Mastering Local SEO: Boost Your Business’s Visibility with Genuine Value

If you’re a small business owner trying to rank in local search but unsure where to start, you’re in the right place.

SEO strategy can often seem overwhelmingly complex and fickle. The rules of the game are ever-changing and the market is always awash with new SEO tactics promising big results. It’s a lot to keep up with and many of these fads quickly prove too-good-to-be-true or even harmful to your ranking.

We’ve been in the website design business since the days of dial-up and, for all the change we’ve seen in the industry, there is one thing that stays the same: Search engines want to deliver valuable website to users.

Google Will Always Want To Deliver High Value Websites to Visitors.

When you think about it, that makes perfect sense. If you’re using Google and it offers up junky websites that aren’t relevant to your search, don’t seem trust-worthy, or just don’t offer you anything of interest, you’ll probably switch to another search engine. That’s the last thing Google wants.

In this article we’ll explain how Google determines the value of a website and offer practical steps you can take to make sure you’re meeting those marks.

How Does Google Determine the Value of a Website?

Google evaluates the value of a website by assessing how well the content on that site demonstrates Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EEAT or EAT).

  • Experience: The extent to which the content creator has the necessary first-hand or life experience for the topic.
  • Expertise: The extent to which the content creator has the necessary knowledge or skill for the topic.
  • Authoritativeness: The extent to which the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic.
  • Trust: The extent to which the page is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable.

Why Focus on Google’s Definition of Value?

Google has an immense amount of resources at its disposal to use in figuring out what visitors value in a website. By categorizing and defining these four indicators of value, Google has done a great deal of marketing research for us.

No matter what industry or field of focus, you can use these four categories as a marketing guide.

How to Make Your Website More Valuable

Our goal is to offer you practical tips that you can use to make sure that you’re communicating value in ways that both Google and visitors will take note of.

Showing Your Experience

Show Your First Hand & Life Experience With Your Topic

  • Reviews: Gather reviews from your satisfied customers. If your site uses WordPress, there are plenty of great plugins that make it easy to share Google reviews directly on your website.
  • Team Bios: Offer bios & photos of each of your team members. These bios provide an opportunity to list the unique experience that each team member brings to your business. Be sure to keep these bios concise and stick to information that’s useful to the reader.
  • Blog Post: While it’s best to keep the content on your website concise, blog posts offer an opportunity to really expand on a topic. Share personal, first-hand experiences that will resonate with your audience.
  • GBP Posts: Write a few posts for your Google Business Profile. Use each post to focus on the direct experience you have with the topic at hand.
  • Use Real Photos, Not Stock Photos
    While stock photos can sometimes add a professional and clean look to your website, they can also reduce the level of trust and connection visitors feel to your brand. Whether on your About Page, Home Page, Google Business Profile or Social Media, you’ll see significantly more traction from high-quality authentic photos than stock photos.
    • Employee Bio Photos (About Page, GBP, Social Media)
    • Team Photos (Home Page, About Page, Social Media)
    • Customer Photos (Website & GBP)
    • Before and After Photos (Website & GBP)

Demonstrating Expertise

Demonstrate Your Knowledge & Skill on Your Website

  • Website Content: Demonstrate that the creator has knowledge/skill on the topic. For example, if you’re a physical therapist, you may want to mention your personal experience treating several different types of injuries, as well as physical activities you regularly participate in, and any injuries you’ve had to overcome yourself. You’d also want to mention the different therapy modalities you’ve been certified in.
  • Location Pages: If your business has multiple locations, you’ll want an individual Location Page for each location. Be sure to list the services you offer on each location page.
  • Service Pages: Each service you offer should have an individual page dedicated to that service. Be sure that you take the time to write about your experience on each one of those service pages.
    For example, a landscaping company could have an individual page for landscaping, water feature installation, retaining walls, etc. Each of those pages should demonstrate how much experience the company has in that particular service.
  • Write Original Blog Posts: Avoid the trap of trying to write exclusively about topics that everyone else is covering. A hot topic or popular keyword can be difficult to rank for and, if you’re not adding anything new to the conversation, you’re not likely to get much reward for your efforts.
    Instead of building every post around a popular keyword, brainstorm concerns or interests your target audience might have. If you’re the first in your industry to post about a given topic, all the better. Creating quality content on a topic that no one else is covering is a great way to establish expertise, authority and trust in your field.

Establishing Authority

Signal That You’re a Go-to Source for Information on Your Topic

Notice that Google defines the authority of a website by how much a site is “Known For” a topic.
This means that Google wants to know that you’ve built a reputation in your local community.
Google can tell how much of a reputation your business has from multiple online indicators including:

  • How many Google Reviews you receive.
  • Whether your business shows up in local listings.
  • Social media comments about your brand, etc.

However, even though Google will be measuring online indicators, much of the work you’ll need to be doing to improve those indicators largely happens offline.

Establishing Local Credibility Requires Engaging With Your Community.

  • Awards & Community Events: Host Events, Support Events and enter to win “Best of” Local Awards.
    • Events: Hosting fundraisers and sponsoring local events is a great way to connect with your community, demonstrate your company values, and become a recognizable local brand.
    • Local Awards: Winning a “Best-of” award is an excellent way to earn local credibility and part of the reason is: it’s hard to fake.
      • Make sure your company is offering the best quality product/service in your area.
        Enter into “Best-of” competitions.
      • Encourage customers to vote for you.
        Winning “Best-of” takes a lot of work but it’s well worth it precisely because we all know how much work goes into winning that prize. If you’ve got it, chances are, you’ve earned it.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Write Helpful Posts, Get High Quality Backlinks, Promote Your Content.
    • Helpful Content: Be generous with your knowledge and the local community will start to see you as a go-to resource.
    • Get Backlinks: Acquire backlinks from businesses, associations, newspapers, radio stations, or other local websites.
    • Promote Your Content: Promote your blog and website content on social media to engage followers and grow your local following.
  • Get Local Links: Beyond your Google Business Profile, it’s a good idea to have your business listed in Industry Specific Citations. (38% Increase in Clicks Vs 14% for Generic Citations)

Proving Trustworthiness

Trust is The Most Important Factor in This Strategy

A venn diagram shows three overlapping circles labeled "authoritativeness", "expertise" and "experience" with a fourth circle labeled "trust" centered directly at the convergence point of all of the circles.
  • Be Transparent: Explaining the processes your company uses can go a long way in reassuring prospective clients.
    • Outline Your Process: Show visitors to your site what they can expect from working with you.
      For example, if you’re a dentist office, include information about what the first visit will involve, how you’ll determine a treatment plan and what the next steps are.
    • Data Usage: If you gather email addresses or other information from visitors to your website, be sure to explicitly explain how their data will and won’t be used. This type of information is typically conveyed in the form of a privacy policy.
  • Gather Reviews: Reviews are more influential that many realize. It’s become common place to check the reviews of a business before you go out to eat, grab a coffee, or try a new gym. Make it a priority to gather Google reviews as well as any reviews from other local and/or industry specific directories.

Where To Start Improving Your Local Search Visibility

With so many possible steps to take, it can be hard to tell where to start.

We offer a Quick Website Visibility Checkup to help you find simple, low-cost steps you can take to improve your local search visibility.

Quick Website Visibility Checkup

  • We’ll review your website and other local search ranking factors to make sure you’ve got the basics covered.
  • We’ll also list the top 3 things you can do to improve your visibility online.

Sign up for your Quick Website Visibility Checkup today!