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Ranking your website in search is hard, especially for the popular keywords that everybody uses.  You want to be on page 1 but you are competing against hundreds of other businesses for a limited number of spots.

You also have to compete with the big websites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, Houzz and many more depending on your niche who rank very well and have large teams of SEO professionals behind them.

These websites are optimized for the very same keywords that are important to your business so they can send traffic to their own profile or search pages to benefit businesses on their site.

They also have large advertising budgets and quite often buy ads that appear at the top of search pages for competitive keywords.

Maybe it is impossible for your business to get on page 1 of Google for these highly competitive keywords, but there is a very good chance your business could get to page one on one of these third-party services.

You will then get traffic when people click through to a third-party search page that you are listed on.


What is Barnacle SEO

Barnacle SEO is a search engine optimization technique where businesses and individuals leverage the authority and traffic of established websites to improve their own online visibility. The name “barnacle” is aptly chosen, as it reflects the idea of attaching oneself to a larger, stationary entity in order to benefit from its position in the online ecosystem.

Instead of relying solely on building and optimizing their own website, Barnacle SEO practitioners identify high-ranking, authoritative websites and platforms in their niche or industry. They then strategically create and optimize content, profiles, or listings on these platforms, effectively “riding” their coattails to gain exposure in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This strategy allows your business to gain exposure on page 1 for very competitive keywords when the searcher clicks through to a search page on one of these websites.

You should then aim to be ranked as highly as possible on these websites so your profile or listing is as high as possible in the search results for each service.


Is Barnacle SEO useful for my business?

Barnacle SEO can be utilized for any business.  You just need to determine which websites are important to your business niche and optimize your presence on these services.

This strategy is particularly effective for local businesses as the search pages typically cover one location. You just need to work on making your profile better than your local competitors on each service.


Barnacle SEO for local businesses

Barnacle SEO can be a very powerful strategy for local businesses like electricians, plumbers, doctors, accountants, lawyers, restaurants, hotels etc.

Each of these niches has its own list of powerful websites designed to help people find and connect with businesses in these industries.

These websites have large advertising and search marketing budgets and quite often have an Advertisement or well-ranked search page for important keywords relevant to your niche.

Industry Services
General Yelp
Doctor ZocDoc
Lawyer Justia, Nolo, Avvo, FindLaw
Restaurant Zomato, Opentable
Hotel Tripadvisor


Barnacle SEO for online businesses

You can also use Barnacle SEO if you are an online business.  There are plenty of services that support the ability to list online businesses.

Industry Services
Marketing Company Clutch
Software Company Capterra, G2, GetApp, TrustRadius


How to implement Barnacle SEO

Barnacle SEO is easy to implement and the steps involved are things that you should already be doing for your business.


1. Identify your most important keywords

What are the most important search keywords that people use when searching for a business like yours.

Identify a list of at least 20 keywords and use a search tracking tool to determine which are most important.  Use Search Volume to determine which keywords get the most traffic.

Focus on these keywords in order of the ones with the most traffic.


2. Determine which third party sites rank on page 1

For each of your keywords do a search on Google and make a note of any services that allow you to create a listing or profile.

Record which services appear the most and at what position along with the search volume for the keyword.  You can also determine the Domain Authority of each websites as a guide to which websites may rank better.

Once you have made your list you will be able to determine which websites are the most important for your business.

These are the websites you should focus on for your Barnacle SEO strategy.


3. Have a presence on each site

Before you can appear in search results for each site you need to have a presence.

Check each website to see if you have an existing listing, If not add a new listing or profile.

Some sites will be free to list or will require you to pay for a premium listing.  You should decide for each site if you feel a paid listing is worthwhile depending on how much traffic the listing may bring.

There may be other advantages to a paid listing. For example, if a paid listing also includes a dofollow backlink this would be an added bonus.

Creating listings on these niche websites is also valuable as they are additional citations for your business to boost local seo and gives your business another way to be found by people who go directly to these niche services to find businesses.


4. Optimize your presence on each site

Once you are listed you need to optimize the listing as much as possible and generate high quality content so that the service ranks it as high as possible in relevant search result pages.

Each service will have their own ranking algorithm.  Look at the search results page for each service and determine the factors helping each business to rank.

Some common ranking factors include:

  • Ratings
  • Number of reviews
  • Quality of reviews
  • Whether the listing is premium or not
  • Completeness of listing
  • Photos and Videos
  • Engagement of the page
  • Inclusion of products and services
  • Specials and offers

If the service supports ratings and reviews a good strategy is to start getting good reviews on the page.


5. Increase Engagement with your presence

One of the best ways to get your presence or listing on a service to rank well is to get user generated content and engagement on your page.

You can do this by:

  • Getting more reviews on your listing
  • Improving your rating
  • Getting more photos and videos from customers on the listing
  • Including questions and answers

You can link to your profile from your website or use review generation tools to get more reviews on your listing.


6. Link back to your website

Whenever possible, include links back (backlinks) to your own website within the content you publish on these platforms. This can help drive traffic from the authoritative platform to your site.


7. Monitor Third Party Rankings

Check how you’re ranking on third party sites every so often to determine if you are improving or holding your rank.

Even when you have made it to position one it is possible that the ranking will change due to changes in ranking factors or your competitors improving.

Keep a list of all the search pages relevant to your business and check each one periodically.  Record your ranking position and the date so you can track changes over time.


Managed Barnacle SEO

Managed Barnacle SEO is not possible with traditional rank tracking services such as Semrush, Ahrefs, Majestic or any other service.

This is because these platforms are not designed to track the information necessary to properly manage and track Barnacle SEO.  These tools only know about your website and have no knowledge of which websites can be used for Barnacle SEO or the ability to help you rank on each of these websites and track your ranking position.

myPresences is the only online marketing tool with specific support for Barnacle SEO.

This is because myPresences is also an online presence management platform . We track all the websites that allow businesses in each niche to have a listing so you know where to list and whether you already have a listing. Once you are listed we help you optimize each listing and get reviews to help the listings rank better on each service so you have a better chance of appearing on page 1.

Coming soon, we will also be able to provide rank tracking for search pages on major third party websites so your rank can be automatically monitored in the same way that you track your google business profile rank.

Try myPresences free for 14 days and start implementing a Barnacle SEO strategy for your business or agency clients.

Paul Gordon

Paul is the Founder of myPresence and is passionate about helping small businesses do better online by creating the best software tools possible.

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