Blog items tagged with "local-seo"
Tags: seo , local seo , google , marketing , search marketing , peoria
According to Google, 97% of customers search online to find local businesses in their neighborhoods and communities. For local businesses in Peoria, this means growing your online presence is more important now, than ever before.
One way of doing this is by implementing a local SEO in your Peoria marketing strategy. Since anything and everything can be found online, competition (even in Peoria, IL) is tough, and will only continue to increase as time goes on. This is why a local SEO strategy is massive game changer for small to medium sized businesses.
As a local business in Peoria, your marketing budget might not be that great. But given the ambiguity and lack of analytics offered by traditional forms of marketing and advertising, SEO is no brainer. At as little as a few hundred dollars per month, you can increase your business's search engine rankings and start experiencing an influx of web traffic. In addition, you'll be able to track and assess how the SEO strategy is working, and thus calculate the true ROI of your expenditure.
Drive Local, In-market Traffic to Your Site
Local SEO drives relevant, in-market traffic to your website, which could easily turn into paying customers. Because search engine users who search local or geo-modified keywords (like "dry cleaners in Peoria,") they are often seeking an immediate solutions to their needs. Being on the top of page 1 in Google's search results will help to drive those leads to your local business.
Consumers use the Internet to find items such as appliances, services, restaurants and more, right in their local neighborhoods. For example, it would benefit a local custom cabinet-maker in Peoria to focus their marketing efforts on local SEO in Peoria, and optimize their website accordingly. If someone is searching online for custom cabinets in Peoria, search engines will provide the most relevant and authoritative websites. The local custom cabinet maker can make their presence known with the right approach to local SEO.
Integrating Local SEO in Your Marketing Plan
The local search feature will populate businesses meeting the specific search criteria. This allows the customer to choose from a number of businesses in their community, instead of selecting a business located several miles away. As you see, a local marketing strategy not only benefits businesses by ensuring they show up in local search results, it benefits the consumer by returning the most relevant search results first.
Aside from the obvious benefits of driving targeted traffic to your website with a local marketing strategy, another perk is mobile users can easily find your business while on the go and conveniently get your business phone number & directions. Also a local marketing strategy creates a customized search experience which improves the customer search experience.
By optimizing your website for your city and surrounding areas, you give your business an edge over local competitors, get more quality leads and create authority within your community. When done correctly using the right resources, optimizing your business website for local SEO in Peoria brings added value to your business and should be part of any solid website optimization plan.
Tags: seo , local seo , citations , page title , meta description , google local search , links , diy
Local SEO is not rocket science, folks. Sure, there's the complex technical side of things, but for the most part, local SEO is a straightforward process that almost anyone can do with the right direction.
In this blog post, I am going to steer you in the right direction to lay the foundation for a well-optimized website that's geared for local SEO success.
These tips might sound elementary or unrelated to local SEO, but without implementing each step in the process, your website won't reach its fullest SEO potential.
Take Care of the On-site SEO Basics
The first step to optimizing your website is to ensure it's keyword relevant in all the right places. In our example, lets say we are optimizing a business' website that sells custom tank tops in Atlanta.
We'll want to include these keywords in the homepage's page title, meta description, and page copy. We keep the page title under 70 characters and the meta description under 155 (as a general rule of thumb for white hat SEO) so they don't get cut-off in the search results.
In addition to ensuring these elements are keyword relevant, we also tailor this content in such a way that entices search engine users to click the listing.
As for page copy, we don't need to keyword stuff the text. Simply mentioning the keywords a couple times on the page is all you need (too much is actually a risk for over-optimization.) We'll attempt to get the keyword in a header and couple times in a paragraph, if it makes senses.
We can apply these simple techniques to all pages on the site with SEO value. Although the homepage is paramount, we may also have a page on "neon tank tops" in which we'll want to keyword optimization. As a last tip for on-site SEO, we'll want to ensure all page titles, meta descriptions, and page copy is entirely unique per page.
