Tag - Local SEO

Local SEO: 4 Essential Factors of Success

Keys to Successful Local SEO

Incorporating keywords your prospecs use to search the internet is the key to a successful local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Optimizing your web pages to get “organic” traffic from the search engines is critical for successful local SEO, but today it is much more complex. It’s about integrating with the other internet marketing strategies such as social media marketing, content marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC), blogging, and website design.

1. Strategy & Initial Optimization

The first step in any local SEO plan should begin with a keyword discovery process that focuses on achievable primary keywords and “long tail” keywords. The approved keywords are embedded into your meta tags and content — this helps search engines (including Google) organize and rank information. Coding, style, positioning, and saturation levels of relevant keywords are also important factors that are a part of on-page SEO process.

Your local business’ domain name, keywords in titles on your own websites, and the presence of key NAP (name, address and phone number) contact information on your websites have a significant influence in determining performance. Make sure this information matches the info in any and all directories you use.

2. Link Building

Link building creates links that connect directly to your website. The quantity and quality of links to local business’ websites from external sites significantly influence performance. The more quality links to your website, the more your rank increases. Relevant and effective link building through partners, articles, press releases, bookmarking, blogs, reference sites, etc., is one of the most important factors in your search marketing.
Create a listing in Google Places that includes accurate and optimized categories, notable keywords in business titles, and the business address, and contact info.

3. Content Marketing

Articles, press releases, blog posts, eBooks, webinars, landing pages, and more, will allow for the enhancement of your digital “footprint” in your industry. Fresh, original content needs to be written for submission to industry channels and social news sites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon, and it needs to be promoted through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, among others. Social signals such as Facebook Likes, and Twitter Followers can have a significant influence in determining SEO performance.

4. Reporting & Analytics

To measure the success of your efforts, regularly review your site analytics. Traffic, the referring sites, keywords, etc. must be analyzed to see which pages are working and which are not. Based on these reviews, your local SEO plan may need updating or infused with fresh ideas.

Google Plus 1 Your Way to Higher Local Rankings

Google’s latest big shake up in the search ranking algorithm looks at social media clues — specifically through its own social network Google +. In short, Google + users who do a search while logged into their Google account may see some results from pages that people in their network have shared in Google + or have clicked on a +1 button for that page. Those pages will now rank more favorably for that searcher. And the searcher will see icons of the people in their network who have +1′d that page. In other words, people they know and trust have already vouched for that page.

Google search has been going through a lot of recent changes. A search ranking position is no longer a number as much as it is a probability within a range. Factors such as localization, personalization, the user’s search history, whether the user is a Google user and whether he/she is logged in, and whether the user is using a mobile device to search, all effect position in the search results. And means your business’s next position in the rankings can vary considerably.

This could be big for local businesses as Google + use continues to grow. As Google injects + 1’’s into its search results, Google Plus will get more exposure and see more growth. The average user will have networks consisting mainly of friends and family and those networks will be predominantly local.

And as a local business, you want to encourage locals to Plus 1 vote on your pages. This will help your search results to be favored for more and more local searches by local people logged into their Google accounts.

Here are some ways to encourage users to +1 your small business website.

· Place Google +1 buttons on every page of your website

Place the +1 button in a prominent place on all your web pages, much like you’ve probably already done with Facebook and Twitter icons.

· Include a message about sharing your link in “Thank You” emails

On emails you send thanking customers for doing business with you, place links to your social media profiles and ask for the +1. Also include links to your Google Places listing, Yelp listing and maybe a couple other local review websites.

· Include the Google +1 button with a message in your contact form “Thank You” pages

If you have a “Thank You” page after a customer submits a form (or makes an ecommerce purchase), customers are often are more likely to take an extra action. Show them a special message on that “Thank You” page about + 1’ing you.

· Create a Google Plus + profile for your business

Google has now opened up Google + to businesses. Set up your business profile then build circles by adding locals.

· Link to your social profiles in your email signature

Create an email signature (if you haven’t already). In addition to your name, phone number and website address (at a minimum), your email signature should include links to your Google + profile, Facebook page and Twitter pages.

According to Google, 100 million people are using Google+ each month — numbers that your small business can’t afford to ignore.

optimized keywords for seo

Correct Keyword Placement in Your Blog Posts Will Boost Your Search Rankings

Improve SEO Search Rankings with Strategic Keyword Placement

optimized keywords and keyword placement for seo

The correct keyword placement in your blog posts can be as important as the keywords themselves. So what are the most effective ways to use optimized keywords in your blog posts to achieve the highest search rankings possible? Here are some tips for placing your keywords and achieving higher search ranking.

  1. Your most important keywords should be placed in your blog title. It’s the first thing people will see in search results. If possible, place your most important SEO keywords early-on in your blog post title. Google generally assumes the words that appear first are the most important. That’s why the title is the most important part of your blog post when it comes to SEO.  
  2. Videos are working nicely! Make sure your interviews or narration use the optimal keywords. YouTube and Google index all the closed-captions. You could even upload transcriptions. So try that and embed a video on your post!
  3. Search engines, especially Google, love internal and external links in the body of your blog posts so use your best keywords as text links. Link to other articles onkeyword placement can increase seo your site or you can link to other authority sites.
  4. You should add images to your posts and use your best keywords as alt tags for your images. Search engines don’t see the images when scanning your site, but they do read the alt tags.
  5. Use the best and broadest keywords as your categories. Each one of your blog post should feature one of your best SEO keywords that fit into at least one of these categories.
  6. Tags are another way of saying keywords. “Blog specific” keywords should be used in your tags for each blog post. 

