SEO Articles

Google Search Console’s URL parameter tool is officially not working

Google Search Console’s URL parameter tool is officially not working

Google today has turned off support for the URL parameter tool within Google Search Console. Google did notify us just about a month ago that this would be happening and it did – the URL parameter no longer functions today.

What happened. If you try to access a specific Search Console profile using the URL parameter tool, Google will tell you “this report is no longer available here.” It will show this warning icon along with it:

What is the URL parameter tool. The URL parameter tool launched in 2009 as a parameter handling tool, a way to communicate to Google to ignore specific URLs or combinations of URL parameters. Two years later, in 2011, Google upgraded to tool to handle many more parameter scenarios.

The tool essentially let you block Google from indexing URLs on your site.

You are currently able to access the tool over here but when you try to use it, that error will show up.

Why is it going away. Google said it has become “much better at guessing which parameters are useful on a site and which are —plainly put— useless.” Google added that “only about 1% of the parameter configurations currently specified in the URL Parameters tool are useful for crawling.” “Due to the low value of the tool both for Google and Search Console users, we’re deprecating the URL Parameters tool in 1 month,” Google said.

What do I do going forward. Google said there is nothing specific to do. Google said “going forward you don’t need to do anything to specify the function of URL parameters on your site, Google’s crawlers will learn how to deal with URL parameters automatically.” You can always use robots.txt rules, Google said “or use hreflang to specify language variations of content,” Google added. Plus, Google said your CMS and platforms handle building quality URLs these days.

The old rules will no longer function or be considered going forward.

Why we care. If you previously used the URL parameter tool, now that the tool is no longer being used by Google, you will want to annotate your reports to document the change. You probably should keep a close eye on your analytics and Search Console reports to see changes, if any, in crawling, indexing and ranking that may be related to this change. This might be a gradual impact, so keep an eye on issues over the next several days to several weeks.

The post Google Search Console’s URL parameter tool is officially not working appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

You’re interested in ABM but what will it cost?

You’re interested in ABM but what will it cost?

You’ve heard about the results companies are getting with account-based marketing (ABM) and you want to know what it will take to make it work for you. In particular, will it fit in your budget?

Like any digital marketing campaign, the cost of running ABM campaigns consists of multiple components with multiple line items within each component. ABM components include your tech stack, assets, channels, and the expertise to execute and orchestrate everything. What can you expect to spend on each? What variables come into play? What kind of return can you expect from your investment?

Let’s break it all down.

How to think about ABM budgets

You may have seen the Forrester report that found the average annual ABM budget is around $350,000 (excluding headcount costs) and pilot campaigns around $200,000. It found more mature programs with proven value have budgets of around $600,000, and budgets for established programs at large enterprises can run into the millions.

While these averages are a good jumping-off point, smaller organizations shouldn’t be put off by the price tag before learning more, and corporations of any size should keep in mind these findings may have already changed. Forrester found that 70 percent of organizations expected the average cost to rise.

The best way to think about ABM budgets is to understand its components, your ICP priorities, and the right budgeting methodology.

Start by understanding ABM components

Tools, processes, and people — like any digital endeavor, you need all three to run ABM campaigns. ABM components include: 

Strategy development Tech stackAsset creationPaid ad channels Expertise to run campaigns and analyze results 

The number of accounts and individuals within those accounts you want to target also drives your budget.  

Determine the relative importance of insight and engagement

Are you primarily looking for insight or engagement from your ideal client persona (ICP)? 

If you want to better understand your visitors’ intent and pain points, you’ll want to allocate more of your budget for insight. You’ll use this information to create targeted ICP content and give your team the perspective to make informed campaign choices.

On the other hand, if your targeted ICP is within the same industry or niche, you’ll want to allocate more of your budget for engagement because the insight provided will be similar for all accounts within your ICP.

Use the right budgeting methodology

You can use the same budgeting approach for an ABM pilot or 1:Many ABM campaign as you would for a traditional digital marketing campaign, but budgeting for 1:Few and 1:1 campaigns is more complicated and fluid.