Ensure Your NAP is Complete
A complete NAP in a local SEO context is full, entirely accurate citation (or mentioning) of a business' name, address, and phone number on its website. To further ensure its completeness and purpose for local SEO, including the NAP on every page of the website is critical. The header and/or footer is a perfect place to put it.
Evaluate Your NAPs
Now that we've ensure the NAP is accurate and properly placed on the website, we will then want to evaluate our NAPs on other websites, particularly directories. Any inaccuracies and inconsistencies with the business' NAP on these directories will cause confusion with Google and discredit the legitimacy of our business.
An easy and free way to do this is to hop on over to Yext and perform a scan. The scan will tell you which (of the top 50 or so) directories have any inaccuracies that need to be fixed. You can do this manually, invest in Yext to help you do more efficiently, or hit us up to fix them (or consult you on how to do it in the most SEO-friendly manner possible.)
In essence, this step in the local SEO process is called a citation audit ("citation" meaning a mention of a business' NAP.) Auditing and fixing any inaccurate citations is crucial to thrive in Google's local search results (the listings associated with the Google map and red push pins.)
Create a Content Strategy
In addition to keyword optimizing the content of the website (the on-site SEO stuff mentioned above,) we'll also put together a more long-term content strategy that focuses on consistently publications. The most popular means of executing a content strategy is via blogging. But we can take this one-step further by creating rich media content like graphics and video.
A content strategy fuels local SEO in couple different ways. By publishing content that relates to our core services in custom tank top services, we can further increase the keyword relevancy and authority of the site (e.g. creating an inspiring article about ideas around creative custom tank top designs.)
The other way in which a content strategy can help with SEO is via social media. Producing content internally gives us something meaningful to share on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, and any other social media platform we want to include.
Make Time to Be More Social
Whether for enterprise-level ecommerce SEO or simply local SEO, having an active social media presence is a big deal for any SEO strategy. The keyword here is active. Too many businesses create a social media account but just leave it hanging assuming it serves its purpose as it stands.
We'll dedicate a portion of our time and energy being socially active in sharing content, engaging with people, and building relationships. Not only does this layer of social credibility influence our search engine ranking potential, but we can establish meaningful connections that result in future customers as well as link opportunities.
Generate Links to Your Website
The last component to doing local SEO on your own is finding ways to generate links to your website. Performing the Yext scan above and help you pinpoint some good local directories worth getting your business listed. Most directories will provide a link back to your website (in addition to a citation.)
Other good resources for local SEO links are chamber of commerce websites (which typically require a membership, but offer an authoritative and locally-relevant link,) local newspaper sites, press release sites, and blogs. Doing some guest blogging is often effective, but under some scrutiny in the SEO profession as this practice is being relentlessly exploited by spammers.
Generating links to your site takes some time and efforts. In our example situation, we'll want to scout for sites related our local area of Atlanta, as well as topics around clothing, custom designing, screen printing, and various relevant topics. The trick is to find creative ways to reach out to site owners and webmasters in such a way that gives them a reason to link to your site. Whether you can offer some content or perhaps a link exchange, link generation is an ongoing effort that will significantly fuel your local SEO efforts.
Want to go deeper with your local SEO practice? We're happy to further educate you on applying the best practices of SEO on your website. Just contact the OIC Group's SEO department to learn more.
Tags: seo , local seo , directories , on-page seo , social media , off-page seo , 2014
Whether your Peoria-based business is in food services, professional services, or retail, the Peoria area is competitive in many Google search markets. To ignite your local SEO strategy and turn your business into an online authority figure, it's critical that you use the right SEO resources.
In this article, I share several local SEO resources that will empower your Peoria SEO strategy in 2014. You'll learn many of the great tools that we use here at OIC Group to provide results-oriented SEO in Peoria, IL.
Local SEO Resources for On-Page Optimization
Schema markup enables you to better communicate what your website is all about to search engines. Because Google crawlers can only interpret the content of your website to a limited extent, Schema offers definitive markup that tells Google crawlers precisely what a piece of content is about.
