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How To Get Your Google My Business Profile To Rank Better

We won’t recreate the wheel by explaining why your organization will want and need its Google My Business Profile(s) to rank as well as it’s website, particularly if you’re a local business with a limited geography. You can learn more about the importance of your Google My Business being found locally in our blog post about why you want your Google My Business Profile to appear in what’s known as the “Local Pack.

We recently did an audit for one of our SEO (search engine optimization) clients because we were surprised to see that the organization’s Google My Business Profile was no longer being served up as high in Google search results for relevant “near me” searches, as it had been. We took a close look at the organization’s competition (firms whom our SEO rankings audit tool showed were ranking far better for desirable search terms than our client). Since the client and our firm make sure their Google My Business Profile is very comprehensive, the only key differentiator we could determine between the client’s profile and competitor profiles that were ranking better was that the competitor profiles had far more Google reviews since all of our client’s’ Google reviews were positive.

Of course, we are making some assumptions that the above is the key reason why our client’s Profile isn’t ranking as well as competitors. But, given that service areas and business categories are accurate and complete, we’re posting to the Profile regularly and employing other Google My Business Profile best practices, it’s worth a shot to try to obtain more Google reviews from satisfied customers to see if it moves the SEO needle right?

How To Get More Positive Google Reviews

Google makes it so easy to ask satisfied customers to write a Google review on your organization’s behalf. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Log into your Google My Business Profile by having the e-mail address you created the account with open, and either typing the name of your organization into Google or your browser, or going to https://business.google.com.
  • You should see your profile laid out in the fashion below with the following menu of activities you can complete.
  • Click on the icon shown in the print screen above for “Ask For Reviews.”
  • Google will provide you with the URL you can share on your website, in an e-mail or text, or on social media for individuals to provide you with a Google review, such as the following URL: https://g.page/r/CblxOCik2bHfEBM/review (and, yes, that’s for our organization and we always welcome positive reviews).
  • Share the link with internal team members/employees, particularly those who interact regularly with prospective or existing customers, such as account and customer service representatives. If a customer mentions how happy they were/are with your service when interacting with your employee, your team member should be proactive about sharing the link to the URL you obtained from Google (following the steps outlined above) for someone to write a review about your organization.

It’s all so easy-peasy. So why wait to start growing your number of positive Google reviews to support your Google My Business Profile ranking higher up in results for relevant local searches?

Need Help Ranking Better Locally?

Reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion with a local SEO/local search expert.

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Google Search Ads Not Converting? It May Not Be Your Ads Nor Landing Page That’s The Problem

Note: Because executing, monitoring, tweaking, analyzing, and reporting on Google Ads campaigns is one of our SEO company’s specialties, we decided to write a number of blog posts on the topic this spring that are more granular, and therefore, provide more detail and really get into the Google Ads weeds! So, enjoy this second post in our Spring 2024 Google Ads series of posts!

Sometimes, it’s hard to hear or accept that there may be challenges with the features/characteristics of the products, services, and solutions you offer. But, if you’ve been checking the “Search Terms” report under Auction Insights in your Google Ads account (and made sure your Google Search ads are being served up to the right “searchers”), your ads are achieving a decent click-thru rate (2.5% or higher), and you’ve followed landing page best practices (outlined in our blog posts about ensuring ad clickers have a smooth landing and about making sure your landing page isn’t too-self serving), then there’s a high probability that website visitors who arrived on your website from online advertising ad clicks just aren’t that interested in your products, services, and solutions.

Obviously, before you reach the above conclusion — that there’s something about your products, services, and solutions that may be turning website visitors off — you need to give your ads appropriate time to “convert.” If there’s a high cost associated with your product, service, or solution, and/or it tends to be a purchase or engagement decision that’s not made lightly/overnight, then you need to wait one or several months to determine whether or not your ads eventually “convert,” and therefore, cause ad clickers to take desirable actions on your website like completing an inquiry form, or reaching out to you by clicking on a hyperlinked e-mail address or phone number.

This is an image of handsome black man in a suit meeting with a pretty white woman. The image is shown to depict a business owner or representative meeting with a client. It is shown in conjunction with our Google Ads experts team explaining how you need to make serve your product features and characteristics appeal to your customers.

