1. THE SMALL BUSINESS
SEO & PPC
6 Quick & Effective Ways For Small Businesses
To Improve Search Rankings & Drive Leads
2. #WinLocal 2
It Begins With SEO
...And Then Maximize PPC, or Lose Business
About G/O Digital
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3. #WinLocal 3
Did you know consumers use, on average, 7.9 different media
sources when shopping for products or services? Gone are the
days when the path to a sale was singular and dominated by TV
commercials. It just isn’t that easy or fast anymore. The path to the all-
elusive sale takes longer, is more complicated and typically involves
multiple devices, platforms and channels. And the more complicated
and lengthy that path becomes, the more challenging it is for small/
local businesses to convert casual browsers – wherever they may be
searching – into loyal, repeat customers.
But where does that path first begin? For most, it starts with typing in
keywords and phrases into search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing.
That first search can mean the difference between customers walking
into your store and consumers buying goods from your competitor if
your business doesn’t show up on the first page of their search results.
It’s not good enough to simply have your business appear anywhere
in search rankings. To count – and sustain your business in the form
of foot traffic and sales – your business must appear high enough in
search rankings to be seen by your potential consumers.
4. #WinLocal 4
IT BEGINS WITH SEO
There’s a joke in the digital marketing world that says the best place to hide a
body would be on page two of Google’s search results. That’s because page
one receives 91.5 percent of all traffic that clicks through to a website.
Clearly, it’s not an easy feat – but if you tackle it with the steps we’re outlining,
you’ll have a better chance of making it onto the first page of search results.
Making it onto the first page of search results is just the first step. It’s equally
important to ensure your website ranks in at least the top three spots of search
results. Why, you may ask? The answer is simple – the farther down the page
your business is listed, the less likely it is that consumers will click on your website
link. And that failure to click can cost your business a great deal of money.
Only 8.5 percent of online search traffic ends up past the
first page of Google search results. – Chitika, 2013
Average Traffic Share Based On Search RankingChitika Insights, June 2013
Rank 4 – 8.1%
Rank 5 – 6.1%
Rank 6 – 4.4%
Rank 7 – 3.5%
Rank 8 – 3.1%
Rank 9 – 2.6%
Rank 10 – 2.4%
5. #WinLocal 5
While some may scoff and say ‘nothing is free,’ that isn’t always true in
the world of SEO. According to Conductor, 47 percent of website
visits originate from organic search results. One of the easiest and most
effective ways to improve your SEO is by claiming your business’s local search
listings. Google My Business, Bing Places and Yahoo Local all provide small
businesses with the ability to create profiles that appear in search engine
results when someone looks for their business locally.
Once you’ve claimed your business across all these listings, the next
important step is to completely fill out each listing with your business name,
address, website, store hours and phone number. This will not only help
consumers easily get in contact with you when your business pops up in their
search results, but it will also increase your online credibility – something that
is very important on search engines.
In addition to easily providing contact information for consumers looking for
your products or services, claiming your online listings also allows you to share
photos of your business, provide a link to maps for directions and directly
respond to customer reviews.
STEP CLAIM & CLEAN UP YOUR
An example of what
claiming your listing on
Google looks like.
6. #WinLocal 6
Link building can be compared to running for political office. In the same
way candidates seek endorsements from well-known politicians to bolster
their credibility, small business websites perform better in organic search
rankings when more established websites link out to them. This is because
search engine algorithms recognize that trustworthy sites tend to link to other
The best way for your local business to get other sites to link to your website is
through earned media – that is, when local news publications and TV stations
write and produce stories about your business. How does this help your
local business? It provides added credibility. Getting your customers to share
your website on their social media platforms, and, if possible, working with
local bloggers who can give your business a shout out in their blog, are also
effective ways to improve your link building.
INCREASE CREDIBILITY WITH
See How G/O Digital Helped Zarley Law Firm
Increase Business With SEO
Visits per monthIncrease in page views
Top keywords on Google
VIEW ALL CASE STUDIES
VIEW THE FULL CASE STUDY
7. #WinLocal 7
DITCHTHE KEYWORD STUFFING;
BUILD OUT QUALITY CONTENT
A few years ago, stuffing your website’s content full of relevant
keywords may have helped your site shoot up to the top of search
rankings. However, rightfully so, Google and other search engines
recognized that these sites weren’t necessarily the most helpful
ones to serve to search engine users. As a result, they changed
their algorithms to reflect this SEO model. Now keyword stuffing can
actually hurt, rather than help, your website rankings.
Instead, what search algorithms are looking for is quality, relevant
content. Therefore, you will want to include some relevant keywords in
your content, but you’ll want to do it in a way that flows naturally with
what you’re talking about. You will also want to update your content
often, which is why having a frequently updated blog is important for
any small business owner.
What does quality content
look like? It connects directly
with your specific audiences
interests and needs.
Keyword Stuffing = Bad. Quality Content = Good.
8. #WinLocal 8
...AND THEN MAXIMIZE
PPC, OR LOSE BUSINESS
PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, ad campaigns are another great way to increase small
business search rankings. Local businesses are able to use PPC campaigns
to target a hyper-local audience that is actively looking for their product
and services. By utilizing geo-modified search query techniques and other
targeting methods, a
local business can generate a regular flow of qualified leads and sales
for their business.