Although it's a bit code-heavy for the average marketer or business owner, Schema.org explains how it works in fairly simple terms. Gather your webmaster or search marketing team and hold a schema learning session. It will definitely empower your business's local rankings.
Whether for copywriting or content marketing, Copyblogger.com offers a wealth of resources for on-page SEO. Blogging and producing content is becoming more and more valuable for SEO. Content marketing is also the fuel that fires a strong social media marketing campaign (an element that's starting to correlate to greater credibility, authority and higher rankings.)
In addition to Copyblogger's article and posts on subject matter around blogging and content marketing, also be sure to check out their SEO Copywriting eBook. In this eBook, you can learn the best practices of SEO copywriting and optimizing your Peoria website.
How to do Local SEO Guide
The last big on-page SEO resource worth diving into is the How to do Local SEO in About 5 Minutes or So article written by local SEO king, Andrew Shotland. In this gem, Andrew explains just about everything you need to know about local website optimization, as well as what your site needs to thrive (both on-site and off) for local SEO success.
Local SEO Resources for Off-Page Optimization
Most local SEO professionals will agree that getting a business listed on the major local directories is very important. A great resource to find new local directory listings for your business is GetListed.org. Powered by the true SEO-authority, Moz.com, GetListed.org is one of the most a prized resource for SEO enthusiasts and common marketers alike. Just plug-in your business and discover a wide spectrum of opportunities for local SEO.
Similar to GetListed.org, Yext.com offers a free tool that will enlighten you about your business's presence on local directories (or lack thereof.) Perhaps most valuable aspect about the Yext's free tool is that is shows you how your company's information appears on each directory. Because the accuracy of your business listings is critical for local SEO, these insights are invaluable.
You can also opt for the paid version of Yext, which makes your Peoria SEO efforts even more efficient. Because Yext has affiliations with most local directories, you can add a listing to (or correct listing information) on all of the directories (like 30ish) in the entire network with one simple swoop. It's a wickedly-powerful tool and it's something that we use here at OIC Group for our local SEO services.
Getting links is incredibly important to put the icing on your SEO cake. Although directories offer a link, most of them are "NoFollow" links and thus do not pass along much link juice for SEO. One of the best ways to spawn link building opportunities is to build relationships with other webmasters and blog/site owners.
Search MyBlogGuest.com for relevant blogs and sites that you feel you could contribute a blog post to. In most guest blogging relationships, the owner will allow you to include a link or two back to your websites. The trick is be creative and empathetic. That is, what type of post would be relevant to your link, but still something valuable to the blog and its host.
Other Places to Get Links
Guest blogging, although powerful, is time consuming. Diversify your site's backlink portfolio by leveraging these additional resources to get links
- Peoria Chamber of Commerce
- Peoria area newspaper websites
- Relevant partners or vendors
- Other local business groups in the Peoria Area
- Friends with websites
The Last Word
Your local SEO strategy should also be very adaptive. Google and other search engines are constantly changing how they rank websites and display local search listings. Like I hinted at above, social media is a bid deal that will help glue your SEO and content marketing efforts together.
Spend some time building an active presence on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. You may also want to consider Twitter and Pinterest if it's relevant. You're social endeavors might seem a bit aimless at first (especially if your business lacks a lot of followers,) but an active presence alone will help your SEO in Peoria.
About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the SEO & Internet marketing director at OIC Group, Inc. Tyler is well-versed in various aspects of local and enterprise-level SEO, link building, social media and content marketing. Feel free to email Tyler directly at Tyler @ oicgroup.net or connect with him on Twitter or Google+.
Tags: seo , local seo , google , directories , reviews , google+
7 Google Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses
One of the best small business marketing sources to obtain lead generating search visibility is through the local organic search results. Local organic search results refer to the Google search listings that appear with reviews and a corresponding Google map.
Local SEO is a key marketing tool for small and medium sized businesses and is also one of the most confusing SEO strategies to implement. The fact that Google's local search algorithm is different from traditional organic search makes it even more challenging for local businesses to understand the techniques that work.
