Local SEO Best Practices in 2013
As algorithms continue to evolve and strive to provide users with the most relevant content possible, search engines have put more of an emphasis on localized search results. Consequently, it’s important for businesses in nearly all industries to adapt and optimize their websites accordingly. According to Google, “97 percent of consumers search for local businesses online.” That’s why focusing on local SEO makes it possible to bring in highly targeted traffic and experience a favorable conversion rate. Here are some ways you can implement local SEO into your marketing campaign.
For starters, it’s sign up for Google Places to receive immediate exposure in your local area. This is quick and easy to do and will help your business connect with potential customers and clients through Google Search and Maps. Filling out your profile is straightforward and you will simply need to include some basic information like your company name, operating hours, contact information, etc. To maximize your impact, perform keyword research beforehand and incorporate quality keywords into your profile. Since visual content can be a natural attention grabber, it’s wise to include a few professional looking images as well.
Create a Business Page on Google+
A few years ago, Google+ had minimal leverage and seemed somewhat like a halfhearted attempt for Google to run their own social network. However, things have changed and Google+ has picked up a considerable amount of momentum in the social media stratosphere. While it doesn’t carry the same weight as Facebook and Twitter, establishing a presence for your business on this network can have definite advantages. According to Daily SEO Tip, “when users who have a Google account, such as Gmail or Google+ search for services, Google has begun displaying Google+ business pages in addition to normal search results.”
This means that you have the potential to reach a considerable number of people by creating a simple business page. Unlike other networks that require a high volume of updates for success, it’s not really necessary on Google+. A simple update here and there should be sufficient and give your business a legitimate edge over local competitors without a page on this network. This in conjunction with a profile on Google Places can have a profound impact on your position in local search rankings.
Online Local Business Directories
While Google is usually your best bet for gaining local exposure, you shouldn’t forget about other business directories. These resources are designed to connect businesses with consumers who are seeking products and/or services in a certain location. Even if you don’t rank on the first page for the keywords you want, appearing on local business directories can give you access to the demographic you’re trying to reach. The best part is that most are free to sign up for and don’t require a major time investment. All you have to do is fill out some basic information like you would on Google Places. Here are some directories worth checking out:
Using Geographical Keywords
Whenever writing blog posts, articles or creating any type of content with keywords, throwing in some geographical terms should give you a local SEO boost. For instance, a pizza restaurant owner in Charlotte, NC might use keywords like “pizza Charlotte” or “pizza Mecklenburg County” rather than merely “pizza restaurant” or “Italian food” to capitalize on local searches.
To maximize the odds of success and reach the largest amount of consumers possible, it’s wise to include some surrounding areas as well. In this case, the restaurant owner might target nearby cities like Concord, Gastonia and Kannapolis, NC. Performing a quick online search of all the towns and cities within a 25 mile radius will give you an idea of which locations you should target.
Being conscious of your geographic location and including the appropriate keywords will help your business connect with consumers in your immediate area. This should reduce the amount of competition for keyword phrases and keep traffic highly targeted. If you run a brick and mortar business where you’re primarily selling to a demographic that’s limited to a certain radius, this is especially important.
This is one option that many people aren’t aware of, but can have major benefits for your local SEO campaign. According to Google Developers, “a KML is a file format used to display geographic data in an Earth browser such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for mobile. KML uses a tag-based structure with nested elements and attributes and is based on the XML standard.” Once consumers can consistently find your business on these resources, it can help improve your traffic volume significantly.
Due to the fact that not everyone knows about this technique, you can expect to outrank many of the primary competitors in your local region. An easy way to transfer your business’s info to Google’s server is through a KML Generator. All it takes is filling out some brief information and downloading the appropriate file.
Being Mobile Friendly
The use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed in recent times. Consequently, more and more people are using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches. A study by Localeze and 15miles has found that 61 percent of mobile users ran local searches in 2012. While most marketers knew that a considerable number of people used mobile devices for general Internet searches, they might not have known just how many were specifically looking for local businesses.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that mobile and local searches are correlated. Just imagine how many tourists in a new city would pull out their smartphones to search for a restaurant, hotel and other destinations. Since this number is likely to continue to grow into the future, putting forth the effort to make your business’s website mobile friendly is a must. In order to do so, there are three main options to choose from:
- Create an alternate version of your website that’s specifically designed for mobile users.