Revisiting Product & Service Features and Characteristics

The below list is not meant to be all-inclusive since the number of different products, services, and solutions available to businesses and consumers throughout the world is immeasurable, and there are countless different industries offering products, services, and solutions — each requiring very different product and service specifications, having different features, and meeting very different needs.

Some common product and service features and characteristics that should be considered and revisited to determine if they may be the reason behind website visitors NOT purchasing a product or engaging you for your service — or at least reaching out to your organization to learn more include:

  • Ease of use – how difficult is to use or learn to use product or service?
  • Convenience – how convenient is it to use product or service? Can it only be used in certain places at certain times?
  • Appearance/Look/Feel – of course, opinions about whether or not something is attractive can vary, but, overall, is the product or service something appealing/attractive?
  • Price – does the value or benefit of the product or service warrant what is being charged for it? What are competitors charging for similar products and what makes yours stand out if you’re charging far more? Will prospective clients recognize the “value-add” and be willing to pay for it?
  • Ability to solve target audiences’ problem(s) – does the product or service solve a common problem, or among everyone whose problem it solves, will it accomplish what it needs to accomplish in all/most cases?
  • Portability – can the product or service be used outside your home, town, or state, etc.? Therefore, is it “portable?”
  • Uniqueness – is your product or service different enough from other similar products or services, and unique enough to make the purchaser feel “special?”
  • Durability/Lifespan – how long will the product or service or the effects of it last? Is current pricing warranted given the product or service lifespan?
  • Relevancy – is your product or service in step with current times and your current marketplace, or is it dated or out-of-touch? Have competitors entered your marketplace to offer a more modern or relevant product/service?

Get a refresher on why both “product” and “pricing” are one of the 6P’s of marketing and questions you should be asking yourself about your product or service and associated pricing!

Need A Google Ads Expert To Analyze Why Current Or Past Google Search Campaigns Didn’t Work Or Aren’t Working?

Schedule a complimentary brainstorm with our Search Engine Marketing (SEM) team today using our calendar app or contact us!

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Is Your Advertising Landing Page Too Self-Serving, And Ultimately, Hurting Your Organization?

As a Greater Boston digital marketing agency and SEO company, we’ve implemented and executed countless online and traditional marketing activities to drive traffic to our clients’ websites, particularly online advertising campaigns that include Google Ads search advertising. Since we’ve already outlined in a former blog post what makes for an effective landing page (and what a landing page is to begin with), we won’t repeat that information here. Instead, we want to focus on why what we consider to be a “self-serving” landing page can hurt your organization.

Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Website Landing Page All About You

As we’ve explained in a number of past blog posts, in the marketing and marketing-activity-results-tracking world, a “conversion,” is a desired/desirable action that a website visitor takes on your website. A website visitor conversion could be:

  • Signing up for your e-newsletter
  • Clicking on social media icons that link to your various social media profiles to visit them
  • Completing an inquiry or contact form
  • Clicking on a hyperlinked e-mail address to send you an e-mail
  • Clicking on a hyperlinked phone number to call you
  • Downloading a white paper or a pdf housed on your website
  • Purchasing a product, service, or solution, including tickets to an event
  • Providing an e-mail address, via a gatekeeper type system, in order to download a document housed on your site, or to complete some other activity

We think you get the picture!

A mistake we often see marketers/advertisers make, though, is focusing too hard/much on the actions that THEY want visitors to take on their website, i.e., the actions THEY consider desirable vs. focusing on the actions that visitors may want to take and the tasks they hope and want to complete when they visit a website that offers the products, services, and solutions you do.

What The “Bounce Rate” Can Tell You About Your Landing Page

GA4 Google Analytics allows organizations to view the “engagement rate” for all your website pages and posts, including your landing pages (even if those are hidden from the navigation that the general public sees, and are only used in conjunction with specific marketing activities/campaigns). The inverse of a website page’s engagement rate is known as the “bounce rate,” and that can be calculated by subtracting the engagement rate from 100% (if a page’s engagement rate is 60%, then the bounce rate is 40%).