A local business can gain a big upper-leg on its competition by optimizing its web presence for local organic search. When showing local search listings, Google employs a number of factors to render the best and most relevant results possible.
For example, if you do a keyword search for "breweries" (or something that implies local relevancy) without including a search geo-modifier (such as a city like "breweries in San Francisco" or "Portland breweries"), Google will use your IP address or the Gmail account with which you are currently logged in to display results closest to you. Only the breweries that have put effort in building a solid web presence will have a prominent showing in the local organic search results.
Taking a Closer Look at the Local Organic Search Listings
Although each brewery's headline link will take you to the company's actual website, it is worth noting how the Google reviews link will take you to the Brewery's Google+ Local page. So there is more that contributes to the local search engine rankings other than a business's website, one being a business's Google+ Local page. Although creating a well-optimized website is very crucial for achieving better results on search engine pages, a solid Google+ Local page plays an important role.
In addition to a Google+ Local page, there are other elements that need to be considered. Below are seven valuable local SEO tips that will help to make your local business presence more prominent in search.
1. Optimize the website for your keywords respectfully and avoid keyword stuffing. The first thing to do is research on your main keywords extensively so as to come up with key phrase combinations that your customers use when searching for local businesses. After deciding on these, optimize your website's page titles and meta descriptions respectfully so as to meet local search terms. Avoid over stuffing these keywords and also try to include a geo-modifier (your city name) to each of these keywords.
2. Get your business's address verified on its Google+ page. Verifying your company address on your company's Google+ page will also make it easier for Google to identify your location whenever someone searches for your keywords and rank you appropriately. Verification of your address is as simple as submitting it through your Google+ page, after which Google will mail you a postcard with a PIN verification code.
3. Link your website to your Google+ Local page. Including a "Follow us on Google+" link on your website will also go a long way in increasing your presence on Google's search engine results page. This link code is normally found on your Company's Google+ profile (when in edit mode). The link tag also contains the very essential "rel-publisher" snippet.
4. Populate your Google+ Local page with accurate and sufficient info about your company. Include relevant info about your company, what it deals in, and a few other things that customers may need to know about your company. Where appropriate, deploy your main keywords and geo-modifier.
5. Earn or ask for reviews from some of your customers. In some cases, pages that have more customer reviews (whether good or bad) will typically have more authority and rank highly on local search engine results listings. Put in place some creative and innovative ways of getting your customers to review some of your products.
6. Include the address of your business on all pages of your website. Be sure to include your company's address in the footer of every page of the website, and make sure that there is no difference between this address and that on your Google+ Local page. Make sure that your address is accurate to avoid any legitimacy issues that may arise.
7. Get your company listed on relevant directory sites. Create your company's listings and profiles on other directory sites such as Yellowpages, Manta, Yelp, Yahoo Local and LinkedIn just to mention a few. To ensure your company is legitimate, Google will search and match your company's address on its website, Google+ Local page, and on other directory sites. This signifies that you're a real business, and the more listings you have the more authority you can earn in Google local search.
As you may notice, a solid and well optimized website is not all it will take for your company to attain high ranks on Google. By carefully addressing each of these Google local SEO tasks, your business will be better placed to appear higher in Google's rankings.
Tags: local seo , citations , google , twitter , google+ , social media , facebook , social signals
It goes without question that social media now has a significant influence on Google's search engine rankings.
"Social signals," (also commonly referred to as "social indicators") are redefining how Google values quality, rank-worthy content, and thus the best practices of SEO. These are the Facebook Likes, Google +1's, Tweets, Pins, Shares, etc. that you often see on blog posts.
That's not to say other ranking factors, such as inbound links and keyword relevancy, do not play a role in the SEO practice. But rather, SEO has becoming very socially integrated.
In order to achieve top search engine rankings, it's critical that you understand how social media impacts the game. Below we reveal some of the primary ways social media shapes SEO.
