Google Is Locally Motivated!

local search targeting monmouth county nj

Seems like everyone is selling SEO these days. Careful, the search engines never ever stop comparing and re- ranking billions of competitive website pages worldwide. It’s so enormous that it is easy for some random person to spin your SEO failure story. That one scary signal some random SEO guy emailed out of the blue about?! But is that guy actually familiar with you, the local competition, what signals matter most and what you actually compete for? And folks remember, Google calls nobody so beware of that desperate trick as well.

Being there are literally billions of pages live on the World Wide Web, its good logic to be concerned about what it really takes to compete. Better, at least, to be informed before listening to some random scare tactic; however, there is an opportunity in that Google has become locally sensitive in its results. Because over 50% of all searches have local intent, they have adjusted for what are truly ‘local to the search’ results. It makes local SEO attainable for the small to medium sized business. And folks, for a business prepared to do the hard work themselves OR that can identify folks capable of doing it for them, know that the lion’s share of your competition is NOT doing anything about it. Not yet!

Here’s what a business needs to focus on month over month in order to attract qualified (by their search) new leads … and if you’re so inclined, ask us about affordable local SEO programs that work:

On- Website SEO Signals

  1. Target Keyword Research:
  • Sure you are a home builder or a lawyer, but what have you done to research & identify the keywords that your target consumers search?
  • Are you prepared to monitor how you rank for these keywords, so that you’re aware of where you sit day to day in the pecking order?
  • And folks, get familiar with the long tail of search!
  1. Geography:
  • You want to conquer everywhere for new leads, but Google doesn’t care. They want to identify where you are a relevant source of information, products and services.
  • Unless you are a national brand with LARGE budgets, you need to help Google identify and then compare you for where you do business.
  • For the local business start with your town, other towns near bye, county and then build outward from there. The algorithm is matching results to a physical location, so support it & your business with geographic emphasis in your content!
  1. Content:
  • What have you done to create the right kind of emphasis in your content for your target keywords that make a search engine notice?
  • An about page that mentions all the things you do is horribly diluted. There needs to be dedicated individual product or service pages with authoritative depth for each target topic.
  • Posts are best for timely, specific subjects … and they can always be updated including for the post date.
  • Evergreen pages are broader subject- authoritative content, meant to stand the test of time.
  • Produce both types of content actively as an active and current source of useful information.
  • Reinforce keywords in- page signals like page title, page header, meta- title & description, image alt tags & filenames; use keyword slugs in URLs; add in (and off) website links to useful supporting information and create the quality information capable of demonstrating your authority for each topic.

Off- Website SEO Signals

  1. Google Business Tools Setup & Management
  • For starters it includes Plus, Maps, ME, YouTube, Search Console and Analytics.
  • These tools need to be in sync, where possible, and optimized for categorization, location, contact, hours of operation, descriptions, keywords and back- links information.
  • Get verified so that Google is assured they are, in fact, gathering information from you (the source) and not some imposter!
  • Set a plan for getting good client reviews into Google Maps, so there are unadulterated positive votes for you arriving regularly. They are signals Google will use when comparing your presence.
  • Submit new pages & posts, or updated pages, into Console for re-indexing whenever possible. It’s welcomed!
  • Submit new post summaries to a Google Plus wall, with links back to the source, affording Google activity oriented signals it can use to compare. Research and join target groups, expanding reach and possibly ‘voice’.
  • What more trusted signal could there be than any stemming from the very tools Google makes available??
  1. Back- link Signals – From Trusted Sites
  • Do not seek links anywhere and everywhere: use logic, pursue sites most likely to be trusted by search engines and also relevant to your business. It’s not a numbers game, only relevance.
  • A safe place to start is the leading search and directory listings, Google Maps/Plus above included.
  • Google crawls search and directory listings as references for (name, address, phone, hours) consistency and also for other information (links, keywords, specials) about the business.
  • Town & municipality sites, Associations, Wikipedia (when appropriate), local newspapers that might cover good news, etc. can all have powerful competitive effects.
  1. Leverage Social Voice
  • Search engines will monitor a social voice in various ways.
  • Use social media accounts to post good website content, including blog posts, cool pictures & videos, sales or specials and be sure to back- link to that content!
  • Pursue folks who follow to like, share and also link to your posts and content … enlarging that competitive voice.

