Google Is Locally Motivated!
Seems like everyone is selling SEO these days. Careful, the search engines never ever stop comparing and re- ranking billions of competitive website pages worldwide. It’s so enormous that it is easy for some random person to spin your SEO failure story. That one scary signal some random SEO guy emailed out of the blue about?! But is that guy actually familiar with you, the local competition, what signals matter most and what you actually compete for? And folks remember, Google calls nobody so beware of that desperate trick as well.
Being there are literally billions of pages live on the World Wide Web, its good logic to be concerned about what it really takes to compete. Better, at least, to be informed before listening to some random scare tactic; however, there is an opportunity in that Google has become locally sensitive in its results. Because over 50% of all searches have local intent, they have adjusted for what are truly ‘local to the search’ results. It makes local SEO attainable for the small to medium sized business. And folks, for a business prepared to do the hard work themselves OR that can identify folks capable of doing it for them, know that the lion’s share of your competition is NOT doing anything about it. Not yet!
Here’s what a business needs to focus on month over month in order to attract qualified (by their search) new leads … and if you’re so inclined, ask us about affordable local SEO programs that work:
On- Website SEO Signals
- Target Keyword Research:
- Sure you are a home builder or a lawyer, but what have you done to research & identify the keywords that your target consumers search?
- Are you prepared to monitor how you rank for these keywords, so that you’re aware of where you sit day to day in the pecking order?
- And folks, get familiar with the ‘long tail of search‘!
- You want to conquer everywhere for new leads, but Google doesn’t care. They want to identify where you are a relevant source of information, products and services.
- Unless you are a national brand with LARGE budgets, you need to help Google identify and then compare you for where you do business.
- For the local business start with your town, other towns near bye, county and then build outward from there. The algorithm is matching results to a physical location, so support it & your business with geographic emphasis in your content!
- What have you done to create the right kind of emphasis in your content for your target keywords that make a search engine notice?
- An about page that mentions all the things you do is horribly diluted. There needs to be dedicated individual product or service pages with authoritative depth for each target topic.
- Posts are best for timely, specific subjects … and they can always be updated including for the post date.
- Evergreen pages are broader subject- authoritative content, meant to stand the test of time.
- Produce both types of content actively as an active and current source of useful information.
- Reinforce keywords in- page signals like page title, page header, meta- title & description, image alt tags & filenames; use keyword slugs in URLs; add in (and off) website links to useful supporting information and create the quality information capable of demonstrating your authority for each topic.
Off- Website SEO Signals
- Google Business Tools Setup & Management
- For starters it includes Plus, Maps, ME, YouTube, Search Console and Analytics.
- These tools need to be in sync, where possible, and optimized for categorization, location, contact, hours of operation, descriptions, keywords and back- links information.
- Get verified so that Google is assured they are, in fact, gathering information from you (the source) and not some imposter!
- Set a plan for getting good client reviews into Google Maps, so there are unadulterated positive votes for you arriving regularly. They are signals Google will use when comparing your presence.
- Submit new pages & posts, or updated pages, into Console for re-indexing whenever possible. It’s welcomed!
- Submit new post summaries to a Google Plus wall, with links back to the source, affording Google activity oriented signals it can use to compare. Research and join target groups, expanding reach and possibly ‘voice’.
- What more trusted signal could there be than any stemming from the very tools Google makes available??
- Back- link Signals – From Trusted Sites
- Do not seek links anywhere and everywhere: use logic, pursue sites most likely to be trusted by search engines and also relevant to your business. It’s not a numbers game, only relevance.
- A safe place to start is the leading search and directory listings, Google Maps/Plus above included.
- Google crawls search and directory listings as references for (name, address, phone, hours) consistency and also for other information (links, keywords, specials) about the business.
- Town & municipality sites, Associations, Wikipedia (when appropriate), local newspapers that might cover good news, etc. can all have powerful competitive effects.
- Leverage Social Voice
- Search engines will monitor a social voice in various ways.
- Use social media accounts to post good website content, including blog posts, cool pictures & videos, sales or specials and be sure to back- link to that content!
- Pursue folks who follow to like, share and also link to your posts and content … enlarging that competitive voice.
Manage your own expectations: when your competitors are giant companies with huge marketing budgets you are probably not going to rank high for the most obvious target keywords (i.e. auto insurance). But if you follow the above for specific keywords, including with geographic emphasis (i.e. Ridgewood or Bergen County NJ Insurance Agent), you’ve got a much better shot at appealing to a search engine. The search engines are genuinely trying to get a local searcher to the right answers. Do not ever rule out broader target keywords in your content, for instance if you are an insurance agency that can also handle commercial coverages, aim for ‘commercial property insurance Kalamazoo MI’. Allow a blog to fuel social media, so it’s a much more extensive tool than ‘just an addition’ to your website. Search engines will notice the activity and you will broaden keyword indexing too! And know that for someone who searches and finds you online, it matters how you look and what you say = your website is ground zero for your brand online!