A Local SEO Overview
Site Guy loves to talk about local SEO, but...do you know what it is?
Simply put, Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a targeted approach: it means your business can be found when and where potential customers are seeking what you have to offer. It is effective on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile. When customers are searching for businesses with your goods or services in their area, local SEO sets your up in their line of sight.
It's a fact that the most successful online businesses show up on page one of search. Now, most people quit seeking and start clicking on the first sites they've found. SO a page one location is essential.
Have you heard about Google My Business Page? Does your business take advantage of this FREE listing that Google makes available to businesses? Less than half of all local businesses have claimed their Google My Business Page listing, which means that if you do, you're already ahead of many of your competitors. It can increase your likelihood of being ranked well by Google.
We always include basic local SEO with your design fee. (That's on-page keyword insertion and key-word rich HTML titles and descriptions, plus solid content creation that addresses who you are and what you offer customers.) This helps get you ranked on search engine pages like Google.
Great Content Creation Is Vital
So what helps your site rank high in search? Well, first let's talk about content.
Well-written content, loaded with lots of useful information, is the solid foundation we build on. Keywords (more on those below) must be worked seamlessly into the powerful copy on each page.
Finding the right keyword phrases requires creative and often intensive research. Why bother? Because Google will reward you with ranking points when you have lots of keywords and content on the pages. (And, often, ignore the site if you don't.)
Luckily, Site Gal will work her typing fingers to the bone writing content that ensures your brick and mortar business shows up high in local searches on the web.
And seriously, content writing that includes SEO keywords is one area where it's best to have a professional do the work for you.
Here's a factoid for you: Google alone fields over 100 billion search queries per month worldwide. An astounding number, isn't it? And users are searching for everything from "all-human hair wigs" to "zoos and parks for kids."
User search is often called organic search. When a site doesn't showing up in organic search, it's most likely not properly "optimized" for search engines. (In other words, not enough keywords, strategically placed.)
Here's more, and it's a bit technical. On the "back end" of the site -- the part only the developer sees -- keywords need to be inserted into HTML tags. (These are the page titles and meta descriptions that search bots crawl, looking for those all-important keywords. They use them to rank the site.) So how do you determine which words to use? Keyword research.
What is Keyword Research?
It's the (pick one: exhaustive - demanding - rigorous) process of creating a list of all the words or phrases that you believe people are using to find you, and then researching all your choices to determine which are the right ones.
The research is done via several programs that indicate which phrases are actually ranking in search volume.
Well, so far, so good. But, of course, there's more.
Keywords are dandy, but keyword phrases are as important, or more important, than single words. That's another round of research and writing. Once we have a final list of heavily used, popular local search words AND phrases, we insert them into your site copy and create all the HTML tags. Then we go take a nap.
And while we're snoozing, viewers are finding your site and clicking to it. Sweet dreams all around.
Need To Do More Research?
There are many excellent sources of services and information regarding Local SEO. A few that I have found to be accurate and trustworthy are as follows:
Whitespark, a very high quality provider located in Canada;
BrightLocal, a quality source of ranking and citation sources;
Moz.com, a well regarded source of information for all things SEO.