Ranking High In Local Search Results|Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJFinal Points

Manage your own expectations: when your competitors are giant companies with huge marketing budgets you are probably not going to rank high for the most obvious target keywords (i.e. auto insurance). But if you follow the above for specific keywords, including with geographic emphasis (i.e. Ridgewood or Bergen County NJ Insurance Agent), you’ve got a much better shot at appealing to a search engine. The search engines are genuinely trying to get a local searcher to the right answers. Do not ever rule out broader target keywords in your content, for instance if you are an insurance agency that can also handle commercial coverages, aim for ‘commercial property insurance Kalamazoo MI’.  Allow a blog to fuel social media, so it’s a much more extensive tool than ‘just an addition’ to your website. Search engines will notice the activity and you will broaden keyword indexing too! And know that for someone who searches and finds you online, it matters how you look and what you say = your website is ground zero for your brand online!

Past Post:
Confused By Search Engine Optimization? Try This ‘Laypersons Guide To Understanding SEO’


How To Get Ranked High In Local Search Results

Getting Ranked In Local Search Results In NJ | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJGetting ranked locally in search results is a common concern for marketers. And knowing that Google often favors popular businesses with the most chatter in a given area only becomes an advantage when something is done about it.

Although modern companies have an ability to market nationally and even globally, the average consumer still shops locally whenever possible. It’s why Google looks at several locally specific signals when forming their search results, particularly when the search is from a mobile device. Needless to say, the business with a well executed local SEO plan will have those consumers calling & walking through the door!

How exactly do you build a strong local presence online? Here are the signals that interest Google most to support visibility with the locally motivated consumer.

Top Signals Needed To Rank Locally

  1. Create Quality Content > Can’t hammer the tables enough on this: one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is NOT investing in content. Content should been regarded as the basis for an online presence and any competitive advantage a business can gain online. Unless it’s useful (including the use of highly searched keywords), assume neither search engines nor people will ever care. This is not just content on a website; a thorough strategy also includes publishing locally relevant content to a Google My Business page and other social media channels as well. Better yet, BLOG! Publish it on a website and then push that content out into social networks & listings. Google is hungry for new content and it will look to all of these areas, not only the website, to get it! See > Website Content: Your No 1 Competitive Advantage!
  2. Pursue Good Reviews > Live unsolicited reviews matter BIG, especially on a Google Plus listing page! And because 9 out of 10 people won’t ever think to give one, a business must have a strategy in place to go and ask for those good reviews.  Per Mary Bowling from Moz“No one wants to get awful or even so-so service if they can choose to use a business that has a history of making its customers very happy, instead. Whether people think you’re doing a stellar job or a stinky one, there’s no way to hide from your reputation anymore. Prospective buyers can now see the collective history of a business’s ability to keep its customers happy 24 hours a day via online reviews.” And while many business owners fear reviews because they feel as if they might get a bad one, the truth of the matter is no one can stop or control reviews. So actively chasing good reviews is not only obvious, but serves as the hedge against if anything bad ever does show up. Have a look at “What If You Get A Negative Review?and always know that consumers look for people’s experiences in the form of reviews.
  3. Be Mobile Friendly > If you’re following this so far, Google is particularly interested in serving up local search results when the search comes from a mobile device. What’s more, they intend to give their user the best search experience possible. So we need to be sure our content is friendly to anyone, anytime and on any device ( e.g. phone, tablet, PC )… or Google isn’t likely to help any consumers find it. Sure you’re focused on delivering a higher level of content quality, but if visitors are forced to pull, pan, and scroll on their mobile devices than it’s not what Google considers a good experience. For more on Google’s mobile- friendly stance check out Mobile Website Design | Responsive Website Design.
  4. Google Plus Matters > Simply put, Google favors its own listings platform known as ‘Google My Business’. So get a Google Plus page registered, verified and set up with all the important information possible. Have it linking back to a website often, for a greater depth of information, and use anchor text links in highly targeted keywords! And, whenever possible, drive those good reviews to this same Google Plus page.
  5. Search & Directory Listings Also Matter > Search engines crawl search and directory listing websites as a highly weighted locally based business ( yours!) reference. What’s sometimes referred to as “direct data” in the search engine results pages (SERPs) demonstrates that companies are providing detailed information about themselves in many places. They do it in order to find visibility any way possible. It’s these granular pieces of information we see on business listings and in search engine results data that prove the value of “direct data”. For instance if we searched for a Annandale NJ Home Inspections Company, we will probably be provided with location, phone number, work hours and other details consumers want quickly up top of a local search result. This extra data improves visibility, important for local businesses, and also serve as reference and even a link for primary website content too. For a simple way to deal with it all, see Search And Directory Listings SEO Management Plan .
  6. Have A Social ( Network ) Voice > Acknowledged widely as a signal Google uses to recognize & rank a company highly is a social voice. Online discussions can spread virally, allowing visibility to reach farther than what was previously possible via traditional media. And search engine monitor these signals! The more activity a business generates, the more prominently it can find itself placed in search results. And because of this, a social media presence should be managed wisely! Perceptions created online with positive timely useful information can also last far longer than those created by word of mouth. With new social platforms, services, and trends emerging constantly, keeping up can be a daunting task. If its too much, consider hiring a social media service to help devise a ‘stay current strategy’ that maximizes a social voice’s potential.

