Ranking Local Businesses with the Power of Schema Data

SEO Company Bristol, “not just  SEO, not just Bristol” offer the full digital marketing services you would expect from one of the best Internet marketing companies in the UK. We offer search engine optimisation (SEO), Google Advertising, Pay per click (PPC), video creation and marketing, social media management. We offer a local SEO service for businesses in Bristol, work with companies throughout the UK and internationally. Find out what we can do for your business by calling 0117 325 1099

Ranking Local Businesses – History

Back in the day of MySpace, Bebo and Ask Jeeves, search engine optimisation was as easy as re-posting the same content over and over again hoping that the primitive software search engines like Yahoo and even Google would use to rank websites. Someone wanting to rank “Used Cars In Newport” would simply have to post a page on their site titled used cars in Newport, with complete garbage content either ripped straight from somewhere else or featuring something that had no relevance at all to the subject at hand. SEO and search engines in general have evolved and progressed much further than people can even fathom, as the complex algorithms and the hundred of hoops you have to jump through to successfully rank a website has become almost unfeasible without constant management and catered attention. This advancements made by search engines means SEO isn’t something that is cheap and easy to do. It’s a skill that requires training and careful attention to shifting changes, as search engines are constantly evolving. It’s like a figurative game of catch up as search engines like Google are always going to change their algorithm and data collection when ranking websites.

Because of the huge volume of content all wanting to be ranked on the multitude of search engines, it makes it impossible for something of that scale to be manually checked and ranked by search engines. This is why software and algorithms are put in place, as it’s a sheer impossible task to manually rank these amounts of sites with a fair approach. Whilst software is advancing at a relatively fast rate, there isn’t something on the market that can actually read the validity of content outright, there are things that can check the keywords count etc. and this is an element we try to focus on when creating our content. Aspects that we know are going to be picked up on by the software search engines use are always going to be a priority to use as these are the largest steps we can take into advancing a websites ranking. If the software were to remain the same, it wouldn’t take a few months before people would manage to completely overhaul and understand every facet that the algorithms look at to rank, making the rankings void as the system would have been exploited by everyone wanting to rank their sites.

Because of this never-ending chase we are always going to be searching for the new element search engines are going to use once the old ones have been removed or updated. It’s this process that is important to our process as the fundamentals of search engines ranking systems are always wanting to find the most supported and linked page to place on page 1. The algorithms are always going to change, which is inevitable for search engines to remain a valid platform for sites, which makes it tricky for local businesses to rank their website. We thankfully are one step ahead as we have managed to find a new facet, which Google’s algorithms use to rank websites.

Ranking Local Businesses – Schema Data

This new element is called Schema data, which is the new component that Google especially likes to pick up on, through the coding in all webpages. What it is basically doing is thoroughly checking through a new source of code, which we are able to input a complete list of directory listings that gives sites we rank a huge advantage as search engines greatly favour sites with this Schema data. A simple breakdown of Schema is that it is a semantic vocabulary that search engines like Google can use to read your website. What we are effectively doing is manually inputting data that we know is effective, in a source of code,

In simple terms – schema data adds to your website a number of important pieces of information.

  • Your Status – It marks your website as a local business
  • Your Name – Business name
  • Description – What services and products your business sells
  • Address – The address of your local business
  • Profiles – linking together all of your social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Longitude & Latitude – of your business address

This means that on every page of your website there is hidden code that informs search engines exactly who you are, what you do and where you are – very powerful information for search engines and one that has accelerated the rankings of local businesses to the first page of Google and in to the Google Maps.

SEO Bristol Proof

Schema has different associations for a huge amount of different listings, things from what we’ve found to be most effective like directory listings and content linked through sub-sites and social media, to other sources like individual listings are going to heavily refer to your site. These by themselves are going to give your site great links that is going to help the ranking process. So we are already one step ahead even if we aren’t focusing on the Schema data.

Another great reason why Schema is such an effective tool for SEO is that more is better, which is rare with ranking as many search engines will deem overloaded content as spam, as it reads it as “too much”, which is why a gradual approach is favoured with most elements of SEO. Schema differs in the context of volume, as you can submit a mass amount in a short amount of time and the benefits wont suffer a diminishing factor through a larger volume of links. Google in specific will favour more links than fewer, so this is an element we can rush different links through.

For the time being, Schema data is currently still an “un-tapped” vein for SEO that local businesses are not utilising. It’s surprising how little this effective tool is used for businesses by even the largest SEO Agencies. We feel Schema will become the basis for many different ranking elements, so we feel validated in pursing it further, and exploring new techniques that incorporate Schema data going forward in refining our SEO process.

Ranking Local Businesses – Directory Listings

Listings on directory websites is an important SEO factor for local businesses. Google have a number of directories they trust to provide to them with data on local businesses. As part of our standard SEO services we list our local business in over 500 directory websites. Most of these are free, and as a local business owner you could do this yourself. However, each directory takes about 10 minutes to create (10 minutes x 500 directories = 83 hours of work). They also should be checked and updated on a monthly basis.

When combined with Schema the power of directories for local listings is multiplied 100’s of times.

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Ranking Local Businesses – Case Study

We took on a new client who had a new website not even indexed by Google. This means that Google didn’t even know it existed and it did not rank in any search engines, for any search terms.

We applied our SEO services, which included adding Schema data to the website, started to build the local directory listings and combining the power of the two. A new website would normally take between 3 to 6 months to rank on the first page.

Within 2 weeks, we have them placed on the 1st page of Google for 15 search terms related to their business and they have 7 top listings in Google maps.

Ranking Local Businesses

Ranking Local Businesses – Summary

Schema data and directory listing services are included as standard in our SEO services for all local businesses. We can also apply the technique to your website as a one-off project. For more information please call 0117 325 1099

About Martyn Lenthall

Martyn Lenthall is one of the most recognised authorities in the UK on 'Local Marketing', 'Search Engine Optimisation' (or SEO) and 'Digital Marketing'. Author of "Online Marketing Secrets For UK Local Businesses", SEO Consultant, Lecturer and Trainer. Owner of SEO Company Bristol. Follow on Google Plus https://plus.google.com/+MartynLenthall/posts?rel=author