Topics Discussed and Key Points:
- What is a Google Business Profile Gold Product Expert?
- Elevating your local search ranking
- The importance of keyword research
- Building authority in your industry
- Taking advantage of voice search
- Getting to page 1 on Google
- Beating your competitors at the SEO game
- Using third-party tools on your Google Business Profile
In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Sherry Bonelli, owner of early bird digital marketing, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and digital marketing professional with over 23 years of experience. Early Bird digital marketing serves clients all over the country. Sherry Sherry also holds a Master’s of Internet Marketing Degree, is a LinkedIn Learning instructor, and is the host of the Marketing Plan Podcast.
She is a Google Business Profile Gold Product Expert and is a columnist for leading digital marketing websites like Search Engine Land, MOZ, Search Engine Journal, Adweek, SEMrush, BrightLocal, SCORE and others. She received Search Engine Land’s 2018 SEO Contributor of the Year Award. For two years in a row her blog posts were among the top 10 most read articles on Search Engine Land’s website.
Sherry gives her top tips and strategies on elevating your local search ranking. Best practices include optimizing your Google Business Profile (including picking a specific category and accumulating reviews), website, and becoming an authority in your industry by writing valuable blog posts and gaining recognition by other players in your space through guest blogging and appearing on podcasts. “It’s not just one thing that Google is looking at,” says Sherry. “It’s hundreds of different factors.”
Keyword research is also crucial when putting together a strategy. An often overlooked reality is the fact that many potential customers may be using different words and terms while searching for the solution you provide. A provider may think that prospects are searching for “assisted care living” when they might be looking for “nursing homes” or “old folks homes”. At the same time, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to write for your user, not for Google.
One way to address this is to creatively include these keywords on your website, articles, and copy to educate visitors on why your facility uses a different term to describe itself. In other words, don’t get trapped into only using industry lingo or jargon.
Take advantage of available tools to figure out how your competitors are winning the local search game. This can be as simple as searching for those top ranking businesses yourself and taking note of how they distribute their keywords on their websites. In short, says Sherry, “Mirror what they’re doing on your site—but do it better!”