Understanding Local SEO

Understanding Local SEO

This is a topic that often comes up with new clients and seems like an obvious item that bears repeating. If your business serves a geographical area, your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs to have a different focus than if you are trying to sell a new fishing rod across the country. Using a geographical modifier and localized key words are going to be part of the foundation that your optimization is built upon.
Long gone are the days where you could just mention your city and state several times on a web page and consider it optimized. The search engines today have very complex algorithms that among other things make sure the content they rank high is relevant to the search terms. Your efforts have to be laser focused on getting found by people who are searching for what you offer.

Every Page Needs To Have Purpose

Each and every page on your website has to have a purpose well beyond the intended title. If you look at very well optimized websites, you will notice the word count and amount of pages has vastly increased over the last few years. This gives you a chance to have a larger quantity of relevant search terms and keywords. Think about this, we are not just trying to have people find your home page. We are driving traffic to your entire website!
What was the last thing you searched for on the internet? Most likely the results that came up were not just the home page of websites. The bulk of returned information were links to individual pages on website that contained the information you were looking for. This is where having additional pages on your website offers the ability to get found online easier.

Local SEO Starts With Keywords

Key word order also is important. Not everyone searches online the same way. If your dishwasher broke, how would you search for a repairman? Appliance Repair Hilton Head, Bluffton Dishwasher Repair, Fix my appliances, etc. Each one of us is going to use a different phrase and term. Having multiple keywords and “phraseology” is an integral part of SEO. Google and Bing also rank pages on speak ability. The content and sentences must be in regular speech. They can tell when someone is trying to “game the system”.

Every Page Can Convert Traffic

Something I will cover in the future, but mentioned above is where people enter your website from. Keep this in mind when you are searching online and how it relates to our example of appliance repair. When looking for dishwasher repair, most likely you did not end up on the Home Page of a company, right? You found somebody to fix your appliance and the search results took you directly to the page on their website that contained all the info on appliances.You can read here about where to start developing good SEO habits. 

Are You Tracking Your Website Traffic?

One of the basics to understanding how your website preforms and how it can generate leads is to fully manage your website visitors. Using simple tools like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools will start you off in the right direction. At least once a week you should be checking your metrics in Search Console. Start by looking at Search Traffic, this report will tell you what keywords or phrases somebody was using for your website to appear in results.

You may be ranking for “Hilton Head Moving Company”, but if you are in position 76, it won’t help your business. Now we know what words or term we are showing up for, we need to investigate why you are so far down in results. This can be a time consuming and frustrating practice so don’t get flustered right away. SEO is not magic, but a science and there is a right way to do SEO.

Examine your page closely. What strikes you right out of the gate? Is the page thin on content, are the pictures fuzzy, are the keywords at the bottom of the page? You can read one of our guides on the Blog on some basic steps you can take to start optimizing your own site. We cover 5 things you need to do to rank your website for local search.

At the very least, make sure your Page Title and Page Description is filled out perfectly. These two fields are easy to fix but have a huge impact on your website. Next, make a goal to increase the page to 1,000 words or more. This is not just random writing, but thought out info that will help the reader when they find your page. The first few times it may seem impossible to do, but as time goes on it becomes easier. If creating great content is to difficult, consider hiring a copywriter or SEO Content Creator.

Are you using your H1, H2, and H3 title tags correctly? Do not overlook the importance of these three tags! Even after all the recent Google Updates, these tags still matter, some say more than ever. Your H1, H2, and H3 tags tell the search engines exactly what this page is about. Did you think it was just a way to highlight text? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Prioritize your page and figure out the tree most important items you are trying to convey. Then create a title from that and mark them with the right title tags.

For example, is we are creating a page about “Hilton head Taxi Service”, then your H1 tage should have that phrase in it. Same goes for the H2 tag; “Local and Airport Service For Hilton Head”, would be another good tag.

Each page on your website is an opportunity to find more customers and thinking about the content, design, and layout is a vital step in the SEO process. Do a little homework this week and search for your competitors online, how do you stack up? Is there room for improvement on your website? This exercise will help you see what keywords you might be missing.

Blair Witkowski is an SEO Consultant in the greater Hilton Head area and is passionate about getting your website found online. When not digging deep into keyword research, he stays busy with his awesome wife and joyous eight kids! Follow him on Google+ and Twitter

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