The 4 Most Important Online Local Business Directories

Online Business Directory

85% of customers use the internet to find a local business.

This is why getting yourself listed on an authoritative online local business directory is so important.

Below you can see a list of the most important ones.

1. Google My Business

Google My Business helps better manage and increase your online presence across Google (including Google Search and Google Maps).

Google My Business’s SEO contribution to your website is HUGE.

It increases exposure, enhances [brand] credibility, and provides you insights on how customers search for your business.

2. Yelp For Business

Millions of customers turn to Yelp for information on where to eat, where to buy, and who to hire to get stuff done around the house.

If you’re doing any of the above (i.e., you’re a restaurant owner, manage a store, offer home services, provide professional services, etc.), Yelp is a platform you should be listed on.

3. Facebook

NEARLY. 3. BILLION. USERS.

Facebook has over 2.7 billion active users.

That’s practically 1 out of every 2 people in the world… and if you consider the part of the world we live in, that number rounds up to 2 out of every 2 people use Facebook.

That said, if you haven’t already created a business page there, you should do so ASAP as it can be a highly lucrative channel for finding, attracting, and reaching out to new customers.

4. Better Business Bureau

Even today, a lot of people turn to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to check the authenticity of a local business before they make a purchase (this is true of both online purchases and offline purchases).

Listing yourself is free and especially beneficial if you cater to an older clientele that still appreciates the BBB.

Need guidance or help tackling any of the above (or other important marketing tasks that are getting neglected)??

The best way to actually SEE what I can do for you is by getting a free evaluation where I tell you what’s working, what isn’t, and what I would recommend to a friend or family-member (no salesy fluff or B.S.)… and then you decide how you want to move forward.

Learn more here.
 

      

3 Quick SEO Hacks to Boost Your Ranking This Year

SEO stock image

So, you have done all that you possibly could with your site’s SEO – created quality content, optimized it for relevant keywords, created an XML sitemap, garnered a lot of backlinks, and more. But despite all your efforts, you just can’t seem to break past your competitors in Search engine ranking.

I know that frustrating feeling because I myself struggled with SEO when I first started out. Fortunately, over the years, as my knowledge and experience in the field improved, I was able to devise novel ways to bring about massive improvements. The ones I will be sharing here won’t cost you a lot of time or money and neither requires any technical knowledge. So, without further ado, here are 3 quick SEO hacks to immediately boost your search ranking.

#1: Update Old Content

Search engine value content that is fresh. You can keep writing and producing more content, OR you can just update your existing ones – the latter certainly takes less time but delivers the same set of results.

There are a lot of areas where an old post might need an update. It could be that a certain piece of information is now outdated, or more information on the subject has been made available; it could be mistakes with the grammar, or you could add more visual content to enhance its quality.

Updating old content also changes its date, which potentially translates to a higher click-through rate. It’s a fact that people want the latest, most up-to-date content, and thus, would prefer to click on articles that appear to have been published more recently.

#2: Incorporate a Video

This is one type of SEO that is massively underutilized, but when used correctly, holds the potential to bring a massive jump in your search engine rankings. Incorporating video content helps SEO in three main ways:

Increases CTR: Adding video content has been shown to increase in organic search traffic by an average of 157%.

Lowers Bounce Rate: People spend over twice as long on pages featuring a video than those without

Generates backlinks: Adding video improves the quality of your content, and that generally means more chances of acquiring backlinks. I’m not talking about just a few ones here but hundreds of them if you can pull it off correctly.

As with your written content, the video you add will only work towards SEO if it actually brings something of value to the viewer and provokes a strong enough emotional reaction from their side to incite action (e.g., a comment or share). Keep this in mind when judging what type of video to add to your articles.

#3: Stop Using Huge Images

Sure, they make your content amazing but is it really improving the reader’s experience? Most probably, huge images bring harm instead, and by extension, harming your SEO as well.

How?

Well, huge images mean a significantly higher page load time, and thinking from a visitor’s perspective, it can be incredibly frustrating to click on your article seeking a solution only for it take ages to load up.

Consider doing an audit of the images featured on your website and take note of their file size. If image sizes are too big, optimize their size and re-upload them.

Want more effective ideas on how to improve a site’s SEO? I provide online marketing services for small businesses and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) digital marketers. Start by clicking here to learn more about what I can do for you and your marketing goals.

Why Your School Address is Wrong on Google Maps

Most likely, your school’s location is listed wrong on its Google My Business listing (which feeds Google Maps).

Simply put, Google My Business is a powerful tool that allows organizations to showcase their organization in Google search results however it seems to be doing more harm than good for a lot of schools… especially those with multiple addresses / locations.

