I’m paying you to ‘do SEO’ …What else can we do?

File this one under: Things SEO clients ask often enough to warrant a blog-post answer. Wow! Dan’s hooking you up with the SEO secret sauce? Lucky you! Can we do anything else to make his job easier improve your organic Google visibility? Yes.

cats look smarter wearing glasses
Me: “What picture should I use?” Wife: “Lucy in glasses; he looks smart.”

Google Business Profile/Google My Business – Posts and Reviews?

I can help you establish and optimize your Google Business Profile (formerly GMB) listing. But if you want to follow GMB post and GMB review best practices you’ll likely engage other, minor but important cogs in your digital marketing HR machine.

GBP/GMB posts

Let’s not belabor the point here; I’ve already done that elsewhere: What are Google My Business posts? Read that. Do what it says, if you want. Do you want an SEO expert to do GMB posts for you? You might be able to talk me into it, but conventional wisdom suggests you and your staff are better equipped than I am to create little messages about your business every week. I’m happy to review clients’ GMB posts and train their minions on GMB post best practices, but I’ve been able to talk everyone out of hiring my team to create the GMB posts, so far. (#ROI$)

Yes, you can automate GMB posts to some extent, but I’d try to talk you out of it. And if you’re still wondering, “What the hell is a GMB post? I haven’t noticed one in the wild.” …You’re in good company.

But you know who likes GMB posts? Google. Google likes GMB posts, and we want to make Google happy. Begrudgingly.

GMB Reviews

Without exception, your organization should encourage your great customers to review you on Google. I would like to advise you on how, and help you grease the wheels, but I don’t otherwise directly help you get more reviews. Note of nuance: If Google finds out you’re ‘incentivizing‘ people to leave reviews, they might remove all of your reviews. So try to figure out where overlord-Google’s moral (and semantic) lines are drawn, and tread carefully.

Should we get reviews on other sites, too?

Google aggregates reviews from several other websites on GMB properties, as appropriate, and otherwise pays attention to third-party reviews. Are your successful competitors rocking reviews on multiple outlets? You probably should too, if you want to compete. On which websites should you improve your reviews? Garner reviews through as many relevant outlets as you can stomach. Google, Yelp, Angie’s, Facebook, etc. If I had to pick one? Google. Two? It depends. If you have the bandwidth to rock two or more, I can look into your specific case, and consult smarter cohorts.

Can videos help SEO?

100%. Make just a few short, perfunctory YouTube videos, and in many spaces, you’re already far ahead of your rivals. The bar is low. Get in on this while you can. I’ll optimize your videos’ descriptions and meta data on YouTube, and then embed the videos in companion blog posts. In all but the most competitive segments, it’s another SEO gold brick in the wall. …But I rarely directly create videos for clients. Sometimes I have recommendations as to who can more effectively do that for you, but the best practitioners are often busy.

Any video outlets other than YouTube?

Rarely, yes. Generally, no. Google owns YouTube. Play on Google’s playground unless you have good reason not to. Want to read more about other video outlets vis-a-vis SEO? I plan on doing a video-specific SEO blog post in the future, but this isn’t it. :/

Is social worth the effort?

Is it valuable having a Facebook/Twitter/etc. page if you don’t post anything there? Debatable. I say: Pick your battles. In 2021, in most cases, it’s smart to put at least a little effort into a brand Facebook page. If you keep up with it, (at least a couple halfway decent posts per month), then we can consider other social outlets. I don’t directly manage social efforts, but I can occasionally recommend expert social mavens accepting new clients.

More? Dan opining on social and SEO in 2013.

If you’re in a competitive space, probably. Backlinks are one of the ABC’s of SEO, after all. Focus on the easy gets. Building links can be a time-consuming slog, and not always worth the investment. Often we can get by without it. To dip its toes in, a geotargeted company might solicit local bloggers with the promise of free or heavily discounted services in return for great blog posts linking to the biz site. More than a decade ago, I paid link brokers to rent or purchase backlinks and guest posts, a strategy that still works, but has become prohibitively expensive to do safely. Reciprocal link trades? Rarely worth it.

Are our analytics up to snuff?

If you’re going to take digital marketing seriously, you should ensure you’ve got somebody wiser than me reading the myriad tea leaves. What?? I can read and react to rank reports like a pro, and can poke around Google Analytics better than most, but I ain’t got nothin’ on the real analytics specialists. There’s so much free, actionable data at our fingertips, but you need great partners to optimally configure it and react to it. A good first step is to signup for Keyword Hero, my go-to provider for granular keyword-level Google Analytics data integration. They have a free plan. Check it out. If you also want my reco for the best GA expert, check out this post about bleeding-edge analytics.

Please, help me revise our keyword scope.

Great SEO efforts start with good research, but the exploration rarely ends there. Successful businesses seldom stagnate. Share news of your dynamic niche with your digital marketing cogs, please. We SEOs are marketing doofuses relying on your expertise for success. Did you get a new tool enabling you to provide new services to your clients? Has there been an incremental change in client behavior over time? Has anything unforeseen (cough: COVID) led to sudden, unexpected consumer trends in your field?

Please don’t be aloof. Tell your SEO maven about potential new keyword research opportunities as they arise. Conversely, please also let me know when it’s time to remove targets, for similar reasons. E.g. “Our potato masher broke, so we’re not selling mashed potatoes anymore. …But we’ve pivoted to baked potatoes!”

Dan Dreifort is more SEO/UX connoisseur than potato-parallel guru. He likes mixing lemonade from broken metaphors. It’s December 2020, his current client onboarding wait-list extends to April 2021. Please visit Dan’s SEO consulting website to get on that list. When he’s not helping people with Google visibility and visitor behavior, Dan makes COVID-safe music with online super-group Synth Band Dot Com.

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