If a large percentage of visitors “bounce” from a website page or post, it means many prospective customers or customers left your website from that particular page or post without interacting in any way with the page or post (e.g., scrolling down on it, clicking on links/calls-to-actions/call-out buttons contained on it to visit other pages of the site, starting or completing a form contained on the page or post, etc.). The higher the bounce rate is, the less likely the page satisfies the needs of various visitors to complete desired tasks/take beneficial actions on your site — tasks and actions that are of importance to THEM vs. YOU.

How To Lower Your Landing Page Bounce Rate

Granted there will likely be some overlap between the actions A VISITOR might hope and want to take on your site and the ones YOU hope and want them to take on your site, but you and/or your team should go thru the following exercise to make sure your visitors’ needs are met more often than your own, and that they are a priority.

As SEO experts, we’ve shared quite often, including in this blog post about how helpful content impacts SEO/ranking on Google, that Google rewards websites that are helpful and are about what users want and need, not just what the website owner/advertisers want and need. To ensure your visitors have a positive experience and your website is “helpful,” we suggest you do the following:

  • Make a grid, such as the one shown below, that lists all the tasks that you want visitors to complete on your site, as well as the tasks you believe visitors want to complete on your site. Really think hard and try to walk in target audiences’ shoes! Keep in mind that many individuals already receive e-mails from countless organizations on a daily basis, and many are reluctant to have their name added to another e-mail list. They know what will likely follow is a stream of e-mails to sell them the product, service, or solution they were investigating on your website, or ones asking for a donation, etc. Will you cause them to “bounce,” and lose them altogether as a potential customer because you kept certain content “gated,” or your marketing activity took them to a landing page that only allowed them to visit that particular page of your website vs. quickly/easily visit other pages of your site?
  • Review the grid you created and highlight those activities that you believe would be considered desirable/beneficial to both parties, i.e., your organization AND website visitors. Functionality should then be created/installed and included on your landing page to allow for completion of those tasks.
  • Then, review the activities which you believe are more valued by visitors (less preferable to your organization), and consider for which of those actions you’d be willing to provide functionality on your site for visitors to complete them. A great example, is requiring individuals to reach out to schedule an appointment to get pricing information. Even if your pricing is customer-specific/customized, many prospective clients may be reluctant to reach out, particularly if they aren’t in a financial position to invest in your product or service immediately. Think about what/how much downfall there would be to providing visitor functionality to get an estimate/access pricing information, and whether you’d be better off keeping visitors happy and on your website longer, or better off letting them bounce. Only you will know the answer to the aforementioned and the implications of trade-offs.

Ultimately, the more the scale swings in the favor of your website visitor vs. your organization when it comes to desirable action-taking, the more your organization will likely be to succeed at providing a great user experience, ranking better in search engines, and ultimately driving sales from satisfied visitors who were able to obtain the information, and complete the tasks they wanted, without being on the receiving end of what might be perceived as too “hard of a sell” by your organization or a too “self-serving” website.

Get Complimentary Advice On Landing Pages From Online Advertising Experts

Want objective advice on how to set your landing page up so that both your organization and visitors achieve their objectives? Schedule a complimentary online advertising brainstorm with us!

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4 Free Google Accounts Each & Every For-Profit and Non-Profit Organization Needs

Regardless of whether your organization is for-profit or non-profit, because it’s highly likely you want target audiences to learn about your mission, products, services, and solutions, and you want to be able track which marketing and communications activities are creating awareness and sales/engagement, you’ll stand to benefit greatly from setting up and using the following four types of free Google accounts:

