How much better would your business be doing if you were ranking on page one of Google for local Metro Atlanta searches?
Put a different way, how much better would your business be doing if hundreds or even thousands of additional people were descending on your website every week – people who were searching for exactly what you offer just 30 seconds ago?
Business would be a lot better, I'm sure. So, let's talk about how to make that happen.
While these aren't the only 5 steps, they're the first 5 steps. And in the world of local SEO, getting started on the right path automatically puts you ahead of most of your competition.
Let's get started...
#1: Check Your Website's "Domain Rank" So You Know How Much Work It'll Take to Rank Your Business
"Domain Rank" is a score of "web authority" given to websites by 3rd party search vendors like Moz and Ahrefs. The higher the score, the easier it is to get your site ranked for the keywords you're trying to target.
How is the score calculated? Primarily by the number of websites that link to your website as that's the #1 factor Google uses to determine a site's trustworthiness.
The reason you want to know your current Domain Rank (DR) is so you can set realistic ranking expectations and prioritize your efforts.
If a site has a DR of 60/100, it'll rank relatively easy for lots of keywords (even competitive keywords).
If a site has a DR of 5/100, it's not going to be easy to rank and we know the primary strategy needs to be focused on increasing the authority of the site along with the other ranking strategies.
How Do I Find Out My Website's Domain Rank?
You have two options:
- You can sign up for expensive software like Ahrefs or Moz, run your site through their tool, and then try to figure out what all the data means.
- You can drop your deets in the box below and we'll tell you what your score is for free, what keywords your site currently ranks for, and a realistic timeline for getting your business to page one.
Getting your site's DR is always the first step, so grab your free Domain Rank report above and then we'll move on.
#2: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing So You Can Move Up in the Google "Map Pack" List
The "Map Pack" is the set of listings that show up on local searches between the paid ads and the first organic listing (showing up at the top of the map pack is better than showing up in position one).
While you can pay to show up in the map pack using Google Ads, it's very expensive. It's much better to do the legwork to show up there organically so you can rake in all that targeted traffic for free.
How To Show Up in the Map Pack Organically
- Make sure you've claimed and verified your website with Google My Business.
- Make sure your business data is accurate (address, phone, website, etc.).
- Add all your services.
- Add a hook-style description.
- Add photos & videos.
- Get as many reviews as possible.
- Respond to all reviews personally.
That's the basics of Google My Business. There are additional things that you may need to do to climb to the the top of the Map Pack rankings in a competitive market.
If you want help fully optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing, we have a Google My Business optimization service that addresses 47+ optimization areas of GMB. You can inquire here for more info.
#3: Get Your Website Listed in All The Local Metro Atlanta Directories & Make Sure The Listings Are All Consistent
If you read point #1 from above, you might remember the following:
How is the score [domain rank] calculated? Primarily by the number of websites that link to your website as that's the #1 factor Google uses to determine a site's trustworthiness.
If a higher domain rank score means better ranking on Google, and the domain rank score is primarily driven by high quality links to your site from other sites, then it stands to reason that you need as many high quality links to your website as possible.
The easiest way to get a solid initial batch of backlinks is to make sure your business is listed in all the business directories local to you. Google will reference these directories to make sure you are who you say you are. If there are inconsistencies or a lack of visibility in these directories, Google may feel like there's something wrong.
You can submit your website to these local directories one by one, or we can do it for you as part of our initial SEO engagement.
Now, local directories aren't the highest quality links, but if your site is new it's the best way to get it seeded with some authority. As you continue to build out your website and get more serious about SEO, you'll want to make sure you're working with an agency that has a solid backlink acquisition process.
#4: Make Sure All Location Information is Accurately Displayed On Your Website Along With an Embedded Google Map
Just as Google want to see your business listed in local business directories, they want to see all that same location and contact information on your website. Of course, this info should be there for the customer as well (which is another reason why Google wants it to be there -- it's all about serving up sites with a great user experience).
One thing businesses often miss, though, is the embedded map. It stands to reason that Google likes their own Maps application. The Googlebot spiders crawling your website can read that Google map embed code and know that you've put a Google map on your site.
This is further verification to Google that you're checking all the right boxes.
How to Easily Embed a Google Map on Your Site
Embedded a Google Map on your site is as easy as navigating to your Google business listing in Google Maps, clicking the "Share" button, and then selecting "Embed a map."
Copy the embed code on the line above the map and then paste it into your website. That's it!
If you need help with this, let us know.
#5: Start Adding Sub-Pages to Your Website That Strategically Target Important Keywords & Granular Services
Want to know one of the biggest mistakes most small businesses are making with their website that prevents them from dominating Google?
It's having too few sub-pages.
Here's how most basic small business websites are structured:
If you look at the graphic above, you'll see keyword research for a local chiropractor's office. A site that's truly optimized to dominate Google would look something like this:
That's the key. There are dozens and dozens of highly relevant keywords your ideal customers are using to try and find you, but you can't target them all with just a few pages! If a keyword is important to your business, it needs to be targeted with its own content page.
Of course, you have to make sure the keywords are selected properly and that the navigation and URL structure is setup properly, but this is the fundamental local SEO strategy that so many small businesses are completely missing.
While it seems like a lot of work, it's easily done over time following a simple step-by-step approach:
Typically we design and build a sub-page template for clients so that each page doesn't have to have a unique design and layout. SEO isn't a beauty contest (though the sub-pages definitely look great!) – it's about RESULTS.
Even if your site takes a while to land in the top spots for the big competitive keywords, you can pull in decent traffic from all the other keywords you're targeting.
Before long, Google will come to realize that your site is the most robust, most helpful, and most relevant option in your market. That's when you'll see your business in the top 3.
Let's Review & Wrap-Up
There's five things you'll want to do to get your business headed toward page one of Google:
- Check your website's domain rank so you can get an accurate picture of how long it'll take to rank (get yours free).
- Optimize your Google My Business listing so you can climb your way up the "Map Pack" and achieve "position zero."
- Get your website listed in all the local Metro Atlanta directories & make sure the listings are all consistent.
- Make sure all location information is accurately displayed on your website along with an embedded Google Map.
- Start adding sub-pages to your website that strategically target important keywords & granular services.
I know some of this can be confusing at first – there's a definite learning curve. If you have questions you can always contact us. If you just want someone to do this stuff for you, click here and tell us about your business.