- Utilize responsive web design (RWD) to create a single site that’s compatible with nearly all screen sizes. This allows consumers to browse a site through desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
- Use a plugin like Uppsite that uses HTML5 to turn most sites into a web app for mobile devices.
Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to optimize from a mobile perspective, you can expect more traffic, a lower bounce rate and more conversions. When compared to competitors who are living in the past with sites only viewable on desktops and laptops, this gives your business a sizable advantage.
Creating Fresh Content
Finally, it’s helpful to continually churn out quality content to prevent your site from becoming static. Search engines naturally give preference to sites that are updated at least fairly frequently as opposed to those that sit and stagnate. For this reason, maintaining a blog and updating at least once a week can be very beneficial. Besides getting search engine love, this should keep your audience coming back to see what you’ve been up to. For maximum impact, it’s best to run your blog off of your primary URL instead of a separate one.
Top the Charts! 5 Must-Know SEO Solutions to Promote Your Managed IT Service
According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches a day.
When someone searches for your managed IT service, you have the opportunity to attract them straight towards your website.
All you need is search engine optimization or SEO!
Here are five SEO solutions that can help drive traffic to your website. With these techniques, you can attract new customers and grow your business!
Let’s get optimizing.
1. Topics & Keywords
An effective SEO strategy starts with a list of keywords. These keywords reflect the content your customers are searching for online. Using these keywords, you can create content that matches their search intent.
To start, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These tools will show you the popularity of each keyword.
Once you have this list, you can create pillars and clusters. Pillars give your website visitors the main page of collective content. Then, the clusters break this content into sub-topics with specified information.
This strategy can help boost your SEO plan and attract people to your Managed IT Services.
That way, you’re attracting new website visitors while providing them with an easy, efficient user experience, too.
2. On-Site SEO
Your website needs optimization as a whole as well as on a page-based level. To start, make sure your website’s content hierarchy is well-structured.
Then, there are a number of areas that require review to ensure these SEO solutions work.
Once you’ve studied your target audience to determine your keywords, you also need:
- Descriptive URLs
- Keyword-optimized page titles
- Compelling meta descriptions
- Content optimization (includes keyword placement in headers, body text, etc.)
- Good user experience
- Structured data markup
- Effective call-to-action language
As part of your overall SEO strategy, on-page SEO is an important component of attracting visitors.
3. Off-Site SEO
An off-site SEO strategy includes local SEO. This strategy helps you attract local customers to your website and business.
To start, make sure your listings are updated with the correct content information.
This includes your Google My Business listing as well.
4. Technical SEO
Technical SEO ensures search engines can find your content. These areas include:
- Website speed
Technical SEO solutions are essential for success. Otherwise, how will customers find your website?
According to Fit Small Business, search is the number one driver of traffic to content sites. In fact, it beats social media by over 300 percent.
Your content should consider customer search intent. That way, you’re giving visitors content that answers their questions. This can include service content, credibility content, and marketing content.
This content should also add value to your business.
Consider writing blog posts or white papers. You can also post videos or add testimonials to your website.
That way, your SEO content shows visitors you’re a valuable resource.
Bring It in: 5 Must-Have SEO Solutions
With these five must-have SEO solutions, you can attract new visitors to your website. The right techniques will then turn these visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers!
That way, your company grows, one SEO strategy at a time.
Check out our latest posts for more effective tips and tricks!
SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers
I don’t provide SEO services and I am self-taught – which hardly makes an expert. But I’ve been blogging for a lifetime and for all these years I’ve been reading about and implementing SEO practices – which means I know more than an average blogger.
With that said, I’ve decided to put together this SEO FAQ for those who want to quickly understand the concept without going too indepth:
What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO is about making a website easy for search engines to discover, go through and understand.
- creating content (based on search engine users’ needs),
- making your content “link-worthy” (i.e. attract backlinks),
- using HTML and structured data to make content easier to understand for the machine, etc.