How Social Media Influences SEO
Of course social media in itself serves as a powerful marketing medium. However indirectly, social media can contribute to better search rankings.
- Social Signals - This one's worth repeating. As a webpage earns more social signals, Google finds the page to have greater value and authority (and thus better ranking potential.) In addition to having a strong social media presence, you'll want to share your prized website content from time to time. This will help generate social favor (and thus SEO value) for your domain.
- Citations - Also known as "mentions," are simply a company's name, address, and phone number found on other websites. From Google's perspective, citations represent greater credibility and legitimacy in a website. This is particularly influential for local SEO and increasing a business' listing in Google's local search results. Social media sites are a simple way to build citations.
- Backlinks - These are inbound links that stem from other domains (such as a Twitter or Pinterest profile page.) Backlinks have been a huge topic of discussion in the SEO community. Now more than ever, it's important to generate backlinks organically. Building a presence on various social media sites is perfectly natural way to generate backlinks to your website.
Quick Tips to Leverage Social Media for SEO
- Build a blog, produce awesome content, and share it with your social audience.
- Leverage Google Authorship in your content marketing practice.
- At the very least, include Google+, Twitter, and Facebook in your social media portfolio. These social sites have the largest volume of users, and offer the greatest potential to generate social signals.
- Integrate social sharing icons on your pages to make it easy for visitors to Like, +1, or Share your awesome content.
- Reach out and build an strong, loyal community of social followers. This will only magnify your ability to generate social signals, as well as make your profile page an SEO asset in itself (social profile pages can rank very well in Google search.) You can use promoted tweets on Twitter, or Facebook advertising to help building your audience.
Tags: seo , local seo , citations , directories , google local , links
When it comes to off-page SEO (which makes up a majority of Google's ranking algorithm,) it's all about building and earning links to a webpage.
However, what most businesses fail to realize about off-page SEO is that citations are essential to uplift rankings in the Google Local Search results.
Although links might be more influential in Google’s organic search algorithm, citations are the bee's knees to rank higher in the local results (the listings accompanied by the Google map with little red pins.)
A citation is simply a mention or reference of your business's name or contact information somewhere on the web. A few examples of where you can find quality citations include:
- social listings, such as LinkedIn or Google+ Local
- Yellow Pages directory listings
- review site listings, such as Yelp or Manta
- local chamber of commerce
- other web directory listings, such as Superpages
Citations can have a momentous impact on a business's local SEO rankings. Even when there's no link included with a citation, Google still recognizes the mention of your business and factors-in the search engine value as a result.
Why Citations are Critical for Local SEO
Local companies that rack-up tons of citations on other websites can spike their Google local search ranking. Some of the primary reasons why Google values quality citation are:
- Community Value – Citations show that your business is a part of community on the web. In a sense, you're establishing legitimacy with Google by proving your business is real and engaged on various other websites.
- Validity & Legitimacy – Citations are sign of validity, which is arguably the main reason why Google’s local search algorithm factors-in citations.
- Niche Industries & Professions – Citations are ideal for businesses in a smaller industries or professions. Google recognizes the source of your business's citations. So if you're chiropractic business has listings on chiropractor directory sites, the value only increases.
Discovering opportunities to build citations is now always easy, and going about building them can seem like a monotonous task. Fortunately we've compiled a nice list of resources for you to use. Dedicate a block of time in your day to build 1 or 2 citations of these websites. In time, you can see your Google Local Search ranking increase for the keywords that drive quality traffic to your website.
Before you start building citations, you should ensure that you have properly set-up a Google Plus Local page for you business. This is the foundation and will help magnify the impact of your citation building efforts.
Tags: seo , local seo , google+ , google local search , google plus
Local businesses can gain some serious marketing momentum by properly setting-up a Google Plus Local page.
The process is rather simple with the right guidance. By establishing a local business page on Google Plus, you can help increase your company's ranking in the Google local search results (example shown in the image to your right.)
In this article, I will guide you through the simple steps of setting-up (and slightly optimizing) a Google Plus Local page for your business. Let's get started.
