The only constant thing about SEO is that it changes all the time. Optimizing for local SEO is important both on-site and off-site because competition for local terms is getting stronger. In other words, if you are not controlling the top spot for your desired search terms, one of your competitors will.
Here are five current strategies you can use to help you be on the top of your local rankings:
1. Optimize Your Title And Meta Description Tags
These two HTML elements should reflect your website content. Think of the description tag as an advertisement of your site content, enticing the searcher to visit your site.
The ideal lengths for title tags are 50-60 characters. Description tags ideally should have 160-200 characters. Use them to your advantage and ensure that your search title and descriptions are not cut off in search results.
WordPress plugins such as SEOmofo or Yoast SEO emulate Google’s result pages and can give you a visual idea of your search snippet will look like.
Writing itself is an art. If you want to increase your click-through rate, you should strive to craft something unique, compelling, and descriptive. Write one word too many and Google will give you the ellipses (…). Remember that space is precious, and every word and character matters. Here are other tips:
– Never waste space, always provide helpful information
– Reach local customers by providing the area served by your business
– Focus on one keyword term and place it as close to the beginning of the tag as you can, in a natural way
2. Online Citations And Directories
Many small businesses do not claim their online business listings, which is a waste of an opportunity.
It is important to list your business correctly and consistently. As a minimum, you should list your business with Yelp, Citysearch, and Merchant Circle. Search online local directories too. Local newspapers and your chamber of commerce are also good opportunities to list your business.
Another important measure is to get your business Name, Address, and Phone number (the “NAP”) in a consistent way on all the major data aggregators such as Neustar (Localeze), Infogroup, Factual, and Acxiom (discover more of the content aggregators on this website. Avoid misspellings, abbreviations, wrong phone numbers, lacking suite number, and such mistakes – because consistency is how Google ensures the information is correct and displays your information on search results.
3. Claim Your Google My Business Page
All you have to do is to visit google.com/business and go through the verification process, which includes receiving a postcard with a PIN connected to your physical business location. Note that P.O. Boxes are not allowed.
This way Google verifies the legitimacy of your business and you ensure that you remain in control of your page. If you work with a digital marketing agency, you can grant them a management permission and remain in full control of your Google listing, even if you choose not to continue your business relationship with them.
Once verified, optimize your GMB page with a good description, categories, types of accepted payment, business hours, and so on. Upload your logo and at least three photos of your business (or services, or products) as well.
Fully complete every relevant field in your listing. Service businesses that do not have a location can choose to hide their physical address if that is your case.
Bing has a similar process for its local directory, so make sure to list your business there as well.
4. The Importance Of Online Reviews
84% of searchers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. You can use specific software to manage your company’s online reputation. Here are the most well-known:
– Get Five Stars
– Reputation Loop
– Trust Pilot
Also, some social media platforms such as Tiny Torch and Hootsuite provide you a way to monitor any mentions of your business in social media.
Positive or negative, make sure to respond to all reviews left. That shows other visitors that you care about your customers’ opinions.
The two biggest platforms in which you should get reviews are Facebook and Google. Google is especially important because they are a factor that influences online searchers as well.
5. Use Local Schema
Adding Schema, or Structured Data Markup, to your website code is simple and provides search engines with relevant information about your business activities, such as the services you offer, products you sell, reviews by past customers, and so on.
This offers a great possibility for you to stand above the average website. Only 31.3% of websites on the internet use this type of markup – and most of them only offer very basic information. Structuring your data properly can give you an extra oomph against your competitors and possibly even rank higher than them.
You can use Google’s free Structured Data Testing Tool to check and see if your Schema markup is working properly.
This is the very beginning of a long-lasting strategy for your local SEO listing. Properly implementing these five tactics described here will surely help you stand above your competition. Now it is time for you to roll up your sleeves and get started immediately. Good luck!…
The Top Myths About SEO Today
Information provided by Canada West Internet Marketing – Calgary SEO Expert
Once you have decided to apply a few search engine optimization strategies to your website, you might be apprehensive about the results you can achieve. There are many myths and rumors that you will find on the Internet about how SEO simply does not work anymore. However, when you see websites at the top of the listings, obviously they did something right to achieve and maintain those positions. There are specific strategies that you can use that can help you get to similar positions online, sometimes in a matter of weeks. There are three myths about search engine optimization that need to be cleared out before you use any of the strategies. We will help you understand what is effective, and what is not so that you know more about the best strategies in SEO that can help you achieve the best results.