And again, this is about local areas to your business. It’s not going to solve a nationally driven competitive presence, but local is also less competitive. Frankly, if you don’t have these firing than you’re not taking your local visibility to ( B to C or B to B ) consumers who want your service seriously. It can seem like a lot, but we will genuinely attest to regular lead activity for clients leveraging what you see in the above here! And we certainly provide highly qualified competitively priced options. If nothing else, we’re happy to answer questions so that you’re informed.

Why Consider SEO When Building A Website?

Consider SEO From The Start Of A Website | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJ

Creating a website is often an exciting time for a business. The website its’ brand representative online from the design aesthetics, imagery and tone of the copy to the very graphic elements, colors and font.

Done right a website is also a marketing priority! And that means visibility in Search Engines is equally, if not more, important. Competing for various keywords is very much like a living organism, it must be fed in many many ways AND day to day. However, it must all start somewhere. To become competitive requires planning a fundamental on- page(s) SEO strategy from day one in development! With no on- page plan, any chance for ongoing competitive SEO is lost … and it’s going to be an even bigger more expensive challenge later!

SEO And User Experience

Again, a well structured website is important both for the user experience and for search engine indexing. While a website should be pleasing to the eye, there are several other important marketing considerations required in order for it to be successful. These consideration will be killers later, when not planned from the start:

  • Content > search engines crawl pages for keywords, are all pages structured well with proper keyword placement & meta data, yet not stuffed to a degree the user will suffer!
  • Mobile Responsive > user experience is priority number one with search engines, people search with their phones, so a website MUST be mobile- friendly!
  • Internal Links & Navigation > search engines don’t only count links from other sites, they like relevant content that offer the visitor useful links between supporting pages!
  • General Navigation > search engines measure how long visitors stay, how many pages they visit, so a visitor must find it easy navigate to all the information they may want!
  • Host & Load Speeds > search engines measure it, so a host must serve visitor experience with fast page load times!
  • Security > search engines also crawl pages for malware in order to protect their searching surfers, as well as look for secure socket layers when there’s shopping involved!

What To Optimize Before Site Launch

Newer and better competition will always come, so SEO is never static and certainly an ongoing process. But the groundwork must be laid in order to prepare a site for search engine crawling & keyword indexing. Here are some things that need optimization before site launch.

  • Using Keywords In URLs – Search engines focus heavily on keywords and indexing them via their page URLs. They also consider those used in the URL itself! Make sure page URLs help to describe what each page has to offer. Fix this after the fact, your page starts all over and what was indexed is lost! 
  • Title and Meta Data – Much easier and less damaging to change after he fact than URLs, you must still consider the time it takes to index competitively. It’s why you want to try and be sure your keywords are available to search engines early and in the clearest possible fashion. Keep your page and meta titles straightforward, easy to identify and and easy to consume!
  • Responsive Design – Simply stated, your website must be mobile friendly! It is no small project to convert an existing site to a mobile friendly site. Therefore, why not start from the beginning with a mobile friendly website design!?
  • Optimize Photos and Videos – Using properly tagged graphics, photos and video supports the aesthetics of the website, but is also an important part of an SEO strategy. Using the right file names & alt tags will not only generate more indexing and search engine visibility for content, but optimal photo sizes also support page loads speed! 
  • Create Link Structures For The Crawl – Your link structure needs to make sense, a path that can be followed by search engines. In other words, content must flow in a logical manner.
  • Social Sharing > Social voice matters and the search engines ability to measure how often a page has been shared by visitors on the page via social icons with share counts makes their job much easier!
  • Measurement Software – And don’t rule out supporting software, like day to day keyword rank measurement and fundamental page SEO grading solutions.

