Why Local SEO Matters and How to Make It Work for You

Good local search engine optimization, also known as SEO, sends tons of free traffic to your business’s website and eventually to your store. However, because this tool is so simple, many business owners underestimate the importance of adding a local slant to their content. This is one of the biggest mistakes a webmaster can make when it comes to planning their site. Here’s a look at what local SEO is, why you should care about it and how to use it to increase both web and physical traffic.

Why Local?

Once upon a time, when people wanted to find a restaurant or retail outlet near them, they turned to the yellow pages. Today, business owners who want to attract more local traffic should adjust their websites to optimize SEO for local searches. The keyword phrases used on their site should reflect their location in the local market, allowing them to catch the interest of potential customers in their area.

Listing Your Business Online

When people these days look for goods or services in their local area, they turn to Google instead of the phone book. A full 76 percent of smartphone users who search for local businesses on the internet end up visiting the business the same day. 

Unfortunately, these impressive results aren’t enough to get some business owners into the game. A recent study showed that only 44 percent of local retailers had claimed their online Google My Business listing, thus taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their company’s online presence. Creating a Google My Business listing counts as one of the most effective ways to bring traffic to your local site, particularly if you use some industry-specific keywords in your site’s content. 

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keyword phrases are the internet’s great equalizer. Here’s how they work. Suppose you’d like your website to rank for the keyword “mattress” because you own a bed and mattress store. There are hundreds of thousands of people who search for the word “mattresses” a month and competition is fierce. If you try to rank for that word, chances are you won’t succeed. However, you don’t need to. 

Let’s suppose that rather than using the keyword “mattress” on your site, you use a long-tail keyword phrase like “mattress stores in [your town].” Let’s further suppose that about 40 people a month search for that keyword phrase in your area. Now, consider what kind of chance your site has to rank at the top of the Google search. The odds have significantly improved. It’s also likely that the search will result in more sales because it attracts local people who are specifically interested in buying a mattress in your area.

Local Contest Incentives

People love freebies and contests. In marketing circles, few things do as much to increase your return on investment, or ROI, as having contests and giveaways. You don’t have to put up an elaborate or expensive prize in order to take advantage of this. Just offer some free merchandise or gift certificates to the people who visit your website. Ask them to redeem their prizes when they come into your local store. The local SEO search terms will attract people to your website. A pop-up or a banner advertising your giveaway will bring them in the door.

Make Your Metadata Local

Your site’s metadata such as the meta title and meta description help you to more fully optimize your website for a local search. These small but significant pieces of information give search engines a heads-up of sorts. When Google crawls your site, it will find these bits of information, and if you’ve added local keyword terms to your metadata, your site will get indexed accordingly.

Add Excellent Content to Your Website

Search engine results change constantly because webmasters sometimes update their websites daily. This means that even if you ranked yesterday for your local keyword of choice, you may not today. Adding new content to your site gives you a fighting chance of remaining at the top of the search engines. The easiest way to do this is to blog regularly. Possible blog topics include tutorials and product reviews. You can also write about the latest news in your industry. Of course, you should produce new content each time you add a new offering to your line.

Get Local Reviews

Review sites like Yelp can have an enormous impact on your local SEO efforts. Getting reviews for your business can be as simple as asking your customers to do it. Just make the request of them when they’re in your store. This will also help local customers looking for good local businesses online to come to your store because they’ve seen the good reviews.

Savvy webmasters know that localized content can make all the difference in how much traffic a website gets. Local keyword phrases, maps, and blogs that pertain to municipal or regional interests bring visitors first to a business’s website and ultimately into its brick-and-mortar location. When it comes to giving your business an inexpensive leg-up, few techniques can compete with local SEO.

Google Algorithm Updates August 2019

August 2019 Algorithm Updates

 

Google is constantly changing their algorithms daily, but we wanted to give you a quick breakdown of the most important updates that happened this August. Although not all of these updates are confirmed, these are what the search engine community views as Google algorithm updates for August 2019:

 

August 17th:

Moderate volatility detected beginning in August 16th and rolling into August 17 which signals a Google update. This update wasn’t as extreme as we have seen in the past, but enough for us to think that there has been an update over that weekend. This is not a confirmed update, but we rarely see these confirmed by Google.

