Local SEO

Why Is NAP & Citation Consistency Important For Local SEO

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More and more businesses are asking the question “How do I rank higher on Google?” The most effective ways to gain a higher ranking is by establishing NAP consistency for your business throughout the web.

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone. NAP consistency means your businesses Name, Address and Phone are consistently listed the same across the web. When Google sees your NAP is consistent throughout the web, it becomes confident that your business/website is credible and will fulfill the needs of the searcher.

Search Ranking FactorsAccording to the Moz local search ranking factors survey, “citations are the 3rd most important ranking factor.” A listing detected as a false business location is the number one negative local ranking factor. The third biggest negative ranking factor is inconsistent NAP. Therefore, your business’ citation inaccuracies will kill your local SEO.

We suggest that businesses display their company’s name, address, and phone number in the footer of your website. It’s the best practice when it comes to user experience, and it’s critical for SEO purposes.

Fixing your business’ incorrect NAP is difficult; however, it is a critical factor to your search engine ranking. To fix incorrect listing, you will need to go on each website, create an account, become verified and edit the listing manually.

NAP consistency is key for businesses looking to improve their search rankings, increase the local organic traffic to their site, and get more leads from the Internet. Contact Gauge Digital Media today if you would like to learn more about how we can help your business.

Why Building An Online Presence Is More Important Than Ever

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In a world of digital absorption, many companies and organizations still have little to no digital presence. However, it is absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence. Establishing an online presence makes it easier and more accessible for customers to learn about your business and for you to showcase your products/services and market your brand.

When a business neglects establishing an online presence, the business openly throws away leads, revenue, and potential customers. Even if your company does not conduct business online, current and potential customers are expecting to see you online. With “over 85% of searches for products and services happening online,” (Forbes)  your business must be online in order to be successful.

Billboards, radio ads and TV commercials initially grab potential customer’s attention. However, they may only remember the business industry, or services you sell, and turn to the Internet to search for solutions. If potential customers are unable to find your business online, they will do business with your competitors.

With the increasing use of technology, if your business doesn’t have a website, your competition will beat you substantially. An online presence is one of the most important investments that a business can make. If you would like to learn more about how Gauge Digital Media can help improve your online presence, contact us for more information!

Why Is Local SEO Important For My Business’ Success?

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Approximately sixty-four percent of local customers use search engines as their main way to find local businesses. Will your potential customers and clients be able to find your business online? Watch our video explaining why local SEO is important for your business’ success.

Marketing Tip Tuesday: Why Is Local SEO Important For My Business’ Success?

SEO is the process of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by achieving a high-ranking placement in the search engine results.

According to BrightLocal, “64% of local customers use online search engines and directories as their main way to find local businesses.” If your potential customers and clients can’t find your business online, they will do business with your competitors. Since people are choosing to search online compared to paper directories, it is important to have your business rank high in the search results.

In order for your business to rank in the top three in competitive markets, search engine optimization is critical to your business’ success. Local SEO is both efficient and cost-effective. With local SEO, your business will reach potential customers when they are actively searching for products or services similar to what your business offers.

Across all industries, businesses can improve their marketing, generate more leads and make more money through local SEO. If you would like to learn more about how we can improve your business’ success and online presence, check out our website at

Why Is It Important To Have A Mobile-Friendly Website?

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Is your website mobile friendly? Approximately 82% of searchers consult their smartphones even after they are inside a chosen store. If you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile search, and/or not providing a great mobile experience you will fall behind to competitors.

Marketing Tip Tuesday: Importance of Having a Mobile-Friendly Website

Having a mobile-friendly website is essential for your business’ success. Google now uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor to ensure the best user experience for searchers.

A few reasons your business needs a mobile-friendly website:

  1. Google has 2 different search indexes – one for mobile search and one for desktop search.
  2. More searches are done on mobile devices than on desktop computers
  3. On the go consumers search for local businesses using smartphone. According to Moz: “82 percent [of searchers] consult their smartphones even after they are inside a chosen store.”

