Local SEO and Why You Need It.
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Post from a Chilliwack Marketer.
JClicks Marketing Chilliwack offers Local SEO as one of the important steps with your Internet Marketing solutions for driving traffic to your website. So what is SEO and why do you need it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, this is the task of helping your website get better search results based on how you structure your website's technical "stuff" and content, along with some external strategy to point other websites and traffic to your website. So what does all that mean exactly? There are several moving parts to SEO. There is "On Page SEO" and "Off Page SEO". Then to complicate matters more, we make sure that for your local business, that both aspects are done just right for "Local SEO". Local SEO is the practice of making sure that both on page and off page SEO target search results for your service areas. When your prospective customers Google search for the exact services you offer, we make sure they find your business. For example if you are a Garage Door company and someone has a problem with their door, they might do a Google search for "garage door repair (city name)" If you want to be the first company that gets shown for that search, you better have your SEO game on point. So how do we accomplish this? ON PAGE SEO First let's look at the technical side of "On Page SEO."
Before we come up with all the awesome content that you need to help your customers decide that you in fact are the solution to their problems, we first need to have a solid foundation to build your website on. This would be your website's URL structure. Google needs to be able to easily crawl your site and index every page. Then we need to conduct some keyword research. (mostly looking at our top competitors) Once we have the keywords that we need to rank in search results, we then write those down. Keeping a list of important keywords helps with all aspects of Local SEO. We will use this list for our content, H1 tags, meta descriptions, and of course, the URLs we use. We now are armed with the data needed to start. The structure should be very simple, organized and easy to navigate. So the first step is to map out exactly what pages will be needed for your website including an individual page for every service you offer, and an individual page for every service area you do business in. A simple and easy to navigate structure should look something like this:
Then we make sure to use geo-targeted keywords in your URL structure to make sure search engines know what that page is about. For example your page about one of your service areas would look like this: https://yoursite.com/vancouver-plumber Then your meta description (the small text in search results that describes the page) should also contain the same keywords. Search engines use this text to understand the page. You will also see the words you typed in for your search highlighted in bold.
For example here is a real search result for "plumber Vancouver"
Then the next step would be the main title for that page or the "H1 tag" For that we would also make sure that the search engines know what topic the content is about by placing your keywords in the title. Example: "Looking for a Plumber in Vancouver?"
Next is the content that follows. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. Search engines still need to see your main keywords in your content, but now we need to make sure the content is useful to your site visitor. The more thorough and descriptive that your page describes exactly what you offer and how your customers can get it, the better your page will rank. Search engines call this "user experience" and too much keyword stuffing adds to a bad experience. For example if you have a website about selling dog toys, a bad example of keyword stuffing might look like this:
"Dog toys for sale. Come see the dog toys on our dog toy website where dog toys is what you can get for your toy loving dog."
Looks and sounds horrid doesn't it? So we still need the keywords in there, but just keep your target keywords list beside you as you write your content, and make sure to put them in naturally and only where it is relevant to your content. Also make sure to use synonyms instead of using the exact keywords over and over.
Now that we are placing awesome content on every page, we need to make sure to break up the content in proper paragraphs, and make sure when appropriate, to target local seo keywords in your H2 titles. These are the secondary titles on your page. For example do this when listing different aspects of a service.
"Drain Cleaning Service"
--paragraph about drain cleaning--
"How often should you clean your drains?"
--paragraph about how often--
"Why drains get clogged"
--paragraph about the why" Once we have our content, now we look at other small, but important technical aspects like using Alt descriptions in your images. On every website, there is an option to label your pictures you put on the page. The purpose of this is for people who are vision impaired to be able to determine what your photos are about. The description you use should contain the keywords you are targeting as search engines can see this text even though viewers can not. Even though it produces a small result, it is always good practice to use every ability you can to get that page up in rank.
Lastly we make sure we have new Blogs on your website. Blogging might seem tedious, but the more content you add to your site, and the more relevant and fresh (new) it is, the better for search results and domain rank. Higher domain rank, the more search engines push your website up the ranks. Plus every blog has the opportunity to target specific keywords that your customers are typing into Google search. This is one more way to get eyes on your website.
Next is "Off Page SEO"
Off Page SEO is the practice of everything you do to drive traffic to your website from outside of your actual website.
Even without a link to your website, every mention on another website that talks about your "brand name" is a signal to Google (and other search engines) that you have great and relevant content. This includes your Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the others.
Posting great content on social sites might get you some "shares" and "likes" which might seem like it does nothing for your website, but every singe mention of your brand adds up and again, signals search engines to bump up your website, because if it is worth sharing, then it must be good.
Then there is the actual practice of "backlinks". This is when you get another website to post a link that when a user clicks on it, they are sent to your website. This is arguably the most important thing you can do to drive up your search results.
When you have many, and I mean lots of backlinks from relevant sites pointing to your website, this is a very strong signal that you have great content and more people need to see your site.
The key to backlinks is to make sure they are in some way related to your business. If you install garage doors, and have backlinks from a women's fashion website, this is a bad backlink. So make sure your links are relevant and you will have the right idea.
Then we need to make sure to use different anchor texts. Anchor text is the clickable words on another website that you click on.
The anchor text needs to be not all the same. There is many forms of it, for example:
1) Naked URL - this is just the exact URL of your website - https:// yoursite.com
2) Exact-match - this is when you use the exact keyword - "garage door"
3) Partial-match - this is where it is similar to your keyword - "beautiful wood garage doors"
4) Brand - This would be a link to your site using your company name - "brand name"
5) Generic - non branded generic wording - "click here"
6) Images - when if you click an image then you get sent to your website.
The best practice is to get as many of all of these as possible while having your naked url be the one with the highest amount of links to your site. To search engines a wide mix looks "natural" and is the best way to get better search results.
Getting backlinks is a whole other topic to cover. But some common ways to get them is:
1) From Citation websites. These are directory websites that display many businesses like Yelp or Angie's List. The more of these you place your website link on, the better.
2) Guest posts. This is where you have a related to your business website who posts about your services and has links to your website in it. The higher domain authority the link sender has, the more power or "link juice" that gets sent to your website. So picking good websites is important.
3) Broken links. This is when you find a relevant article from a website, and when you click their link, it goes to a website that does not exist anymore. Dead Link or a "401" error. We then can contact them and ask to have your link put in it's place. This makes them and you happy!.
There is many more ways to get links, but I think you get the idea.
Now that you have an idea of what Local SEO is all about, you can start to get your SEO Game On!
If this all seems complicated or maybe like just too much work, feel free to contact JClicks Marketing (see that anchor text there?) and we will apply all this to your website and get you more business from your internet marketing.