A man by the name of “Bill Lambert” posted on SEO Roundtable warning the community hinting about a possible update on August 12th:  “We just had an all hands on deck meeting – Back to School update rolling out in the next 24-48 hours.”

 

August 29th:

A more volatile shift happened on August 29th. Again, there was a warning by Bill Lambert saying on August 20th: “There should be a big update dropping on the 29th or 30th. Last weekend’s test rollout passed all tests. All that I can say is try to get your website visitors to spend as much time on your website as possible,” – although not a Google confirmed update, there may have been a quality update done to shift websites with a lower dwell time down the ranks.

 

SERP Volatility Graphs:

Rank Ranger:

SEMrush:

 

 

 

MOZcast:

 

Learn more about Google algorithm updates on SEOroundtable.com

 

 

 

How to Get Your New Business On Google Searches – 5 Things You Can Do Right Now

How To Get Your New Business Found On Google

 

You have a brand new website for your brand new business – what now? How do you start generating business online? Follow the five steps below and you’ll get a jump start to having your business ranking online!

1. Create a Google My Business Page

A Google My Business page is the maps listings you see on Google maps when performing a search for places near you. Here is an example of what it looks like:

It shows you information about the business, hours, and also a link to your website. This is essential especially for any business that offers services to local businesses or people in a certain area.

To Set up Google My Business:

  1. Follow this link: https://www.google.com/business
  2. Sign in (you’ll need a Google account – you can create one as well by clicking “create account”)
  3. Follow the prompts to create the account:
    1. Enter your business name
    2.  Question: Do you want to add a location customers can visit like a store or office?
      1. This question is for Google to know if it should add a marker at your physical location so people can visit your shop or just list your service areas.
    3. Enter your address
      1. Google may ask you to move a marker onto your physical location
    4. Question: Do you also serve customers outside this location?
      1. Tell Google if you also make house calls or deliver to your customers
    5. List the areas you serve
    6. Chose the category that best fits your business
    7. Add your contact info
    8. Click “finish”
    9. Google will be sending a PIN number to the location you listed. You will need this to verify your business – this usually comes within five days

Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Make sure that you add pictures, a detailed description and make regular Google My Business posts to keep your profile up to date and looking appealing to your potential customers.

Don’t have time to optimize your Google My Business page? Contact us!

 

2. Add Your Business To Local Directories

 

Submit your website to as many local listing directories as you can. This influx of references to your website and business will help Google learn about what your business is, where it is located and who your target market is. Here is a list of local directories that you can submit your website to.

 

 

3. Submit Your Website to Google

It takes Google some time to recognize a new website, but you can speed up the process by submitting your website to Google. This involves setting up an account with Google Search Console.

To do this:

1. Go here: https://search.google.com/search-console/about and click “start now”

2. Sign in with your Google login

3. Click “add property” under the search dropdown

4. Under “domain”, type in your website domain (without the https://www.)

5. You’ll need to verify your domain. The easiest way to do this is to copy the TXT record and call your web host to ask them to direct you where to install this. Let them know that it is a TXT record that you’d like to add to your DNS for your domain.

(Not sure how to do this? We can help! Ask us for a quote to install your Google Search Console code!)

6) To submit your website, click in the search box at the top of the Search Console page, and type in your website url.

7) Google will bring you to a page where you can select “request indexing” – this will send off the request to Google to start crawling your website!

 

Be sure to check Google Search Console often – it will let you know if there are any errors on your website!

Need help analyzing your Google Search Console reports? We can help!

 

 

 

4. Make Sure Your Content Has the Right Keywords

Your website should mention both your services/products and service area somewhere on the home page – preferably the website page title and within a few sentences into your content. Take note of the “keywords” people use when walking into your storefront or asking you about your services. If you notice that people use a common phrase, make sure that the phrase is mentioned on your website.

Keep in mind that the home page is typically the most common page to rank first, so while this is happening, make sure that the most common services/keywords are on that page.

 

 

 

5. Ask For Backlinks

If you have any vendors or clients that could list you on their website, ask them to link to your website, and in return, you can link to their site. Websites or vendors that are in the same industry as your own will be the most beneficial.

 

 

These five things will help Google:
1) learn that your website exists and
2) know that your website is important to your service area
This will help give your website a quick boost – although it won’t guarantee a page one placement, this is an excellent start!

As a business owner, you are very busy and may not be able to perform these important tasks. We can help you rank on Google with our SEO plans!