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Local SEO, Paid Ads, Website SEO: Why all Three Matter

Updated October 2019

A business providing services to a local market should not underestimate the importance of local SEO services. Local SEO efforts often produce more website traffic and more leads. Higher conversions result when your local listings are optimized to accurately reflect your business information, products and services.

Our Omaha SEO team can tell you over and over about why local search engine optimization is important, but how about I just SHOW you. But before I do… let me tell you one more time.

GMB, Apple Maps and Yelp are all big players in local SEO

An optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing will help you pull up in Google for relevant searches – as this information pulls into the local map-pack (see graphic below), which has high visibility. If you haven’t yet setup your Google My Business account, start there. You can use our Step-By-Step Guide to help get you started.

Apple Maps listing helps your business rank well for Siri voice command searches. And with over 700 million iPhones currently being used worldwide, many users are using Siri search on their Apple devices. And, Yelp provides Apple with access to some of its business page information, including reviews. So, optimizing your information and managing reviews for Yelp could not only assist you in organic rankings, but can also help with visibility in Apple Maps.

To help you visualize

Here’s an example Google search for Dentist Omaha.

Paid Ads, Map Pack and Organic Search Results Illustration

You will see the paid ads appear at the top of the page, then the map pack, then organic results. Then at the bottom of the page are more paid ads.

What does this mean?

This image shows us two things. First, it shows us the importance of having a local SEO strategy. The map pack pulls in GMB pages organically based on the search query, matching the GMB listing with the keyword(s) being searched. And, the first organic result is from Yelp. While that isn’t the case for every search result for every product or service, Yelp still ranks well for local product and service queries.

Second, this image shows the need for a holistic approach to your search marketing strategy. A Google Ads strategy partnered with local search optimization AND website search engine optimization efforts will help your business appear in all three sections.

Online Videos Changing Consumer Habits and Marketer Strategies

Remember when the only way to watch your favorite TV show was to sit on the couch at the exact time the show was set to air? Oh… and you could only use the bathroom or grab a snack during the commercial break. How did we even SURVIVE this inconvenience? Needless to say, the way we consume TV content has changed.

More than half of 18-to 49-year-olds watch very little TV or do not subscribe to TV, according to Google, and the number of households without a traditional TV subscription rises each year. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but traditional cable and satellite providers are struggling, having lost about 415,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year alone.

And while the struggle is real for cable providers, traditional TV content is not dead (and won’t be for the foreseeable future). Many factors, including video streaming services, digital ad spending and mobile user growth factor into the shift in TV entertainment. Social media growth, particularly that of YouTube, is among the top reasons why TV entertainment is a changing landscape.

illustration of man watching a show on tv

Why should you consider YouTube?

As of September 2018, the total number of monthly active YouTube users was 1.9 billion. People are not just watching YouTube on their mobile devices and they’re not just watching cute cat videos. In fact, people are spending twice as much time watching official TV channels on YouTube as they did two years ago, and they are watching it ON their TV.

YouTube is the second fastest growing search engine and the second most trafficked site, the first being Google. Owned by Google, YouTube applies the same principles of enhanced user experience and user-focused algorithms as the traditional Google search engine. And just as Ads on Google search offers affordable and targeted opportunities for web marketing, YouTube also offers targeted, affordable and effective marketing opportunities. In fact, more than half of marketers are advertising on YouTube, reporting that they see YouTube content driving views, engagement and purchases.

Launch a YouTube Campaign

What does this mean for your marketing dollars?

If your marketing goals and dollars are conducive to producing YouTube content and running ads, it could be worthy of your time. The data and projections can be compelling. Google estimates that by 2025, half of viewer under the age of 32 will not subscribe to a paid TV service. And it’s not because they’re not watching… it’s because they’re watching online video content instead.

Users view more than 500 million hours of video each day on YouTube. And if your customers are among them, targeting them on YouTube and re targeting them can increase click-through rate and conversion rates.

Get Started on YouTube

Benefits of Google My Business

google my business logo

Updated October 2019

Google My Business offers businesses an incredible opportunity to be found in local search engine results. As Google’s algorithms undergo constant change to provide a better user experience, Google My Business becomes increasingly important for ALL businesses as they seek to have an online presence and seek to be found easily in a local search.

Google My Business lists your business location on Google Maps and local search results. The listing is free and is a necessity for both store fronts and eCommerce businesses, and lists important information about your business, hours, location, services, contact information and website link.

google results for web design omaha

This is a simple and effective way to be found in local searches on Google. As Google accounts more and more for a user’s location in its algorithm, this local listing will help your business appear when users type in “[keyword] near me.” So, for JM, our listing will appear for a user in Omaha searching for “web designer near me,” because of our Google My Business listing. You’ll notice also in a query like this, Google returns three locations based on your current location.

Gaining access to or setting up a Google My Business page is SO EASY. Here’s a step-by-step guide from our web marketing and SEO team:

green start now buton

Set up Google My Business

Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and select “Start Now”. Sign up for a Google account or enter your current account information. You’ll then be able to search for your business. If you cannot find your business, simply “add your business.”

