Using Google My Business to Improve Local SEO

Using Google My Business to Improve Local SEO

Google My Business is one of the most powerful tools in Google’s vast array of products. In today’s blog post, we are going to show you how using Google My Business can improve your local SEO with just a few small changes. 

1. Make sure your listing on Google My Business (GMB) is accurate in all areas from Name, Address and Phone Number (also known as NAP) to business hours. Your GMB page should mirror your website page in these areas as well as any place that your business is listed. We use Moz Local to help with our NAP listings and have found it to be helpful. If you are not finding your business in maps or in search, errors on your GMB page could be a reason why

2. Get reviews AND respond to them. Google recently acknowledged that while 5 star reviews are good, they really want to see businesses interacting with their customers. If you get a good 5 start review, be sure to thank your reviewer for their review and their business. If you get a less than stellar review, responding to the reviewer in a nice, positive way to ask about their experience and how you can improve your service is helpful knowledge.

3. Another Google My Business ranking factor is actually 3 factors according to Yoast: Relevance, Distance and Prominence. Relevance has to do with how well your business fits the search query. Be very specific in your listing about your business and this will help your relevance score. Distance equates with the proximity of the user to your business. Businesses that are closest to the user tend to show toward the top in search results. Of course, with many things Google related, how this algorithm works is a bit of a mystery but it is a top GMB ranking factor. Finally, lets talk about Prominence. Prominence has more to do with your website than GMB but is still used as a ranking factor. Do you have a lot of quality backlinks on your website? Are you an authority or top business in your area? Do you have awards? These all relate to Prominence and Google My Business uses it highly in local business SEO optimization

4. Google My Business improves your Google Maps location placement. Every local business wants to be featured in the top 3 results and an optimized Google My Business Listing is a good way to achieve this. Sources say that 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. This is huge for local businesses and one of the best ways to achieves search dominance!

5. Finally, keep your Google My Business account current with recent photos, posts and activity. GMB Is not just.a “set it up and forget” it type of platform. In fact, once you have a GMB account and you haven’t updated for a while, Google will politely remind you by email. You may think of this as just one more thing you have to do but it really is important. 

Hopefully these tips and tricks on how Google My Business can improve your local SEO will help improve your search ranking. For more SEO tips, be sure to contact us. We love helping local businesses improve their SEO!

 

 

 

Google Ad Grants- 5 Things Nonprofits Should know

Google Ad Grants- 5 Things Nonprofits Should know

If you have or run a nonprofit and aren’t aware of Google’s Great Ad Grant program for nonprofits. you are missing out. Google Ad Grants has been helping nonprofits increase their exposure online for years and while it seems a bit daunting at first, 3Circle is here to help you understand and navigate the system.

 

1.What are Google Ad Grants:

Google has created a program specifically for nonprofit organizations that gives them up to $10,000 in free advertising each month. When you pull up a Google page with search results, the top entries that you see on a search page are ads for specific products. These ads usually cost businesses quite a bit of money to run (referred to as Pay Per Click or PPC ads) because they have to spend money to run these ads.

For nonprofit organizations, however, who meet certain criteria (which we will address later), Google pays for your ads- up to $10,000 per month so your organization gets exposure and premium ad space without spending a cent of your own money. How great is that?

 

2. Google Ad Grant Benefits

Imagine the ability to reach your target audience, both those you serve and donors without spending a dime of your own money. With Google Ad Grants, you reach those who matter most. Most nonprofits have very little marketing money to spend on advertising. You’re usually running on a shoestring budget as it is so Google helps nonprofits reach people with free ads. Want more donations? Want to help more people that will benefit from your cause? Google Ad Grants should be a primary part of your marketing plan

 

3. Sounds great – what’s the catch?

While the Ad Grants program is really great, it’s can be daunting to sign up for and manage each month. Google has some very strict requirements on how their money can be used that are much more strict that those companies who are buying the ad space. For example, the ads must be highly targeted to your market, your keywords (words that describe your mission) need to be highly relevant and your landing pages (where your customers go after they click on the ad) must be full of pertinent, important information that your customers need. It really isn’t as difficult as it seems and at 3Circle, we are Ad Grants experts and have tons of experience in this area.

