We had a blast at the Connectivity/Volume Nine webinar yesterday. It seems like SEO is a topic that attracts everyone from beginners to more seasoned search engine pros. Luckily, there was a lot of good SEO best practices and tips anyone can use.
Allison Nuanes, Volume Nine’s Director of Off-Site Promotions, was our guest presenter. She’s been immersed in SEO for years, so it was great to hear her expertise, along with our own Josh Ades, who is Connectivity’s Content Marketing Manager.
Below are some key takeaways from our webinar conversation. We’ll post the webinar slides soon, so stay tuned!
Key Takeaway #1: Listings Are Really about People
First, Allison and Josh set the table by defining business listings. This is important information for people who are perhaps new to marketing or SEO in general.
Business listings are the instances all across the web in which your business name, address and phone number (and often website link) are found. This NAP data (name, address, phone number) and the listing itself are what you see on platforms such as Google My Business, Google Maps, Facebook, YP.com or Angie’s List.
Listings matter because they are often a potential customer’s first interaction. It seems obvious, but it can be easy to forget that there is a person behind every search. You want the customer to have a positive experience when they find your listing. It’s all about the people!
Allison told a funny story about one of her customers who was an orthodontist starting a new practice complete with a brand-new (to him) phone number. When Allison’s team dug into the orthodontist’s NAP data, they learned that his phone number used to be a frozen custard shop still in business! Needless to say, dental work and sweet treats weren’t a great combination.
Make a great impression with these details:
- Accurate name
- Correct address
- Correct phone number
- Correct website
- Review snippets
- Aggregate reviews
Takeaway #2: Cut in Line with Correct Listings
Allison and Josh showed us that Google assumes searchers are most likely looking for a local business. That’s why search terms such as “vegetarian” will return vegetarian restaurants before general information about vegetarianism.
Takeaways here include:
- Claim your business profiles on all of the major search engines and reviews sites
- Make sure your NAP information is accurate
- Use a local phone number for each listing
- Use authentic photos of your business (no stock!)
- Remove any duplicate listings
Takeaway #3: Service Area Businesses Need to Stay within the Lines
With Google My Business, you can claim your business as a “service area” right from the start. (Service area is defined as going out to other locations to perform your services.) Examples of this would be plumbers, tree trimmers and closet organizers.
Allison shared that when you are setting up business information and claiming listings, you’ll want to define your service area (how far will you travel), but don’t call yourself “Joe Locksmith – Downtown Raleigh.”
The webinar wrapped up with a discussion about getting that special star rating on Google. Allison told us you can obtain the star rating after getting 7-10 reviews. Also, claiming listings will allow your business to respond to online reviews. (You can read more about how to respond to online reviews in our Connectivity 5-Star Guide.)
Did you attend the webinar? What was your most helpful takeaway?
Olga is a Senior Manager in Marketing and Sales Operations at Connectivity.