Search engine optimization, or, as we like to term it, staying relevant in the eyes of Google. Sometimes it seems like getting it right is like catching a slippery fish. You might catch its attention for a bit, but before you know it, it slips through your fingers, and you have to start all over again.

SEO is difficult, but it can be made easier with the right advice. South Africans need an SEO solution tailored to their needs – where else are you going to find three or four different languages spoken in one sentence?

If there is one thing that we Saffers are good at, it is making a winning plan. And so, with a leading firm like WSI handling your SEO and digital marketing needs for you, you are on a winning streak.

That will key you in on all the latest stuff in the SEO world. It explains exactly what Panda was. (Hint, it is not the cute, cuddly bear you played with as a kiddie.) You are walked step by step through each change in the history of search engines.

We go a step further, though, we explain key concepts as they relate to SEO to make you a mini-SEO marvel. Amaze your friends at your next braai by understanding exactly what
all the jargon means.

Or, read up on the information so that you have a better understanding of the kind of concepts that you want to discuss with WSI. After all, time is money, and we want you
to get the best possible results out of your consultation with us.

Ready to jump right and claim your own piece of internet real estate? One that no Land Expropriation Bill will get near? Okay, let’s give you a little bit of homework to do – it’s just a tiny bit and it will be info you will actually use.

And, please do it now, not now-now, or just now – it’s important.

Audit How Well Your Site Ranks Locally On Google

Why Google In Particular?

Because Google is the big chief when it comes to search engines. In February of 2017, 95.9% of all mobile searches were performed using Google. It didn’t perform as well on desktops for the same period with only 80.5% of all traffic, but still, you want Google to show your site some love.

Why Locally In Particular?

Because, let’s be honest here, if you are a plumber in Pofadder, getting a call from Jabu with a blocked loo in Springs is not going to do you much good.

So, do this for yourself now – take the industry that you are in, whack on the town name at the end, add South Africa, and see what results come up. How did your company do? Were you on the first page? If so, great. Now, were you in the local 3-pack?

What’s The Local 3-Pack?

If you look at the top of the page of results, you will see a box containing a map of the area and the names of three local businesses related to the search. This is the holy grail of local ranking. These are the three illustrious sites that Google has deemed to be the best of the best.

What’s The Big Deal?

Think of it from the perspective of your average man in the street. They don’t know much if anything about the 3-pack. They see the top three results and a handy map that shows their locations as well. Who do you think they will call first?

Surely People Won’t Just Stick To Those Three?

No, there are going to be people who do decide to check a little further down the list. But what are they going to find? The businesses in the top three spots are there because they have a few reviews and a complete profile.

Businesses lower down the page won’t have as many reviews. As a person trying to decide on the best plumber, for example, a site with 10 great reviews is going to look better than a site with none.

And, quite frankly, most people won’t bother moving beyond the 3-pack anyway.

How Do I Get Into The 3-Pack?

There are a few things that you need to do.

Start With A Complete ‘Google My Business’ Page

If you have not already done so, claim your Google My Business Page. Fill in as much of the information as possible. Make sure that the information that you use matches the information on your site and in any online directories.

Verify your Google My Business Page. When you ask Google to verify this, it sends you a code. You then enter this code to prove that you have access to the address, telephone number, etc. (It will tell you how to go about this verification.)

Optimize your description in much the same way you would your site.

Check Citations

Businesses that are somewhat dodgy in nature will often have several different addresses or phone numbers. You need to check any citation online that lists your business address or telephone number, or even the name.

Discrepancies will cost you points when it comes to rank. So, here’s the boring part of the homework. Check every online listing you can find and make sure that the numbers and addresses are completely up to date. If the data from every source matches, it makes your business look more legit.

Ask Clients For Reviews

The more natural, good reviews you have for your business, the better. Give people the link to review your page and tell them you would appreciate it if they would leave an honest review. That’s it. No scripting the review and no bribing them for it either.

Google has strict policies when it comes to reviews, and if you are caught breaking these, your site gets penalized. It just is not worth it.

Well, that’s enough homework for now, don’t you think? Need a bit more tutoring? Call us in, and we’ll help you smash your way to the top of your local 3-pack.