You might have heard that local search rankings are important. You might not know, however, that they are essential. Google’s Knowledge Graph means search engine results are becoming more potent by the day.
As a business owner, knowing your city’s population density will help you decide whether to focus on local SEO or more general keywords – and how to optimize your site.
Choose the Right Keywords for Your Business
When you enter keywords into Google Adwords, not all will be worth bidding on with zeal. Instead, you might want to choose long-tail keywords that have a low cost per click but are very specific to what people search for regularly.
This way, you can get more targeted traffic with less competition from other businesses. Of course, you can also apply this to your onsite SEO keywords. But, again, make sure they complement and work together with the goals you have set out for your business.
Stick To One Topic per Page
Google has said that, in general, it prefers web pages that stick to a single topic rather than attempting to cover too many things at once. That is easier said than done, however. Think about sites that cover all sorts of issues, like Reddit, for example. This site is enormous, but it manages to make each page precisely what you are looking for, even if it’s beneath other posts on the page.
You can manage similar things with your blog by creating different categories and sticking to one subject per page. That will make it easier for Google spiders to understand what your page is about and rank it accordingly.
Take Full Advantage of Social Media Profiles
In the past, you might have been focusing too much on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter when it comes to getting more traffic from search engines. However, now that Google is promoting Google My Business, it’s an excellent idea to create profiles for your business across multiple sites.
When you set up your social media profiles, make sure there are links back to your site. These links count towards the rankings of individual keywords and pages, so don’t be shy about including them. However, remember that they must be relevant to whatever you post, so keep your posts uniform with your general theme.
Make Use of Schema Markup
Schema refers to a type of structured data markup used for describing web pages in an easy-to-understand way. It’s pretty much Google’s equivalent of Facebook Open Graph or Twitter Cards. That means that whenever you post to any of these social media sites, your profiles will show up in much more specific search results.
For example, when you share a page on Twitter, it can be pretty hard to tell what that page is about just from the tweet itself. When you add schema markup, however, people can see at-a-glance.
Optimize Your Website for Conversion Keywords
Not every customer is the same. For example, some might want to take advantage of your deal on all-you-can-eat shrimp, while others might just be browsing. The problem is that if you’re selling something specific, it’s not always evident from a search engine result whether they’ll want what you’re offering or not.
In these cases, you can optimize your website for conversion keywords. That means that even if someone is looking for something else in the search, they might find what they were after and buy all the same.
Don’t forget to add a call-to-action when writing these types of pages. If you have an optimized site for generic keywords, you might get traffic from people who don’t know what they’re looking for when they enter their terms. If you fail to give them more information on the page or offer a solution to their problem, they might leave your site without ever converting.
Be sure to use this advice in conjunction with your onsite SEO strategies and get more traffic from your efforts.
Remember that you don’t need to write very much at all-around 500 words is usually enough for most pages. Make it targeted towards the audience of your website, and try not to make any grammar or spelling mistakes. You can also work in a link back to your website if you have one but only do so if it makes sense.
Publish High-Quality Content Regularly
If it’s your goal to increase the likelihood of getting ranked significantly, you not only need to produce high-quality content, but you also have to do it regularly. That’s because search engines often look for new and updated pages, and if they don’t find any, they might skip over your site altogether.
Make it a goal to publish at least one blog post a week and make sure that you upload new valuable content often, even if it’s just a few times a month.
Create Valuable Inbound Links
Search engines need to know that people trust your website enough to provide them with relevant information to increase your rankings. In other words, they need to see that other sites are linking to you. While your site can rank that way, it can be challenging to get enough links without some outside help.
You may approach the need to build up these valuable inbound links, but guest blogging is one of the most effective methods. Guest blogging gets rid of the boundaries of your website and allows you to expand your reach across the web.
Promote Your Website on Social Media and Other Online Platforms
Social media is one of the most effective ways to promote your website today. If you have a lot of fun content that you want to share, this can be an excellent option for promoting your website and getting it ranked among the top search results.
Hang onto that info when using social media to promote your site because particular platforms attract your target market better than others. For example, if you are targeting parents, Facebook might be the best option, while LinkedIn will probably not get you nearly as much exposure.
Also, keep in mind that search engines will see your website’s name when you share it on social media, so if possible, try to include some relevant keywords in your post as well.
Utilize Local Search
Are you a physical business with a brick-and-mortar shop? Your local customers might not be searching online, but they most likely will if they want to find out more information about your business or your hours of operation. In this case, you need to make sure that the search engines know the location of your business.
By adding a physical address to your site, you can increase your opportunities for customers looking for businesses in their area. The more detailed, accurate, and specific you are with your description, the better, as many engines will not see this as helpful information if it’s too general.
Just ensure that you include all the necessary information your customers need, including phone numbers (if you have them) and business hours.
Take Advantage of Google My Business Local Pages
Starting on Google+ is free, and it can be an effective way to get started with local SEO. If you don’t already have a page for your website, create one and fill it with the appropriate information.
Make sure that you include your business name and address in the About section and links to other social media pages or any relevant contact information (like a phone number). You can also add more information such as photos and even videos, but make sure it is quality content.
Get Links from Reputable Websites
There are a few practical ways to get links from reputable websites, but the easiest way is to ask. Make sure that you have a lengthy list of contacts and start at the bottom with people who can relay your information up the chain.
It would help if you took time and looked for sites that already ranked well in Google and started guest blogging.
Monitor Your Search Rankings and Adjust Your Strategy as Needed
The best way to do this is through Google Analytics. This software is free and very helpful for tracking your visitors, including how they found you, where they are from, where they go on the site.
This type of information can help you determine if specific keywords are bringing in relevant traffic or if there are some keywords you need to stop targeting altogether.
Make sure that you use your analytics software to track how many people are visiting from each of your main keywords, and then adjust your strategy based on the data you collect.