 

4. Ok, this sounds amazing – how do I get started?

You’ve already made the first step by reading this blog post. 3Circle Media works with nonprofits of all sizes to set up your account with Google, work with you in creating landing pages and coming up with relevant keywords that reflect the mission of your organization. Once we have been accepted into the program, we work with you to create highly targeted ads to drive more traffic to your website, get people to call for more information about your organization or find out how they can donate to your cause.

Our goal is to make it easy for you to receive the free ad money without really lifting a finger. You are the expert in your nonprofit and we are Ad Grants experts. Together we make a great team

 

5. I’m ready – let’s get started!

Great! We are ready to jump in and help! The first step is making sure that your nonprofit is eligible for the program and then we take over. We set up the initial program and run your ads each month. We provide you with monthly reporting on how your ads are doing and also create specific landing pages on your website for each type of ad. We offer many different types of Ad Grant packages depending on your budget so contacting us is the first step. You can also read about our work with nonprofits and website design if you are  starting a new nonprofit.

10 Easy SEO Tips For Small Businesses

10 Easy SEO Tips For Small Businesses

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a daunting task for many small business owners. Fortunately, there are some SEO tricks that you can do today to help get your business found online. Here are 10 easy SEO Tips for small businesses that are easy to accomplish in just a few hours.

1. Create a Google My Business account

Google has made it very easy for your business to be found online. One of the ways that they have done this is with their My Business account. Simply login to your businesses’ Google account, go to “google.com/business” and click on the Start button. The process is easy and quick and will allow your business to show in local search results.

2. Blog and then blog some more

Content creation is one of the number one ways to push your website higher in search rankings. A good rule of thumb for blogging is to keep your posts between 300-500 words, make sure that the content is relevant to your business and then share your posts on all of your social media channels.

3. Use friendly URLs

Make sure that your URL path is “friendly,” meaning that it tells search engines and customers what your page is about. For example, if you have a dog grooming business, your URL for services should look like “www.doggrooming.com/services” and not “www.doggrooming.com/?page_id=59”.

4. Use a local SEO plugin

One of our favorite SEO plugins is Local SEO by Yoast. This plugin help you embed a Google Map on your page and improves the usability of your contact page. A one year license is only $69 for a single site and well worth the price.

5. Add your target location area to your website title

This is another trick that makes it easy for customers and search engines to see where your business is located and also location served. To change your site title (on WordPress), click on Settings -> General and fill in the Site Title and Tagline for your site. See the example below from the 3Circle Website.

easy seo small businesses

6. Complete a Meta Description for each page

Your meta description is the content under your business name in a Google search. If you don’t fill this in yourself, Google will do it for you from your page content. The problem with that is you have no control over what Google picks so it may be selections from your menu and not at all what your page is about. We recommend a plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress for meta description and keywords.

7. Encourage reviews of your business

Links from quality websites is one of the top ways to bump your search result listing. Review websites like Yelp can really help with this. Encourage your customers to submit a review of your business regularly.

8. Create content for other websites

Ask if you can write a guest blog post for a business or organization in your field or location. This will create a backlink to your website that can help boost your search presence. It also helps create relationships with other businesses that can be beneficial for you both.

9. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

Google places a high value on mobile-friendly websites. In fact, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can be penalized in search results. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it might be time to consider a website refresh

10. Check your Google Analytics account regularly

Google Analytics can provide a wealth of information such as where your website visitors are accessing your site from, search queries and more. Understanding this information can help you target locations and keywords that you might not be using to your advantage.

One caveat: SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t expect to see results overnight. A good SEO strategy can take time to implement and tweak. If you need help with your website SEO, please give us a shout!