Google states that 29% of smartphone users will immediately navigate away from any website or app that doesn’t satisfy them. Having a mobile friendly website provides your customers with what they want: fast loading pages, easy navigation, and a site with relevant, quality content and great products. If your business’ website isn’t mobile friendly, you are likely to lose business. If you still haven’t updated your site, 2017 is the year to make this change in order to improve your business’ online presence and success.

What Google’s Possum Update Means for Your Business’ Search Results

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What Happened After Google’s Possum Update:

A recent update in Google’s local algorithm, called Possum, might affect how your business listing appears in local searches. This update was released September, 1st 2016. This update is different from Google’s previous updates – Possum does not penalize businesses. Possum is like a filter that hides certain listings that aren’t considered relevant. This could be good or bad, depending on your business. Google updated its local algorithm (Possum) as a way to prevent spam business listings and diversify local search results.

While the strategies of achieving a successful SEO campaign haven’t changed, Possum has slightly altered how local search works. Some observations of Possum’s changes include:

  • Your physical business listing may or may not show up when searches include the city name closest to you.
    • May be a good thing for businesses located outside the physical city limits, as they may see increases in rankings.
  • Your physical business address now impacts your ranking
    • Businesses in similar industries that share the same building and the same building address might compete for a listing.
    • This may be alarming for professionals like doctors and lawyers, with similar practices run in the same building.
    • Google’s update might consider these similar businesses as “duplicate” listings, since the same service is being offered at the same address. Consequently, only one of these businesses at that address would appear, and the others would be filtered out from the search, but not deleted.
  • Geographic location of the searcher is now more important than ever
    • In the past, search results were weighted more heavily towards the search terms. Now Google has placed a greater importance on a user’s physical location to provide more accurate results in the local 3-pack.
    • Because of this, it’s important that the searcher location is set to the town, city, and/or region that you want to target.
  • Search results vary more than before based on small variations
    • The Map Pack is now a lot more sensitive to small keyword variations.
    • We’re seeing a lot more ranking fluctuation between similar keywords
      • For example, there are big differences between the phrases “Salon Tampa FL,” “Tampa FL Salon,” and “Salon in Tampa FL.”

What You Can Do As a Business:

  • Update and optimize your Business Listing (especially the address)
    • Make sure your citations are updates and accurate across all platforms where your business might be listed (not just on Google, as all these listings impact your ranking).
  • Keep with to date with your keyword selections and website content.
    • Have several variations of keyword combinations in your link building and on your site

We thank you for checking out our Whiteboard Wednesday video, we hope you learned about Google’s recent Possum update. We hope to see you back for our next edition of Whiteboard Wednesday. You can always check us at

SEO Tip: Relevancy ≠ Quality

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Our Whiteboard Wednesday video provides you with an SEO tip, relevancy ≠ quality content. Google states, “the key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content.” However, relevant content does not mean quality content. Watch our team describe the differences between quality and relevancy, and how incorporating both can improve your business’ SEO.

SEO Tip: Relevancy ≠ Quality – Transcript:

Welcome back to another addition of Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett. Today, Becca and I are going to be giving you a little SEO tip, that pertains to one of the specific ranking factors that search engines look at.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, love great content. What makes content great, as opposed to just content? Content should be relevant and of high quality. It is important to look at quality and relevancy as two separate aspects of content creation.

Moz provides a list of Potential Ranking Factors with Quality and Relevancy examples.

Quality examples include:

  • General content quality
  • Authority, Expertise & Trustworthiness
  • Page rank
  • Reviews
  • User Experience while on your website

Relevancy examples include:

  • Keywords and Topics
  • Freshness
  • Diversity
  • Intent
  • Location
  • Including images in your content.

Moz also provides us with the 2015 ranking factor analysis, using data from experts’ opinions on ranking factors. As it is shown, content is ranked as the 3rd most important factor.

