How I Got Listed Seven Times on the Front Page of Google
If you’re a small biz owner interested in using guerrilla tactics to beat out your competitors while not spending a DIME, you landed on the right page. Today I show you seven ways to hack local search results on Google with zero cost.
If you doubt that a small business owner can spend NOTHING and get on the front page of Google multiple times, try Googling these terms:
- Karate for Kids in Monument, CO (6 front page listings: Yelp, my blog, Facebook page, 3 Videos)
- Karate Monument, Colorado (5 front page listings: Yelp, my blog, Google+ page, Facebook page, Video)
- Martial Arts Monument, CO (5 front page listings also)
Anyone interested being featured multiple times in the front page of Google results.. with eye-catching listings… and doing it for NO money, read on.
Hack Local Search Results; Become Known QUICKLY
You want your business to get on the front page of results for keywords your customers are looking up. Before I show you my top secret ninja moves, let’s get to basics again. There are three keys to marketing a local business:
- Know where folks in your target market are;
- Know where they go;
- Know where they look.
For the first key, I look up demographics by neighborhood. I buy mailing lists for streets nearby with 35-45 year old women. Why? Because MOM decides what activities her 6-11 year old child is going to do.
That’s knowing where they (my target customers) are. It’s expensive but has great, predictable results.
Here’s a completely different method that packs ‘em in the door: I like to put coupons on pizza boxes… actually I pay for the coupons, the restaurant employees put ‘em on bozes. Here’s an offer it’s hard for a family to refuse: get two trial lessons at the Freedom School of Martial Arts and I’l buy you a pizza!
That’s the second key: knowing where your target customers go. And intercepting ‘em there with your own offer. Families go get pizza; I promise to buy ‘em more pizza if they try me out too.
But the easiest way to be seen by your targets starts with knowing where they look. This is the third, and arguably most important key.
Because with this key you can become known in your area quickly, cheaply, and most of all… PROFITABLY.
Ready for those ninja moves? Let’s get bizzy:
1: Hack Google with Local Directories
Google relies heavily on smaller search directories like Yelp, Yext, Yahoo… Yellow Pages, et cetera. Last time I looked there were over a hundred services that catalog local businesses. In your area, there may be several that stand out, while others aren’t even on the radar.
It’s your job to find out which ones are in use and to avail yourself of the free listings. Here’s how:
- Go to http://www.google.com and type in ” (your area) business directory”
- Enter each website into an Excel spreadsheet and check ‘em off as you claim the free listing
- Make sure to add a bunch pictures or videos to each site (a tip on that later)
- Call all your present customers, friends, in-laws, outlaws, and extended family all the way down to that one guy that shows at all the family gatherings and no one knows who he’s related to. Get them to post reviews (positive ones, hello) on your free listing(s).
- Lather, rinse, repeat. Get as many of these up as you can in a hurry and you’ll be surprised what a splash you’ll make.
All this is free. If you’re short on time, a lot can be outsourced on http://www.fiverr.com for $5 or $10.
The idea is to create a boatload of references out there to you and your business. Now, the 80/20 rule is at work here… first throw a bunch of $h!t up on the wall and see what sticks. Chances are most results will come from one or two listings out of ten. Those are the listings you’ll want to flesh out some more later on.
Don’t get talked into doing paid advertising with any of them unless the free traffic from a particular listing pays for it. Then knock yourself out. But I do okay without spending a dime… true to Shoestring101 form
2: Hack Local Search Results with Facebook
SO this simple hack is easy… but powerful enough you’ll drop your jaw on the floor. Ready?
- Find out what keywords your present customers search, + your local area. For example, “Kids Karate” + “Monument, Colorado”.
- Start a Facebook Page and name it that. Name it your keyword! Example: https://www.facebook.com/MonumentKidsKarate
- Invite every friend you gots. I have a video that shows how I do this quickly, even with over 1,000 Facebook friends.
- Post to this page at least 1X a day for several weeks. DON’T post 20X a day or people will “UNLIKE” it. Try varying the posts; some pics, some videos, some text. Make it entertaining and useful 95% of the time, about 5% of the time post an offer of some sort.
Once you start getting some likes, you’ll be able use Insights to find out more about your audience. Post stuff REGULARLY to this page that’s useful and shareable… and you’ll find that your audience begins to grow exponentially without a lot of effort. And as your audience grows and interacts with you, it won’t be long before the page itself ranks in Google local search,
Write me if you want to know about the tool I use to streamline this process and save hours of work. No, I’m not an affiliate seller of the tool. I just want to give the inside scoop to the go-getters. Next up: How to hack your way to the the top of the page with video…
3: Hack Local Search Results with YouTube
Make a short video and title it as the keyword, same as the Facebook page hack. Remember picking out the keywords and adding the local area? For me it’s “karate” or “martial arts” or “kids karate” + “Monument, CO”.