Personalized ABM campaigns focus on targeting individuals within accounts — the cost is determined by account value and not a fixed budget. The more valuable a particular account, the more you’ll want to spend on it. Account values often reveal themselves during the campaign, so you’ll want to use an account-based methodology with more flexible line items.

How to price out technology and expertise

While the actual dollar costs of targeting specific accounts and individuals are too variable to cover here, we can quantify the cost of technology and expertise.

Budget for the tech stack you need

You’ll need to subscribe to a few key platforms to run ABM. The cost of your combined tech stack is based on the size of your organization and the platforms you choose — you can expect to pay $165-$325K in total for the annual licenses needed to run ABM.

Budget for the channels you need

Targeting accounts with the right messages at the right time means you have to get your assets in the right channels. ABM channels include programmatic, content marketing, paid search, SEO, paid social, email nurture, and online gifting. The total cost for each channel includes creating the assets and running them in the channel.

While spending for each channel is highly variable by campaign, determining an overall paid-ad budget is part of your campaign strategy.

It’s best to stay flexible with specific allocations so you can spend more on the channels that are proving to be more successful as your campaign progresses and less on the ones that aren’t.

Budget for the expertise you need

You can use the right tech stack and channels for your ICP, but it’s tough to get the right ROI without the right team. You need:

Tech stack integration specialists: Connect all platforms so they work together and convert data into dashboard visualizations everyone can understand. Analysts and strategists: Translate ongoing campaign data into actionable tactics that ensure you’re targeting accounts most likely to convert.  Content writers and designers: Develop display ads, white papers, case studies, landing pages, and personalized assets for 1:Few and 1:1 campaigns. Search marketers: Convert complex marketing plans and research into SEO and PPC strategies that get ads in front of buying committees at every funnel stage.

Remember to keep turnover in mind. Marketing specialists have a 19.8% annual turnover rate. 

How omnichannel impacts ABM budgeting

Much more of the buying process and B2B marketing is taking place online now — the pandemic changed how the world does business. B2B marketers who embrace the change are reaching accounts where they’re already hanging out.

Omnichannel changes how buying committees make decisions

The new B2B buying journey doesn’t include a lot of talking with suppliers. Most of it happens online before buyers reach out and includes more people on the buying committee. 

In 2017, you could engage in buying scenarios by targeting one or two buyers. Now, buying committees with two people represent only 18% of purchases while most have five or more people. These people are looking for solutions online and increasingly find them in social channels — B2B social sellers outperform their peers who don’t leverage social media by 72%.  

Why omnichannel ABM requires insight

To know which channels will work best, you need to apply ABM insight.

For example, if you advertise on LinkedIn but the accounts within your ICP are more active on Facebook, your ads aren’t likely reaching your intended audience. By applying insight using an omnichannel approach, you ensure your ICP will see your ads while enabling you to target specific pain points. This dramatically increases the likelihood your ICP will follow your ad to your website.

How to optimize omnichannel ABM

More personalized ABM campaigns work better. The data prove it — 1:Few and 1:1 ABM campaigns deliver much higher ROI because they move accounts further down the funnel faster. 

As you might guess, personalized ABM campaigns cost more because you need to create and orchestrate personalized assets. But if it’s ROI you’re after, the investment pays off. Make sure to be strategic during account selection and focus your budget on running campaigns that only target high-value, in-market accounts. 

ABM investment strategies 

While the bottom-line number for an ABM program deserves thoughtful consideration, keep revenue generation in mind as you deliberate. To realize the promise of ABM, look at all of your options and allow the strategy to play out once you start. 

Patience is a must

The B2B buying process takes many months or even a year or more to move a buying committee from awareness through decision. The first ROI benchmark for ABM is usually around month six — by then, if you’ve invested wisely and your sales team is leveraging campaign data correctly, you should be seeing a return of three times your investment.

The agency alternative

The most sophisticated ABM agencies run full-funnel ABM campaigns that include sales enablement as part of their services. These agencies earn their clients up to nine times annual ROI for 1:Few and 1:1 campaigns starting with the first campaign because they already have the teams, technology, and orchestration expertise. 

