Be careful what you’re putting out to Google…
Whether you’re guest posting as yourself on other sites or writing articles online on behalf of someone else or another company, what you post online matters more than ever now.
Especially if you want to be recognized by Google for being an authority in a particular subject field.
Utilize Offsite SEO To Build Your Authority
How to use Google My Business to boost your business presence online
Google My Business has been around for a while now.
Some SEO people will argue that the only real benefit of it is to help your local SEO and to improve your Google Maps ranking, and that's a valid point and really useful way.
Also, Google is moving towards this one-click search. Essentially, they don't want anybody to go off Google. They want you to go onto Google, do your search, get the answer to whatever that question might be and never go on to anybody else's website. You've got your answer IN Google.
The latest algorithm changes that have happened in the SERPs are really showing us. We've gone from 5 "People also ask" questions to about 10 now. The knowledge box has been expanded.
There's more information showing on the Google My Business card. Right away, you get opening hours, contact details, phone numbers, email addresses, all the rest of a business’ contact information.
You can go straight onto Google Maps and get the directions without ever once leaving Google.
So, because that's that trend and it’s not running away, we've got to play the game. If they give us Google My Business and say, fill in this information because that's how most people are going to access it, that's what we've got to do. It can't be neglected and it can't be evaded.
Your information on Google needs to be up to date, or you’re eliminated.
Introducing Posts in Google My Business
What they have introduced recently are posts. Posts are kind of mini blog posts that now go on your Google My Business card. They're a way of Google checking that businesses are still operating for one thing, because if you have no reason to change the details on your Google, My Business card for a year, how does Google know that they're still correct? How does Google know that that business is still operating in the way that it was a year ago?
That’s why they've introduced posts, which is basically where they want you to go to update it regularly.
Google initially said it would just be things like special offers and special occasions. You're supposed to go on at Christmas to say whether or not your opening hours are staying the same. Is your business affected during the COVID pandemic or have your terms of operation changed?
They've expanded it now. Rather than just being special offers and operating issues, they've expanded it so that you can do announcements and mini blog posts.
You're not going to just copy and paste your blog post and put it onto Google though. You don't have as big a word count on Google My Business.
What you can do with your content is use posts on Google My Business cards to drive people onto your website. If you've written a really good blog post about an issue that relates to your audience or something that's happened to your staff and you really think that's a really important one, then absolutely go onto your Google My Business and create a post.
Either take a section of that blog post or rewrite it a little bit with a little summary and put a link back to the full blog post, "read the rest of it here on the website".
Don't forget Bing Places
Bing is following where Google goes, as it always does.
A few years ago, we were all ignoring Bing. In recent years though, they've taken a slightly bigger market share as the years go by. So don't ignore Bing. If you have a business, Bing would have created a Bing Places for Business card for you.
They get that information from LinkedIn and from your Google My Business, so most of it will probably be correct, but if you haven't claimed your business and you haven't updated the information, go in and do it; it's really important these days.
They don't have posts as such yet, but word on the street is that they are coming.
As opposed to using all of these tools and platforms we’ve discussed to just market your content and to get your content out there, it's now really important that you, as the author of that content, become much more recognized.
A trend that's been happening in the algorithms over the last few years is this notion of authorship.
If you were in the same boat, you’re in trouble.
The algorithms would say, if you got to talk about hair brushing today when yesterday you were talking about cold water storage tanks, you're clearly not an expert.
The solution to this is, while you can still write content for your clients, have an account on the client’s website that is in their business name and then publish under that name.
You can see the logic in it because Google created this situation which encouraged people to create oodles and oodles of content all the time.
How’s Google going to judge how good that content is? if everybody's producing content, they've got to start finding a way of organizing that - of working out what's good content and what's not.
This is 800 words, that is 800 words. This is well written, that is written by somebody who talks about this subject all the time, everywhere that she goes online. Let's give that one a little bit more credibility.
If you’re writing about SEO and digital marketing, don’t dilute your expertise by writing about topics unrelated to your expertise.
It’s really important that you become that trusted expert in your industry.
The moral of the story? Be specific about your niche. You can't be a generalist anymore. You need to really hone in on your subject and become the specialist in that one, become the go-to expert for that specialism.