SEO is NOT trying to “fake” any of positive signals search engines use to rank web pages. Search engine friendliness should be authentic and SEO professionals should work together with website owners to achieve that.
Do Bloggers Need to Know SEO?
SEO aims at helping a page rank on top of organic search results, and search engines are known to bring the most qualified leads (people turn to Google when they know what they want).
No traffic source is as effective as search traffic. Unlike driving clicks with ads (PPC), organic search is NOT interrupting user’s surfing the web. Instead, it serves them content exactly when they ask
This makes SEO one of the most important digital marketing channels. It can drive highly targeted traffic and pre-qualified leads to your site on a continuous basis (no need to keep investing in ads)
How Has SEO changed over the years?
SEO is maturing fast and it has been exciting to watch. The biggest driving force behind this evolution is Google that has been working hard on their search algorithm to understand natural language and search intent, as well as penalizing any manipulating tactics.
The result: SEO has become more integrated into other marketing channels. Furthermore, SEO is more about focusing on long-term goals rather than quick traffic gains
If ten years ago SEO was all about creating fake signals (keyword stuffing, link buying, etc.), these days it’s all about creating linkable assets that rank and engage potential customers.
Can SEO Be Handled “At Home”?
WordPress bloggers generally don’t have to worry about getting SEO help. WordPress is pretty well set up and there’s a variety of free plugins to help.
Here’s a detailed guide to get yourself educated: Google SEO: Should it be your only priority?
What is The Most Important SEO Element?
Content… by far! Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Content ranks, attracts links, spreads, engages customers and turns them into believers.
Content is not just an article or a blog post. By content I mean any kind of text you put on your site, from a landing page copy to your “About us” page or a product description.
Many businesses jump into digital marketing without willing to invest in content, and this strategy is doomed to failure. Building on-site content should be everyone’s SEO priority.
Text Optimizer is a great tool that helps you create better content by providing you with the mindmap of associated concepts and questions. It uses semantic analysis to process Google’s search snippets and break any keyword into subtopics.
While it’s primarily search intent optimization tool, it’s also helpful for overall content research showing which topics to cover and how to structure your article.
You can read my own Text Optimizer case study here.
What Are the Most Dangerous SEO Myths?
- Keyword density… This is one of the most persistent SEO myths out there. Why I dislike it so much is because it fills the web with trash content. Keyword-density focused strategy spoils the brand image and creates lots of problems which take lots of time to fix.
- On-page SEO alone will get you to #1. There are so many SEO agencies there that are happy to keep “optimizing” your website but rankings won’t come. The reality, you still need outbound tactics to gain backlinks and external visibility (branding) to achieve higher rankings
- SEO is dying… SEO death has been predicted for years now. These days with Google’s new SERPs features that aim at keeping the user using Google, and the fast growth of voice search, SEO is predicted to die soon again
The truth is, SEO is full of ingenuous tools and people. It is evolving together with search engines and it will survive Google’s death one day.
What’s the Best SEO Advice You’ve Received?
There’s a real human being behind each query.
Really if you stop thinking of keywords as “word strings to optimize for” and start seeing them as a real person’s question, SEO becomes much clearer (and more fun).
This mindset helps build more helpful content, optimize for search intent better (why would anyone type this into the search box? What are they willing to do once they find the answer?)
On top of that, by looking at keyword research as something that helps you serve your customer will help you understand your audience better and come up with better products and offers, on a higher-level.
Answer The Public is a nice free tool that turns keyword research into question research helping you to clearer see your readers’ struggles behind their search queries.
On top of that, the tool also mind-maps the retrieved keywords / questions helping you in brainstorming.
Where Does a Blogger Start with SEO?
As stated above, there’s not much a blogger can do to start with SEO except for creating useful original content.
Here’s also a nice clutter-free introduction into SEO: SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization . Here’s a much easier guide but also one that lists the most essential step: 3 Basic Steps to Making Your New Blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s also a helpful writing checklist that will help you handle the basics:
As you may have noticed, I am not listing a ton of tools here as I don’t want this guide to overwhelm the reader. Those mentioned are a good start!