Not planning SEO with a design & development project may cause a business to miss out on important ranking opportunities. At Kinetic Knowledge we can help to guide the process of both building a new, or converting an existing, website into a new mobile, user and search engine friendly design.

Pay Per Click Budget For A NEW Advertiser

how to determine ppc advertising budget | Kinetic KnowledgeFor NEW advertisers it can challenging to set up a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign, not to mention determine a beginning budget. There’s certainly a learning curve and, while there are reliable methods PPC is a dynamic bidding marketplace with no simple or exact way to determine the perfect launch budget. In order to get started there’s some risk. we’re going to need to commit, test and measure!

What To Include In Our PPC Budget?

Defining spend includes more than fees paid out to the PPC platform provider (i.e. Google). In addition to the actual cost of the clicks, let’s also assume that short of doing creative work ourselves we will need to set aside budget for 1) daily PPC platform management PLUS ( if needed ) 2) any creative ad and landing page design work.

How Much Should We Bid On A Keyword?

The amount to bid on a keyword depends on a comfort level when starting out. Industry is the biggest factor in deciding how much that click (lead) is worth. Real Estate or even a Moving Company, for examples, will usually pay a hefty price for a click because when that lead converts profit can be large. Best to stay within that comfort zone and then, as the data rolls in, adjust. Quickly we will see where the performing keywords at a particular bid price ARE, ARE NOT and THEN HOW TO BEST ADJUST BIDS accordingly. Carefully consider a maximum bid per keyword from the start. If we sell hats and make $100 per hat sold, and website history tells us 1 in 10 visitors buy THEN a *maximum bid* > EQUALS the break even point < would be $10. We, of course, want to set max’ bids far below ‘break even’ . That is, assuming, we want make money.

MUST Use Keyword Tools!

There are several tools out there to help us find the right keywords and estimated cost per click for each. Arguably, the most effective choice is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. And good news, it’s a free solution! Enter a keyword (=phrase) and it offers related keyword suggestions, historical data on how the keywords perform, suggested bid prices and it also helps to gauge competition. Given the list it can help us develop, the tool allows us to generally determine what keywords are worth chasing or bidding.

Keyword Selection Is Key!

Beating a dead horse here (maybe), but the choice of keywords is the most crucial factor in the success of a PPC campaign. Industry type and location are obvious when developing the right set of keywords (= key phrases) to bid upon. Like it or not, cost is going to be driven by competitive forces. The higher the cost of a product or service the higher (likely) cost of the keyword bid needed to be visible for a click. And the bidders / bid prices will change day to day. We need to find the keywords that are most likely to result in clicks and conversions, including AT OR BELOW our maximum bid price per keyword. Keyword choice (including bid, and bid too low = less exposure) is what will get our brand & service in front of consumers with intent … at the right time!

What Is Our Geographical PPC Target?

For the local business, a first PPC advertising campaign is not the time to target new areas. If we do our business in NY, consider a start with NY (if not the town or county in NY) modified searches. For local businesses who only deal in a certain geographical areas, like home inspectors for example who have to factor travel into their costs, it is easier to target geographically. Even so, you may want to start with one town or county and build up from there. There are tools available that will limit who sees the ads, based upon their location. Unless they search based upon our targeted area (NY), for instance a person in SC who searches ‘Orange County NY Real Estate Agent’, they won’t see the ads and waste click money. Again: test, measure and patience are required!

Set Goals! 

It’s also important to prioritize GOALS! What do we want to get out of this campaign? Is it more leads? Sales? Traffic? Email subscribers? Let’s look at these, and a few more factors that will play a part in each unique businesses budget strategy.

How Do We Do It: How Many Clicks Should We Budget For?