  1. A Google My Business Profile – this supports your organization being found locally by relevant searchers, since often Google will serve up a Google My Business Profile in lieu of a website for searches that include “near me” or the name of a city or town. You don’t want to miss on out on the opportunity to make target audiences aware of your organization!
  2. Google Analyticsa GA4 Google Analytics account will allow you to analyze which of your marketing activities are driving the most traffic to your website, e.g., Google Ads, social media advertising, organic social media posts, search-engine optimization tactics, or e-mail/e-newsletters.
  3. Google Search Console – this tool serves a couple of purposes. It allows you to see for which search terms Google is most frequently serving up your website. And, then, for which search terms for which Google serves up a listing (which includes a link to your website) are searchers then clicking on the link to visit your site. This free Google tool also lets you see, on average, where in Google Search results listings, a listing with a link to your site appears, and the % of people who click on a listing link when it is served up to them. You can also use your Google Search Console account to submit revised or new blog posts or website pages for indexing/crawling, so that you don’t have to wait for Google to find this new and revised content, and therefore, wait for Google to start serving it up in search results for relevant searches.
  4. Google Tag Manager – this tool allows you to set up tags that track various actions that a website visitor can take on your website. These tags basically “fire” and provide data to and in Google Analytics when visitors take actions like completing and submitting an inquiry form on your website, clicking on a hyperlinked e-mail address or phone number, scheduling an appointment, or purchasing something. Such desired actions by visitors are known as “conversions.” Without the use of a conversion-tracking tool like Google Tag Manager, you’re never going to know what marketing activities are causing website visitors to “convert,” and as a recent article about analyzing digital advertising results from Search Engine Land explains, that’s so important to understanding the effectiveness of various marketing activities and where to spend your marketing time and dollars.
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Need Help Setting Up Google Accounts?

Our team is always here to help. Contact our Boston digital marketing agency today for assistance or learn more about such services on our Google Analytics Set-up and Reporting and SEO services pages.

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Is Social Media Worth It?

On average, 110 individuals a month enter the question posed in our blog post title into Google. That’s over 1,300 individuals a year wondering whether they should be investing their time, energy, and money in social media.

Obviously, our Boston digital marketing agency and SEO company doesn’t know the intent behind the posing of this question. Are the searchers posing this question related to their personal use of social media or use of social media for their business? We’re guessing it’s a combination of both. That said, the purpose of this blog post is not to answer the question of how much time you should spend on social media related to your personal life, but rather, with a new year about to get underway, whether you should continue to invest time, energy, and money related to posting on social media and how much.

How Much Time & Energy Should My Organization Spend On Social Media?

The answer to the above is it all depends on the nature of your organization and the products and services you offer, plus the social media results you’ve seen to-date. I remember when organizations first started using social media to promote their businesses — I recall that happening in the early 2010’s. Both for-profit and non-profit organizations felt that if they didn’t jump on the social media bandwagon, they’d be left behind, have a huge competitive disadvantage, and maybe suffer great financial consequences. At the time I was in a marketing role at a health care organization, and quite honestly, I did champion the use of social media to create awareness of my organization’s services, but I don’t think I ever believed that social media was going to have an immediate, large impact on sales results. In many cases, as discussed below, social media has a less immediate impact and is more about creating awareness.

As a marketer, while I’ve often felt hesitant to voice the above and related thoughts about social media to other marketers, I’ve always been nervous and apprehensive about organizations moving too much of their marketing team’s or agency’s time and/or budget away from other traditional and digital marketing activities, and into organic social media activities vs. paid social media ones and/or investing too heavily in organic social media. Why? Because I just wasn’t seeing organic social media vs. social media ads moving the “conversion” needle, i.e., causing desired actions by target audiences, particularly when they visited an organization’s website.

Website Data Doesn’t Lie

For years now, I’ve been able to use various forms of Google Analytics to track either my employer’s or my clients’ website visitors — how they arrived on the site and what actions they took there. In many cases, very regular social media posting was driving very little traffic to their websites, and the traffic that was visiting their sites (due to clicking on a link to their website shared via a social media post or profile) wasn’t taking a desired action like completing a lead or inquiry form, or buying a product or service.

2024 Recommended Social Media Use By Businesses

So, what does that mean for organizations and their use of social media in the new year?

  • Consider how much time and money you have to spend on all forms of marketing, not just organic social media posting. Whether it be internal staff or an outside marketing consultant or agency that does the work, how many hours and what marketing $ budget will you have to spend in the new year for all forms of marketing?
  • Based on 2023’s time and $$ spend on social media (fees to agencies and/or consultants for their organic social media post work vs. social media advertising work and/or advertising buy), how much of your 2024 marketing budget and time would be spent on organic social media posting vs. social media advertising, and does it warrant that percentage of your overall marketing budget and time being spent on it? So, how will you know if it’s warranted? Ask yourself the following:
    • Do any sales or leads tracking systems, including Google Analytics (GA4) indicate that you are getting a sufficient number of inquiries or sales to justify the time and $$ associated with organic social media posting?
    • Do you often learn anecdotally from new and prospective clients that they learned about you on social media due to your posts or profile?
    • Does the product or service that you offer have a long lead time, i.e., do target audiences often take a long time and do a lot of research about your products and services before they make a decision, and therefore, is awareness creation among target audiences an important first step in the sales process?
    • Is your product or service one that target audiences tend to investigate on social media such as a consumer goods or consumer service one, like jewelry, clothing, a hairdresser, or a restaurant?

