Google’s search engine results page (SERP) layout routinely adapts as Google tests new features and updates ranking factors. The protean approach has given the search engine a variety of result types available for any given search. For instance, a search for “pizza” may result in a SERP consisting of a paid ad for a nearby pizza restaurant, a map pack of local pizza restaurants, organic results for websites with pizza recipes and a knowledge panel on the history of pizza.
Google’s collage of search result options has made it essential for brands to embrace a variety of tactics to increase visibility in search results. Local listings, organic results and paid ads are different entities but they have the same end goal and share ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. Brands looking to boost search visibility should avoid treating them as separate campaigns and embrace a holistic strategy that maximizes the potential of each tactic.
No. 1: Local search engine optimization (SEO)
Local SEO is the foundation of a digital strategy aimed at increasing visibility. The main goal of local SEO is to make sure a brand’s location information is accurate and consistent across the web. This includes accurate listings on local directory sites, data aggregators and search engines, as well as consistent information on the brand’s website.
Accurate and consistent business information is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm. Google uses citations (i.e., mentions of the local business information) to reinforce the legitimacy of a brand’s location information. Google also checks the citation information against the location information on the brand’s website, so it’s important to make sure all location data matches.
No. 2: Organic SEO
If local SEO is the foundation needed to increase search visibility, then organic SEO is definitely the backbone. Local SEO establishes relevancy and legitimacy to Google, but it doesn’t cover all the core aspects of organic SEO like technical SEO and content optimization.
Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes optimizations like schema markup, metadata and site structure. Optimizing technical site elements around keywords related to your services or products will help search engines understand your site’s content and increase organic rankings for keywords related to your industry.
Content optimization is the public-facing elements like blog posts, location pages and landing pages. Producing unique content that speaks to your business and naturally includes keywords will also help with organic rankings as Google can read and interpret content. Google also takes into consideration how often you publish new content, so producing a steady stream of fresh material is crucial for remaining relevant.
Local and organic SEO go hand-in-hand by influencing one another and sharing many of the same ranking factors. A perfect example of this is publishing unique content on each location page of a brand’s website. This can help raise the domain authority of the website, which is one of the most important ranking factors for both organic results and local listings.
No. 3: Paid search ads
The last piece of SERP real estate to tackle on Google is paid search ads. Ads can appear at the top and bottom of the search results on any device. Some ad types are only available to certain industries that allow for additional features. One example is Google shopping ads, which provide users detailed information about products they can purchase online.
Paid search and SEO strategy should align as there’s a lot of overlap between the two. This means optimizing for similar keywords and focusing campaigns on the same products and services. One way to make the two strategies work together is by publishing unique content on each paid search landing page on your website. This should increase your paid search campaign’s quality score, which will lead to lower costs per click on your ads while also adding fresh content to your website and boosting organic visibility.
Bringing it all together
Unified management allows for deeper insights in terms of reporting and attribution. This allows you to provide a holistic view of your digital campaigns and determine:
- Which strategies are producing the most traffic
- Which campaigns are performing the best
- Which campaigns or campaign tactics need attention
If you are looking to increase visibility on Google, devising a strategy that includes local SEO, organic SEO and paid search is a great place to start. For more information on increasing your visibility on Google, contact us today.