1. Claim Your Google Plus Page
Before you immediately create a new page for your business, check to see if there's an existing, un-claimed page. To do this, perform a search on Google Plus for the name and geographic location of your business.
Once you've submitted your search, use the drop-down option to select "People and Pages." From the search results, you should be able to spot your business's page, if it exists. If you do see your business page, click into the page and look toward the bottom for the option to "Manage this page."
If you do not see a page for your business, you'll need to create a new one. This option is near the bottom left of the Google Plus menu bar, under "More."
From the "Pages" menu, you can select to create a new page. When creating a new page, it's important that you choose "Local Business" as the type of page.
2. Edit Your Business's Information
Whether you have an existing Google Plus Local page or are creating a new one, you'll definitely want to tune-up the business's information.
The "Business Name" field should be a given; however if your business has multiple locations under one name, you'll want to distinguish its specific location in this field. For our example with "Nerds on Call," a residential computer repair company in central Illinois, there are five locations. As a result, we add a 'clean pipe' after the business name, followed by the location for that specific page.
In this case, we use "Nerds on Call | Peru, IL" as the business name to differentiate this page from the others. The business address is one of the most important elements on the page. And if you're claiming an already existing Google Plus Local page for your business, then chances are the address info might be slightly off.
Make sure that address is spot-on verbatim with that of your business's website. This alignment is critical to ensure your business is legitimate through the eyes of Google (and can influence your Google Local search ranking as a result.)
In our scenario of claiming an already existing page, Google had the street name slightly incorrect. We changed it from "Illinois 251" to the correct street of "State Route 251."
The rest of the fields are pretty straight-forward. Just be sure that everything is accurate and aligned with you company's website.
In the description field, you'll want to write concise summary of what your business offers and/or specializes in. You may also want to add a call-to-action link to help facilitate leads from the page's description.
3. Submit PIN Verification Request
Next you'll want to submit a postcard verification request to your business. This option is near the bottom right of the Google Plus Local page.
When you submit verification request, Google will send a postcard to your business's address with a PIN.
Once received (typically within a week,) you'll want to return back to your company's Google Plus Local page and submit the PIN to complete the verification process.
4. Link to Your Google Plus Page from Your Website
This last step is the icing on the cake. Near the bottom right of the Google Plus Local page, you'll see the option to "Link Your Website - Help people discover your page."
By including this link on your business's website (to its Google Plus page,) it further validates this page and helps its overall search engine authority for SEO.
The "rel=publisher" snippet in the link's URL tells Google that your company's website is the publisher for any content stemming from the site. If you publish blog posts from your website, you'll want to attribute the author of each blog post with a link to his or her personal Google Plus profile page.
In the author's link, include the "rel=author" snippet in the URL (see my Google Plus author link at the bottom for an example.) This establishes the ever-powerful Google Authorship for the blog post and will further accelerate its search engine value.
Using the "publisher" and "author" snippets in these links can help get your content crawled and indexed much faster. Additionally, you can generate the "rich snippet" author image in Google's search results (shown below.) This will make your blog post stand-out from the clutter and help increase your content's click-through rate in the search listings.
5. BONUS! Build Some Citations to Increase Your Ranking!
Building citations is an ongoing effort of creating business profiles and directory listings on various other websites. Check out this blog post for quality sources to build citations.
Having citations on other credible website is a sign of legitimacy to Google. When Google crawls these other listings, it will compare the name, address, and phone number of you business with that of its website and Google Plus Local page. When all things jive, your ranking can increase. In essence, this is the practice of “link building” for Google Local SEO, or in a more progressive sense, Goolge Plus Local optimization.
About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. Starting his career as a copywriting for an international SEO firm and now the Internet marketing manager here at OIC, Tyler offers a wealth of expertise in the search marketing industry. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or Follow him on Google Plus.
Tags: local seo , citations , google local search , google plus , seo tips
The Google local listings are basically the new YellowPages of the Web. Now more than ever, Google users are shown local business listings in the organic search results.