If you can answer “yes” to any of the questions above, then it’s likely you still want to have a fairly robust presence on social media in 2024 and, therefore, do want to continue to put out a steady stream of social media posts on the various platforms in which you participate. Keep in mind that daily posting is likely unnecessary and may actually be considered by target audiences as annoying. 3-5 posts a week is likely the ideal cadence for most organizations posting on social media.

Do I Need To Have A Social Media Profile On All Social Media Platforms?

The answer to the above is “no,” and if you do, it’s likely because you haven’t taken the time to really understand your particular target audiences and their social media preferences. Which profiles are they most likely to hang out on based on their age and interests — and are they personal platforms vs. professional ones like LinkedIn? Are there particular platforms like “X,” (formerly Twitter) or TikTok that your target audiences won’t/don’t visit and on which your organization wouldn’t want to have a profile simply because of all the negative press and sentiment associated with those platforms?

Add “first user source/medium” as a second dimension to your Google Analytics traffic acquisition report to determine which forms of social media are driving the most traffic to your website and/or your Google Analytics conversions/events reports (and add same “first user source/medium” dimension) to see which site visitors coming from social media are taking desired actions on your site. That will help you determine which platforms you should continue to post to most regularly, if at all (although don’t completely vacate a platform without encouraging visitors to follow you on another social media platform).

The Social Media Platform You Should Always Be Posting To

Being the SEO geeks and SEO experts that we are, we always say to our existing and prospective clients, “always think of your Google My Business Profile as another form of social media.” As we explain in our blog post about ranking locally, when Google decides to serve up your website in search engine results for relevant terms, depending on whether or not a geographic (city, town) or “near me” term was included in the search phrase, Google might serve up your website or it might serve up your Google My Business Profile.

To keep your Google My Business Profile ranking as well as possible in search results, be sure to keep it fresh/current, as Google rewards such profiles the way it does websites.

Need Help Related to 2024 Strategic Marketing Planning?

Need help figuring out where and how to spend your 2024 marketing $$ and time? Reach out for a complimentary discussion of your marketing challenges and opportunities.

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Blogging Is Still A Very Effective SEO Tactic

I recently watched a video from an SEO expert who stated that, for certain organizations, regular blogging may no longer be an effective SEO strategy.

The above is not what I’ve seen in the past and what I continue to see. My clients who make and take the time to write and post new blog posts on topics that their particular target audiences are interested in and need to better understand, continue to drive traffic to their website from audiences who have great potential to buy their products or use their services. And, they are driving those relevant audiences because they are ranking well on Google for desirable search terms (known as keywords) because Google is indexing their blog content and serving it up in search results in relevant geographies.

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How To Blog Effectively

Anyone can “blog,” but how do you blog effectively to support SEO and actual sales?

  • Employ a keyword planner tool, like Google Ads’, to determine on which high-volume keywords your target audiences are searching
  • Use tools like Ubersuggest, Google Trends, and Answer The Public to see what questions your audiences has or what they are searching most about, and create blog posts that speak to those searches and questions
  • Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to determine what new, or long-time, blog posts on your site individuals are visiting most and make sure that you:

Need Ideas About What To Blog About?

Our team can help you develop a blogging strategy that would include research to determine what you should be blogging about. Depending on the complexity of the products and services you offer, we can even write and post your blog posts for you and make sure they get crawled/indexed by Google.

Reach Out To Our Boston SEO Company Today!

We love a good complimentary discussion about any organization’s marketing challenges or opportunities — whether the organization be a nonprofit or for-profit. To-date, we’ve supported approximately 125 different brands, so there’s very few industries, products, or services for which we don’t have at least some relevant marketing experience; plus, we’re quick to learn new industries, products, and services. So, schedule your free call with our team of SEO experts today!