While hypothetical, we need to start somewhere and here’s a method that will help. Understanding not every business owner will have all the numbers, everything can be estimated.

  • Keywords: Let’s say that (using our research tool) we choose 100 keywords that combined have a projected search volume of 400 per day, locally. Let’s say the estimated average cost per click for these keywords is $4.
  • Potential Searches: Multiply that volume (=400) by 30 days (= avg. month) and we have 12,000 potential searches in the coming month.
    • Click Reality/Potential Clicks: There are people out there who, no matter what, will NOT click ads. It’s reality so rule them out! Let’s be realistic and say 1/3 of the 12,000 searches will consider Ads. That leaves us 4,000 searches or potential clicks.
  • Estimated Actual Clicks: Let’s say 10% of these people will click our ads when searching. That’s 400 clicks to budget for in that 30 day period (10% X 4,000).
  • Estimated Cost Of Click Budget: If we have determined the average cost per click is $4, than our cost for the month is going to be $1,600 (400X$4).
  • Added Costs/Total Budgeted Cost: Unless managing the daily bidding marketplace and all it’s variables is possible alone, let’s add about $250 in management fees (per campaign) bringing monthly projected cost budget to $1,850. We may factor in creative, but the search network is text- based and a need for ads or landing pages will vary greatly from business to business. What’s more (depending), it may be a one time or a very infrequent cost… so let’s leave it at $1,850.

Estimate Project Budget Versus Gross Sales = Profit Goals

Still hypothetical, projecting a sales GOAL will also help us to compare where we want to be versus actual results at the end of the month so that we can adjust month over month accordingly.

  • Historical Estimates: Let’s say that historically the percentage of leads that convert from a website (or a website landing page) visit into a sale is 10%. Let’s say the average revenue generated per sale is $200.
  • Estimated PPC Gross Revs: 10% close rate (x) 400 clicks (x) $200 avg. revenue per sale = $8,000.00.
  • Targeted PPC Profit: Subtract monthly costs of $1,850 from $8,000.00 and there’s profit of $6,150.00 per month.
    • Summarized: Less any creative costs, $6,150 may be worth doing … and if so, it’s here we begin!
  • Return  On Investment (ROI), or for our purposes Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), is another useful metric: Using this example it would be calculated by the standard formula (Profit – Cost)/Cost = ROAS OR $6,150-$1,850/ $1,850 = 2.3 OR 230% … which is certainly worth doing!

Other PPC Variables

  • We can also set a daily PPC budget, to further control overall cost. Just note that it will influence how often we have ads in front of the qualified searching people each day.
  • Our bid per keyword will, of course, play a huge roll in the specific position our ads get (top to bottom) relative to the competition. By looking at daily data, including specific ‘per keyword’ data, we will see a pattern develop and recognize what keywords perform best and when.
  • With PPC there’s daily management, as each day and time can have it’s own market of bidders. With limited space and high competition, the daily bid price we need to succeed is going to move.

What About Facebook Advertising?

With Facebook advertising, we can set a budget and pay based on impressions. Or, we can pay per click. On Facebook, just like with Google or Bing, being strategic with bidding can make or break the campaign. Once we have worked through the creative part of designing a Facebook ad, we will receive a suggested bid range from Facebook. When just starting out with Facebook ads we may want to stick to the low end of this range. Once we cans see what the click through rate actually is, we can then adjust bids. For example if we have a very low click through rate then we will need to bid higher. If we have a high click through rate then we can probably back down the amount on bidding. Each day, week, or month we can look at data and optimize from there. We may also need to adjust bids to reach more of the target audience. We can have a high performing ad, but still not reach the amount of the target audience we’d like. Facebook provides detailed real time analytics to help in this process.

We can certainly help. Our NJ Facebook Advertising Programs are designed with unique goals in mind.

PPC Services | Kinetic KnowledgeDon’t Do It All Yourself

There are tons of constantly changing, fluid pieces to the puzzle of PPC advertising. It is time consuming, and at times can be overwhelming. As a business owner you do not need to tackle this yourself. Hire a trusted company to handle the leg work for you. At Kinetic Knowledge we work with you to determine your goals and find your PPC advertising sweet spot. Check out our NJ Pay Per Click Advertising Programs