Why You Need to Invest in Local SEO

Why You Need to Invest in Local SEO

Investing in local search because of having a local business makes sense. Many people looking for services near them such as dentists, restaurant owners, or plumbers take their search to Google. The top rankings there are the ones getting the business. Without optimizing your website for local SEO, you’re missing out.

We’ve created a list of some of the most powerful techniques you can use to rank your website locally. This will help you climb the search engines, rank, and get the great new business. Either follow the tips yourself, or select a professional company like KnP Net Media to do it for you.

What is local SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of making your website the best choice in Google’s eyes. By using the tips below, you can show Google that you’re the best choice for the service in your area. Local SEO is doing this in a very specific area.

Step 1: Create your Google My Business page.

When you do a local search, you’ll often find the top rankings are linked to a map and have star ratings. These come from a company’s Google My Business page. Anyone can set up one. All you need to do is to register your company. When you add your details, Google will verify you by sending you a letter with a unique code on it. Simply use this code to validate your page, and you’re ready to go. You can then add things like your services and opening hours.

Your customers can also review you. Reviews are keys to getting to the top of Google. By getting a few dozen reviews along with filling out all of your information, you’ll see your business start to show in the local map pack.

Step 2: Optimize your website.

The next step is to optimize your website for the keywords that people are searching for. In local SEO, this will generally be something like ‘service+location’ – for example, plumbers in New York. Take these keywords and add it to the title, headers, and content of your website. This will tell Google that this is what your website is about, and will make it more likely to rank.

Step 3: Use location pages.

Now that you have your homepage set up, you should start adding location pages. These will target other nearby areas, and will help you show up for people not only searching for the city you’re in, but also if they search for a service in a local village near you that you can still service. If you build out lots of these, you can steadily increase the amount of traffic you get, while keeping it all local.

Step 4: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

People searching for local services are, more often than not, doing it on the move with their phone. This makes it a must to ensure your website appears well on mobile devices. Google also ranks these websites faster, meaning you’ll get more people finding your website, too.

How To Choose The Right SEO Agency For You

How To Choose The Right SEO Agency For You

One study conducted in 2014 found that the first page of Google gets 95% of web traffic and that 67% of users go for one of the first five results on the first page.

Would you like your business to be on the first page and have a higher chance of attracting high-quality traffic? If you answered yes, then you need to find an SEO agency with the kind of expertise that will push your rankings forward.

In today’s age of competitive business, buying goods and services is quite tasking because there are a plethora of options available on the market. You are likely to face this challenge when choosing an SEO agency and the chances are that you might end up selecting an agency that does its marketing well but fall short with its services. If you are deciding to choose an agency to do your SEO, here’s what you need to do to get the best.

Check how long an agency has been operating

What experience does every agency you are looking into have? If an agency has been in the industry for long, then it has weathered several storms, and it is in a position to improve your rankings. New SEO agencies might know how to do SEO, but they might not be able to adapt to the ever-changing SEO requirements quickly. However, you should not discredit all new SEO agencies because some employ experts who can do the job as well as those in older agencies.

When looking at the longevity in business, you also need to check if an agency has worked with both small and big companies. If they have worked successfully with both, you can trust them because they aren’t just masters of one talent.

Gauge portfolios

Before making your final decision, you ought to compare the portfolios of several SEO agencies. If you go through their websites, you are likely to find a list of businesses that they have worked with in the past, though some might want to remain anonymous. If there is no list on the website, that’s a red flag.

An agency’s portfolio shows you the kind of businesses it serves which in turn helps you identify if it works with businesses in your niche. For instance, if you sell shoes online and the agency has worked with lots of online stores, then that’s a good sign that it can get the job done for you. Moreover, if an agency has worked with a variety of businesses, it shows that it is versatile and can adapt quickly.

Examine your goals

Your SEO strategy should have a goal at the end, for example, increase social shares by 5% quarterly. The figures of your goals should be tangible, reasonable, and attainable, keeping in mind that SEO is a field that does not achieve results overnight. That said, a good SEO agency is one that puts your goals and objectives first. Hence’ if you come across an agency that wants to begin working right away without knowing what you want to achieve, run! More importantly, the practices and goals of an ideal agency should mirror yours, so that you are always on the same page and working towards the same results.

