Fabulous but sometimes Forgotten Google Features
Interesting and useful google tools
It is all too easy to become obsessed with making sure your homepage or target pages are ranking highly in Google organic search, but there are some other really simple ways to make your site discoverable. This is particularly valuable if you are running multiple sites in different languages.
We've covered a few of Google's search options for you to sink your teeth into.
We’re simply going to walk through how a few of the search options Google throws you on the results page can benefit you with traffic and search signals.
It may be an oldy, but it’s a goody - alt tags really are helpful!
As SEO consultants we often bang on about making sure that all images have useful descriptive text to help with image search and on-page SEO, but the fact is that many businesses have unique stock to add to search indexes. If your business has been out on a photo shoot recently you can capitalise on it. If you are thinking of going multilingual online do a quick image search and see what gaps you can fill by creating alt tags in the region specific language.
Videos – Nope! They don’t have to cost much.
Search engines love different styles of content and by providing useful information on a variety of different sites, in different ways - you can improve your site metrics as a knowledge provider, or authority on your industry.
Contrary to popular belief videos can be made on a budget and work well. Although, a genius viral concept will get whirl-wind results and attention, a well-structured “How to” or video-guide can be very effective over the longer term.
Consider some of the FAQs you answer on your website and see if you can create a video answer, it may in fact be easier to answer by demonstration. Title your videos carefully and upload to your company YouTube channel. We’d also recommend embedding video on your website with a transcript and adding relevant tags, to help with easy discovery by search bots.
Also, if you are running multiple language sites, you may have different questions to answer for each region – target your audience properly to get the maximum benefit from your videos.
Being found with Google Places
The power of Google Maps is growing. More and more users with mobile and desktop devices are requesting information and making decisions on the spot, whether deciding on which Thai restaurant to visit in Berlin, or the best way to navigate through London.
So, if you have physical address and want to be found, then make sure that you are on there! Linking your website to a business address is another little indicator for search engines to improve your website authority too.
For consumer product or service businesses, you can create free “Offers” which will appear on your Google Places homepage. Test these out to see if you can influence click through rates on high traffic search terms.
Another sometimes forgotten aspect of Google Maps is to show PPC campaigns you are running in this search area. Set up is a simple matter and it is a nice way to generate higher qualified traffic through localisation.
Check out the difference for the level of competition between PPC on Organic and Google maps listings in Germany.
Getting in the News
News is a great way to gain notoriety, ultimately it would be lovely to have your own Google news feed but the requirements can make it too costly for some businesses. You can submit individual news items on occasion for Google to review but there are also good online press release services which will SEO optimise your articles too. Remember, if news is relevant to more than one language market to make translated versions available to your audience.
Extra strings to your bow
By tying a few of these alternatives into your online strategy you can bolster your website’s search signals and should see additional traffic coming to your site. The wider the net the more fish you can catch. We didn’t go into Google Shopping here as that is a world of its own and deserves a dedicated post – so keep your eyes peeled.
Kezia Bibby is Senior Search Account Manager at OBAN Multilingual