From those examples, it should be pretty clear that relevancy does not equal quality, when it comes to creating great content. But that doesn’t get rid of the potential to have relevancy without quality. You could have content that is relevant to your business, but without great quality. You could have the opposite too, quality content that isn’t relevant to your business, but that wouldn’t make sense to post that on your website.

A couple things to keep in mind for creating quality content: you want it to be useful and informative, credible and engaging, and ideally you want to bring more value to your clients than your competitors are bringing to theirs.

According to Google Search Console, creating valuable content is essential. Google states, “The key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content. If people find your site useful and unique, they may come back again or link to your content on their own websites. This can help attract more people to your site over time.”

As shown in a graph by Moz, it is important to be patient when improving your business’ SEO. These improvements occur over time. Remember, just because content is relevant to your business, this doesn’t mean it is of high quality. When you’re looking to create great content, to continuously ranking better in search engine results, it is definitely important to look at both of these as separate aspects of content creation.

If you would like to learn more about Gauge Digital Media, or the SEO services we have to offer, you can always check us out at We look forward to seeing you next week for another addition of Whiteboard Wednesday!

What Local Search Factors Help You Rank on Google?

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This week, Gauge Digital Media’s Whiteboard Wednesday video is on Local Search Ranking Factors. Visibility on Google is becoming very difficult for local businesses. Thanks to Moz’s Local SEO Ranking Report, there is a formula for business’ overall ranking factors. Here at Gauge, we use these top factors that are important to rank your business high on Google.

Local SEO Ranking Factors – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Becca, and today I will be talking about Local SEO Ranking Factors.

Local SEO is getting more difficult for many businesses. Ever since Google moved from seven to three listings in the local pack, it has created a highly competitive environment for local businesses. For businesses, this means if you wish to rank in that three pack, you should invest in local SEO services.

Thanks to Moz’s Local SEO Ranking Report, there is a formula for business’ overall ranking factors. Here at Gauge, we use these top factors that are important to rank your business high on Google.

The top overall ranking factors include, on-page signals, link signals, my business signals, external location signals, behavioral signals, personalization, review signals, and social signals.

On-page signals account for 20.3 percent of a business’ overall ranking. Key on-page local SEO elements include title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, page content, images, maps and your businesses Name, Address and Phone number listed on every page.

20 percent of a business’ overall ranking is from link signals. Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.  Link signals are one of the key ways in which we build authority.

Next, your Google My Business page represents 14.7 percent of your business’ overall ranking. Optimizing your Google My Business page can be difficult, but it’s critical to have the basics right:

  1. Verify or create your page
  2. Use the correct name, address, phone number
  3. Assign your business to the correct category
  4. Upload relevant photos
  5. Create a description of your business
  6. Get reviews on your Google My Business

External location signals account for 13.6 percent of your business’ overall ranking. Google wants to connect and validate the address information on your website, your Google My Business page, and your information from the web.

There are two key elements to consider here Name, Address Phone number Consistency and Citations. Your business’ NAP is your location, which needs to be consistent across all websites.

The next key element would be Citations, which are listings that include your business’ Name, Address, Phone and sometimes your website url. There are thousands of citation websites across the web. It is important to keep your information consistent so Google can trust it.

There are a few additional factors that represent small fractions of your business’ overall ranking, that I’m not going to go in detail about today. These are review signals, social signals, behavioral signals and personalization. Overall, Local SEO is getting more competitive. In order for your business to become visible and stay visible in the local results, you have to optimize your business using these top-ranking factors.

If you’d like to find out how Gauge Digital Media’s SEO services can help your business, check out our website at

Why Should Every Local Business Utilize SEO?

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Today, people are choosing to search for businesses online using Google, compared to the past where people pull out their Yellow Pages. It is important for businesses to utilize search engine optimization in order for their business listing to be ranked high on Google.

Why Every Local Business Should Utilize SEO – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Becca. Today we will be talking about why every local business should utilize SEO.