Top 5 Best SEO Practices to Dominate Google Search Results In 2019
Who doesn’t want to dominate Google? We all love first page rankings, right?
But there’s one thing about dominating Google search results: SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is almost a rocket science for most bloggers. The good thing is, you don’t have to be an expert at SEO to be able to generate first page rankings to your site.
Just learn and implement “few” most important SEO techniques and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors in search results. If you’re looking to improve your search traffic, here are a few of the best SEO practices you can implement in 2019.
5 Best SEO Practices for Bloggers To Dominate Google
1. Perform in-depth keyword research
If you don’t understand keyword research, you’re missing out on huge amount of traffic and sales from search engines.
Keyword research is all about finding “low competitive yet profitable keywords” so that you can create highly informative content (by keeping your target keywords in mind) to your audience.
Here’s the key to successful keyword research: “find low competitive keywords”.
It doesn’t matter what niche you are in, if you’re going after high competitive keywords, you’re not going to get any traffic from search (especially if you’ve a new website). So the key here is to find long tail keywords which have less monthly searches.
Quick note: Always have access to SEO tools like SEMrush if you want to find highly profitable yet low competitive keywords.
If you’ve a fairly new blog or website, I highly recommend you to go for those keywords which have less than 500 monthly searches. Why?
Low competitive keywords are easier to rank for. You can get first page rankings by creating informative content (you’ll get great results even without building too many backlinks).
That being said, here are a few helpful keyword research tools you can use in 2019.
While doing keyword research, target long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords usually contain 4 or more keywords and they are easier to rank in Google search.
For instance, you can get better rankings for long tail keyword phrases like “best fitness apps for Yoga teachers” instead of targeting short tail keywords like “best fitness apps”.
So that’s how you can perform long tail keyword research to dominate Google search in 2019 and beyond.
2. Content creation and optimization is essential
Content is really the king. No matter what niche you are in, if your content is mediocre, it will not perform well in the search engines. That said, here are few incredible tips to create exceptional content that performs well in search engines.
Understand your target audience: This is the first step to creating great content. The better you understand your audience, the easier it is for you to create “high converting content”. Make sure to find their wants and needs. Make a list of all the questions they might have by browsing through platforms like Quora or taking surveys.
Create in-depth content: If you want to dominate Google search results with your content, make it extremely detailed. According to many researches, it’s proven that in-depth content (which contains over 2000 words) performs really well in search results.
In fact, we’ve been creating long form of articles for more than 4 years now at Bloggers Passion and the results are amazing both in terms of search traffic and sales.
Use platforms like Quora: Q & A platforms like Quora help you find out what your target audience truly wants. You can follow all the topics that you blog about, find all the questions and start creating content around the topics that you’re interested in.
Last but not least, properly optimize your content for search engines which we’re going to discuss now.
When it comes to content optimization, the following factors play a crucial role.
- Page title
- Meta description
- Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, etc.)
- Image optimization
- Internal links
If you’re using WordPress, I recommend you to check out the following 2 plugins (both are great) for content optimization.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: This is the most downloaded SEO plugin in WordPress history with over 20 million downloads worldwide. It helps you easily optimize all your contents (including posts and pages) for your primary keywords. From page titles to meta description to image optimization, you can do everything using this plugin.
SEO By Rank Math: This plugin is getting a lot of positive buzz and it’s considered as the best alternative to SEO by Yoast. In fact, it offers all the premium features of plugins like Yoast where you can optimize your posts for 5 focus keywords per post. Not only that, it also lets you track your keyword positions in Google and offers a wide range of other helpful features to optimize your contents like a pro.
3. Make sure your website ticks all the boxes
Here are few things that your website must have for better performance in search.
- SSL integration
- Mobile-friendly design
- Faster website loading times
Now, let’s talk about the above most important things to make your website great for both search engines and users.
SSL integration: Google considers https as a ranking signal, which means, Google is giving weightage to websites on https version. To get https version, you need SSL integration. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer which makes your site go from http to https and it’s a secured protocol which is used to establish a secure connection between server and client.