Say you own a lawn mowing service and live in Jacksonville, Florida. The name of your video could be “Lawn Mowing Service in Jacksonville, FL”. It’s easy to upload a video, even if you don’t have a video camera. Just use still photos and plug them into a tool like Windows Movie Maker or Animoto.
This video has actually become PR3 by itself for the keywords that I want, and the URL in the description points to the front page of my martial arts blog. Hard to beat.
Make sure you:
- Only make the video last :15 sec – 1:00 minute total
- Tag the video with your keywords and several variants
- Put your contact info in the slides as well
- Include a call to action
This video ^ was put together in about 20 minutes using animoto, a few pics on my PC and a video I took with my Samsung Galaxy II.
Couldja use a video tutorial on exactly how to do the above steps? Be happy to do it if’n enough people ask. Just write me in the comments.
4: Hack Local Search Results with Google+
While Local Google Hacks #2 and #3 involve using keywords to title pages and videos… instead of your business name… here you will want to use your businesses’ actual moniker.
Remember these key tips:
- Google likes COMPLETE profiles. So invest the time it will take to fill yours out completely.
- Pictures, videos, and offers are all part of a complete profile.
- Make sure that your business name, address, phone and other vitals including hours of operation are congruent with other free listings
To enhance your Google+ business page, now get one of these cool map thingies to show up on search.
- Go to http://maps.google.com
- Sign in using the same gmail account that you created your Google + Local Account
- Click on My Places
- Click on Create Map
- Use the 2 step formula to create your Title
- Create your Description
- Make sure your map is public
- Add a Placemark – Drag and drop on your office location
- Put your business profile information in the Title and Description
5: Hack Local Search Results with your Blog
This one will definitely put you ahead of your competition, IF you actually use it.
Taking the time to write about what you are doing seems to be drudgery to some… but in fact, this particular discipline will be the one to truly set you free as an entrepreneur.
Documenting your business is the key to working ON your business instead of just working IN it. It will help you to go the extra mile for your customer and ultimately for yourself to contribute regularly to a blog.
From here or from our Facebook fan page, you can engage and learn about your audience. You detect trends. You test your market affordably and effecitvely. You learn how your customers and you jive together and have the best fightin’ chance at making that value-creating partnership the best it can be.
Write me if you want tips about blogging to build your local biz.
#6: Hack Local Search Results with Pictures
Remember up above I said I’d give you a tip on the pictures you post on local pages? Well, you’ll want to use this for any picture you upload, whether it’s to your blog, your Google+ business page, or local directories. NAME your PICTURE with keywords.
<===For example, THIS picture is saved in my computer as, “Hacking Front Page of Local SEO.JPG”
Every time you upload a picture from your PC or MAC you’ll be crankin’ the SEO juice up simply because your picture is named what you are trying to rank for. This is especially good when you post to your blog.
It also sets you up for Hack #7 below.
#7: Hack Local Search Results by Repurposing Content
As powerful as each of these individual hacks can be, the rank-grabbing tactic of repurposing and combining is where rubber really hits the road.
Say you post a keyworded-up , eye-catching, relevant-to-your-audience pic to your blog. Then screen capture it with Camtasia, Camstudio, even load it up to Windows MovieMaker to make it into a part of a video. Then you post both the picture and the video to your Facebook page, Google+, and local directory.
NOW you’re cookin’ with gas! Because not only do you save yourself the trouble of coming up with separate pieces of content, you also have bit o’ congruency and branding going on.
Another thing… if you do happen to run low on ideas for content, just leverage your existing customers. Almost everybody these days has a camera in their phone. Ask customers to take selfies, showing themselves happily using your product. If you run a coffee shop, offer a free blueberry scone to the snarkiest comment or the cutest picture of their kids drinking a hot chocolate. Have fun with your existing customers and ask for likes, shares, and comments. You may soon have the opposite problem of too MUCH content to publish! But be sure to reply to comments and engage your present customer base.
All of this activity adds to the relevance of the pages you’re trying to get ranked. Don’t be surprised if your business ends up on the front page of Google multiple times if you follow all the suggestions I’ve outlined here.
The Next “Step” for YOU
Steppers, I didn’t even scratch the surface with what’s available here… didn’t mention Pinterest or Instagram, or how to use Custom Audiences on Facebook to blow these strategies up. If you’d like the most current things I’m doing, or a n0-dollar hack for YOUR particular biz, put ‘er in the comments or drop me a line.
Have YOU got a hack that you’d like to share, or a question about the ones I’ve put above? If so, LOVE to hear from you in the comments.