Look for proven results

Research is pivotal when looking for an SEO agency. One of the things you need to look for before arriving at a decision is proven results. Are an agency’s past clients and employees satisfied with its services? You can get trustworthy reviews from an agency’s website.

Another great way to get unbiased opinions is to look at reviews left by previous customers on Google or Yelp. Alternatively, you can contact several past clients who have worked with a said agency to find out if they achieved the results they wanted.

Ask questions

This is one of the most critical steps that will help you determine whether an agency understands what you want and if it is the best fit.

Ask questions about:

  • The processes the agency uses
  • The resources that they need from you
  • What steps you should take when things are not done correctly
  • Their communication and reporting process for the progress of the SEO strategy

Mistakes you should avoid making

Trusting search engines as filters

The first step toward getting an agency is conducting some research, mostly via Google. When you search the best SEO agencies in your location, you’ll get some results, which you should take with a pinch salt. The best companies are busy and overwhelmed by new and retained clients. Hence they might not have all the time to do good SEO for their websites and appear on the first page on SERPs.

Believing there’s a secret method

One of the hugest red flags is agencies that tell you they have a secret SEO formula that will improve your ranking. This might have been the case a few years back but nowadays, SEO is an open field, and no one has a secret process.

Following the processes discussed above will land you an agency that does the best SEO and adapts to change quickly. For more information about SEO agencies, visit https://serpbook.com/blog/agency-rank-tracker/.

 

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Local Search Marketing: A Few Do’s & Don’ts

As if organic search isn’t frustrating enough, there’s also the issue of local search aka those A through G map listings that show up within blended results. These listings are based on a different algorithm than normal search, although it’s often thought that the two influence each other.

Check out some resources as you’re working on creating or updating your business and don’t forget these important do’s and don’ts. Make sure to read carefully because one wrong move can seriously screw up your local listing!

Do’s
– Use a standard format of all your contact information, including business name, URL, phone number, address (using st. versus street or suite vs. # & etc.)
– Create only one listing for each physical location
– Use a real phone number (although it’s tempting to use an 800 or tracking number to track calls)
– Use the same information/format and claim other non-Google listings (Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, YellowPages etc.). Google often pulls information from these sources to create or validate your business listing
– Use the correct categories and optimize your descriptions, photos

Don’t
– Create multiple listings for a single physical location
– Use virtual offices and use  different information for different listings
– Hijack competitor listings with false information
– Post fake reviews for your business or solicit an unnatural amount of reviews during a short time period
– Let local search marketing “experts” control your local accounts. Some companies use tracking numbers that could jeopardize your listing and might not even give you logins if you eventually decide to discontinue their service. Make sure you know what you’re signing up for!

If you’re lucky enough to have just one real location, you don’t have much to worry about. It’s a problem once you move, have multiple locations, have listings that have merged with incorrect information. Local listings can be a pain but patience and consistency are the key to getting things figure out. Read more about troubleshooting for Places here.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Waiting Around for Panda 3.9?

Have you seen any fluctuations in your search results lately? There’s some speculation that another Google Panda update has hit or that’s coming very soon. The last confirmed refresh was on June 28 and it’s not unusual for updates to occur within as little as 2 weeks from the previous one.

It’s important to keep an eye on: website traffic, impressions, calls, and even number of contact forms received. Looking at trends will help you diagnose the problem if something has gone terribly wrong. For example, a website with a weak backlink profile can go from 1st page rankings and tank to 10th + page after an algorithm update. Without regularly monitoring your website, it would be difficult to tell until it’s too late. Summer months tend to be slower (depending on your industry), so it can also be a seasonal factor and not a Google update. Nowadays, people are too quick to jump the gun and blame everything on Google when there is a bigger picture.

Prevention is the key to being flagged by Panda or Penguin updates. But what about the paranoia that your site could be penalized? Some website owners admit to making SEO content updates so frequently that they can’t tell if the results they get are from their own handy work or from Google updates. In fact, that’s the last thing you want to do – make random changes, change loads of anchor text, add or remove tons of links. This isn’t helpful if the end result is good or bad if you don’t know what lead you there.

