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TOP 10 Local Search Factors

Local Search Factors

Local Search is very different from Regional, Global or National Search.

Here’s a quick little explanation of the differences. Local Searches are VERY different than broader Regional, National or Global Searches, ie: the inclusion of City/State/Zip at the beginning or end of a search input (Book Stores vs Book Stores Portland Maine). Once a users enters city, state or zip into a search it becomes a Local Search.

To rank well for Local Search you need to take a different approach to optimizing your webpage for these results. Optimizing for Local, Regional, National and Global results is very difficult as search engines view your ranking factors differently. Without getting too detailed here, we present the ranking factors for Local Search that we feel are important to get the best positions for Local Search Results.

Top 10 Local Search Ranking Factors

  1. City, State in Landing Page Title
    Hi I’m from {insert location here}
  2. Domain Authority of Website
    Get some links; and then get some more links
  3. Page Authority of Landing Page URL
    Get some deep links; and then get some more deep links
  4. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
    Don’t be linking your stinky-a%$ links to my beautiful site b!$ch
  5. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
    And definitely do not pass that rotten juice to my landing page or I’ll send it right back!
  6. Physical Address in City of Search
    I swear this is not a virtual office address. Pinky promise.
  7. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
    One Yext Powerlisting with extra Dupe Suppression to go please
  8. Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
    Try something like PortlandMaineBookStore.com or YarmouthMaineOrgainicFood.com
  9. Click-Through Rate from Search Results
    Is your listing inviting to click on? Or is it boring?
  10. City, State in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
    What this really means is use the City, State keywords prominently in the UI. Use whatever damn tag you want.

Local Search ResultsAnd here’s the Blog Post Plug: If you’re not ready or don’t have the time or knowhow to optimize your pages let us give you a hand. Check out our Local SEO Services, including GPS Listings to get your website generating more Qualified Traffic.

 

How to use internal links to improve your search engine rankings

better-internal-linksThe links from other websites are a very important signal for Google’s ranking algorithms. The links on your own website also influence the position of your web pages in Google’s search results. This article explains how to optimize the internal linking structure of your website to make sure that search engines index your pages correctly.

Step 1: optimize the menu links on your website

  • The navigation menu of your website has a big influence on the linked pages as it appears on all pages of your site.
  • If all pages of your website link to your company profile page with the anchor text “About” then it’s very likely that someone who searches for “about company name” gets this page in the search results.
  • Use your keywords in the menu on your website to show search engines that your pages are relevant to these keywords.

Step 2: link your product pages to the top categories

  • Breadcrumbs are a good way to link product pages to the top categories. Breadcrumbs provide a trail for the user to follow back to the main web page.
    ie; Home >> Store >> Category >> Product

Step 3: link your product pages

  • Link from one product page to the other. If you sell sneakers and sports shoes, link from the sneakers page to the sports shoes page and vice versa.
  • Use meaningful anchor texts that contain related keywords to link from one page to the other.

Step 4: link your category pages

  • Links between the category pages on your website are an opportunity to pass authority to the category pages. In general, category pages rank higher in the navigational structure of a website than product pages.
  • For that reason, they can be more important than product pages. Link your category pages with keyword rich anchor texts that describe the categories.

Step 5: link your blog content to your product pages and category pages

  • If a blog post is relevant to a product or category page on your website, you should link to that page from within the body text of the blog post.
  • If possible, use the keywords for which you want to get high rankings. If that doesn’t look natural, use a relevant anchor text that describes the product or category page.
  • If the link does not fit into the article, add relevant links below the regular text: “Related: this category page.

Why is all of this important?

  • When you optimize the internal linking structure of your website, you channel the link power and authority of your pages to the most important pages of your website.
  • Google understands contexts. If you use relevant anchor texts on your website, you will help Google to rank your web pages for the right keywords. A good internal linking structure will also help your website visitors to find the right pages more quickly.
  • Our weekly website auditing tools can provide you with clear information on your linking structure and how to better improve it.
  • Check out our SEO Plans and start making a difference in your online marketing.

Writing for Search Engines – Get Found!

Take a moment to think about the text on your website….

Does it convey what you want it to?

Certainly.

Does it attract the attention of search engines?

Maybe.

Writing for Search EnginesAlthough there are differing thoughts on SEO strategies, a comprehensive strategy contains numerous essential components; all of which need attention. Last month we posted tips on Internal Linking Strategies. This month we will focus on site content, specifically text phrasing.

Site text should be designed with two important considerations in mind.

  1. First, your visitors must be drawn in by the information presented.
  2. Second, the search engine algorithms must be able to identify with the site’s keywords and text structure.

The phrasing of text on a website can be just as important as the content itself. Drafting the right balance of content which gives your visitors the information they need and also contains the phrases and keywords that attract search engines is crucial. The following tips should help increase your site’s traffic:

  • Stay Relevant.  Keep the content of your text on subject. Ask simple questions about your content like “What value does this sentence add” and “How can I make the point more clearly”. The answers just may lead you to fine adjustments, improving your site’s overall efficiency.
  • Repeat, Rinse, Repeat. Use your keywords often, but avoid being overtly redundant. Attempt to use subsequent instances of the same keyword without the glaring appearance of overuse. If a viewer can tell what your keywords are just by glancing at a single page, you’ve probably overdone it.
  • Summarize at the beginning. A conclusion is designed to give the reader a final, targeted takeaway from an article. However, crafting your text to provide as much focus on your keywords at the very beginning will not only entice your readers to continue on, but will help catch the attention of search engines.
  • Proof read and then proof read again. If your keywords are misspelled, you’re missing an opportunity. Any spelling or grammar errors also make your site seen less than professional.
  • Solicit objectivity. Enlist the opinion of family and friends. We tend to get “reader’s haze” after staring at our own work over and over. Unbiased feedback from a fresh set of eyes can really help.

