I hosted a live workshop with my partners at BoldSEO.com, Simon and Barret, as we talked about how to get your business found on Google. We cover backlink building, guest posts, structuring your website, Google My Business, and everything else you need to do to get your business showing up on Google. We’ll talk about what Google looks at to rank your business and what you can do to improve it.
The Google algorithm is a secret, but its ultimate goal is to give people a trustworthy response to what they’re looking for. The most important thing in Google’s view is domain authority and backlinks. Google bots scrape the internet to see what websites link to other sites and then consider site quality. If Google sees that a lot of reputable sites link to your website you’ll have a stronger reputation. The amount of websites that reference your site, and the overall reputation of those sites, contribute to your domain authority score.
AHRefs provides a great backlink checker and lets you see your own domain rating, backlink count, and linking websites along with that of your competitors. A domain rating of 20+ is going to be pretty good at a local level, 40+ can compete well regionally, and 50+ is in elite territory. Most local shops can do a ton to accelerate their business by getting a domain authority over 20.
Most webinars will tell you to become an authority, create viral content, and do other things that aren’t approachable for small business owners to get backlink traction. There are valuable ways to get links to your website smartly. You can have a local newspaper write an article about you or ask fellow local business owners to link to your business if they have blog posts. We found out a competitor sponsored a local basketball team and was able to get linked to a .gov website, which is huge in Google’s eyes. If you give money to a nonprofit you can ask for them to link to your website. When I go on podcasts I ask for links to my sites. You can even use Google search tools to find examples of your business being mentioned but not linked, and then contact the site owner to get your site linked.
Not all backlinks are created equal. Higher quality backlinks will be relevant to your niche, area, or industry. Sites that have organic traffic coming their way are more reputable than sites with no traffic. The domain authority of the referring site matters a lot, so you want a strong reputation among your referrers. It also helps to make sure sites are linking to the most relevant page on your site; when I speak at Cornell in Ithaca, I make sure the university site links to my Ithaca landing page for self-storage. You can also pay an SEO agency like BoldSEO to submit articles in your niche that link to your site.
You also want to set up your Google My Business profile and use it effectively. Too many entrepreneurs set up their business page and then ignore it afterward. Google will reward you for making posts, uploading photos, responding to reviews, and making sure your hours are accurate. They want business owners to be active. There are also review aggregator tools like NiceJob that can encourage customers to add reviews and increase your reputation on Google. My brother texts his customers asking for quality reviews and asking them to upload photos and it helps separate him from his competitors.
There are a ton of aggregators and directories you want to get your name in that will help your business ranking too. You can search for business citation services or do it yourself, but your number one takeaway is to get your name, address, and phone number on as many aggregators as possible. Yelp. FourSquare, YellowPages, and your local Chamber of Commerce are just a few examples of where you can get listed for free.
Focus on backlinks, get your Google My Business updated and optimized, and build out your web of citations. These are three things that every business owner can do to help with their rankings, but it’s all contingent on setting up your website the right way. If you don’t have the right keywords, header tags, location pages, or the right landing page, this work won’t pay off as it should. The first thing to do is to build your website correctly, and that’s not hard to get right. If you’re in the suburb of a metro, you can have multiple landing pages for all the towns in your surrounding area. Web developers can help you with this and with your overall structure.
To get the right keywords on your site you’ll want to do your research and find out how to rank for the right words or terms. An SEO team can use tools to find the most searched keywords for your service and area. I learned recently that “storage units” is a more commonly searched term than “self-storage”, which changed my thinking about building my own sites. These tools will show you keyword competitiveness, cost per click, the most searched keywords, and other helpful information for you to effectively build your strategy. Google keyword planner tool or AHRefs can help you with this research. The Google Search Console tool can also help you see what keywords you rank for, what impressions you’re getting, and how you’re ranking over time.
Track your domain authority on AHRefs for free, build backlinks, create and optimize your Google My Business listing, and sign up for directories and citations. If you can do all of this you’ll be better off than 95% of your local competition. Once you’ve done this effectively, you’ll find more traffic to your site and an overall lower CAC from cheaper leads.
This can all be done in a scrappy way or it can be done through an agency like BoldSEO. High-quality backlinks typically cost $400 to $600 for people to make a blog and link an informational post to you. Citation building costs $1-2K and can get you listed on hundreds of aggregators. Web developers like webrun.com can help you build your site correctly. Bold SEO won’t totally redesign your site but can overhaul it efficiently for $5-10K or do more technical work for closer to $2K. With this investment, you’ll see your clicks, impressions, and authority build up over time. My brother got to the top listing on Google after a few months of experimentation with 30 backlinks and now gets 12 calls a day and about 3 really good leads from the increased traffic.
SEO is different than ads in that the work will compound over time. When you turn off ad spend, you’ll stop seeing results. But SEO spend gets more valuable for you as time goes on. Don’t expect much in the first six months other than some basic low-hanging fruit, but long-term this can completely change your business.
If you are interested in SEO for your company, check us out at www.boldseo.com
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