Local SEO and Your Business

local seo business growthA solid local SEO (search engine optimization) strategy might be your missing ingredient when it comes driving more leads and growing your business.

Local SEO is the strategy and process of optimizing sites and pages with the intent of appearing in organic search results from people seeking out local information.

By optimizing your web presence, you are giving your local business a chance to experience widespread, organic visibility within search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The best part?

The consumers behind those searches are the most highly qualified potential leads you will ever hear from. Why? They are already looking for what you offer.

Let’s breakdown what you need to know about local SEO for your small to medium sized business.

The Basics of SEO

A successful SEO strategy includes a combination of:

  • content creation, authoritative + subject-specific pages
  • in-page optimization (structure for search engine consumption)
  • off-page optimization (citations and trusted links)
  • analysis + research (what is working / what needs more work)

The truth is that achieving competitive SEO is neither basic nor simple, and it is always a moving target.

While some information is disclosed, nobody knows exactly what search engines are looking for day to day. What we do know is that extensive analysis, quality content and recognition of that content lead to long-term results.

Local SEO Keyword Research

Once you have a website set up with all the fundamentals in place, your next step is keyword research.

In a way, this is the most important part. You need to take the time to find out exactly what your potential customers are searching for before you can begin trying to rank for those searches.

You can begin by using general knowledge to compile a “common sense” list of terms that relate to your business and the issues you solve. For local SEO, you’ll want to add specific towns and counties to your keyword targets.

For example, if you run a coffee shop, instead of choosing the keyword target “best dark roast”, you’ll instead use “best dark roast in austin texas”. 

Content is King

The content within your website including service pages, blog posts, etc are where your keyword research begins to take action. Honestly, we cannot recommend an investment in good content enough; competitive SEO is content driven.

The way search engines identify what your website is about is by ‘crawling’ and seeing keyword consistencies in your pages, especially those that match consumer searches.

Equally important, we recommend highly useful, unique, subject-focused content for every page on your site! You want users to appreciate your content enough to react.

Reactions like sharing, bookmarking or links serve as signals to search engines that users are having a positive experience. We recommend the careful addition of images as well as video embed, a sure-fire way to support more and better indexing.

The goal is to create content with the intention of helping the reader while also making it as easy as possible for search engine algorithms to understand what it is about and where they should place it.

Link Structure

This is where a lot of people get tripped up. You cannot control who links to your pages, and you should never try to manufacture links!

Only highly trusted links matter. Sure, it’s good to accumulate links to your website from outside sources like directory listings, social media accounts, other websites & blogs, BUT ONLY so long as the links are from sites that have trust!

Is a random blog trusted? Maybe, maybe not. Is a directory listing or an official association website trusted? It’s likely!

Something many people don’t seem to know is that linking to different pages in our own websites is a good practice. Good, so long as it’s done to improve user experience. It can tell a search engine that pages you have linked add value for users. And adding the links in descriptive text only supports.

You should certainly add links back to your pages from all of your social network accounts. Your Google listings also offer posting – definitely a quality source for back-links!

Reviews Are Your Competitive Advantage

Having numerous positive reviews show up alongside your business in search results is invaluable. For many searchers, you will have an immediate sense of authority and trust.

Your plan in place to increase reviews should include the following:

  • identify satisfied clients and ask for their reviews
  • plan to help them when necessary, possibly with instructions
  • send follow up requests
  • setup alerts for all reviews in order to be informed
  • get informed on dealing with any negative reviews

You Cannot Grow What You Do Not Measure

Once you begin implementing your local SEO strategy, you will need to track and analyze your results!

Through this consistent process, you will be able to see what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust as necessary.

Your SEO analysis plan should consist of the following:

  • setup reliable keywords ranking software, analyze
  • setup website traffic and search analytics software, analyze
  • setup off- website traffic and search analytics software, analyze
  • report on successes, report on action items where needed for improvement
  • have a plan for updating under-performing keywords and pages

Is Local SEO worth your time?

SEO is a time-intensive process that is not only worth the effort, it is a necessity if you plan on competing in the digital marketing world.

Local SEO success requires the pursuit of a seemingly endless number of paths needed to connect a prospective lead and the appealing local answer to a search.

At Kinetic Knowledge, we have helped hundreds of local businesses increase traffic, visibility, and leads through our Fundamental SEO services.

If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of a solid, well-executed local SEO strategy but don’t have the time or desire to learn and implement these practices, contact us today to find out how we can help!

Using Permalink Slugs For Better SEO?

 

There’s a very subtle SEO tool in your editor known as the ‘Slug. If you aren’t already aware of it, WordPress offers configurable page URLs also referred to as ‘Permalinks’. Slugs are the words that follow the primary domain name URL used to describe a page. The Slug can be a URL friendly version of a longer maybe less specific page title otherwise automatically added to the end of a permalink.