Today, people are choosing to search for businesses online using Google compared to the past, where people would use the phone book or Yellow Pages to find businesses. Google makes it easy for people to look up any business category or business name.

This could be detrimental to a businesses today because the way search results work are much more competitive than the way they use the Yellow Pages would work in the past.

In the past if you were looking for something like an Italian restaurant, you would go to the category in the Yellow Pages, read through the entire category and look through all your options. Maybe go look at an ad or go look at a different category and then finally make that phone call. In the past every business had an equal opportunity to be found by their customers.

Currently, Google is now the old Yellow Pages. When people search the Internet for an Italian Restaurant, they usually have thousands of results in their list. However, when more results appear on Google, people tend to look at fewer.  Many people don’t even look past the first page of results if there is a listing there that satisfies their need.

Since people are choosing to use Google rather than the Yellow Pages, it is important to have your business rank high in the search results. In order for your business to rank in the top three in competitive markets, you have to utilize search engine optimization. At Gauge we offer many packages to help your business rank. For more information you can check us out at

Why SEO is the Best Form of Marketing for a Local Business

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Why SEO is the Best Form of Marketing for a Local Business

Most local businesses fall into the small business category. Even if your goal is to eventually become a multinational corporation, right now you are focusing on drawing in customers from your local area. Maybe you’ve placed an advertisement in the local newspaper. Maybe you’ve placed one in the local yellow pages. While these are all good places to start, they don’t take into account the mindset of today’s consumer.

Even when looking for a business in their local area, most consumers will get online and use a search engine, rather than looking in local yellow pages or in the local newspaper, they search the internet. And while you might have a webpage, if you are not making use of local SEO, you are not going to be easily found by potential customers.

The truth is that the vast majority of customers, even if you sell nothing online, will find you through a listing on a search engine. Having a website is not enough. If people in your area cannot find that website, if it is not readily available, they will not be able to learn about and decide to visit your business. Many local businesses make the mistake of believing that posting a few ads on local forums will do the trick—but that will only bring in a small fraction of the people that will find you as the result of an aggressive local SEO campaign.

Some people do not think of SEO as marketing. Unlike other forms of marketing that require you to come up with specific advertisements to place on webpages or in print media, it requires on-site and off-site optimization efforts that are centered around keyword-rich content, high-quality backlinks, metadata, etc. What makes SEO marketing? Just like any advertising campaign, it endeavors to raise the profile of your business, to help you bring more customers through your doors.

While plenty can be done by a business owner who is a little internet savvy, an aggressive SEO campaign is best carried out by a firm that understands the intricacies of both SEO and crafting a campaign that focuses on local searches. Having a top spot in national search might look great, but it won’t do much for customers looking to purchase specifically from a business in their local area.

Why is SEO the best form of marketing for a local business? Here are five reasons why every local business should have SEO as the foundation of all other marketing endeavors:

  1. SEO requires you to produce higher-quality content, which is more valuable for your page visitors. Gone are the days when you could fill a webpage full of a single keyword and top the search results. Web crawlers are now so sophisticated that they can actually determine the “value” of a piece of content and give high-value content a boost, while lowering the ranking of gibberish content. With searchers looking for valuable content that answers their questions, local businesses have an opportunity to become a local information hub.
  1. Local SEO ensures all online listings have the most accurate information. Local online directories and listings on review websites are a big part of local SEO, but local SEO also demands that those listing be properly maintained. Luckily, most services allow you to “claim” your listing and change the name, address, contact, and operating hours information so that it is always accurate.
  1. Local SEO gives you an impetus to improve your social media campaign. Functioning and active social media pages are another big part of a local SEO. One advantage local businesses have over mega-corporations is the ability to be part of a community. Your local customers are more likely to friend or follow you on social media, which gives you a forum to share your latest blog post, or connect directly with people that like your business.
  1. Gives you a forum to address complaints or negative reviews. Only a small fraction of businesses seem to understand that you can respond to negative reviews on websites like Yelp or Urbanspoon (or the equivalent for your industry). Not only do these responses improve your search engine optimization (by allowing you to include a link back to your website, provide valuable content, etc.), they also allow you to directly address complaints and negative reviews in a way that makes the experience more positive. A polite, courteous apology or explanation can slash the effect of a negative review.
  1. Encourages you to develop relationships with local media outlets and bloggers. You need media attention in order to be successful, even in a small town. Local SEO demands that you build a relationship with local newspapers and bloggers who will be willing to spend a little time sending some attention your way.