These prominent local listings take up a significant amount of real estate in the SERPs and are accompanied by the Google Map. They also offer Google+ reviews and location information of each business.
To help increase a business's ranking in the Google local listings, a unique approach to SEO is required. This is because these local rankings are not only determined by a strong website, but also by an strong Google+ presence.
Take note to how the primary headline link for each business listing takes users to the company's actual website, whereas the Google+ reviews link below directs users to the business's Google+ page.
SEO in this particular context is not a mysterious, scientific formula that's unbeknownst to most marketers. In fact, this form of local SEO comprises of simple tasks that almost anyone can tackle.
Before you get started on these SEO tips, be sure that you have the capabilities to edit the content of your business's website, and that you've created a local business Google+ page.
- Add a link from the business's website to its Google+ page. The recommended code snippet for this link is found on the business's Google+ page while in edit mode, and will have the suggested anchor text "Follow us on Google+."
- On the Google+ page, verify the address of the business by requesting your Google+ postcard with a verification PIN. Once you receive the postcard at the business's address, you can submit the 4-digit PIN on the Google+ page.
- Include the exact address of the business on at least the homepage, but if possible, on all pages of the website. Two good areas for this are a site-wide header or the footer. This simple address inclusion is called a citation and it enables Google to verifies the legitimacy of the business's tangible location.
- Create additional citations, or business listings, on directory websites like Yelp, Bing, Yahoo! Local, Manta, Yellowpages, etc. Google will match-up the address information from these listings with that of the business's website and Google+ page to further ensure its local legitimacy. This is one of the best ways to help grow your Google local listing.
- Populate the company's Google+ page with adequate information and details. When appropriate, mention your keyword and geographic targets. Don't overdue do it, just a couple times is plenty enough. 6. Keyword optimize (not keyword stuff!) your webpage's titles, meta description, and page copy. Also try to include the city name of your business in each of these elements to help establish local relevancy for SEO.
Local SEO is slowly becoming more of a social endeavor with respect to Google+. It's critical that you local business gets involved on Google+ to grow and maintain its ranking in the Google local listings.
Tags: seo , local seo , website optimization , tips , sitemap , duplicate content , page title , meta description , citation
Many marketers have come to realize the immense advertising potential that organic SEO has to offer. This has made optimizing a website a marketing mission for many businesses.
But what many fail to realize is that search rankings are mostly determined based on factors that are off the website, primarily from inbound links and social signals (e.g. Google +1's, Facebook Likes, LinkedIn Shares, etc.)
So no matter how well you optimize your website, it's probably not going to rank until your do some off-site SEO work (which takes a lot of time and effort.) However, that doesn't discount the website optimization process from being important.
Website optimization is still incredibly essential for SEO, but more importantly conversion rate optimization (OIC's Marketing & Operations Manager, Chris Everett, explains it well in his article Why Top Rankings Just Don't Cut it Anymore. In short, a properly-optimized website "sets the stage" for SEO and the future influx of search engine visitors.
In this article, I want to share with you 3 common weaknesses that most marketers can address to better optimize their website. Unlike other tips that are more intricate on a specific aspect of website optimization, these weaknesses are big (but rather easy to fix,) and will have a momentous impact on you organic SEO efforts.
1. The Ever Important Sitemap
The HTML sitemap is considered the second most important page of a website (next to the homepage.) In essence, the sitemap is the search engine spider's roadmap to your website, directing the spider to crawl and index all of the optimized pages of your site.
Not having sitemap is like not having tire's on your car. It tries to move forward, but is inefficient at getting anywhere. The sitemap should contain links to all of the pages found on your website. Additionally, each link on the sitemap should use semi-optimized anchor text. For example, if you build a page on your site optimized for "Men's Road Bikes," it's wise to use that exact phrase as the link's anchor text when linking that page on your sitemap.
Lastly, make sure the sitemap itself is linked on all pages of the website, preferably in a set of footer links or navigation links.
