1. Clean Consistent Citations

We all know what citations are. The Yelps, the Home Advisors, the BBB’s. Over the the last year even, these have doubled in importance for Google ranking factors. In 2010 Google came out and said “Blogs are good, everyone should have a blog!”. And that’s indeed what we did.  But on second thought, why would a plumber, locksmith or an arborist even need to worry about blogging?

No, your “5 tips to prepare your garden for winter” probably won’t go viral, unless you really put some time into it and made an amazing piece of content, even then if you don’t have a heavy amount of traffic to your site, unless you promote it, it’s rare that it will go viral.

So, that’s why reputation management is the new black. Make sure you have accounts on the top 50 directories which you can find here. We will talk about reviews soon.

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/10322/The-Ultimate-List-50-Local-Business-Directories.aspx

Also make sure your business name, phone number and address is 100 percent consistent across the board. You can check this information at sites like Bright Local or Synup.

  1. Schema

This is a little advanced but it’s becoming a must have. Schema is a way for Google to read your site faster and more efficiently. It’s basically like just telling Google “Hey, I am a small business, I have a location, Theses are my hours, this is what I do.”

Do it yourself here and throw it in the footer on you website: https://supple.com.au/tools/local-business-schema-generator/

Or just take this code, replace with your info and throw this in the footer of your site in an HTML box.

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Organization”>
<span itemprop=”name”>Your tree care website</span><br>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>Put address here</span><br>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Portland</span><br>
<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>Oregon</span>
<span itemprop=”postalCode”>97267</span>
</div>
Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>555-555-5555</span>
</div>

And remember that code above is super general. Schema can get way more in depth. So at least have this, but I would hire someone to make it more comprehensive.

Or hire someone to do it on fiverr. I wouldn’t pay under 30 bucks for it. Get someone quality. To learn more about schema you can watch this youtube video: https://youtu.be/MV7a60xCV5c

  1. Google My Business

You mean Google Local? No… Oh Google plus?! No, G+ is about to be officially dead…` GMB (Google My Business) is now the one stop shop for all things Google maps related. Your GMB profile is the nucleus of your map rankings. We all know that map rankings come up first on a Google search, so having it in the top three is basically our main goal.

It’s absolutely crucial that you fill out your GMB profile 100 percent.

  1. Get as many photos as you can on there. Good quality photos!
  2. Make SURE you have the right category. I see this a lot. People will put themselves under categories that they shouldn’t be under. Make sure it’s ONE category, TWO max if you really need it.
  3. 360 virtual tour – this is something you can do if you have a storefront. I would suggest researching more about it and doing it to have an edge on your competitors. Read more here https://www.google.com/streetview/earn/
  4. You should just read this too – very well done report and easy to understand. http://www.localseoguide.com/guides/2016-local-seo-ranking-factors/

 

  1. Reviews

Ok let’s finally talk about it. As I mentioned earlier, reputation management is very important in 2016-2017. So my question to you is, “Do you have a review strategy set in place?”. I’ll just show you what I like to do .

  1. Find out all the places you want to ge review on like BBB, Home advisor, Angie’s list, Yelp, Facebook, and of course the all powerful GMB.
  2. Make a page on your website called “review us on this platform” or something like that. Put all those links on the page with an icon so customers can easily tell which platform he/she will be leaving a review on.
  3. Make a nice pitch email, asking the [happy] customer to review you on one of these platforms.
  4. Boom – get those reviews baby.
  5. And read this!  This will seriously help with your review strategy. http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2015/09/16/60-plus-questions-to-troubleshoot-and-fix-your-local-reviews-strategy/

 

  1. Do some videos

Did you know, it’s 52 times easier to rank on Youtube than on Google search? Have you ever done any ‘how to’ videos or training videos? Or, i’m sure you use many different tools when you are taming those trees. Are there any tools or products you just couldn’t live without? Then you should do a tutorial or a product review and grab that traffic!

No it’s usually not going to mean a job conversion, but it’s going to raise the authority of your site. That way you can rank faster for terms like “Tree care Portland Oregon” or Tree removal Redding Ca”.

Remember, the more your name is out there, the higher your authority will be. One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners do is not want to make any content that teaches people how to do it themselves or even give out simple tips because they think people will just do it themselves and not convert into a paying job. But the truth is that person wasn’t ever going to convert. The people that do it themselves will always do it themselves and the people that buy will always buy. Make valuable content, help people in anyway you can, and give away free stuff. Then you will be on the right track.

Read this to master Youtube: http://backlinko.com/how-to-rank-youtube-videos

  1. Get involved in the community and sponsor your local non profits!

Guys let me tell you, this is such a great way to start a buzz. If you are a business that takes it’s precious time and gives some of it back to the community, it will come back to you. Don’t be afraid to get out there!

For example. We have an organization called “Friends Of Trees” out here in the NW. They have programs where they take a bunch of middle schoolers out to go plant trees. Consider sponsoring things like that. The community WILL notice.

Also, consider giveaways and promotions. Do a photo contest of something like (and this is just of the top of my head) “Rarest trees in your backyard”. Promote it on Facebook, and whoever has the rarest tree gets a $200 gift card to Home Depot or something. Get creative, this actually is one of the fastest ways to make a buzz and build authority.

Last thing to remember. Google is getting better and better at weeding out bad businesses and giving the searcher truly the best options. The companies with the best ethics, reviews and work will eventually get to the top.

Get out there and make some magic happen!

About The Author:

Tom Danowski is a marketer for Inexpensive Tree Care, a tree removal service based out of the NW.