Create /Claim My Business Page

Once you’ve found your business location you can follow steps to confirm you’re authorized to manage the page. This part CAN be a little tricky, depending on the history of your page. We run into problems when:

  • A page has been created for your business, but you no longer have access to it
  • Someone else has access to your page, and you cannot retain ownership of the page directly from them

Sometimes, these circumstances require a direct phone call to a Google support tech.

Verify location(s)

Verifying your business with Google takes a few simple steps, but it important for appearing in Maps and Search. Google will provide you with a verification code through one of the following ways:

  • Phone
  • Postcard mailed to your business address
  • Email

JM Google My Business Listing

Optimize and Manage

Manage and respond to reviews

Reviews can be powerful. And whether a Google review is positive or negative, responding to these reviews show you value your customers. Positive reviews will increase your visibility, so encourage customers to leave reviews.

Include services

Listing services with brief descriptions (maybe even pricing) can help Google return your business to a viable customer and can give users a general idea of your business.

Add photos

Photos can help you tell a story by showing your office space, employees and products, your giving users a look into your company culture. It’s a digital storefront.

Add posts

Google My Business has a posts option for each page. For each post you can upload an image, write up a little text, add a title and include a link. This area offers flexibility in promoting events, sales, new products, new services, highlight old services, blogs, etc. These posts expire after about 7 days.

Google My Business is one of the most simple and critical steps you can take to help your website be found in a local search. And it’s free! And if you don’t have the time to worry about this, we’re happy to help you in set up your My Business Page, optimize it and advise you on how to take advantage of all its benefits.

Website Content Consultation Offer

content is king graphicPerhaps it’s been a while since you’ve evaluated your website’s content. Or perhaps it’s been a while (if ever) since you’ve looked at your Google Analytics to evaluate how your website content is performing.

You’ve likely heard the phrase “content is king.” From text and images, to web page titles, to H1 tags, to general call-to-action placement, website content matters to the search engines and it matters to potential customers. As a marketing tool with the intention of bringing in business, website content should be evaluated again and again so that your website keeps working for you – bringing in leads, making sales and building credibility.

What is website content?

Website content is more than just text and photos on a website “About” page. Some examples of website content that should be evaluated for success includes:

  • Clear, concise, keyword-rich text on all pages
  • Strategically selected keywords and keyword phrases
  • Optimized web page titles and H1 tags
  • Clear calls to action
  • Strategic landing pages for AdWords/social campaigns

Websites are meant to be investments for increased prospects and increased sales. Let us help you with that.

Increase website success

Did you know JM has a team of experts who work in-house to analyze data, build out web marketing and SEO campaigns, and monitor the results? We provide monthly reports and advice to our web marketing clients, so they can tweak their website content for better results.

For the month of April we are offering a one-time website content consultation for $100. Our web marketing team will analyze your analytics report and Google Search Console data and offer you advice on how to improve your website content to reach your goals.

One hour, $100… and you’ll leave with action steps that YOU can take to improve your website content and website performance.

Call 402.292.7500 ext 115 to schedule a one-hour consultation or send us an email.

JM Rolls Out New Bus Advertisement in Omaha-Metro

Omaha bus ad for JM Web Designs

 

If you’ve spent much time driving around the Omaha-metro this last year, you’ve likely seen JM advertisements wrapped on the back of a couple Omaha transit buses. After a successful effort in 2017, our Omaha web design and web marketing team is continuing down the route of more traditional branding, adding another bus advertisement to our fleet. This time, we wrapped a half a bus.

Bus advertising offers us a high impact and affordable method of branding. With a positive response from current customers and prospects, it’s clear that our mobile advertisements are helping to keep JM top-of-mind in Omaha. Additionally, advertising on an Omaha-metro bus ensures that we are promoting environmental responsibility and community improvement efforts. Public transportation reduces traffic, promotes individual health (walking to a bus stop), provides access to education and health care, reduces pollution, and increases public safety. Our advertising dollars also help go toward public improvements and to upkeep the roads we all use every day.

Our Omaha web design and web marketing team values supporting local, Omaha efforts that benefit the entire community, and we’re excited to see the results of our new bus advertisement.

If you see our bus ads rolling around the Omaha-metro, be sure to snap a photo and post to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #JMonWheels.

 

Preserving SEO Value: Website Content

graphic showing all the moving parts of seo services

Launching a new website is exciting… and there are many critical steps to be taken pre-launch to carry over organic rankings from a current website. Because lost organic search rankings and decreased traffic is NOT exciting. This post is the third in a series about preserving SEO value when launching a new website. A website should not only keep its rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines with a new website launch, but it should also incorporate new SEO opportunities – which were either not utilized in a previous website build, or not yet known.

Website content is so much more than just content on a page. Website content, in this context, includes text, images, new pages, H1 tags and webpage titles. All these items working together (along with countless other criteria) help Google rank a website.