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How Nonprofit Arts Organizations Can Benefit From A Google Nonprofit Ad Grant

In our most recent blog post about how to market your organization’s opportunities for someone to enjoy an experience, we talked about how organizations offering classes, performance events, or other experiences can rank better/be found on Google. Nonprofit arts organizations can supplement ranking well “organically” by employing very generous paid search/Google Ads $$ available from a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant.

We’ve already written a number of blog posts about Google Nonprofit Ad Grants, and we invite you to check out this most recent Google Nonprofit Ad Grant post, which contains links to all of them, to learn why your organization might benefit for such a Grant and how they work.

This shows just the middle portion of two people's bodies. One is dark-skinned, the other fair-skinned. Based on colored short-sleeved shirts they are wearing, it appears to be two men who are strumming guitars and standing at one or several mikes.  This image of a live music performance is shown in keeping with our Boston SEO services company's blog post about using a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant to support your nonprofit arts organization.

How We Help Arts Nonprofits Optimize Their Google Nonprofit AD Grant

Our Boston SEO Company is currently working with a number of non-profit arts organizations to help them optimize their Google Ad Grant. So, just what does that mean?

  • We make recommendations on how to structure their account, i.e., how many distinct ad campaigns within an account are needed and how many sub-campaigns (known as Google Ads ad groups) are needed.
  • We write Google search ad content/copy for client’s review and approval.
  • We develop and implement search term/keywords lists which will prompt the Google search ads available thru a Grant to be shown to appropriate searchers.
    • We take a creative approach to this, including identifying and employing terms related to people looking for solutions to problems or ideas for local experiences or experiences at places they plan to visit for fun or for work, i.e., we walk in tourists’ and residents’ shoes.
  • We work with clients to put appropriate “conversion” tracking in place.
    • As part of the above, we talk about what activities non-profit organizations want site visitors/ad clickers to take on their site (known as conversions), such as signing up for an e-newsletter, buying tickets, calling, and filling out an inquiry form.
    • We work collaboratively with an organization’s internal webmaster or external web developer to put appropriate tracking in place.
      • The above will likely involve using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
  • We keep a really close eye on how an organization’s Google Ads are performing — are they generating impressions (being served up), are they generating clicks, what does the click-thru rate look like, are conversions being generated?
  • We independently make small tweaks to campaigns to improve performance; we reach out to clients for approval to make larger/sizable/significant revisions.
  • We provide informal (e-mail) updates on how campaigns are performing, more formal Excel, Powerpoint, and/or Google Sheet reports for sharing with nonprofit Board members, and will meet with clients monthly via video-chat services, like Zoom, to discuss Google search ads results and implications.
    • As part of the above, our two teams talk about upcoming events or new website pages to which we want to drive traffic (the aforementioned may require us to set up a new campaign or ad group.)

Learn More About Our Google Nonprofit Ad Grant Services

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You can learn more about our Boston digital marketing agency’s Google Nonprofit Ad Grant services, and client we’ve worked with, on our Google Nonprofit Ad Grant Services page. Our team of Boston SEO experts and Google Nonprofit Ad Grant experts is always here to help, so please don’t hesitate to reach out, or to set up a complimentary discussion about your particular nonprofit organization’s marketing challenges and opportunities.

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XYZ Things To Do In Anytown

We recently wrote a blog post about local SEO (local search engine optimization) entitled “XYZ Near Me” reminding our readers about the importance of ranking for relevant “near me” terms, and what it means to rank for them. We’re keeping the “XYZ” theme going, but this time we’re expanding the geography factor a bit.

As we’ve shared many times on the main pages of our website and in blog posts, our Boston SEO company and digital marketing agency works with a very diverse client base, including for-profit organizations and nonprofit organizations, and organizations that offer tangible, consumer goods, as well as ones that offer services. Included in the aforementioned client mix, are organizations that offer “experiences.” To us, experiences, such as events, shows, and classes are sort of a hybrid between a service and a tangible good. You certainly take something home with you — lots of great priceless memories!

We currently are working with a number of clients offering such experiences. Several are nonprofit arts organizations offering one or several of the following: live music, theatrical performances or shows, classes, and art exhibits. One for-profit client providing a special experience is a perfume shop in New Orleans, offering both residents and tourists the opportunity to take a trip back in time to the Vieux Carre (Old Square) and to Paris via the experience of touring their historic French Quarter shop and choosing a fragrance for themselves, or as a gift or souvenir for someone else.

