SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a huge buzzword in today’s digital marketing landscape. Understanding how to optimize your website and landing pages for the search engines can make or break your entire campaign. The question is: Where do you start? What you’re selling and who is buying it is a very important aspect in deciding how to optimize your website. Developing engaging content and page titles that are keyword rich, while staying relevant to what you are trying to advertise is not something that can be done in an hour. Although you know your product and how to create a campaign around it, you’ll need to be much more creative because there are likely hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses who are competing with you to have their pages listed high in search indexes. Some of these companies have been around for a while and have spent a lot of money developing a strategy to rise to the top of the search engines. So, how do you compete with them?
Think about your company and what general terms someone may search to find you. Whether it’s black dress shoes, women’s hats or plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, you will need to identify what the value of each of these is and then optimize for it.
Only 3 or 4 years ago, SEO was associated with spamming, keyword stuffing or link farming. It has been abused by many companies without well defined strategies as they felt compelled to “trick” Google’s search engine algorithms. NEWS FLASH: Google has become smarter! The evolution of SEO has made proper implementation even more important and necessary for companies if they want to be successful in establishing their online presence.
The best way to ensure that your pages are not included with the aforementioned trickery and get listed high enough to be competitive is to start with some solid keyword research. For example, Google has a tool you can use that will show you how many people are searching for what keywords are relative to the terms you want to target. [Click here for Google’s Keyword Planner Tool] You may find that people are often searching in high numbers for terms that you never even thought to optimize for, but are extremely relevant to your product or service. Optimize for a long-tail keyword based on that research. These “low hanging fruit” keywords often have less competition on the web because people aren’t doing their research and optimizing for them. Read more about Keyword Research in this post: [SEO – Keyword Research – Why It’s Important]
Once you’ve got a grasp on the search terms you want to target, you may find out that more research needs to be done, even if you’ve seen success. It is a constantly evolving approach to remain competitive.
Everything from guest blogging to proper management of social media and including geographical location information can help develop your local SEO, and these strategies are imperative not only for building your digital strategy, but also for attracting local traffic, especially in your own community.
- Make your business information available not only on a designated Contact page, but also within the header or footer of your website. This means including the city, state, zip code, and telephone number for your business. Many websites only include a generic “city” and an email address as contact information; doing this actually hurts your chances of being found by the indices in local searches.
- Using social media is another way to help people find you locally. It is important to fill out your profile information accurately and completely. Social media is a powerful tool to attract local business to your website, engage with your customers and attract new ones.
- Writing location-specific content can help solidify your standing for your business or service in your area. Confirm you include the location you’re writing about in the blog post title and URL. This will help search engines understand the local emphasis of the page. Write blog posts on topics relevant to your location: a list of the best tailors in Cambridge, explanations of regional rules or regulations, or coverage of the local news.
- If you’re a DIYer, be sure your website includes proper title, meta-tags and meta-descriptions within the context of the keyword you are targeting. This strategy should be deployed on every blog post and page that you are trying to optimize. Typically for businesses that hire a Digital Agency, this would be part of the scope of your Digital Marketing or SEO/SEM contract and the agency would deploy this tactic strategically for you.
These are just a few strategies you can implement today to help develop local SEO organically for your brand.
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