What is Search Engine Optimization? Well, there are many technical terms for SEO. The way I explain it – Local SEO is anticipating how people will search for your product or service. Marketers seek to show up for a person’s search term as the best possible result in search engine.
For Example, when someone is looking for a seafood restaurant in the area, the results they should get are all the seafood restaurants within a certain proximity to their location. Search Engine Marketers would work to ensure their ‘Seafood Restaurant’ client in that area shows up in that search. In fact, they hope to have them as close to the top of that search page, as possible.
Local SEO is craft. The better a business optimizes its presence online, the more often it will show up on the search pages for their products or services. There is a widespread misconception that there is some secret bullet or magical way of doing this, but it is all in following the search engines guidelines and creating good content that is the foundation for SEO.
Why do search engines do this? They do it so those searching find relevant results and hence keep using their search engines because they are getting what they desire and the search engines are making money off the advertisers. This is how Google built their empire. So, what are some of the key things they look for when bringing a business up on the first page of the search?
WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION & LOCAL SEO
One of the key elements to Local SEO is a well-optimized website. With so many pre-designed website templates and platforms available these days, many are under the impression that “Anyone can build a website.”
I would disagree with this as I have seen hundreds of websites over the years in need of much help. More often than not, web developers build a website without a thought as to what it should accomplish. Analyzing goals, functionality and user interface is key to developing a well-designed website. If a business is looking for new customers, hoping to keep current ones engaged and to be top of mind with former customers, its web presence needs optimized.
The significant element here is web presence, not the website. Web presence denotes an entities’ entire footprint left on the web. This can be its website, organizations to which they belong, claimed online directories, business social media pages and many other affiliations.
A well-optimized website starts with the fundamentals of researching and implementing the proper metadata. Metadata consists of the keywords of products and services, as well as, relevant page titles descriptions.
These are part of the foundation of the website. It allows search engines to understand what a business does. Consequently, when someone searches for those terms, their business has a better shot of coming up in the search.
Others things that constitute a well-optimized site are the links connected to it and the structure of the website. It is important to connect to ‘high authority websites’, such as Google my Business, BBB, Yelp, Yellow Pages and so on. Other great links are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
WEBSITE STRUCTURE & LOCAL SEO
The Structure of
a website is also important. Make it easy for users to navigate and find what they are looking for or they may go somewhere else. Also, have a news page that updated on a consistent basis. Some call these blog pages. This will give an opportunity to show potential clients that your business is an authority within its industry and that it keeps up to date on the latest happenings.
Another important aspect of SEO is generic and industry directories, plus a social media presence. The biggest and most authoritative directory is Google my Business, as almost 87% of all global searches are on Google. Most think of this as the business that shows up on the right side of the pages or on the block of three business in the search listings area. This is THE key directory to claim and optimize.
The key here is to optimize your Google listing to 100%. Google shows you if you are 100% verified. Make sure you add pictures and product descriptions. According to Local Marketing Institute more than half of all businesses have not claimed their Google my Business listing. Not sure, about about you, but when I need to search for something online, Google is my key tool.
Next, any website needs optimized for mobile devices. Over 68% of all searches are on a mobile device. If a website is not mobile friendly, searchers will find one that is and that will lead to increased bounce rates or lost business.
VOICE SEARCH OPTIMIZATION
Finally, one of the ‘newer’ aspects of SEO is voice search. Statistics show that almost 40 % of all searches are now through voice search. Have you ever been out driving and just asked your phone to find something?
People tend to search with short phrases when they type in the queries. Whereas when they speak the query, they use more defined sentences. This is why FAQ pages are great for coming up as a result in voice searches. Think of questions you are consistently getting from customers. Use these as your FAQ’s – it is a great way to add relevant content to your website.
Google recently changed their algorithm to find the users intent rather than the words itself. They call this new algorithm BERT.
Keep in mind, suggestions here are the foundation for building SEO. Many other factors play into an effective SEO strategy. Lack of the foundation sets up a business for failure because there is nothing to build on.
We have been in the industry for over a decade and have gone through multiple changes in SEO. What works today, may not work a few months down the road. If you would like a complimentary web presence report, please reach out to us.