During our September 2015 FFA (Free For All Education Webinar) we had a question from a non-Acorn client. These FREE Educational Webinars are provided every quarter for any innkeeper, hotelier or small business owners at no charge. These sessions are recorded, so you may CLICK HERE to watch the latest FFA session on Google Local vs. Organic vs. PPC.
→ The question from the non-Acorn Innkeeper was as follows:
“I just paid a lot of money for a brand new website, and I’m STILL NOT IN THE 3-PACK – what is wrong?”
And I realized right then and there that there are still too many Innkeepers out there are lacking even the most basic knowledge when it comes to Google placement, requirements and guidelines.
→ My answer to this Innkeeper's question was:
“Google’s Local 3 pack has VERY LITTLE to do with your website. A new website will have little to NO impact in the 3 Pack, which feeds into Google Maps, Mobile Local, etc.”
|So I’m sitting here asking myself, why would an Innkeeper think a new website design would help with their 3 Pack / Local Listings being fed by Google My Business (GMB) and other Local Business Listings (LBL)?
The only answer I can come up with, is that the majority of Innkeepers out there are simply not taking the time to educate themselves before they spend a lot of money. This type of blind spending can turn out to be very costly and ultimately lead to the demise of their business.
Therefore, I’m writing this blog post to help those of you who really are not up to speed with the current state of Google SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
|As a side note and kudos to our Acorn University Students, you already are aware of Google’s most current SERPs, and have at your fingertips the education you need to keep up with what’s happening with Google. You already know how it can severely impact your business if you are not keeping up, and thus you continue to take the time to learn and know the value of it.
So - - Gold stars for all of you!
For everyone else, here is the crash course on Google’s SERPs as they stand today. If you are not sure how to identify each of these listings in Google I highly encourage you to invest the time to watch the September 2015 FFA Webinar.
1) 30% +/- of your Google traffic comes from Google My Business Listings (GMB).
For the most part, GMB listings are NOT influenced by your website. They are influenced by the quality and uniqueness of your GMB listing, a variety of Online Business listings, reviews, accurate spelling of your NAP (Name Address and Phone) and a variety of other Local Signals. This listing feeds the 3 Pack, Local Map listings, the Knowledge Graph Data and Mobile Local.
2) 40% +/- of your Google traffic comes from Organic Listings.
These listings are wholly influenced by the quality of your website and it’s off site factors. Your website must meet all of Google’s guidelines. At the end of this post you will find the most prominent Google Guidelines and Tools that you or your webmaster must follow for highest possible placement.
3) 30% +/- of your Google traffic comes from Paid Ad Listings.
Adwords and Adwords Express paid campaigns. These cost you money, and DO NOT in ANY WAY influence your GMB placement in the 3-Pack, Local, Mobile, Maps, Organic, etc. You simply pay to play.
MUST HAVE TAKE AWAY
So if you only take 1 thing away from this article, please make sure it is this:
If you hired a webmaster to build you a website (remember the website will, for the most part, only assist in Organic listings and not the Local 3 Pack, Maps and Mobile Local) make sure they are following all of Google guidelines, or you will have an outdated site the moment it goes live.
AND! And this is a big AND – you need to make sure they are going to help you with NON-WEBSITE placement for the Local 3 Pack, Maps and Mobile Local also. Again, this has VERY LITTLE TO DO with your website design. So, if you paid your webmaster to only build you a website, and not help you with your overall internet presence, you could be losing out on a lot of Local Traffic because you don’t have anyone helping you with your GMB listing.
Remember: In today’s world, a website is NOT ENOUGH, and a web designer that isn’t helping you with Local in addition to Organic also is NOT ENOUGH. So educate yourself to the point you know what you need for best placement in both Google Organic (Website) and Google Local (GMB Listing) and hire accordingly, always performing quality due diligence on the company you are about to hire.
YOUR NEXT STEPS
Because you don’t want to end up like the Innkeeper on our FFA wondering why you just spent a ton of money on a new website with no results.
1) Watch the September 2015 FFA Webinar Recording.
2) Watch the Acorn IS Client Tutorial on GMB to learn how to find and review your GMB listing.
3) Invest in your own Education. You need to KNOW what has to be done for best placement, whether you decide to do it yourself of not.
4) Hire a company that will help you with your overall web presence, not just build you a website.
Google Guidelines and Tools (Organic)
- Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
- How to Test to see if you have Mobile-Friendly Tags on All Pages
- Google’s Recommended Configuration: Responsive
- How to test to see if a Website is Responsive
- Structured Data Testing Tool
- PageSpeed Insights Test
- SEO Guidelines for Desktop and Mobile
- Duplicate Content Testing Tool
- In-Bound Link Checker Tools
GMB Tools (Local 3 Pack, Maps, Mobile Local, etc)