2. Duplicate Website Content
Upon taking on a local SEO project, I was confused as to why this website was no where to be found in the search engines. It was decently optimized and offered great content, but the only page ranking was the "about our staff" page, and that was in the middle of page 3 on Google.
Come to find out, the owner of the site had another website. "Oh s**t," I thought to myself. "We got duplicate content." Sure enough, his other website was a complete mirror image of the site I was working on.
Duplicate content is a common issue that plagues a lot of websites. And it's not just an issue that involves duplicate content on other sites, but in most cases, it's having duplicate content on similar pages throughout the same site. This is especially common on ecommerce sites that have thousands of pages, many of which that overlap in relevancy.
Perhaps the most common culprit involving duplicate content stems from the page title and meta description. These are two elements that are both very important for organic SEO and can often become auto-generated based on CMS software. This auto-generation can cause duplicate content without the website owner even realizing it.
Fortunately, there's a pretty easy way to pinpoint duplicate content on your site by checking your website's Google Webmaster Tools. In the left hand navigation, click the option "Optimization," then "HTML Improvements." Here can you drill down on the specific pages that have either duplicate page titles and/or meta descriptions.
3. An Accurate Citation
The three pieces of information that define the citation of your business are its name, address, and phone number. The most essential place to mention the citation is your website's "contact us" page. However, I recommend including the citation in the footer so that it's present on all pages of your website.
Including your business's citation on your website is important to display credibility to Google. This is especially important if any of your search engine traffic derives from local search. In a nutshell, Google spiders will crawl the citation on your website and align the information with other citations found about your business on other sites (such as your Google+ page, LinkedIn page, YellowPages listing, and various other social sites and web directories.)
In summary, it's important to have an accurate citation on your website that exactly matches all other citations of your business found around the web. Any misalignment in citation information will cause Google confusion, and you definitely want to avoid that.
Well those are just three website optimization weaknesses that may be hindering your site's organic SEO performance. To discover more insights on how to make your site rank higher in Google, visit our branch of website optimization specialists and sign-up for a free organic SEO assessment. They will audit your site and provide you with honest recommendations to further optimize your website.
This article was produced by Tyler Tafelsky, Illinois SEO and Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. You can contact Tyler Tafelsky directly via email at Tyler@oicgroup.net, or connect with Tyler on Google+.
Tags: google places , local seo , webinar
The SEO and Internet marketing professionals here at OIC Group, Inc. are presenting a local SEO webinar tomorrow May 31st, 2012 at 2:00PM CST (3:00PM EST).
The webinar will underscore the importance of search engine optimization for local businesses, and will showcase many actionable takeaway points that attendees can employ on their own. Tomorrow's local SEO webinar will offer a wealth of insights for viewers in various industries and professions.
OIC Group is pulling back the curtains on many "secrets" of the trade, from techniques to optimize your website to ways on how to increase your Google Places ranking. After years of immersion, research, and testing, the SEO team at OIC Group has become an industry leader in local SEO and Internet marketing. In tomorrow's webinar, specialists of the company plan to share a number of powerful SEO techniques and specific processes.
Attendees can learn several ways to do some SEO of their own, such as:
- How to optimize a Google Places page
- Tips on how to keyword optimize a website
- How and where to build quality links for SEO
- Where to further promote your local business on the web
- There have been a lot changes taking place in online search.
In an effort to provide more relevant, better quality search results, Google has been focusing more on the local orientation of its users. That is, Google is showing localized search results (commonly Google Places) based on the IP addresses of users' locations. These shifts have not only impacted Google's search landscape, but have leveled the playing field.
No longer is Google search solely for big-business brands with powerful websites and large marketing budgets. Now, local businesses can take advantage of an effective advertising and marketing platform that offers a highly targeted way to connect with in-market consumers.
To learn actionable tips and strategies that center on local SEO, Google Places optimization, and other Internet marketing channels for local businesses, sign up for OIC Group’s webinar. The webinar is set for tomorrow (Thursday) at 2:00PM CST (3:00PM EST). To sign up for the webinar, click here.