Finally, as important as the correct use of keywords in your blog posts are, you should write for readability. Reading the same keyword phrases over and over is not only poor writing – keyword stuffing is also bad SEO strategy. Search engines deliver people who are actively searching for what you have. Unless you employ strategies like keyword placement, your site may never be found by those who need what you offer.

Content Management Strategy for SEO

Fixing Your Social Media Woes with a Content Strategy

Create Content Strategy for Your Target Audience

content strategy

No business wants to purposely alienate its audience, or to provide useless information by sharing content that their customers don’t want or need. But those are the kinds of mistakes businesses make when they don’t have a real content strategy for their social media.

Businesses just starting out with social media often suffer from one or both of two problems:

  1. They say a lot that has little value
  2. They have no idea what to say

Creating an effective content strategy can help you avoid both of these problems. When you establish a framework for a content strategy it gives you a set approach for your social media opportunities. It reminds you of your identified business goal, making it easier to determine content that your audience will find valuable.

Content strategy for social media is a step-by-step process. It includes the following steps:

• Start by establishing a business goal
• Identify your target audience
• Create the right content
• Measure your results

Let’s further analyze those steps:

Establish a Business Goal

Setting up a social media account isn’t a business goal. Before you can use social media effectively, you have to know what you’d like to achieve. This may take some work and coordination across your entire organization. Issuing directives like “We need a Facebook page!” or “Let’s advertise on LinkedIn!” is not a goal.

But using a Twitter account to reduce response time for customer service queries from days to minutes is; as is using a LinkedIn account to improve your networking or to generate more quality leads.

Identify Your Target Audience

The first step in an effective content strategy is to identify your audience. Know who your content is for and know what social media outlets they are using. Using Twitter for customer service is pointless if your customers don’t use Twitter. If your customers aren’t using Facebook, posting on Facebook is going to prove fruitless and frustrating.

Don’t automatically assume that your organization has a message that your customers want you to share. You’ll probably be disappointed if you do. Find out what information your customers and prospects need. Then meet that need.

Create the Right Content

Everything you say (and everything you don’t say) represents your brand. To stay out of trouble start small. Some ideas:

• Offer a tip of the day, based on customer service questions you’ve recently received.
• You may have other in-house brochures and other materials that you can easily adapt.
• A user training course manual might offer content that would be helpful, if you share it well.
• Maybe customers have told you how they’ve used your product. Their case studies will make other customers’ lives easier.

Make sure that the content you’re sharing isn’t simply self-serving but meets the needs of your audience. Your customers will know immediately if you’re helping them or just pushing product.

Stay ahead of the game. Decide how often you’d like to post on a social network, and get several posts ready, depending on your planned frequency. Then wait and see how your customers respond. They’ll give let you know if you’re doing it right. Just be responsive to their needs.

Measure Your Results

Remember that business goal you set? Were you able to reach it? If you created the right kind of business goal, you should be able to measure the results. Did you decrease your time-to-resolution on customer service queries? Were you able to increase your brand awareness? Have you improved you lead generation or SEO ranking?

The key is to start with a simple strategy and measurable goals. You’ll find that your social content is easier to plan and it’s easier to meet your business goals.

Content is Still What Attracts Visitors and Search Engines

Content Matters

Engage with Content

 

It’s easy for businesses to fall prey to the misconception that websites need to be flashy, colorful and animated to attract and retain visitors. While user interface is important, it pales in importance to the content on your page. Flashy web pages often make your content more difficult to access and read, causing search engine rankings to suffer as a result.

 

Today your business must be fully engaged on all available digital media outlets. Your customer base is more diverse than ever and they like to get their information from a variety of marketing channels and platforms, including websites, blogs, social media, message boards, white papers, and e-books. This makes fresh, unique and relevant content critical. And while this can make your job more difficult, it can also create unprecedented marketing opportunities.

 

Content is what draws in visitors and it’s what keeps them engaged. Fresh, relevant, quality, professionally-written and optimized content is what attracts the attention of the search engines – translating into higher revenues for your business. 

 

Content Checklist

 

  1. Create useful, information rich sites, microposts and posts that clearly add value to the visitor’s experience. The more useful the visitor finds the information. The more likely he/she will pass it on to their friends, followers and connections.
  2. Use text instead of images to display important names, content or links. Search engines can’t read images.
  3. Choose topics which are original, unique and relevant.
  4. Limit page size as much as possible.  If the content must be lengthy to adequately cover a topic, offer a “Table of Contents” and divide the content into user-friendly pages. This makes it easier for the reader and the search engines.
  5. Once you’ve gotten your message across, stop writing. Don’t be verbose just for the sake of increasing the number of your keywords. This will only drive visitors away – not a good thing when you’re trying to build traffic.
  6. Proof-read and spell check; then proof-read and spell check again. Content that is free of typos, grammatical errors and misspelling is a sign to visitors and search engines alike that your content is of research quality.
  7. Make sure the TITLE element for your document is concise and accurate. The page TITLE is used by search engines to display link text as the result of a search.
  8. Ensure that each IMG element includes an ALT attribute.
  9. Provide links to interesting, related content when appropriate, but keep the links on any given page to a reasonable number.
  10. Always reference citations and sources. This indicates to search engines that your content is of research quality.

Spend a little more time and energy into developing fresh, useful, quality content and you’ll get many times the return on your investment.