What do all of these organizations have in common beyond offering “experiences,” great memories, and valuable opportunities for bonding with friends and family? They all want and need to be found in search engines by searchers searching on “xyz things to do in their particular town/city/state region.” Why? Because both residents of, or individuals planning a business trip or vacation to, their area, often don’t know they and their fabulous experiences exist. Appropriate audiences for their particular experiences may not be searching on their name or even the particular experience they offer such as “live music,” but they definitely will be searching on “things list” terms such as the following:

  • fun things to do in Boston MA
  • unique things to do in Harvard Square
  • best things to do on Cape Cod
  • romantic things to do in New Orleans
  • special things to do in Boston Metrowest area

We think you get the picture!

This is a powder blue square image that reads at the top "what "things lists" should your website be found for?" Underneath that heading is a picture of a diverse group of 20- or 30-something men and women of differing ethnicities. They are holding out a map in front of them and pointing to something. They are supposed to represent tourists in keeping with our Boston 
SEO company's blog post about experience-organization websites wanting to be found for "things lists," therefore things to do lists.

Highlighting The “Things List” You Want To Be Found For On Google

There are two ways you can call out to Google, and other search engines, the “things list” terms you want your website to be found and rank well for:

  • Be creative about including in your public-facing website content those things lists you think your website/organization deserves to be found for. Let’s say you offer dinner and live music in an intimate, cozy atmosphere, why not include a sentence like the following in your website content? “We’re often told by visitors (or customers) that attending one of our dinner shows should be at the top of the list of romantic things to do in Boston.”
  • Include the things list term you want to be found for in your behind-the-scenes SEO/meta page or SEO/post title tag along with a geographic trigger like “MA” or “Copley Place” or “Braintree.”

If you don’t know what things lists your particular target audiences are searching on most frequently and/or how to compose a post or page title tag (or where to enter them on your website), reach out to our SEO services company for help.

Highlighting Solutions To Problems To Support SEO

Being found for right things list terms, is just one of many examples of how your organization needs to think beyond the exact names of your particular products and services, and about the solutions to problems you offer. As we always call out in any informal or more-formal SEO training class we facilitate, many people who conduct a search engine search, are looking to identify an organization or individual who can solve their problem. So, as we recommended above related to appearing for the right things lists, you need to incorporate these solutions to problems in your website content and page title tags. For example, nutritionists might include phrases in content and tags like “how to lose weight,” or “how to have more energy.”

Reach Out For Help With SEO

You can learn more about our various one-time/one-off and ongoing SEO services on our SEO services page, but you can also schedule a free SEO Zoom or phone discussion about your particular challenges and opportunities to be found and rank well on Google, including those related to appearing for the right “things list” terms!

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How Publicity Supports SEO (Being Found on Google)

Sure, after reading the above title, you probably immediately thought publicity activities support far more than SEO. Without a doubt that’s true. We’ve always been a huge fan of activities that create or cause publicity (public awareness), particularly ones that lead to online or print coverage like pitching a story to appropriate reporters/media, or sending them a press release. Publicity tends to be a fairly “free” means of creating awareness, or driving sales or engagement, although there’s the cost of time spent drafting a press release or a pitch, and then, time spent outreaching to various media. And, if you use a media service to distribute your press release or there’s an event associated with the publicity, there’s those additional costs. Still, publicity can be far less costly than buying advertising.

The SEO Pay-off of Pitches and Press Releases

But, the purpose of this blog post is not to discuss ALL the merits and benefits of implementing publicity tactics, but rather it’s specifically about why and how publicity activities can support your organization being found on Google, which is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about. When a news publication or some other organization either publishes information you shared with them in a press release or writes a story (based on a story you pitched them and their interviewing one or several individuals associated with your organization), and then shares it on their website or blog, they’ll almost always include what’s known as a backlink to your organization’s website.

As we discussed in our blog post about the benefits of backlinks, a link to your website or blog — placed on the website or blog of an external organization — increases the likelihood that Google will serve your website up in search results (and higher up in results) as long as the website/blog that is providing the backlink is considered reputable/creditable by Google. This is how publicity directly influences SEO.