 

 

Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

Contact Us Today For A Free Quote

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Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media Website Design
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

Your Top SEO Questions Answered

Your Top SEO Questions Answered

You’ve asked and we’ve listened! In today’s Q & A session, we have compiled our top SEO questions in a easy to use list. We tend to write a lot about search engine optimization aka SEO because it is one of the most frequent website subjects that we get asked about. A lot of clients come to us asking to get “on the first page of Google; however, there is no magic bullet or formula to have your website pages rank on the first page no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary. Through our diligent research and numerous client case-studies, we can tell you the answers to the top SEO questions we receive. Hopefully, this information will get you started on the road to higher visibility for your website.

Q. How do I get on the first page of Google

A. I’ll tell you but it will cost you a million bucks. No, not really, but anyone who tells you that they can get your page to the top of Google should be avoided at all costs. The only answer to this question that we will give is “lots of hard work, strategy and study.” Google changes it’s ranking algorithms constantly and if that wasn’t bad enough, you have no control over the numerous other sites that are also trying to rank highly in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). We do have some tried and true strategies that work across numerous websites but there is no golden ticket when it comes to SEO.

Q. Can we buy a lot of links to help our SEO?

A. While link-building is one of the top ways to improve your SEO, Google and other search engines place the highest value on authority. For example, if you have a dog training business and have a link or article from Cesar Millan, this would hold more authority than a link from your local coffee shop. Backlinks are great and you should try to get as many as you can to help your SEO; but get them from relevant, authoritative sources in order to receive the most SEO bang for your buck.

Q. How long does it take to see improvements in SEO?

A. We like to say that SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. It generally takes 3-4 months to see any sort of a boost from SEO efforts. This isn’t including any prep work like researching keywords or competitor analysis. The reason it takes a few months to see SEO results is that search engines first have to “crawl” the pages on your website, index them and then rank them according to a number of factors. While this process is happening, we like to install Rankie on our SEO client’s websites to start tracking keywords. We have found this to be a great plugin that can keep detailed records on a large number of search terms.

Q. I’ve gotten good rankings, that’s it right?

A. Nope. While it’s great that you are ranking highly for your keywords and content, SEO is not a one-time thing. Chances are that your competitors are also doing some of the same SEO tasks that you are and are trying to rank for the same keywords. We suggest that you spend 15-20 minutes every day looking at your Google Analytics account to see how your keywords are performing. You can also use tools such as Moz to key track of your competitors ranking as well.

Q. We’d like to rank for the term “coffee.” How do we do that?

A. Keyword ranking for very general terms is an exercise in futility. Why? Well, because it’s hard and very expensive. 3Circle Media recommends ranking for longer-tail keywords in your given market over trying to rank for a general, broad term. Local SEO is quite achievable if you follow some basic steps. We’ve outlined a few of those steps in our blog post, 5 Ways to Crush it in Local Search. We are also #1 in the Google Local 3 Pack for the term “Washington DC website design” so we know a bit about Local SEO 🙂

Top SEO Questions

Q. I thought all of this SEO stuff would be handled with my new website?

A. 3Circle Media builds search engine friendly websites. What that means is that we “bake in” quite a few SEO features into our websites. For example, we only build WordPress sites because they are extremely SEO friendly. We also take URL, title tags and meta descriptions into consideration when creating a website. Finally, Google Analytics and Search Console setup are included with every 3Circle Media website.

That’s it for today’s Q&A session. Next week, we’ll talk with 3Circle Media founder, Bev Lynch,  about how she got started in the web design business.

Happy Wednesday!

Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

Contact Us Today For A Free Quote

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Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media Website Design
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

Local SEO: 5 Ways to Crush It in Local Search

Local SEO: 5 Ways to Crush It in Local Search

You’ve probably heard that SEO is important (and it is), but how much do you know about local SEO? Local SEO is the way that your business is found in your local market. For example, if you are a web design company in Washington, DC (and we are), our goal is to rank highly in the search engine results for our local market. So what does a company need to do to get some local SEO love? Here are 5 ways your business can crush it in local search.

