SEO can be a complicated beast, but it doesn’t have to be!
There is an old mathematical principle that appears in business, sports, politics, and science that can make your life easier with SEO and have a big impact on your rankings.
It’s called the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s principle. When applying this principle you can beat your competitors and do half the work!
I know it’s a big claim but bear with me as I explain it…
The Pareto principle as defined by Wikipedia states:
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes
It’s amazing how often this law appears across all aspects of life. From business to dating, to politics, you always seem to find the minority dominate the majority and SEO is no different!
There are many things that can affect your website rankings. Moz recently published its annual Local Search Ranking Factor reports for 2017.
In the report, there are over 200 ranking factors that affect your rankings. From online reviews to keywords, and backlinks, this can get complicated for a newbie.
However, with the 80/20 rule, you can make SEO a lot simpler if you follow these three strategies.
- Claim your business on Google My Business
- Make sure your local NAP citations are correct
- Solicit online reviews from your customers
Claim Your Business on Google My Business
One of the biggest factors in getting ranked on Google is claiming your business on Google. Here are the steps you should take in claiming or adding your business to Google My business.
- Navigate to Google My Business
- You’ll need to create a Gmail account to access GMB. If you already have one use your Gmail account to log in.
- Look for your business name in the search box
- If you can’t find your listing make sure to create one.
- Once you’ve found your business it’s time verify your business.
- You can do this in several ways. You can verify by a postcard, verify your listing by phone, or by email.
Once you’ve verified your listing on Google My Business you’ll have control of your location, hours of operation, and the category of your business.
When choosing a category for your business you should make sure you choose one category that describes what you are and not what you do.
If you are roofing business you should choose roofing contractor as the category.
Make sure the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) are correct in Google My Business
One of the biggest factors in negative rankings is mismanaged NAP citations. According to InsideLocal, it accounts for 41% of the total ranking issues
Some additional tips that will help you set up NAP correctly:
- Make your NAP a text file and not an image so Google can crawl it
- Make sure your the name of the business is full and correct
- Your email address should have your business domain and not a generic name like Gmail
- Make sure your phone number is not an 800 number
- Your business description should describe what it is and not what it does. For example, pizza shop vs. we serve pizza
Once you’ve made sure that your NAP is correct on Google My Business it’s time to do the same across all the major directories.
There are over 50 online directories that you can focus on. I would start with the top 15 and go through the same process for each. Claiming/creating your listing, verifying your listing, and then making sure your NAP is correct across the board.
One last thing that will guide you with providing your business accurate NAP information is if you use the designated schema markup that was created for local businesses. This will help search engines easily identify the information of your business.
Schema markup simply means the way the data is structured online. For local businesses, things that your listings and websites should have include address, phone number, logo, etc..
Here is a code that Matthew Barby wrote that you can use on your website that will help you get the proper information for a local business:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness"> <p itemprop="name">COMPANY NAME</p> <p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress"> <p itemprop="streetAddress">ADDRESS LINE 1</p> <p itemprop="addressLocality">CITY</p>, <p itemprop="addressRegion">REGION</p> <p itemprop="postalCode">POSTCODE/ZIP</p. <p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p> <meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" /> <meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" /> </div
The only thing you need to do is change the bold information to match your local business.
Solicit Online Customer Reviews
Over 90% of customers say that buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Your ability to generate online reviews can make or break your business.
Soliciting customer reviews can be tough. The best strategy I have seen from companies that do this well is to make soliciting customer reviews a part of their business process.
Having customer reviews is critically important for roofing businesses. A few negative reviews can hurt your reputation and cost you some work.
Online reviewers can serve as your brand ambassador. Endorsing your skills, expertise, and reputation can be a boom for people when deciding who to choose for working on their roof.
Here are some general tips that will help you get more reviews:
- Send email blasts soliciting reviews from your database
- Attach a review flyer to your customer’s invoices
- Make it easy for customers to review your business. Send them links to your Yelp, Google, and Yahoo listings
- Don’t offer incentives to customers for reviews. This is against most terms of service for review sites.
- Offer discounts on your services
- Make a page on your website that provides specific information on how a person can submit a review of your business.
There are a million things you can do to help with your SEO rankings. Moz put out a list of least 200 factors that affect your website ranking with Google.
If you remember Pareto’s principle aka the 80/20 rule with SEO you can make a big impact on your rankings and ultimately your business.
If you do these three things 80% of the work would be done with your SEO.
If you want more information on Local SEO then I suggest check out these articles from Neil Patel and Matthew Barby