But, even if individuals reading the online article/post about you don’t click on a backlink to visit your site, they may Google you later or type the URL they see in an article directly into their browser or search engine and visit your site via those means vs. the backlink. The aforementioned holds particularly true for printed articles, such as articles that appear in a newspaper or magazine. Regardless of how visitors get to/land on your online site or blog, increased traffic volume supports SEO. In general, Google views sites that have greater traffic volumes as ones that are more creditable/reputable, and Google prefers to serve up the aforementioned types of sites. This is how publicity may less directly influence SEO.

In sum, both print and online story and press release coverage can support SEO, even if the support is less direct!

This is an illustration of a newspaper. It shows the typical column set-up that you might see in both printed and online newspapers. It says "Breaking News" at the top and "what's next" in bright red font in the middle of the newspaper, above the fold of the newspaper, which represents the bottom of the image. It is shown in conjunction with our Boston digital marketing agency and SEO company's blog post about how publicity supports SEO/ranking well on Google.

Reach Out To Our Boston SEO Company To Talk About The Overlap Between SEO and Publicity

Our Boston digital marketing agency and SEO company would love to chat with you about how publicity can support SEO success and what type of publicity makes sense for you and your organization to consider and pursue. So, reach out today to schedule a call with our publicity and SEO experts.

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XYZ Near Me

Conversations I’ve had with clients and prospective clients recently about “local SEO” have prompted me to share the following reminder.

For “near me” terms, Google is going to focus on serving up “Google My Business Profiles/Google Search & Maps Listings” vs. an appropriate organization’s website. It makes great sense since “a near me” search is all about the searcher identifying an organization near them that offers the products, services, or solutions to problems they are seeking.

Ranking Organically (Without Paying For Advertising) For Relevant “Near Me” Terms

While some organization’s products and services lend themselves more to “near me” searching like “real estate agent near me,” “brunch restaurants new me,” “roofing companies near me,” “elder law attorney near me,” and “ice cream near me” — and those organizations definitely want and need to have a Google My Business Profile (GMB Profile) and ensure it ranks well — all organizations should have a regularly updated Profile in place to support overall, broader geographic ranking.

We won’t repeat everything we’ve shared in previous posts about keeping your GMB Profile current and comprehensive, but you can access such information at the bottom of this post.

What we do want to remind organizations about related to “Near Me” searches is to regularly revisit your GMB Profile business categories. When you set up your Profile, you can select a primary “business category” and several secondary “business categories.” Google regularly adds more specific product and service terms to this list. So, make sure your organization appears in local search results for as many of your products and services as you can, by indicating to Google, via your business category selection, what products and services you offer.

This is a powder blue image that says "2 Ways To Rank Locally/For "Near Me" Terms" In Black Letters At The Top. Underneath it says "1. Organically: Via Optimized Google My Business/Google Search & Maps Listing and 2. Paid Advertising: Via Google Search Ads And/Or Google Local Services Ads." At bottom, it has the logo for our Boston SEO services company, Results Communications & Research, and says "we can help with any and all of this!"

Ranking For Relevant “Near Me” Terms Via Paid Advertising

Two forms of Google paid advertising will help your organization appear high up in Google search results for relevant local searches:

  • Google Search Ads – while these primarily-text ads appear at the top of Google search results listing for relevant searches, they also can support your GMB Profile appearing at the top of the list of all Google My Business profiles that Google serves up in what’s known as the “Local Pack,” i.e., the first 3 or 4 listings that Google serves up (see first blog post at bottom of post.)
  • Google Local Services Ads – these ads focus on getting a searcher to call or message you; therefore, cause a pretty immediate conversion. While they don’t directly impact your Google My Business Profile or cause it be served up, they do pull information from your Google My Business profile, i.e., your “reviews.” Unlike Google Search Ads, the goal isn’t to drive traffic to your website or Google My Business profile, the goal is to make someone reach out to you immediately! You can learn more in this excellent article by WordStream.

Feeling Overwhelmed By All Things Local Search/Google My Business?

Reach out today to our Boston SEO services company. We offer both local search and domestic/global search SEO services, and can help you related to ranking better locally, for the whole U.S., and beyond!

Past Blog Posts About Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile