Local SEO is one of the most important forms of Internet marketing for small businesses. When people are looking for a convenient product or service, it makes sense that they would shop as close to home as possible. This decreases wait time and makes a return or exchange much easier than going through the mail. Also, face time with a service provider increases interaction and trust. By showing up on an internet search as being a popular business close to their home, you are 50 % of the way to closing the sale.
There are 3 steps to making sure your business shows up when people look for your service.
Choose Keywords Wisely
First of all, you want your keywords to accurately reflect the service or product you are offering. Secondly, you also want these keywords to be popular enough phrases in everyday language, that you can be sure people are actually searching for these. Besides using common sense, you can perform your own Google searches to determine this. Keyword research tools can also help, but they cost a fair amount of money to us high quality ones. Thirdly, you want to modify the keywords you choose to make them unique to you and eliminate some competitors.
Choose Locality Wisely
Using a few localities is a good idea. For example, if you are based in Glen Ellyn, a tiny suburb of Chicago, you will want to use “Glen Ellyn” as a keyword locality a minimal amount of times. Other keywords, like “Chicago”, “Illinois” or “Chicagoland area” encompasses vast physical areas and thus a huge amount of users. So competition for these localities will be very high. In such a case, you will use these keywords a moderate number of times. The keywords you will want to focus on will be of neighboring, larger localities. In the case of Glen Ellyn, using localities like “Wheaton”, Elmhurst” and “Naperville” is a good idea. This is because these are much larger surrounding suburbs.
Make Sure Your Google+ Page and Webpage Correspond and Are Accurate
Once you have your keywords chosen, you need to make sure you are actually listed in Google’s local directory. To do this, you need a Google+ page. Google+ is Google’s version of Facebook. It is a social network where your business can put up a profile picture, cover photo, display hours of operation, physical location, customer reviews, and posts. Not too many people use Google+ as their primary social network. However, your Google+ page is, in essence, your Google Local listing. When people are searching for something in maps, and the map markers come up, the map markers are tied first to your Google+ page. Your website address is displayed too, if you have one. If you do not have a Google+ page, you need to set one up immediately to get on the Google maps results. When you are setting it up, make sure that you are entering accurate profile information. Throwing in your keywords in the appropriate places helps too.
By taking care of the previous 3 steps, you can expect to see local results for your business showing up on the internet within 6 months.
Your title or headline is the main thing that people see when they come to your website. It is usually bigger than everything else, could be bold, and is at the top of the page. Of course people are going to see it first, but you need a catchy title that will make people want to read more than just your title. When you take the time to create a killer headline, it will intrigue readers and persuade them to read your article or page description. Lets look at some tips that you can incorporate into your website or blog that will make your audience wanting more.
Here are some titles that work:
- Numbered lists. People love lists so when you create numbered lists your audience is more likely to click on your link or want to read what you have to say. For example: “12 Common SEO mistakes that can be easily avoided”.
- Provocative Questions. In your title if you ask a question that makes people think it is more likely that your audience is going to read the article. For example: “Are you making the same mistakes when it comes to link building that hundreds of others are?”
- How-to’s. Your audience is tired of companies marketing to them. We live in a day and age where people want to learn how to do things and find value in things on the internet. Constantly marketing to them doesn’t work. One of the ways around this is to teach your audience how to do something. It could be relevant to your niche or not. For example: “How to get the most out of your Facebook Insights.”
- Command your audience. Tell them what you want them to do. For example: “Get better results tomorrow by following these 3 easy weight loss secrets.”
- Case Studies. Tell people how things happened or how you got to be where you are today through case studies. For all your marketing you should be keeping data. It’s fine to just use that date and talk about it. For example: “How we grew our page views to 10,000 views a month.”
- Tell them a reason why. Answer your audiences question before they even ask about it. They may not know that they even wondered about your topic, but after reading the headline or title they just have to find out the answer. For example: “Why you can’t afford to not hire a SEO company.”
- Tell about lessons you have learned. Like we said previously, your audience doesn’t want to be sold to. If you are sharing things with them and giving them ideas for free they are going to be more likely to purchase from you in the future. So tell them something you have learned while you have been promoting your business, or whatever your niche is. For example: “What I learned after 5 years of being a stay at home mom.”
By using some of these tips your headlines and articles will be read more, increase social sharing, and increase readership because of it. You can use a variety of the tips above and even combine a few of them to create an unstoppable campaign.
What is Link Juice?
Link juice is an SEO industry term that refers to the amount of credibility a backlink to your page distributes. A backlink is a link on another website that points to your webpage. High quality backlinks add more credibility and authority to your page than low quality backlinks. If you have many high quality backlinks, your rankings increase. This is because search engines want to deliver quality results to web users. If a bunch of pages that search engines have ranked highly for an extended period of time are linking to your page, these search engines are thinking “Hey this must be a good website. Clearly the webpages are accurate since so many of our trusted web pages are linking to it.”
From this information, we can gather that it is important to accumulate high quality backlinks. But what makes a backlink high quality? Several considerations in fact, play into the quality of a backlink.
Your backlinks should come from different web pages. If all of your backlinks are from the same website, search engines will take note of this. Additionally, domains are given a finite amount of link juice. Too many backlinks from 1 website will dilute the linkjuice into oblivion, making it worthless.
DA, PA and PR
DA (domain authority), PA (page authority) and PR (PageRank) are 3 important factors in determining the credibility of a backlink. You can easily see these factors on any webpage you visit by adding a toolbar or extension to your browser.
- Domain authority is based on the age of the domain, its popularity, and the site of the website of that domain. Larger numbers = higher rankings.
- Page authority is the probability that a page from a site will rank on a search engine results page (SERP). High PA is in the 70-80 range, but this is very difficult to attain.
- PageRank is a quality metric developed specifically by Google, for Google. It determines the reliability of a webpage.
All of these factors are important when you are looking for backlinks. However, you should always check to see if a domain has been penalized. If it has, then any backlinks you get from it will actually hurt your rankings. One easy way to check to see if a site has been penalized is by typing search:domain.com into the Google search bar. If no results come up, then the site has been de-indexed by Google and you should not get links from it.
When you are campaigning for high quality links to your site, remember to check for all of these factors that we discussed above. Also, it is worth trying out one of the many backlinks analyzing tools. In any case, if your site is delivering high quality content, you should have little trouble getting other sites to link to your site.