How No Click Searches are changing SEO
What I learnt from a 2 day SEO conference
…and here you can see the impact of Google Maps on your online visibility… erm… is this map current?
I’ve tried my hand at many different digital marketing fields…
I’ve built websites, filmed and edited videos, run Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns and spent way too much time on Facebook…
…all before I realised I needed to focus on Mailchimp & Email Marketing Systems.
However, just because I’m focused on ‘the chimp’, doesn’t mean I completely ignore all of the other stuff… and I was recently fortunate enough to visit a big SEO conference in London (SearchLove) to get up to date on what’s happening in SEO.
…and although I’m no SEO Expert, I did take a few valuable lessons which I’m now looking to implement for both myself AND my clients.
Here’s some of the key things I picked up which are relevant to most businesses…
The rise of the ‘no-click’ search
Over the two day conference, I heard the phrase “no click search” almost as much as any other – it’s something that is seriously impacting all aspects of search marketing and it’s a trend that is unlikely to stop.
If you don’t know (and I used to be one of these people, so don’t feel bad!), a “no click search” is when someone searches on Google… but never actually gets to a “non-google” website (like yours!).
Instead, they find the answer to their search within the Google ecosystem, whether it’s buying a new pair of shoes (through Google shopping), finding a local business on Google Maps or Google My Business, or even finds the answer in a “snippet” such as the “people also ask” which pulls info into Google from your site.
When you think about it, Google is in the business of making money, and so it’s primary goal is to either get you to click on one of it’s sponsored links (so they earn for the click) or stay longer within Google, so you’ve more chance on clicking on a sponsored link!
…and thus staying longer within the ‘world of Google’ means less traffic for you!
What to do about ‘no click’ searches…
Whether we like it or not, it’s a Google world, and we just live in it, so things like no click searches are here to stay… but that doesn’t mean we can’t “play the game” to our own benefit.
Accepting that Google probably quite likes the no click search, means that we’ve got a few tools at our disposal.
Using snippets (I talk about them like I know them!) to give Google the information it needs for things like FAQs will potentially give you a better chance of appearing in search – and yes, they may not end up on your site, but its something that may help your overall ranking.
Making sure that, if you’re selling stuff, you have considered Google shopping as an option.
Using videos in your website, but especially on Youtube (owned by Google) will potentially improve your position.
…and making sure that, if you’re a local business, you’re making the most of Google My Business.
Google My Business
The best presentation I saw at the SEO event was on local search (by a guy called Greg Gifford).
His focus is local SEO and he spent a fair proportion of his (very entertaining) presentation talking about Google My Business (GMB)… and came up with quite a few little things that you should be looking at to make the most of your listing… here’s what I took as key points.
- Start thinking of your GMB page as your new business home page
When Greg mentioned this, I did sit up and take notice… but with the rise of the no click search, chances are that many people who search for your local business will end up at your GMB page first before visiting your website, so you need to make sure you’re treating it with the same focus as you would your own homepage.
- Your Primary Category matters… a lot
When setting up your GMB page you get to choose a primary category – Google pays attention to what you choose so make sure you choose right.
- Reviews are important, but don’t make them all Google reviews
Google displays the number of reviews you have as a primary visual device, so make sure you’re getting them… but don’t focus on just Google reviews, especially if other review types (such as yelp) matter more in your sector.
Having said that… getting Google reviews won’t exactly hurt you!
- Tracking your GMB will help know how it’s supporting your business
Use a tracking phone number on your GMB page as the primary number and use tracking links on your website URL so that you know in Analytics where someone has come from – at least you’ll know how many are coming from GMB.
- Use the tools Google gives you to build out your page
Make sure you complete your profile AND take advantage of the images and posts sections – they’re free advertising on Google!
- Get Local Links
Interestingly, if you’re a local business, getting links from other local businesses will only help your positioning in the eyes of Google – so links from churches, local listings pages, etc are something to pursue.
- Keep your NAP the same
If you’ve not heard of the phrase, NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone” and means that where ever you put those 3 elements, you should ALWAYS use the same format and words.
- Questions & Answers are a perfect introduction
You may be the business owner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the Q&A section (just be clear you are the business owner). Adding your own questions and answers which are the ones you get asked the most will build out your profile AND help prospective customers.
Although I’m no longer massively involved in SEO, I picked up quite a few pieces of info on how things are changing and how it could affect you as a local business.
The ‘no click’ search is here to stay and you can either stick your head in the sand or embrace it to make the most of it… and if you’re a local business, it makes even more sense to tap into it.
…which means focusing on “your new online homepage”, your Google My Business listing, and ensuring it’s as full and helpful as it can be.
Google’s job is to help answer a question someone asks it – and your role in this relationship has never changed. The more helpful you are to Google in answering the question, the more Google will like you.
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Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Chimp, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group. Connect with him on Linkedin.
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