Category Archives: Blog
Social Media has grown to sizes that most would never have imagined just a few years ago. For businesses, it is now viewed as a necessity and not just for the forward thinking hip companies. And it has grown not only in users but in mediums of social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Bebo, Youtube, Ning, Flickr, StumbleUpon, Digg and Reddit are just a few of the main players.
Local search has become an extremely important component to brick and mortar business’ digital marketing tactics. A recent study suggests that over 1.3 billion local searches are performed each and every month and 83% of all search engine users are searching locally in some capacity. Additionally, 33% of all mobile phones are used to search for local businesses.
As you can see local search is growing exponentially. It has now far surpassed local print search resources such as the Yellow Pages. And those using local search are different than generic search traffic. These users are converting into sales at a much higher rate upwards of 83%. But, they convert in widely diversified ways such as in person sales, phone calls, store visits etc.
Local Search SEO is now more important than ever. Google now list 7 local all above all other search results when local aspect are needed. Getting in the top 7 in the local search for particular categories has shown to create huge spikes in sales. There a many factors that go into ranking high locally. Companies must create, maintain and optimize their local pages across several different resources to ensure they are getting the most possible local traffic. First submit your website to multiple local page directories. You can start with the sites below:
Next, make sure all info on your pages in filled in; even hours of operation, price range, pictures and video. These all play a factor in local search results. Also, make sure that your title and description include your niche and not just your name. Most people will be searching for ‘pizza’ not ‘Papa Giorgio’s Pie Shack.” Include both and you will kill two birds with one stone. Include picture of your products so that users can see what they are going to get when they arrive. Most of today’s searchers are visual deciders. Meaning that if they see something they want, they will more likely to buy it than if they just read a description of it.
Lastly, structure some sort of marketing initiative to gain reviews to your local page. Google puts credibility very high on its search ranking factors. The more reviews you can get from your customers the higher you will show up in local searches. Email your loyal customer a link to your local page and ask them to give you some feedback. The process takes only about 2 minutes and is not that much to ask from your dedicated fans.
This is a great place to start for your local optimization efforts. Obviously in more saturated and competitive local search markets it is going to take a more concerted effort to get to the top 7 in the results. But, when you get there you will see increasing numbers of the high converting, low hanging fruit that are local searchers.
Where do I start? This is a question often asked by business owners in regards to optimization of their websites. Being able to be found in search engine results is clearly a very important aspect of a company’s online presence and digital marketing line of attack. Sometimes, though, this can seem complex task and one that seems like too large of an undertaking for someone with out extensive technical skills.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, there are some more complex search engine optimization strategies that do require and above average technical knowledge but, basic SEO can be done by almost anybody. Starting optimization is a 2 phased approach:
Phase One – In the first phase you do internal research. Your website cannot get better unless you know what you need to get better at. Start with doing an internal audit of your pages. There are many tools out there that can help you do this. In previous article we touched on some great WordPress and Google Chrome extensions and plug-ins that do a superb job of this.
Check your page titles and descriptions and see if they directly target your customers or potential customers searching for product in your category. You can further optimize your page titles by using Google’s keyword search to get monthly totals of specific search phrases globally, nationally and locally.
Also, make sure that all of your images have alt image attributes. Remember, that search engines cannot look at pictures on your pages but instead index pictures on your page by using the image’s title and alt tags.
Phases Two – Conduct a competitive analysis of other companies in your market. Perform searches with keywords and keyword combinations that you would like to be on the first page of result for. See what those pages are using for titles, description and meta tags and take some notes. Consider combining some of the top pages information with your company’s specializations to develop a new SEO strategy.
Also, see where your competitors are getting their links from. Analyze the sources and see if those links would be applicable to your website’s content.
These steps are crucial in starting your new SEO campaigns. You have to be able to recognize what you need to improve on and also what others in your niche are doing better than you before you can start on any extensive search engine optimization activities. After completing these 2 phases your site should be ready to start more far-reaching procedures.
The Google Chrome web store has a massive collection of utilities that can benefit those doing search engine optimization. Most of these extensions offer exceptionally beneficial feedback about web pages without having to navigate away from the page along with other useful information. Extensions and plug-ins can be a great tools and assist in optimize a page or help in conducting competitive analysis. Here are a few of our favorites.
SEO SERP – This extension allows you to quickly search a web pages rank for given keywords. Click the plug-in icon in and a search box pops down for you to input your specific keyword(s). This is a great tool for doing research to see how your competitors are ranking for your niche keywords and also for determining your ranking in those same areas.