If you’re using hosts like Bluehost, WPX hosting etc, you’ll get SSL integration at free of cost (all you need to do is to turn on SSL to make your site https). Otherwise, you can free SSL integrations from sites like Cloudflare.
Super fast page loading times: If your site takes more than 3 to 4 seconds to load, your website visitors will most probably abandon your site. Your website speed is so much important not only for your users but also for improving your search rankings.
Did you know that Google takes page loading times into consideration while ranking web pages? Yes, that’s true. Here are few quick tips to have a faster loading website.
- Move to a faster web host (at Bloggers Passion, we’re using WPX hosting and it’s really faster when compared to any other web hosting companies)
- Use less plugins
- Optimize your image size before you even upload them on to your dashboard
- Leverage browser caching
- Enable GZip compression (Gzip is a file format that essentially locates strings of similar code in your text files and then temporarily replaces them to make the files smaller which helps in faster loading times)
- Minimize your redirects
Mobile responsive design: Is your blog mobile-friendly? If not, you’re missing a lot of traffic and sales on the table which can be beneficial to your competitors. So why leave your traffic and sales to them?
If you’re on WordPress, you can simply install a plugin like WP Touch or buy a premium responsive WordPress theme. Problem solved!
4. Research your competitors
If you see your competition as an opportunity, you’ll thrive online but if you see it as a threat, you’ll fail in the long run.
Do you know who your competitors are? Do you know who you are competing against? By knowing and carefully analysing your competition, you can learn so much.
Here are a few things to analyse while researching your competitors.
- Find out their top performing blog posts (which are bringing them the most traffic)
- Find out their top “income generating” pages (so you’ll have a better idea about what type of products to promote)
- Analyse your competitors website traffic (along with their traffic sources)
- Research your competitors backlink sources (so you can find link building opportunities to improve your own site’s backlink profile)
In a nutshell, the fastest way to your website’s success is to make a list of 10 to 15 competitors, find all their top performing pages along with their backlink sources and try to get links from those sites using various link building strategies.
5. Link building is the key
It doesn’t matter how great your content is, if it’s not attracting any links or you’re not building back link to your content, it’s not going to rank in the first page.
The sooner you realise the importance of link building, the faster you’ll start generating better results from SEO. It’s as simple as that. That being said, there are various ways to build quality backlinks to your site but the following strategies work like a charm in every industry.
- Roundup links
- Guest posting
- Build relationships
Let’s briefly talk about each one of them now.
Guest posting: Guest posting is the evergreen strategy to build links from relevant blogs in your industry. You don’t always have to aim for authority sites for guest posting as publishing and high quality, relevant and small blogs can also work like a charm.
Just make sure to write high quality guest posts so you can improve your authority as a blogger apart from getting relevant links to your site.
Roundups links: One of the easiest ways to build quality and highly relevant links to your site is to find and participate in roundup posts. There are a ton of bloggers (especially new bloggers) from all kinds of niches publish roundups on a regular basis.
You just need to be active on social media or use search strings on Google like “expert roundups + [your topic]” to find such sites. Make friends with them by sharing their stuff, commenting on their posts. That’s how you can get into their radar to start participating in their roundup posts.
Link building by building relationships: Networking and building relationships with other bloggers is often the most underrated strategy to build links. Make sure to focus on helping people instead of solely focusing on getting links and that’s the secret to successful networking.
We’re currently building a Facebook group where we share mostly blogging and SEO related stuff. The whole purpose of the group is to help beginners to build a money making blog and to connect with other bloggers in our industry. The best part is that, there are so many bloggers who interviewed me (by linking to my posts) and they mostly came from the Facebook group.
That’s the power of networking. So go and start networking with other bloggers using email, blogs and social media sites.Final thoughts on the best SEO practices to use in 2019
Practicing the best SEO strategies is the key to long term SEO success. Don’t look for shortcuts as increasing your organic traffic takes time.
Focus on learning and implementing just 2 to 3 evergreen SEO best practices and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors. Just be consistent and regularly create content that adds value to your target audience.
Let me know if you’ve any questions in the comments.
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