Agency results can be replicated in-house over time as you build the right team and a seamless operation. Consider comparing the budget you develop to the cost of partnering with an ABM agency by requesting demos from one of more agencies.

Ways to reduce in-house costs

There are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of running AMB in-house. The key is informed decision-making and careful planning:

Research your tech stack options so you choose the ones that match your needs the first timeConsider your data goals to cut back on costs associated with trying different products  Have the right team in place before you startEstablish SOPs to avoid obstacles

As you’ve seen, budgeting for ABM is complex but you can get accurate numbers when you understand what’s involved and apply a lot of forethought. Reaching out to peers and experts about their hands-on experiences with ABM budgeting is always a good idea, as is giving equal focus to the other side of your balance sheet as you make your allocation decisions.

The post You’re interested in ABM but what will it cost? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

How to interview and hire for entry-level digital marketing positions

It’s graduation season. For many college students, that means it’s time to get a job. 

There are plenty of open jobs in digital marketing – more than 20,000 jobs are listed for “digital media, entry-level” on LinkedIn right now. If your agency or brand is hiring, you can expect to get resumes from some of these college graduates.

This begs the question: what should you look for when hiring for entry-level digital marketing roles? What soft skills and hard skills matter? What questions should you ask? And are there any red flags should you watch for?

Here’s what to look for when hiring junior talent who may have little (if any) hands-on experience in digital marketing.

Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.

Processing…Please wait.


See terms.

What to look for in a candidate

Thriving in digital marketing doesn’t require a certain type of work or life experience.

Success comes down to the person – their aptitude and desire to show up and do the work.

I’ve hired English majors, chemical engineers, and everything in between. I’ve hired people from small universities, top five schools and those who didn’t get a degree.

Look for a candidate who demonstrates the ability to solve problems. You want to hire people who have done – and will do – the necessary work to succeed. Ask candidates to share examples of their experience and how they can relate that experience to the daily work your company does. Someone who can show you these elements is a strong candidate. 

Hard vs. soft skills

Hard skills are the easiest to spot. Candidates who have invested time in certification in a tool or technology (e.g., Google, Facebook or Amazon ads) have already built a foundation for success in this space.

It is a good signal to me, as a hiring manager, when a candidate knows the language being spoken on a day-to-day basis. It will help get this person up to speed and running more quickly.

Soft skills are more valuable over time, but harder to determine from a resume or an interview.

When it comes to soft skills, I always tell candidates to think through the story they are trying to convey.

Candidates who can boil questions down in the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) framework should be considered seriously. Too many candidates fail to provide enough specifics when demonstrating their grasp of the question or the skills needed.

Types of questions to ask

Keep expectations fairly simple when interviewing for junior positions. Nobody at this level has managed a Fortune 500 company’s ad budget. Experience in any kind of digital marketing work isn’t even necessary.

However, you should expect candidates to have a clear point of view and interest in digital marketing. Here are a few go-to questions to ask candidates and what to listen for in their answers:

Tell me about an analytical decision you made. Digital marketing has more data than most careers. I’m not looking for candidates to have used data specifically in digital marketing work. It could be anywhere. Maybe it’s how they figured out how to save money on a vacation or something they created as a school project. The goal of this question is to understand a candidate’s decision-making ability and how they break down problems. What makes you interested in digital marketing? Look for some passion in this answer. A good example would be someone who knows about some recent news in the industry and why it’s interesting. Strong candidates will tell you how they use personal time to get some experience or learn more. Do you have any questions for me? This is always the last question, but it is very important. Look for someone to show they have done homework on the company and leadership. If they have no questions or ask about vacation policy at this point, you will leave frustrated and have one less candidate.

