign.

Luckily, we have a professional SEO team willing to work with any client, regardless of a site’s size, scope, or backlink profile. Don’t fret, just holler. We’ll get in touch and make sure your link building strategy is natural, optimized, and increasing your website’s search visibility.

Everything You Need to Know About SEO but Are Afraid to Ask

Search engine optimization… Also known as “SEO.” You’ve probably heard of it. But you might not have any idea what it means. That’s OK. That’s what we’re here for.

An inbound marketing channel that’s gained steam in the past decade, SEO is a great tool to help your digital marketing efforts.

In simple terms, search engine optimization means constructing your website in such a way that it is transparent to both search engines and users, allowing them to easily understand exactly what your business is about and what it has to offer.

SEO means many things:

  • The way your website is designed
  • Its content
  • The way the content is displayed
  • The coding language(s) used
  • Other websites it links to
  • Websites that link back to it
  • Images and videos it contains
  • The most common words and phrases that appear in its content
  • Any social media profiles and/or pages connected to it
  • The quality and quantity of associated listings elsewhere on the web

Simply put, SEO should be a considerable part of your online marketing efforts and perhaps some of your traditional advertising strategies, as well. Millions of people are using search engines at any given moment. They are looking to go somewhere, perform a specific action, or obtain more information about something.

When those search queries cross lines with your business vertical, how is your website addressing those consumers’ needs? Maybe the better question is: Is your website addressing your target consumers’ needs, AND if it is, can they find the answers you’ve laid out for them?

SEO is a complicated industry that should only be tackled by qualified experts. Regardless of your brand’s size or location, an aggressive search engine optimization campaign can help grow your exposure and sales leads. And we can run that campaign.

Contact us today to get your story in front of more people that want—and need—to hear it.

Want a piece of content to “go viral”? Read this first

Every content creator dreams of seeing one of his or her pieces of content “go viral.” We’ve all seen countless pieces get viewed, ‘liked,” and shared millions of times, and publishers and marketers are now racing to find the magic formula to make it happen at will.

But can you really make a piece of content “go viral”?

The short answer?

No. It’s pretty much impossible.

The long answer?

Yes, but it’s still pretty much impossible. Keep reading.

going-viral

In order for content to “go viral,” not only do tons of your friends and followers have to ‘LIKE’ and share it, but so do tons of their friends and followers, and so on. And it really, really helps if your audience of friends and followers is already huge.

Before any of that can happen, however, the content has to connect with your audience.

Is it interesting?

Is it surprising?

It is optimistic or motivational or inspiring?

Is it useful?

Does it grab their attention and keep it?

If not, then go back to the drawing board. If yes, then you still want to proceed with caution. The most viral pieces of content contain those attributes—but so do millions of pieces of content that don’t go viral. You can have the greatest, most shareable piece of content ever created, but if you don’t position it for success, no one will ever see it.

If you want a piece of content to go viral, ask yourself the following questions:

• How are you planning to distribute it? Do you understand those platforms or channels? Is your audience even there? Are you overlooking better options?

• Are you willing to spend money on advertising—or to create content in the first place?

• And what about your headline? Will people actually want to click on it? (“Clickable” headline writing is a topic unto itself. We’ll talk about it in a future post. Check back later.) How many headlines did you brainstorm before you settled on one? Are you willing to spend time testing a couple of them?

Needless to say, there is a lot to consider. Everything has to click for people to want to click. And even if they do click, there is no guarantee that those clicks will translate into sales. Instead of striving for millions of people to like and share one piece of content, you’d be better served if a more modest number of devoted followers liked and shared all of your content. That’s how relationships are built, and relationships drive sales.

It’s almost impossible to create a piece of viral content. But it is possible to create great content that produces great results for you and your brand. And we can help. Contact us today and let us help you tell your story.