While it’s tempting to jump right in and get started creating your Google My Business listing, you need to first consider the department, school, or multiple campuses that you want to list.

Also, if you’re marketing multiple institutions or internal entities (multiple schools within your school or you share your address with a church), it will be helpful to create a spreadsheet where you can keep track of your work for each school, department, or campus resource.

In addition to Google Maps, the information from your Google My Business listing will also appear on local search results. See below.

Google Maps location / address search for private schools in Austin TX

Notice how Google highlighted those 3 schools even above the normal organic results. They even allow searchers to sort by rating (i.e., Google Reviews) and see more.

Why Pre-K Through 12 Schools Need to [Correctly] Claim Their Google My Business Page

We know parents use search engines to find information about schools.

Whether they want to know more about your school’s values or they’re trying to get a virtual preview of student life, people expect to find what they need immediately and most will never go past the first page of search results.

For a preschool, elementary, middle, or high school, it’s imperative you show up in those results right away and that Google is not displaying the wrong information, location, or address.

In today’s competitive space, schools (even public and charter schools) need to be hyper-focused on how they appear on Google Maps as it affects how they’ll appear on the rest of Google &emdash; even for branded searches.

The good news is having well thought out and monitored Google My Business listings can be incredibly helpful in boosting your visibility on Google and attracting families for enrollment.

So What IS Google My Business (GMB)

Google My Business is a free and tool for businesses, brands, organizations, etc. to manage their online presence across Google (including Search, Maps, and Reviews).

By claiming, verifying, and editing your school’s information, you help families find you and ensure they’re looking at your right information in the exact moment they need it.

Below is an example of what a Google My Business listing looks like complete with images of the school, map address, street view of the location, reviews, description, and even lists your events!

The best part is that you can optimize all these elements to give your school a tremendous advantage over anything else that comes up in the search results which is important because we want people to click onto our school’s website because that brings them closer to scheduling a tour, requesting info, etc.

Google My Business location / address map search for Divine Savior Academy in Doral FL

Benefits of Claiming, Verifying, Monitoring, and Optimizing Your School’s Google My Business Listing(s)

Control Your Maps Location Address & Your School’s Message

A properly done listing will give you control over what parents see and give them the opportunity to visit your open house, learn about your pre-k to 12 programs, call your school, visit your website, get driving directions, or read reviews. Imagine giving up this power…

Control the Message and the Conversation

Your Google My Business listing provides you an opportunity to read and respond to reviews immediately so you can resolve issues before they damage your brand. A few unaddressed bad reviews can kill any chance you have at attracting families to your school for enrollment. Parents of preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students are definitely paying attention to reviews and are absolutely making decisions based on them.

Highlight Your Best Pictures

Just like when you see a picture of yourself and think “I don’t really look like that!!”, you don’t want to do that with your school. The images Google Maps pulls are famously horrendous. They’re blurry and somehow they angles manage to capture the worst angles in the worst light. User uploaded pics are just as bad. With your Google My Business listing, you can upload your own pics.

Pro tip: Hire a professional photographer for an hour or two and have them take as many photos as possible while they’re there. You want exterior shots, pics of the facilities, action shots of the teachers and staff, pictures of happy kids playing (be sure to let parents know you’ll be doing this beforehand so they can opt-out if they wish). Afterwards go through the pics and pull out the great photos as well as the interesting ones then disregard the rest. Decide which would be best for your Google My Business listing and save the rest for promotions and landing pages.

Add Your Slogan, Message, Purpose, etc.

Your Google My Business listing gives you extra room to put your school’s slogan, brand message, purpose, missions, etc. This works especially well if it happens to be consistent with keywords parents are searching to find pre-k to 12 schools like yours.

Insight

Within your Google My Business dashboard, you have access to an insights section where you can see how many people searched for your school, called directly from the listing, clicked to your website, or checked driving directions (all the more reason you need to make sure Google Maps doesn’t list the wrong location for your school’s address).

It’s FREE!

The Takeaway

If you’re like many of the school leaders I talk to, you’re wearing multiple hats and managing your Google My Business listing(s) isn’t one of them.

The problem is you now realize that your school can’t afford to continue this way.

With a little time, patience, and direction, you can do this (and the benefits are 100% worth it). This is what you can expect as a result:

  1. Immediate increase in overall website traffic
  2. New visitors directly from your Google My Business listing
  3. New visitors to your school website
  4. Significantly lower bounce-rate from Google My Business referrals
  5. Immediate increase in inquiries and tours scheduled

If you need help, reach out to us. We’ve helped other preschool, elementary, middle, high, and k-12 schools optimize their Google My Business listings and we can do the same for you.