A website that’s been around for years has been ranked according to it’s content. And depending on the website, this could either be a great opportunity to implement quality content on each page, tag each image appropriately and properly title the webpages… or a devastating botched SEO effort with lost rankings.

The Data Doesn’t Lie

screenshot of Google Analytics pageview data

Good decisions can only be made by looking at data. If a website has little-to-no content, H1’s have never been optimized and images are not tagged… it’s fairly safe to say there’s a lot of room for improvement in a new website launch. However, if you’ve worked hard over the years to create good quality content packed with keywords, optimized each page with relevant H1 tags and properly tagged each image in an extensive gallery the data can tell us how to move forward with preserving work that’s already been done.

By sifting through analytics for bounce rates, total traffic, organic rankings, keywords and several other items, we can determine if your current strategy is successful or where it can be improved.

Room for Improvement

If there is room for improvement with the designing and launching of a new website, there are a few thing our Omaha web design and web marketing team would recommend implementing prior to launch.

  • Clear, concise, keyword-rich text on all pages
  • Strategically selected keywords and keyword phrases
  • Optimized web page titles and H1 tags
  • Clear calls to action
  • Strategic landing pages for AdWords/social campaigns

To be clear, building a strong presence in the search engines does not happen overnight. Implementing even just a couple of the items above is a step in the right direction and can contribute to a long-term strategy.

Carrying Over Success

If, upon evaluating the data, it seem that your current website is performing well in the search engines then it’s best to keep things as similar as possible on the new website – URLs in particular. If you can keep the URL structure and page names the same, it’s ideal. Any changes should be done strategically and for the greater good of website performance, and not just done for the heck of it. Also, where you have page content that currently performs well you’ll want little, or no, changes. There will be plenty of opportunities to tweak the content post-launch, after it is indexed and ranked. This includes well tagged images.

And as for carrying over webpage titles, H1 tags and META descriptions, your old site may allow you to easily export all the key on-page elements to import into the new website. By keeping these items the same, it offers the same benefit as keeping the web content on the page similar. You can always go back post-launch and make updates as-needed, but avoiding a severe loss in SEO ranking is more important than making any major shifts in webpage titles or H1’s before launching a new website.

 

So the bottom line: when it comes to webpage content, H1 tags, page titles, page names, etc., if your current website is performing well make little-to-no updates until after launch. This is less work on your plate up-front, and will give you a chance to evaluate the performance of your new website’s design and layout before considering how to update the text on each page.

 

 

JM Welcomes Eric Wallace, New Web Marketing Account Strategist

Our Omaha web design team has always put a priority on serving its customers; and in an effort to provide continued cutting-edge services and excellent customer service, JM has welcomed a new team member – Eric Wallace.

JM New Web Marketing Account Strategist, Eric Wallace

Eric brings vast diversity and experience to JM’s team. As the web marketing account strategist, Eric works directly with JM’s web marketing and SEO customers to gain an understanding of their goals, then draws up a methodical plan for a successful web marketing campaign, monitors results and keeps clients updated on progress.

Eric’s previous work experience includes construction, bartending, private investigations, digital forensics consulting and debate coaching. Having drawn some valuable information from each experience, his eclectic background brings versatility, strategy development knowledge and effective communication skills. But, what Eric enjoys most is working with data and developing strategies – making every unique piece fit together in surprising and effective ways.

Eric is a California native, having grown up only an hour away from the set of Back to the Future III, who now lives in Nebraska with his wife and two children. When he’s not digging into website data, Eric enjoys reading (about anything and everything), playing the cello and working at a local radio station.

Tips for Preserving SEO in New Website Launch

Our Omaha web design and web marketing team is celebrating it’s 20th year in business, and over the 20 years we’ve designed and redesigned our own website, and of our client’s websites, countless times. The life of a website varies – depending on when it was built, the technology/platform used and the branding needs of your own company. Platforms and design trends are constantly changing, so reevaluating your website’s performance and design every few years is always recommended.

But when you do decide it’s time to redesign and launch a brand-new website, the process and execution are critical to your online credibility.

rocket launching graphic to symbolize new website launch

Preserving Online Credibility & SEO

Credibility is achieved through a professional, creative and functional design – of course. But also, don’t forget about the potential credibility you’ve built with Google for years, which you don’t want to lose. Building a new website should not only be about gaining a new website design, but also about gaining access to new SEO opportunities (not just retaining current search engine credibility).

Among countless things that can be problematic in retaining organic SEO with a new website launch are:

  • New, edited or removed content
  • URL changes
  • Page-level optimization changes
  • New sections or pages added to the website
  • New technology
  • Internal link structure changes
  • Domain name change
  • Subdomain change

We’ll hit on the items above in more detail in future posts. But, before launching a new website it’s important to identify a strategy to preserve SEO rankings and improve ranking and traffic moving forward. Carefully planning a new website launch and then monitoring results are critical in refining SEO strategy and refining your website for maximum success.

A website redesign is an opportunity for more traffic and more revenue, so don’t let a botched website launch hurt your credibility with Google.