Many small/local businesses who turn to PPC advertising often make
the mistake of thinking they are saving money by running their campaigns
themselves. They don’t realize how complex PPC adertising is. Although
the search engines may make it easy to start a campaign, it requires
small businesses to invest a great deal of time, technical know-how, and
optimization techniques that an average SMB does not typically possess.
This lack of technical skills, resources and time could very well cost more money
in wasted advertising dollars than it would cost to hire an experienced PPC
expert or agency.
With the massive amount of searches being performed on search engines
each year, the reach and capabilities of PPC ads will continue to evolve
alongside how users are performing those searches and reacting to the
results provided. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines and
PPC advertising providers will continue to innovate and find new ways
to connect businesses and their searchers together in highly targeted
ways. This means continued improvement to the return on investment
for advertisers, as they are able to reduce wasteful spending and generate
additional clicks from a qualified audience.
9. #WinLocal 9
Everywhere you turn, people are using smartphones and tablets to simplify,
speed up and improve their shopping experience – no matter where they
may be. The reality is that we’re living in a mobile-first world. Just look at
the numbers – Search Engine Journal reports that one in four searches are
conducted on mobile devices.
In fact, the average American spends about two hours a day on a mobile device
(smartphone/tablet), making it a necessary platform for online advertising if you
want to reach as many potential consumers as possible. This means that your
PPC ads must also be optimized for mobile.
Mobile PPC optimization includes:
Since there is limited screen real estate to work with on mobile devices, keep
your headline copy to only about four words and include top keywords for
These allow you to make your ad more interactive for mobile users, which
makes it perfect for those needing to contact your business on-the-go.
MOBILE LANDING PAGES
If your PPC ad directs consumers to a site that is not optimized for mobile
devices, you risk losing both new and returning customers. Instead, direct them
to a mobile landing page with click-to-call buttons and an easy-to-navigate page
layout that will make it easy for them to learn about your business and contact
OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE, OR
1 in 4 online searches are conducted on mobile devices
– Search Engine Journal
10. #WinLocal 10
“Set it and forget it” is not a phrase you want to associate with your PPC
campaigns. In order to ensure that you are getting the most out of your
PPC ads, you’ll want to monitor your keywords often to see which are
performing better than others and switch them up as needed. It doesn’t
make sense to continue to put ads behind a keyword that’s providing little
return on investment.
You’ll also want to keep ads updated based on the season to capture the
most relevant search queries. For example, an HVAC company shouldn’t be
using keywords for air conditioning in the winter, as their relevant customer
base won’t be needing A/C repairs during the cold seasons. Instead, that
HVAC company would be better served by investing more ad dollars behind
keywords that are actually relevant during the winter, such as heating repairs.
REFRESH THOSE KEYWORDS
Where does your business rank in search
results compared to your competitor?
Find out with our free digital marketing audit!
11. #WinLocal 11
Google AdWords allows you to use Ad Extensions to optimize your PPC
campaigns to better direct consumers to your site. This makes it easier
for mobile users to call your business or get directions to your location.
On desktop, they allow you to make your ad stand out amongst the clutter
by giving you the ability to add links to social sites, show ratings/reviews,
and more. With the limited amount of copy available in PPC ads, ad
extensions help you maximize the ROI from your ad spend.
Best Ad Extensions for Desktop:
Best Ad Extensions for Mobile:
USE AD EXTENSIONS
Seller Rating Annotations
Ad extensions make it easier
for potential consumers to find
what they’re looking for.
12. #WinLocal 12
Although SEO and PPC ads are two distinct marketing techniques,
together they produce a complimentary and cohesive approach to
search engine marketing. The most obvious benefit is that businesses
will receive, at minimum, double exposure on search engine result
pages by including a PPC advertisement plus their organic website
listing achieved by an SEO program. According to research from
Google, 50 percent of clicks generated from PPC ads are incremental
clicks to the business’s website when they have a top organic ranking.
This means those additional clicks would not be provided if their
PPC ads were not on the search results page alongside their organic
This is where it is of tremendous value to hire a PPC management
company for one very simple reason – it has the know-how and
resources to deliver impactful returns for your business (sales).
Because your marketing budgets, staffing and resources are nowhere
near the size of multinational brands, it’s more effective for you to focus
on growing the bottom line and leave the tactical work to the experts.
13. About G/O Digital
The G/O Digital Vision:
To Transform Local Marketing and #WinLocal.
For Local Businesses, G/O Digital, a Gannett company, is one-stop shop for local
businesses looking to connect with consumers through digital marketing, from search
to social and everything in between. For National Brands and Agencies, G/O Digital
delivers local digital activation at national scale with push-button simplicity powered by
G/O Digital brands Shoplocal, BLiNQ Media & Key Ring.
G/O Digital partners with more than 5,000 of the nation’s top brands and retailers,
including P&G, Target, Walmart and Walgreens and leads digital marketing programs
with thousands of local businesses across more than 110 local markets.
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