Is Local SEO Important

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Is Local SEO Important?

You’re a brick and mortar store. You might have an online store, but your main concern is getting people into that physical store. Isn’t print advertising or word of mouth still the best way for physical stores to get traffic? Not in this technologically advanced age. Especially when it comes to advertising venues like the yellow pages, almost no one uses them. Sure, they may use yellow to prop up their toddler at the dinner table, or to rip in half as a neat parlor trick, but very few people think to themselves, “I’d like to find a clothing store in town. Why don’t I open up the yellow pages and see what it has to say.”

Instead, most people will turn to the internet, even if they want to find something locally. It’s faster, more comprehensive, and just far more convenient. That means that if you want to draw in new customers and connect with current customers, you need to have a thriving—and most of all, findable—web presence. How is this achieved? Through local SEO (search engine optimization).

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization is a process of on-page changes and off-page actions that improve your website’s ranking in search engine results. Some of the on-page strategies include writing keyword rich content, both for the individual pages on the site, but also for a blog that is regularly updated. These keywords need to be carefully researched and properly implemented, so that they both relate to your business and have a high likelihood of being searched by users, as well as have low competition from other websites.

Off-site strategies could include backlinking and guest blogging—anything that improves the likelihood that someone looking for products or services like yours can find you as they are searching the internet for those products or services.

Search engine optimization is the foundation for any marketing campaign. If you are making efforts to have your name distributed around town through other platforms, you need to make it possible for those hearing your name and about your website, easily find you through search engines.

Most of all, SEO is about providing real value to your page visitors. It is about delivering on the promises you made in advertising and off-site optimization efforts. Additionally, SEO is a great way to get your message across to potential customers. SEO gets them to your page, yes, but the content that does that should also be worth reading and provide answers to the questions that your page visitors have.

What is local search engine optimization?

Local SEO is identical to general SEO in every way but one—instead of being focused on drawing traffic from all over the world, it is focused just on drawing traffic from your immediate area. If you have a brick and mortar store and want to draw people from your area to that shop, you need to be able to be found on search engines, but local users.

Local SEO works in much the same was as any other SEO endeavor. It still requires keywords, off-site optimization, and time to get a foothold in the search results. Because the field for local SEO is much narrower than all other SEO, it is often easier to find the foothold that you need in order to get a leg-up over competitors.

Is local SEO important for my business?

When it comes to the success of a business that has a physical location and does not just offer its products and services online, local SEO is vitally important. It is how new customers are going to find you. Just like having the right physical position—visible with lots of traffic—you want to have the right online position—which is, of course, visible, with lots of traffic.

This doesn’t just happen. Even if you are the only real estate company in the county, you need to build a bank of valuable content, rich with keywords, which will effectively drive people towards your business. The last thing you want to do is just let SEO “take care of itself.” If you aren’t actively working to make sure that you company is at the top of the search results, some other company will be. Even if you hit the first page, you may not be ahead of other companies that are actively working to provide real value to their customers.

How to Implement Local SEO

Local SEO, like any SEO endeavor, is a multi-faceted undertaking. There are keywords that need to be researched, content that needs to be written, off-site campaigns to stay on top of. All SEO campaigns have a lot of moving parts. With all that is involved in SEO, it is also important that you monitor how consumers respond to your SEO efforts. It could easily become overwhelming for a local business owner. If you do not have enough time to take care of all of this yourself, do not be afraid to outsource to an account manager.