Watch out for these red flags

You may have your own dealbreakers. Here are two for me:

Candidates who fail to do any homework: Good candidates will take time to research the job, the company, the people interviewing them or the industry. At a minimum, a candidate should have visited your social media accounts or website, or read some articles on Search Engine Land.Candidates who lack passion or interest: Look, I get it. It’s just a job. I know we aren’t hiring anyone to cure cancer. A lack of enthusiasm during the interview or afterward, for the company or the industry, is a clear indicator that they aren’t capable or willing to do the job.

The need for digital marketing talent continues to increase

Our industry is growing faster than our talent supply. Hopefully, the advice in this article is helpful if you’re hiring for entry-level positions.

Who knows. You might just hire someone who is about to begin an exciting and rewarding career path for the next 20+ years. Let the search begin!

The post How to interview and hire for entry-level digital marketing positions appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

20220426 SEL Brief

The post 20220426 SEL Brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

Master the art of agile research to iterate, innovate and grow

Master the art of agile research to iterate, innovate and grow

Traditional A/B testing only lets you test messaging, creative and other marketing assets after they have gone live in the market – with no warning of how they will perform.

This sometimes leads to falling short on your marketing goals. What if there was a way to test before launching, improve your return and understand why your consumers selected the asset they did?

Join experts from Feedback Loop as they provide real-world examples of what you need to exceed goals and advance in your career with agile research.

Register today for “Master the Art of Agile Research to Iterate, Innovate and Grow” presented by Feedback Loop.

The post Master the art of agile research to iterate, innovate and grow appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Read More

12 Local SEO Tips For Small Businesses You Can’t Ignore

12 Local SEO Tips For Small Businesses You Can’t Ignore

As a small business, ranking for keyword terms can be difficult. With larger, more resourced businesses targeting those same terms, it can seem impossible to nudge your way to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

How are small businesses expected to rank highly on SERPs? Fortunately, with the use of local SEO, there’s more than a good chance.

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that local SEO has never been more important for small businesses than it is now. Just consider that “where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200 percent from 2017 to 2019.

In addition, a recent study found that 69 percent of digital traffic is organic and local—meaning it’s more important than ever that your small business tightens up its local organic SEO strategies.

This guide will introduce local SEO for small businesses. We’ll then cover 12 local SEO tips and the tools you need to begin your journey.

What Is Local SEO for Small Business?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website to increase the chances of it being seen when people search terms related to your business. Local SEO is a similar venture but with a particular focus on local keyword terms.

The goal is to drive local traffic to your website—traffic that’s more likely to convert, whether online or offline.

Why Is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses?

With more people relying on online information to make offline purchases, local SEO for small businesses has never been more important. In fact, one study found 78 percent of local searches on mobile result in an offline purchase. You can’t argue with those results!

Other reasons to optimize your website for local SEO include the opportunity to build your website up as an authority and educate your target audience on your products and services.

Your local SEO efforts don’t have to center around increasing sales. You can also use local SEO strategies to drive traffic to your website for the purpose of informing or educating.

12 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Many local SEO tips can be implemented within minutes, while others take considerably more time. However, each of the tips below can greatly benefit your local business, both online and offline.

1. Optimize for Google My Business

Google My Business is a business directory owned and operated by Google. The goal of the platform is to provide the most accurate business information for local businesses to searchers.

With this in mind, most businesses will have a Google My Business listing within a year or so of starting their business. This is done automatically as Google learns of your business through its website crawl bots.

The problem with an automated listing, though, is that information may not be complete or accurate. Only when you claim your listing can you ensure you’re getting the most from the platform.

If you need even more reason to claim or create your own listing, then consider that businesses with 4 or more stars on Google My Business outrank those with less than 4 stars by about 11 percent. As a small business, you can’t afford to lose out on that edge.

How can you completely optimize your Google My Business listing? Here are a few essential steps to get you started:

Claim or create your Google My Business listing.Complete profile data and publish your listing.Add photos and videos of your business and offerings to your profile.Respond to ratings and reviews in a professional and timely manner.

It’s important that your business information is accurate and updated. You should ensure updates are made at least monthly, though weekly monitoring of your listing is important to success.

2. Claim All Business Directories

Speaking of business directories, you must be sure to stake your claim in all business directories. The most popular include Google My Business mentioned above and Yelp.

