November 8

Provide the Answers

Strategy, Website

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Online Search Results Knowledge Panel

The knowledge panel is the box of questions that often comes up at the top of Google search results.   There is an example shown below in this article for the search question "who repairs roof leaks?"  Most searchers will click on these questions for answers.   A business that effectively uses SEO on their website could appear in one of these answers.  Appearing in the answer puts your company above the first website to appear in the result page right under the knowledge block.  Where would you rather your company appear?

Business Visibility Online

There are numerous aspects of SEO that business owners may not be aware of that can help their local visibility.  By visibility I mean when a likely prospect is looking for your services or products to solve a problem they see your business first!  Being seen first normally wins the prize if other things are equal.  Of course there are other SEO techniques to ensure once your business is seen that the person looking to solve a problem will pick you rather than another result.  Typically the top three results in a search win the most clicks or chances that someone will at least consider your message.  Literally over 90% of the searchers on Google will pick one of the first three companies listed in the results. 

Search Results for Roof Repairs

We all search for information and assistance in solving problems.  Google prides itself in providing the most relevant results for the search.  That is why it is important to understand Google's rules!  If you are an expert in roof repairs and expect a homeowner to hire you to repair their roof leak why wouldn't you hire someone that knows and understands how to apply Google's rules to help those homeowners find you first?

DIY in Roof Repair and Local Business SEO

Yep, we all do it.  Our first instinct is to do it ourselves.  If you are a craftsperson or was raised in a middle income or lower income household you have learned to do things yourself out of necessity.  I can't remember my father, a Belgium immigrant every hiring anyone to do work around our house or yard unless he absolutely didn't have a friend, relative or the right tool to do it.  I'll admit I gage the price of the right tool against the price of hiring someone with the idea when I finish the job I have a new tool!  Even though it may be years before I need that tool again and chances are I won't be able to find it!

There Are Special Tools And Knowledge Needed For SEO.

I do have clients that get the free version of these tools and set out to do it themselves.  There are a number of things you can do yourself but is that how you make money?  Chances are you make money working in your business or on your business.  If you are not hiring specialists with specialist skills you are probably wasting money.  Even though you are a jack of all trades you cannot be an expert at all of them.  Do you want a return on your online investment?

I can repair my roof myself.  I have the ladders, can get the materials, the tools, and maybe find the place that is leaking.  But why do this when my time is better spent writing this blog that may bring me more business.  To be truthful I have started using a blog writing service for some of my clients that save me time.  They are often better done than what I write and in less time.  In this case I have a message I want to convey myself.

Search Results Impacted By Knowing SEO Rules.

local business SEO example in search

SEO put your business here

Note the screen shot on the left of the search result page for the search "who repairs roof leaks".  There are two screenshots because the first contains ads.  Most search results will contain one or more paid ads at the top of the result and several at the bottom of the page.  Companies pay a lot of money to reach the top of the position of these ads for particular search terms or keywords. (Google Adwords)  Correct me if I am wrong here but I suspect you bypass the ads marked in yellow below and go to the first (organic) result that hasn't been paid for by an advertiser. 

In the right screenshot not the map and location of "Handyman Roofing" in relationship to my location, the red X.   This "knowledge panel" as Google calls it is where you want your business to show up in a search result!   The location on the map, the star rating, phone number, address, business hours, website, and directions are a powerful incentive to click on "Handyman Roofing".

The knowledge panel questions are another good place to appear.  Whether someone clicks on the questions or the result depends on where they are at in their search for information.  Are they looking for more information on roof leaks or ready to find someone to fix the leak?

Providing The Answers To The Search Of "Who Repairs Roof Leaks".

SEO let's you provide the answers

You should now be asking yourself how do I get my business into one of these knowledge blocks on the first page of Google Search Results.  I can show you how but it would almost take as much time if I do it for you!   The great part about setting up your business to be in these results is that most of your competitors will not be doing it and you improve your chances or winning over their prospects.

How do you get your business into the knowledge panel?

Get Answers to your online visibility


The check list goes on but you get the idea.  One of the fundamental ways of coming out on top is to review what your competitors are doing online to appear ahead of you in the results.  You can do some of that yourself by reviewing their website.  Just like your business I have invested in tools that let me compare all the important items on the list above.  

All professionals use lists for effectiveness

Airline pilots use preflight, takeoff, and landing checklists and won't fly without them.  The roof repair person, auto repair, computer repair, air conditioning repair, tax preparers, lab technicians, doctors, nurses, lawyers, and plumbers all use checklists.  Some are written some are remembered by years of experience in troubleshooting or installing equipment.  Failure to use an actual list can often result in errors and additional expenses.  

To get the best results for your business visibility online someone need to use Google's checklist for success.  They provide most of the items that are necessary for their algorithm to properly index your site and rank in search results.  Imagine flying with a pilot that didn't use the recommended check lists for pre-flight, takeoff and landing.   What do you think your chances of arriving at your destination safely would be?  The same is true for SEO and Google's checklist.  The chances of your company appearing in the knowledge panel or on top of the search results aren't very good.

About the author 

John Hamerlinck

John is a former USMC veteran that has spent years working in industrial leadership roles, including engineering, IT, mfg operations, marketing, business development, and sales. He earned a BSEE and MBA in marketing and finance from Lewis University in the Chicago area.

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