Local SEO Gameplan
The Essential Steps to Enhancing Your Local SEO
It should come as no surprise that many consumers use search engines like google to find businesses near them. For many types of businesses one of the best ways to improve your business and reach more potential customers is to be where your potential customers are searching for you. Local SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the number of signals you put out to demonstrate to the search engines the areas your business serves and the types of services and or products you provide.
The following guide is meant to simplify the process the local SEO process for you. Improving your local SEO can be broken down into five major categories.
There are thousands of online directories on which you can list your business, the vast majority of them are free to use. Consider adding your business to online directories, be sure that the information you enter will end up being consistent across all platforms. NAP data or name, address and phone number is the means by which the search engines use to identify your particular business. Think of it as first name, middle name and last name. If your NAP data is not consistent across platforms, and your website, this will negatively affect you.
Do not concern yourself with getting listed on every last directory out there. Focus on the major ones (listed below) and any that might be industry specific that appear on the first page of search results when you use keyword phrases you have identified as your top target keywords.
Top directories to start with:
- Google my business
- Industry specific directores like houzz, urbanspoon etc.
Keywords are words and groups of words or phrases that consumers use to search for businesses like yours. For instance “web designer new Bedford ma”.
The first place to start is by using keyword research tools to identify the most commonly used keyword phrases to search for your type of businesses. Combine these words with the towns and cities you serve and develop your keyword target list.
Re-write your website content and incorporating those keywords and phrases into your website copy.
- Incorporate your target keywords into your headlines
- Incorporate keywords into your URL structures
- Incorporate keywords into your meta titles or title tags
- Incorporate keywords into your meta description
- Incorporate keywords into your alt text of images
One of the key elements search engine algorithems use to determine your website ranking is your use of quality content generation on a regular basis. Generating regular and relevant content should be a crucial component of your local SEO strategy.
Tips for creating great content:
Be educational: publish content that provides good information around your industry. Consider writing blogs around your most frequently asked questions, common objections or concerns around your industry
Case studies: use real life examples of how your products or services have had a positive impact on your clients / customers
Be consistent: develop a content calander and do your best to stick to it. If you have multiple members in your organization add everyone to a rotating content calander so that each member of your organization will help to produce content for your website, but all of the work wont fall on one person.
Focus on location: when generating content, be sure to reference location when you can. Consider using a portfolio to accomplish this for many businesses “kitchen remodel in Dartmouth ma.”
Video: use video and the power of YouTube to augment your content strategy.
One of the ways in which the search engines help to determine your “authority” is by looking at how many other websites link to your website. The theory being that if more sites are linking to your website then your website must be more relevant and useful.
Link certain keywords and phrases in your content back to your key landing pages on your website
External back links
Work on getting back links, links from other websites that link back to your website. Look to work with other bloggers, sign up on online directories, use YouTube and social media platforms to link back to your content.
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