You may think that a Google Business Profile is sufficient to bring in traffic, both online and in-store. However, consider that a Yelp page is present in the top 5 results for 92 percent of search queries that contain a city and business category.

What difference does it make for your listing to be in the top 5 results on Google? The top 5 results on the SERPs account for 80 percent of click-throughs on the first page of Google. The first organic result alone accounts for almost 40 percent.

All of this to say, you can’t afford to not claim your business on all directories wherever possible.

Fortunately, business directories make it easy to claim your listings. To claim your Yelp business page, for example, you can begin the process by verifying your business information.

While Google and Yelp are the big dogs, other business directories to consider are Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, and Yellow Pages.

3. Perform a Local SEO Audit

Now that you’re established on business directories, it’s time to understand the landscape. This enables you to see what your competitors are doing so you, too, can make the same improvements (and better) on your website.

Results on the first page of SERPs provide the most insight and inspiration. After all, the first three positions alone account for 66.5 percent of the click-throughs on the SERPs!

As you begin your audit, first consider free tools and analyzers like the SEO Analyzer. These tools give you a detailed overview of your website’s current status and what you can do to optimize.

Next, use your target keywords (which you’ll work out in the next section), and compare your website to the top five of each SERP. Consider types of content, website structure, page elements, and keyword density.

I would recommend keeping a spreadsheet of your findings to easily track and implement your changes.

4. Target Local Keywords

As a small business, keyword targeting can be daunting. You know you’ll be lost in the sea when you target high-volume keywords, but lower-volume keywords tend to yield little return.

As a local business, you actually have an edge when it comes to keyword targeting. “Near me” search term variations increased as little as 150 percent (e.g. “near me now”) to as much as 900 percent (e.g. “near me today/tonight”) in just a few years. This means that targeting a combination of high volume and local keywords can work in your favor.

What do I mean in practice?

Let’s say you own a local flower shop. Your website naturally contains many high-volume keywords, such as “florist,” “flower shop,” and “flowers for sale.” The fact is you’re unlikely to beat out national flower providers, like 1-800-Flowers and Sam’s Club, with those keywords.

The goal should be to optimize your website with local keywords.

For example, search your website for every instance of “flowers for sale.” You’ll want to be wary of keyword stuffing, but take care to change most of these instances to more specific, local terms, such as:

“flowers for sale in [city or zip code]”“[city or zip code] flowers for sale”“flowers for sale [city or zip code]”

You don’t have to target only your specific town and zip code, though. Consider areas within 10 or 15 miles of your business and target those local keywords, too. This is especially good practice if you live in a smaller town outside of a larger city or metro area.

5. Encourage (and Reward) Customer Reviews

When was the last time you visited a restaurant or purchased an item without researching ratings and reviews? If you’re like 82 percent of consumers performing an online local search, then the answer is never.

Customer reviews are the lifeblood of your business. This is particularly true for new and small businesses.

How can you obtain online customer reviews?

First, ensure there is a place for customers to leave reviews. If you’ve claimed your Google My Business profile and Yelp business listing, then you’re off to a great start.

Second, offer an incentive to customers who leave reviews. Whether by word of mouth or marked on in-store receipts, let customers know they will receive a discount or a complimentary item for their rating and review.

The work doesn’t stop there, though. You must respond to all reviews, negative and positive. This gives you an opportunity to engage with your customers, and it can also instill faith in your brand by those who have yet to purchase.

6. Create Local Content

Above we talked about targeting local keywords while avoiding keyword stuffing. The best way to do this is to create local content for your website or website’s blog.

Local content can be a blog post, a news release, or a static web page. You can use these various content types to highlight local events (past and upcoming), local offerings, local business roundups (e.g., local businesses that complement but don’t compete with yours), or even to educate the public on your product or service.

The more natural content you have on your website, the more easily you can target local keywords. It can also help to establish you as an expert in the field, which is crucial for small business owners competing against larger businesses.