Claim your Google Business Listing

This is the most important step you can take toward improving SEO in your local market. Obtaining a Google Business Listing is free and easy to do. Simply go to the Google My Business page, sign up and fill in your local business information. You’ll receive a physical postcard in the mail 1-2 weeks later with steps to finalize your listing process. If you can optimize enough to show up in the “Golden Three” on Google Maps.. you’re golden!

3Circle Media is in the coveted #1 spot for the term “DC website design.”

Reviews matter – a LOT

Does your business have a Yelp page or another online review site? If not, you need to set these up today. Online reviews are crucial to local SEO and positive reviews also help with customer click-through rate. One caveat though, make sure that your reviews are staggered and don’t show up all at once. Google is onto this game and lumping reviews together at once can actually hurt your search results.

Make sure your Name, Address and Phone (NAP) are consistent in citations

This seems like a nit-picky detail but it really does have an impact on local search results. According to Moz, “citation consistency… is one of the most important local search ranking factors.” What does this mean? Your business name, address and phone number should be consistent across all of the directories you are listed in and also on your website. For example, if any of your business information has changed over the years, you need to make sure and update the information on local directories and on your site.

Buddy up with other local businesses

Backlinks are another key factor when it comes to local search. A backlink is simply a link from another website to your website. Do you have good relationships with other businesses in your space? If so, then it’s great to list them on your website and ask them to reciprocate the link love. A little back linking between business friends can go a long way to helping you both in local search results.

Content, content and more content

As with global SEO, content is a big local SEO ranking factor. As we’ve said numerous time, Google loves fresh content, and content written for your local market to your target customer can give your SEO a huge boost.

3Circle Media offers several local SEO packages to help your business crush it in local search. Contact us for a free quote

 

 

 

 

 

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Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

Contact Us Today For A Free Quote

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Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media Website Design
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

5 Reasons Why You Need A Mobile Friendly Website

5 Reasons Why You Need A Mobile Friendly Website

A mobile friendly website isn’t just an option in 2016, it really is a requirement for many reasons. Here are just 5 reasons why you need a mobile friendly website.

1. Google search will be prioritizing mobile over desktop

Every year, mobile website viewing is becoming more and more the norm rather than the exception. In fact, mobile website usage has recently surpassed desktop for the first time ever. In order to keep up with this trend, Google just announced that mobile searches will be prioritized.  If your website isn’t mobile friendly and responsive, you will likely be missing out on business.

2. Google currently shows mobile-friendly results higher in search

Up until the beginning of September 2016, Google used to tag sites with “mobile friendly” if they were easily accessible for users on mobile devices. Recently, however, Google has removed that tag with the assumption that sites that are mobile friendly will automatically rank higher in results.

3. Mobile friendly websites add credibility to your business

First impressions are everything, even in web design. If your website doesn’t render well on mobile devices, potential customers see this as outdated and not modern. We live in a mobile first world and your business reputation could suffer with an outdated non-mobile friendly site.

4. Your customer reach improves

Every visitor that comes to your website and can’t access what they need is a customer lost. Many business large and small spend tons of money on marketing and customer acquisition but ignore their users’ website experience.

5. Customers can take action on your website any time, any where

We live in a time of instant gratification and instant actions, therefore it is of the utmost importance for your customers and potential customers to be able to interact with your website when the impulse strikes. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, there is a very good chance that customers will take their business to a competitor with a mobile friendly website.

If you are in need of a website refresh to make your website mobile-friendly, give us a shout. 3Circle Media specializes in mobile-first website development in the greater Washington, DC area.

 

 

 

 

Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065

Contact Us Today For A Free Quote

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Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to chat with you about your website needs. Please either fill in the contact form, drop us an email or give us a call. We can turn your website dreams into reality.

3Circle Media Website Design
539 W. Commerce #242
Dallas, TX 75208

Email: info@3CircleMedia.com

Phone: (972) 503-6065