SEO is one of the most important tools for getting your website noticed, but never sacrifice good writing for SEO. Applying these simple tips to your individual writing style can help give your site a bit of an edge, and can go a long way in letting the world know you are open for business!

Old-School SEO – It Still Works!

Four Old-School SEO methods that still work if you do it right

Google’s recent updates have spread fear, uncertainty and doubt among webmasters. Which tactics can you still use to build backlinks to your website and which tactics should you avoid? There are some old-school tactics that still work if you do it right:

old-school-seo

1. Forum backlinks

  • How not to do it: Automatically created forum backlinks are a sure way to get a Google penalty. There have been many tools and services that automatically created forum accounts with keyword rich links that pointed to the websites of the user. These links do not work anymore.
  • How to do it right: If a high quality forum is closely related to the topic of your website, a link from that forum can still have a positive influence on the search engine positions of your web pages.

2. Directories

  1. How not to do it: Bulk submitting your website to directories that will accept any kind of website won’t do your rankings any good.
  2. How to do it right: If your website is listed in a high quality directory that delivers targeted visitors to your website, you should submit your site to that directory. Links from authoritative directories (including niche directories) with strict submission guidelines are good for your website.

3. Guest blogging

  • How not do to it: Using the same article on several blogs doesn’t work. Using keyword rich links in that article might even trigger a Google penalty. If the main purpose of guest blogging is getting links, don’t do it.
  • How to do it right: Guest blogging can drive targeted visitors to your website if you write for blogs that are related to your business. Your guest blog article should offer the readers of the blog insights or other valuable information. Individual articles on related blogs can have a positive influence on your website’s performance.

4. Link pages

  • How not to do it: If your link pages contain links to every Tom, Dick and Harry, chances are that these link pages won’t be good for your site.
  • How to do it right: highly themed link pages that contain links to closely related high quality websites are good for website visitors and search engines.

It’s easy: spamming doesn’t work anymore, building real backlinks works better than ever before.

SEO is a marathon – how to get in shape for it

Search engine optimization is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. If you want to reach the finish line, you have to have to get in shape. If you want to get high rankings on search engines, there are several things that you have to do:

SEO Marathon Training

1. Be willing to change and be willing to work

  • Good SEO programs and SEO services will tell you what you have to do but the work is up to you. You must also implement the changes on your website. Take the advice of your SEO fitness coach and do something. Try to improve your website.
  • Do not search for reasons why improvement is not possible. Do the things that are necessary to bring your website into shape even if it requires some work.

2. Be honest to yourself

  • If you want to be fitter then you shouldn’t go to the refrigerator at night and pretend that you didn’t. If you want to get higher rankings on Google, you shouldn’t torpedo your search engine optimization efforts by doing things with your website that you like but aren’t recommended by the SEO service.

3. It helps a lot if you have the right equipment

  • It’s easier to work out if you have the right equipment. If you want to run long distances, you need running shoes. If you want to get on Google’s first result page, you need a good domain name, a good server, clean web pages and a good SEO tool. It will be much easier to get good results then.

4. Do not try to game the system

  • If you want to be fitter without working out, you might take some pills. This can work for some time but ultimately, the pills will make you sick and destroy your body.
  • If you want to get quick search engine optimization results, you might consider spammy techniques that promise immediate or very fast results.
  • These methods can work for some time but Google detects all spam methods sooner or later and your website will be banned from the index.
  • If you’re not afraid of change then your website will get the rankings that it deserves. It’s not easy to get top 10 rankings on Google but it’s also not difficult if you do the right things.

How to build backlinks if your website is not sexy

How to build backlinksIf your business is in an industry that’s not ‘sexy’, you might think that it is impossible to get backlinks to your website. Of course, it is much easier to get backlinks if there are a lot of blogs about your topic. With the right ideas, however, you can get backlinks to your website even if your business or product is rather boring.

Step 1: build a list of related topics

Start with your business at the top of the list. Then expand the list:

  • What is your business vertical?
  • Which business verticals are similar to yours?
  • Which topics are important to your business?
  • Which topics are important to related businesses?
  • Which parent category is related to your business?
  • Are there any related parent categories?
  • Are there broader or loosely related topics? If your company manufactures paper, you might consider “art”, “painting”, “office supplies”, “newspapers”, “handicraft work”, etc.
  • Who are your vendors?
  • Are there any industry trends or ‘hot topics’?
  • Who are your competitors?

You get the idea. Write down as many topics as possible.

Step 2: build a list of related people and communities

After finding relevant topics, its time to find relevant people:

  • Check your business associations and build a list of association members.
  • Which online communities are closely related to your business?
  • Which communities are loosely related to your business?
  • Who blogs about your topics?
  • Who blogs about your topics and other things?
  • Who are the experts and enthusiasts in your industry?

Step 3: filter your lists

After building your lists, separate the wheat from the chaff:

  • Visit the blogs and social media profiles of the people you have found above.
  • Check the communities to find out if they are active.
  • How relevant are the communities to your business?
  • Who are the big influencers?
  • Who are the smaller influencers?

While checking communities and influencers you will find new websites and businesses that might prove to be good link partners.

For some industries, there are no ideal link building opportunities. Don’t be afraid to accept backlinks that aren’t 100% perfect. As long as a link is relevant to some human website visitors, it is a good backlink.

The Results

You’ll find yourself more familiar with your industry and competitors on the internet through this process. Research is always a good idea in any business where you want to achieve High Search Engine Rankings

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