Continuing with the example of a flower shop, here are a few content ideas that will naturally target both the audience and the keywords:

Blog post: #X [your state] Flowers for Year-Round DecoratingStatic web page: Our Local [your state] Flower OfferingsStatic web page: [your state] Garden Flower OfferingsBlog post: [your state] Flower Events for [season/year]

7. Implement a Local Backlink Strategy

A backlink is a link to your website from another site. Depending on the quality of the third-party websites and the number of links to your website, this can have a considerable impact on your website’s authority.

Authority is a critical piece in determining how high your website ranks on the SERPs. How do we know this? Consider that the #1 result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than positions #2 to #10.

How can a small business website begin to build its backlink profile? A few things to consider are:

writing guest posts for relevant, high-quality websites in your industryengaging in influencer outreachparticipating in link outreaches“listening” for brand mentionswriting shareable content

Speaking of shareable content, the key to any successful backlink strategy is quality, reasonably lengthy content. After all, it’s known that long-form content receives 77.2 percent more backlinks than short articles.

You don’t want long content for content’s sake, so keep the post relevant, valuable, and free of fluff.

8. Become Mobile-Friendly

Considering 82 percent of smartphone shoppers conduct “near me” searches, you can’t afford not to have a mobile-friendly site.

The hard work isn’t getting traffic to your site, but instead keeping it there once it arrives. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, then local searchers will quickly leave your site and consider a competitor instead.

What is a mobile-friendly site? The four basic elements that every mobile-friendly site should contain include:

responsive page displayreadable fontsproper text formattingoptimized media display

Beyond a mobile-friendly website, you must also produce mobile-friendly content. The good news about mobile-friendly content is that it’s also viewable for desktop readers.

What does such content consist of?

short paragraphswhite spacesubheadingsa summaryimageslistsstyling (e.g., bold, italics)

If you’re not a web developer, the idea of creating a mobile-friendly website can be daunting. The good news is that most website platforms incorporate mobile-friendly elements into their themes and overlays. Keep an eye out for “responsive” as an indicator of such options.

9. Optimize Page Structure

Local SEO for business goes beyond business listings and content. An often-overlooked element is page structure.

Page structure includes title tags, headers, meta description, and URL. When used correctly, these can further enhance your content and improve your rankings on SERPs.

Perhaps you’re wondering just how much of an impact these elements can have on your rankings. Here’s the deal: To employ elements that your competitors may not be, you can get ahead.

Which page structure elements are most overlooked by small businesses? From greatest to least, here is what percentage of small business owners use the following key SEO features:

Title tag: 99 percentRobots.txt: 88 percentSitemap.xml: 73 percentMeta description: 72 percentH1: 68 44 percent

You can address the title tag, meta description, and H1 most easily. However, robots.txt, sitemap.xml, and also have their place on a well-structured website.

10. Get Involved on Social Media

Social media isn’t just for big brands and influencers. A local business page can benefit from social media usage, too.

More specifically, a local business page can be a great place to keep customers up-to-date on the latest sales, events, and changes (e.g., hours of operation). That’s because even with a website, a social media profile is more like a “living” version of your business.

Perhaps Facebook users benefit most from local business pages. After all, ⅔ of Facebook users across all countries surveyed say they visit the Page of a local business at least once a week. However, other social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok can also offer your business an edge.

A few examples of the benefits of maintaining social media profiles for your small business include relationship building, trend tracking and analysis, and social commerce.

Here’s how small businesses can get involved on social media:

Decide which platforms are right for your business based on features and target audience.Post quality content on a regular basis.Use scheduling and automation tools to test and improve engagement.Participate in local events and roundups.Make it easy for customers to purchase your products and services online.

Depending on your business and target audience, social media may or may not make up a large percentage of your sales and traffic. However, either way, a strong social media presence is a must for small businesses.

11. Participate in Local Business Events

Would you be surprised to learn you can do a lot offline to improve your website’s local SEO? 48 percent of marketers invest at least 20 percent of their marketing budget in live events.