“Slow and steady wins the race”. In this case, it could pay off to wait and see what changes need to be made and how to recover instead of digging yourself into a deeper hole. Even if it’s out of fear of being nabbed by Google’s updates, it will help if you constantly monitor your website and make additions that will help it become more effective and user friendly.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Video Marketing Opportunities for Small Businesses

youtube ad

Some small businesses may not be aware of how video marketing services can greatly benefit their online reputation. Let’s take a look at 3 ways videos can help your business:

1) Improve Customer Relations – Videos are a great platform to do webinars, short Q&A’s, tutorials and more. In these cases, the content is free and easily accessible so that you help establish your company as a credible source of information when customers need more assistance. On the other hand, some larger companies (Domino’s and Playstation) have used videos as a medium to quickly apologize and address unhappy customers. Either way, it helps to utilize and integrate a different form of communication via video.

2) Enhance Brand Awareness – When you create videos, this shows passion and knowledge that you have for your specific industry. Not to mention that putting a face to your business helps establish trust and a genuine representation of your company. (Just think of what Matt Cutts represents for Google and Rand Fishkin for SEOmoz.)

3) Reach a Larger Audience – If you’re interesting in using video ads to promote your business on YouTube, that’s now possible! In a way, it works like Adsense, where a company can bid on keywords that are related to their business. With more users on YouTube, don’t expect this ad trend to disappear. This is an area that small businesses can really embrace to find relevant customers.

Find out more about video marketing in these related blog posts:
Does Your Business Use Facebook Video?
Video Marketing for Your Business

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs SEO

Google’s Penguin update may have left you feeling down and out, but now isn’t the time to completely give up on SEO.

Penguin Penalties
If you’ve been dabbling in black hat tactics, or even gray hat, that is obviously a big problem. But there are many marketers who have been “punished” by the algorithm updates, even if they have played it safe. Some sites have dropped a few spots, while others have felt  a full on penalty by dropping 10+ pages. What does that mean for the future of SEO? Regardless of what you’ve read, search engine optimization isn’t “dead” as much as it has drastically evolved. It’s a matter of which businesses can hang on during this ever changing environment.

The Big Problem with No SEO
While this may lead to a focus on cranking out content without any optimization, there is a huge problem with that. The main problem with thinking about online marketing without SEO is that your content needs to be found and seen by search engines in order to be indexed and eventually ranked. Just think of it as if you have the greatest thing to share BUT no one will ever come across it because you’ve done no marketing or planning to bring the content to the people. A failure to plan for effective SEO may also affect other aspects of online marketing like social media marketing… things that’ can’t be found cannot be shared!

Lessons Learned
The best advice is to stay up to date on upcoming updates and to see how they are affecting your peers and industry. Gone are the days of building hundreds of links, pages, articles for a quick fix. As Google puts it, the face of SEO today yearns to reward high-quality content without unnatural links or methods that may seem to be created solely for the purpose of manipulating search results. If these updates teach you anything, it should be that you should have a balance in optimization tactics: content creation, inbound/outbound links, on and off page optimization. In other words, simple is better and less is more.

Helpful articles:
Reconsideration Request Tips From Google
SEOs Share Google Penguin Recovery Tips
Google Penguin Update Recovery Tips & Advice
Whiteboard+ on Google’s Penguin Update

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google’s April Search Quality Highlights: What Stands Out For You?

What a month it’s been! Google has released 52 search quality updates over the past month and it’s felt like non-stop changes in search results.

While you can check out the entire list here, these are a few that stood out:

Smoother ranking changes for fresh results. This update is meant to help users easily find fresh, breaking news stories. For example, if you search “Google Panda Updates” you can expect stories about the latest update (Panda 3.6) to be at the top of the search results. This is slight factor plays a minor role in ranking changes and you can expect more to come as the algorithm is tweaked to be more sensitive to fresh stories.

Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. Google has designed a keyword stuffing detector so that they can better seek out sites that are participating in this outdated and ineffective practice. As we can assume, this was one of many signifiers used in the Penguin update, which solely targeted “webspam”.

Less snippet duplication in expanded sitelinks. It’s a well known fact that Google is averse to duplicate content and content that is used over again site wide. With this update, Google is working on reducing duplicate snippets of expanded sitelinks. This means that you’re less likely to see the same content summary of related topics that you’re searching for. In another related update, Google also worked on displaying the beginning of the content on each page for snippet results to give users a better idea of what they’re about to click on.

More authoritative results. This is a vague mention of an important update. Google has updated a signal that they use to find more authoritative content. Perhaps this is related to the PageRank update, although it technically occurred in May.

What do you think of last month’s search updates and do you think they’re helping you prepare for changes in the upcoming months?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.