Does Google know you?
As a business owner, it’s critical that prospective customers can find you and in today’s world, that means, to a very large extent, that they can find you on Google. I know a few companies that exist strictly on word-of-mouth and they do just fine but that is not the norm by any means. If your business relies on local customers, for example, then your “Local SEO” should be optimized. If, however, your business is worldwide in nature, then local SEO is less important and you should focus on world-wide SEO.
An example of critical “Local SEO” would be an air conditioning service company in your home town. They don’t want or need anybody in another state or country to know they exist – there’s no way they would become a customer. The only benefit would be possible linking from other air conditioning/HVAC/Heating types of sites to their own to raise their website’s rankings but that’s about it. For the most part, the local HVAC repairman is interested in his town and the surrounding areas.
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To this end, the focus keywords on his site and in his SEO efforts should be something like: “air conditioning”, “hvac”, “heating and air”, “specialist”, “home town”, “nearby town 1”, “nearby town 2”. The idea is that the website itself should focus on the local area and the keywords of the business. A great practice, and one becoming increasingly more beneficial to SEO, is to product fairly lengthy, highly informative, and easy to read articles. As they say “content is king”, but it has to be good content, well written, and topical. Timely is helpful also.
The HVAC repairman would therefore have several articles on his website, each one discussing an area of HVAC and possible mentioning local towns. So one article might be “10 Steps to ensuring your Air Conditioner is ready for summer” and then throughout the article, mention nearby towns. Another article could be “Mini-split efficiency, are they worth it?” and again, the article should be well written, greater than 500 words, informative and easy to read. Post about 5-7 of these types of articles on the website and watchi the HVAC rankings go up.
This is, once again, only scratching the surface of Local SEO – there’s a lot more to discuss and I will be doing so in an upcoming post.
We can’t just leave it there, because the HVAC’s competition is reading this article also, right? Well, maybe not exactly this article but we should assume that the competition isn’t sitting idly by while we rush past them in the search rankings. They’re trying to beat us while we try to beat them. T
There are quite a few tools to help with this and I’ll probably go into this in more depth in another article. But the gist of it is that you want to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for, how many articles (and how good are they?) do they have on their site, what high power sites are linking back to your competitors website (and can you maybe get a link there also?) and how fresh is your competitor’s content? Is the website updated on a regular basis? Are they still advertising last 2014’s summer deals? (I saw this just this morning on a site I visited)
Once you get a good grasp on what your competitors are doing, simply copy them. Nothing wrong with that. If you copy them AND create and post the articles mentioned above, your rankings will increase. They have to. So if you see they have a link from www.whatever.com, you would follow that link and see if you can get the same link. I might be a “donation” site (pay per link) or might be a guestbook entry, forum entry, comment review, etc, etc. It could be a number of things but the point is, can you get the same link? If so, do it as that brings you and your competitor’s site closer together. You’ll catch up with them in this way, you’ll pass them with the excellent content you are posting.
On Page vs. Off Page SEO
We discussed this before but it’s worth repeating. Your on-page SEO is 100% under your control, so if you’re web titles are messed up, or your articles aren’t up to speed or poorly linked, that’s all within your ability to change, and you should change it as soon as you see it’s a problem. For off page SEO, unless you want to engage in black/grey hat SEO practices such as buying links or creating your own high power network and using links from it to point to your primary site, you will be relying on your articles to be shared among your users. The more they get shared, the higher the likelihood of links coming back your way. Do a great job here.
Ok, enough rambling for today. I hope this helps at least a little bit. Stay tuned for more info! Thanks and happy SEO-ing!