How to Use External Properties to Boost Your SERP Rankings
We just completed a post on the importance of mobile search to your business’ web presence in 2017, and mentioned the importance of external properties to mobile SEO. But what exactly are external properties, and how do they help boost your SEO?
External properties are anything on the web that’s not owned by your business but relates to your business – this includes Google Maps information, Yelp reviews, and social media accounts. These external properties are hugely important to local SEO and non-geo-specific SEO for several reasons.
You need to create or update and maintain as many legitimate external properties for your business as possible if you want to win at SEO. Here are a few reasons having a lot of external content affects your SEO:
- Having multiple results related to your business on one SERP can push out the competition and give your business legitimacy with customers.
- Because sites like Google Maps and Facebook are ubiquitous and hugely respected, they will almost always rank higher than your main business page.
- You can use each one of these external properties as an opportunity to create a backlink to your main site, which boosts your main site SEO.
- External properties like Google Maps can make your business easier to find geographically, while reviews on sites like Facebook, Google, and Yelp have a huge psychological impact on customers.
Here’s what to do if you want to create a virtual empire of external properties related to your site. First, you’ll want to claim your business on Google and Yelp – once you’ve done that, fill out the profile on each site completely and be sure that contact and location information are accurate. Also be sure to include a link back to your main site – this will both boost your main site’s SEO and bring customers to the main site organically (when they click on the link after becoming more interested in your business via Google or Yelp).
You’ll also want to create accounts on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your business. This can be time-consuming, but it’s all free and the payoff is huge. You should also check out our article on maximizing the potential of these sites for your SEO and your business’ bottom line – they can have a huge impact with minimal effort beyond the initial setup because they provide an organic space in which you can provide content for and interact with your customers and potential customers effortlessly.
Once you’ve completed all this, you’ve got your bases covered when it comes to external properties – all that is left is to maintain them.
For Google and Yelp, this is simple – check your accounts frequently, respond to negative reviews (but never defensively – show the customer that you are solving the problem!), and be sure to update your contact and location information if it changes.
For social media accounts, there’s a little bit more involved, but it can be easily worked into the rest of your marketing activities. You want to create new content for your social media accounts every day or every few days so returning users have something fresh to look at. You can also share the same content across multiple accounts to make it more accessible.