Here’s a quick look at how to leverage ‘Slugs’:

 

 

We may wish to write page (or blog post) titles with humans in mind, to help motivate them to read more of our content. The same is not necessarily true for URLs, which can be less useful with humans yet still incredibly useful with search engines. 

  • A good permalink with customized slug example might be: https://www.kineticknowledge.com/using-slugs
  • Otherwise WordPress automatically adds the entire page or post title unnecessarily like this: https://www.kineticknowledge.com/Using-Slugs-As-An-SEO-Tool-Yet

Overriding the page title with a Slug can simultaneously shorten the URL while maintaining target keyword use. WordPress offers a number of opportunities to improve the presentation of your content to both humans and search engines. Depending on your targeted keywords, Slugs makes it possible to serve them both!

RELATED:

SEO Blog 

image is importantIMAGERY CAN DRIVE BUSINESS

We’ve all searched for a product or a service and hoped for good pictures that illustrate that product or service.  As the old adage goes:  “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  How true that is in advertising and marketing!  Really strong, illustrative images draw people to whatever you are selling.  Be it real estate or window blinds, home inspection services or paving and road construction, medical imaging or long term care, decorative ironwork, antique furniture or dog walkers – you need to appeal to a customer’s emotional attraction.  Images are important for search engine optimization.

Like our furry friend and his selfie – emotional attraction for sure!

 

HOW IMAGERY IS USED MATTERS

Wordy marketing and advertising can be instructional but is not very appealing to today’s average consumer. Some imagery goes a long way toward making the words come alive. Of course, pictures should be well chosen and readily apply to the very words on a page.

Naturally, useful content leveraging targeted keywords needs to be present along with the illustrations. Keywords are what drives search visibility and thereby helps to bring prospective consumers to a website and a product or service page. Pictures then hold their interest and can prompt folks to get in touch!

Informative content, with carefully placed keywords, and impacting PICTURES, named for those same keywords, is of optimum value to marketers. Google – everyone’s favorite search engine – puts a lot of stock in content and it indexes the images when able.  As do other search engines, as well as social media sites. When possible, video imagery is a step up in this regard. They all love imagery, if not video, obviously because it is so favored by their users = the consumer.

 

TOP REASONS FOR ADDING IMAGES IN THE CONTENT

 

  1. It’s Simply More Visually Appealing
  2. Supports Structure For Different Subject- Parts Of Page
  3. Improves SEO – be sure to name the file and add descriptive al tags
  4. Supports Understanding
  5. More Impact In Social Media
  6. More Memorable

SUPPORT WITH IMAGE CONTENT

 

Kinetic Knowledge offers experience in copy writing as well as for carefully choosing the images that support it. We also offer on-location photography or video production. Check in, we welcome a conversation about a program that will lead prospective clients to you.

Does A Keyword Domain Translate To Any SEO?

“Will a domain (i.e. ColoradoPaving.com) make my company more visible in search results than my competition?” It’s a common question and it’s based upon an uninformed view of how & why search works. Search engines, including and especially Google, have a sincere interest in satisfying every single person that searches. The reason is simple: we expect Google to give us the best answers available on the entire world wide web when we search. If not and consumers stopped visiting Google then its’ advertising business, which counts on 1 in every 10 visitors to click and Ad’, would fail. If their advertising business failed they might cease to exist.

Google, obviously, does not wish to fail. It must rely on finding then providing the best answers possible to keep people searching and, if so, their advertising business can work. Google can never simply rank a ‘keyword domain name’ high when serving results up for a search. Unless a website located at that keyword domain (i.e. NJLawyer.com) offers some of the best answers to a search how could it possibly satisfy the consumers, needs?

 


Focus On Answers & Information, Never A Domain! 

In fact a business can certainly succeed without a keyword based domain. It is a web presence, based upon the merit of its’ content, that succeeds. According to Matt Cutts (video above) a keyword based domain can matter, but not unless many other factors are in play. So while he admits the Google algorithm may place some weight [e.g. maybe it is 1 of 200+ ranking signals] on a keyword domain when ranking competitive websites & pages he also explains: 

  1. While it may support rank some, there is no guarantee it will even be used as a competitive signal. The goal is always to rank a website and its’ pages based upon the content. Rank uses popularity/ measured use of the content, relevant back-links to it, social references and so much more. 
  2. While a domain is highly brand- able and not necessarily always keyword based, (i.e. Yahoo, Amazon, etc.), it is always the content and measure- able reaction to it that separates a ‘keyword domain’ from a random one in search results. 


So if you have a good keyword based domain – use it!, BUT place the effort and focus on building a website that consistently delivers content good enough to get measurable interest from people looking for good answers!

Post re- published form its original date: 08 / 01 / 2011