Participating in local business events, especially those with a strong social media presence, can help grow your business in a few ways. They’re an opportunity to market your business but also are an easy way to get to know your audience and the community you serve. There’s likely to be a return on such events, too.

As a small business, you have the versatility to host your own event or sponsor and join with larger community events. An event you host yourself would likely yield a larger return, but a community event may be ideal for smaller budgets.

12. Invest in Google Ads With Local Keywords

Small business usually means small budget. It’s important that you invest wisely in the growth of your business online. Where should you hedge your bets? For most businesses, Google Ads is a good place to start.

Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that enables you to appear in prominent places on the SERPs.

You may think that you could never compete against big businesses. One way around this is to highlight your local status by targeting local keywords and local audiences. For example, instead of targeting “flowers for sale,” target “flowers for sale in [your city or zip code].”

How can we know this will be successful? According to Think with Google, 72 percent of computer or tablet users and 67 percent of smartphone users want ads that are customized to their city or zip code. Users want to find the options most local to them, so give them what they want.

It’s true that starting with Google Ads can be daunting, but fortunately, you have the option to invest in an advertising agency to help you set up and manage your account and keywords. If you want to go it alone, though, follow these essential steps:

Conduct keyword research: This will include keywords you want to target but also keywords you want to exclude from your campaigns (negative keywords).Decide how your ad groups will be structured: Ad groups are ad campaigns grouped by a common element, like target audience, target keyword, or even location. Decide how your groups will break down so you can begin to create your campaigns.Create your first campaign: A campaign is a step above ad groups in that it encompasses a larger target audience. For example, you can have a “Wedding Flowers” campaign that includes ad groups like “Wedding Flowers in Queens” and “Wedding Flowers in Brooklyn.” This is where you will set campaign-level goals and settings.Create your first ad: Google Ads has multiple ad types. A text ad is a good place to begin, though your ad groups can contain multiple ad types, and it’s important to experiment with what works for your audience.

Continuous monitoring and tweaking of your campaigns are necessary for success.

Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses Frequently Asked Questions

As a small business, should I get an agency to help with my local SEO?

As a small business, budget can be a constraint. While you can make many changes yourself, a consulting agency can offer invaluable advice and resources.

How does local SEO help small businesses grow?

With local search intent being what it is, local SEO can be a boon to small businesses. It can put you on the map (or SERPs, as it happens) for keywords you may not have ever ranked for on a larger scale.

How much should a small business pay for local SEO?

The amount you invest will vary depending on what you find to be meaningful and valuable to your business. If you must invest, I recommend you do so in two places: 1) in an SEO consulting agency, and 2) in paid advertising.

What kind of small businesses need local SEO?

Local SEO can benefit small businesses of all kinds. If you provide products or services in a specific area (or multiple areas), then you can benefit from its use.

“@context”: “”,
“@type”: “FAQPage”,
“mainEntity”: [
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “As a small business, should I get an agency to help with my local SEO?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

As a small business, budget can be a constraint. While you can make many changes yourself, a consulting agency can offer invaluable advice and resources.

, {
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “How does local SEO help small businesses grow?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

With local search intent being what it is, local SEO can be a boon to small businesses. It can put you on the map (or SERPs, as it happens) for keywords you may not have ever ranked for on a larger scale.

, {
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “How much should a small business pay for local SEO?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

The amount you invest will vary depending on what you find to be meaningful and valuable to your business. If you must invest, I recommend you do so in two places: 1) in an SEO consulting agency, and 2) in paid advertising.

, {
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “What kind of small businesses need local SEO?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

Local SEO can benefit small businesses of all kinds. If you provide products or services in a specific area (or multiple areas), then you can benefit from its use.

] }

Conclusion: Local SEO for Small Business

As a small business owner, you know that hard work and dedication is needed to grow your sales. Much the same can be said for local SEO. While SEO can take time and patience, it can pay off in the long run.

With the 12 local SEO tips outlined above, even the smallest businesses can benefit. From keyword research to social media marketing to paid advertising, you can begin to make changes today to see benefits in the future.

Which of these local SEO tips for small businesses will you implement first?

Read More