The 2 Most Important SEO Tasks We Can’t Do For You
There are dozens – maybe hundreds of SEO tasks we accomplish every day for businesses in all sorts of situations. Some of the tasks are straight forward while others are highly technical. Many require expert eyes to research, evaluate, and determine a strategy of what’s needed and what’s the best path to take. Every SEO situation is unique. But there is one thing I’ve been explaining to local business owners for ten year that has not changed: What you need are REVIEWS and LINKS. And we can’t do this for you.*
I’ll personally write an online review for your business if I’m your customer or client or if I have had an experience with your company. But we don’t write fake reviews or suggest that you write fake reviews either. All we can do is continually urge you to reach out to your customers and request they write reviews. Getting people to write online reviews is NOT EASY. We have some great recommendations on the best ways to solicit online reviews and there are some great review generating software programs that we recommend. But beyond that – this is up to YOU. If you have a local business and you’ve done some great SEO on your website but have few reviews, each new review you get will be like gasoline on a fire. Seriously. Here’s why:
The most potent ranking factor is “Quantity of reviews”. They don’t have to be good reviews, either. Just quantity. And the content of the review matters! Get 5 reviews in a row raving about “gluten-free pizza” and this informs Google that your business should rank higher for “gluten-free pizza”. If your business is located in Beaverton yet you have 4 new reviews that mention “Portland” then Google will like rank you higher for “Portland” searches. Get the picture? Google trusts your customers way more than they trust you. The quantity and quality of your online reviews on any directory – Yelp, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, etc… can make a huge difference to your overall rankings on Google.
Links to Your Website
Well, yes, we do create links to your website for you and we support you getting even more. That IS something we do – but the days of spammy link-building tactics are over. And while you may hear a lot of noise about how the value of links is diminishing, but the truth is that it’s not. Links have always been the backbone of Google’s way to determine the rank-worthiness of a website. If other websites determine that your content is worthy of linking to, then BOOM – Google will rank that content higher.
Google earns most of it’s money displaying the best search results possible. And they do an awesome job. Is your content worthy of top rankings? Why is that? If your salon offers tattoo removal in Boulder, Colorado and you talk all about what you offer, is THAT enough to convince Google to rank you #1? Well, Not if you have local competition. Google is looking for the best option to put at the top. And remember they trust others more than they trust you. Are other websites linking to your tattoo removal page? This will help. (*See what I did there by creating a quality anchor text link to that tattoo removal page). That’s what Google is looking for.
The Bottom Line
Lately, I’ve been asking business owners this question: “Why exactly should Google rank your business well?” And it’s a delicate question that requires reflection. Are you the best? The most popular? WHY EXACTLY are you worthy of ranking on Page 1 or at the top? If you were so awesome to be the best at what you do or if your business was suddenly all the rage you’d likely be getting lots of reviews and links quite naturally. And that’s what Google is looking for. We can help you, advise you, coach you and encourage you, and maybe even bribe you – but truly reviews and links will eventually depend on the quality of the service (or product) you offer.
It’s no secret who makes the best ice cream in Portland, Oregon. Can you tell, by looking at this image who it might be? Salt & Straw does not need to solicit reviews. They just make extraordinary ice cream. They also don’t need a marketing agency to help them get other websites to link to theirs. As you can see, folks are already inspired to create links to their website as if they offer The best ice cream in Portland, Oregon. They do.
Jeffrey has consulted for thousands of small business owners over the past 12 years as a Local Search nerd. His opinions can sometimes be quite impassioned. Bighorn Local SEO is his latest successful agency venture based out of Sisters, Oregon and Portland, Oregon, which offers unique subscription SEO services. Bighorn Local SEO also designs websites, logos, and print media and strives to create great success for local business owners across the country.Jeffrey Magner