Myth #1 – Unique Content Is Not Necessary
The first myth that perpetuates every single year is that you do not need to have unique content to rank your website. This is not true. The only variation to this fact is that when you use what is called curated content, it is possible to rank just as easily. Using curated content is similar to what news websites do every single day. Hundreds of them will post the same story on their site, with a slight variation in the introduction, and conclusion, and can easily rank those stories at the top of the site. However, if you are building a niche website, and you are using private label rights content that has been used by tens of thousands of people, this is simply not going to help you rank your website because of how ubiquitous all of this content already is.
Myth #2 – Backlinks Do Not Improve Rankings
This second myth was more than likely developed by someone that did not understand how to generate proper backlinks. So many people will buy packages where thousands of links will be posted on the web, usually within the span of just a few days. The search engine algorithms will recognize this as spam, and will discount all of them, especially if they are originating from link farm websites. However, if you can get backlinks from reputable websites, ones that have exceptional page rank, and also domain and page authority, these links will help you rise to the top of the search engines.
Myth #3 – Longtail Keyword Strategies Are Dead
The third myth is that long tail keyword strategies simply do not work. This is probably the worst myth of them all. If you choose a keyword phrase that has very little competition, that is greater than three words in length; there is no way for you not to have the opportunity to rank on the first page of the search results. Again, this myth was probably created by people that have tried SEO with longtail keywords and chose ones that had quite a bit of competition. It is certainly one of the best strategies that exist today for ranking your website, and will continue to be in the future.
Now that you understand the 3 top myths of SEO, and why they are false, you can begin to use these strategies to your advantage. By using unique content on every page, building backlinks from authority sites, and using long tail keywords, you will have the highest probability of ranking your competitors and generating consistent traffic from these organic listings.
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If you have been looking to get more traffic from local SEO results, you have come to the right place. Local search results have become a big business on the internet. In fact over 88% of smartphone users and 84% of those on tablets use local search results as a means to finding what they want. These are your customers on the streets and in their cars, and they are looking for something to buy. Almost 70% of all users on the internet are using local searches to find what they need in their towns and cities right now which is an audience you need to connect to and be considered by.
If you still think it is a waste of time to try and rank in local search results consider this staggering statistic. Users who find a business by a local search result are twice as likely to make a purchase in the store! That fact alone should start to make you very excited about being found in local search rankings.
However, you may not have a clue as to what SEO is or how it works. The good news is you don’t have to know anything about it. You can always find a professional who can help you rank your site in local searches quite quickly. However, we are going to give you some beginner tips that will help you get started being found by your local audience.
Create Local Content
One of the easiest ways to start ranking for local search terms is to create content that your local audience is going to be searching for. Only you and your audience knows local lingo and terms that your national competition does not know.
Melissa Hill, a search marketing techniciang, explained it to us “These are known as long tail keywords. They are typically easier to rank for and more importantly convert much better. For example, you will want to create your content with words like “Las Vegas SEO” as opposed to “SEO”.” To find out more, check out The Las Vegas SEO Consultants here.
Social sites like Facebook and Twitter are a perfect compliment to local search rankings. These sites will help to grow a local audience that wants to hear what you have to say and offer. These people are looking for local deals and coupons. They are a perfect target audience to showcase your website. You will want to let them know any types of tips, hacks, sales, and discounts in your particular niche. As people find your posts and like and share them, it will help to create a good amount of strong social signals to your website. While social signals have not been conclusively linked to better rankings the extra traffic will help. Also, it will bring in more sales and leads.
As you can see, being able to be found for local search terms is an important part of internet marketing. These simple tips are just the beginning; there is much more that needs to be done to be fully optimized for local results. For that, it is best to do further research or consult a professional.…