Category Archives: SEO

The process of the Local SEO audit and checklist

3 Steps to a Successful Local SEO Audit

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You’re online, you’re in business and you have a beautiful website all set up, except it’s not really generating results. Sales are not improving, and your web guy tells you there’s traffic and he doesn’t understand what’s going on.

Truth is that traffic is great, but targeted traffic is better. If you’re customer isn’t landing on your site then what’s the use of all those hits on your blog or business website? It’s pointless. Better that you have less traffic, but targeted then lots of hits of “un-targeted” traffic.

Traffic of people displaying how an SEO audit checklist for traffic.

Targeted traffic literally refers to the type of people you want to reach, these are the people searching the web for what you have to offer. With smart phones in hand they are eager and ready to click buy now, or swing by your establishment. This is high value!

If this sounds like the sort of thing that you want to see in your business, then you have to think about auditing your website. You need to figure out what’s working and what’s not working, what you need to tweak or add and how to write to reach the prospective, but really interested future customer.

You should think about auditing your website on a regular basis, after all, you are in business to succeed and skipping this step in this day in age will prove to be a really, perhaps more like direly bad choice.

An effective SEO campaign, wether local, national or international will begin with a site audit. This audit will allow you to understand where your website currently stands on the web, how it measures against your competition, what’s led you to be placed where you are, and how you can improve your search engine ranking.

If you own a business that targets the immediate surrounding community,  a strategy focused on local search engine optimization will undoubtedly prove useful. Local search users are motivated to quickly find you and if you can attract them, you will see an increase in sales conversions.

Local SEO is and needs to be the meat and potatoes of your online business marketing and Google’s research proves it. In a study performed by the search engine giant it was discovered that “50% of consumers who conducted local search on their smartphone device visited a store with a day, and 34% who searched on computer/table did the same.”

SEO AUDIT CHECKLIST

Auditing your website is not as difficult as it sounds, below your will fin a local SEO audit checklist explaining three simple steps you can take to perform your Local SEO audit.

Local SEO Citations ImageAUDIT OF CITATIONS

Citations are the online references for your business – specifically to your N.A.P( business name, address and phone number). It’s of utmost importance that all of your references are accurate and more than accurate consistent across all online directories.

If there is a lack of consistency, you want to make sure you can correct this. All existing references must be the same. If there is inconsistency or a simple mistake on the name of the business, or phone number, you will lose traffic and ultimately the targeted user/buyer.

How do you find your references, use google search and type in your business phone number, business name etc. If you want to drill down even further on your citations audit, go directly to the most popular online directories and search their database for your business name, phone number, and address. See what results pop up and make sure to correct all inconsistencies, if found.

To make this process easier, here is a short list of the most popular directories where you can begin to search for your business citation.

If you fail to find your business in any of the below, make sure to create the listing or hire someone to do this for you. Also while you’re at it, if you happen to find current and accurate listings for your business, claim them so you and only you can edit and update them.

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • CitySearch
  • Yellow Pages
  • Super Pages
  • FourSquare
  • DexKnows
  • Angies List
  • ZipLocal
  • Yahoo Local
  • Manta

 

SEO AUDIT OF YOUR META TAGS

SEO meta_description image

When you search for a particular keyword, google will provide results. Meta tags relate to what is visible on these searches. You need to make sure they’re optimized , readable and targeted.  This will be the first thing your prospect customer will see.

Make sure you’re mentioning your target keyword on the title tag, for instance (“Elena’s Chiropractor | New York, NY | Queens County”). Immediately this title tag identifies the link as chiropractor located in the city of New York, but in the queens borough. This is so clear, that the user will immediately know what the link is about.

Make sure to mention your keyword, which means a word related to the product or service you’re offering. Include, a brief but detailed description of what the business is about and ensure to include the keyword in here as well. Don’t over do it with the keyword, but make sure that what you offer is  readable and clear to the user.

Every page on your site should have it’s unique meta tag, based on what the page offers.

AUDIT YOUR CONTENT

Local SEO Audit Checklist - Image/Photo

How do you feel about the content on your site? if you were land on your page as a potential customer, would you understand what the page offers? These are questions to keep in mind when auditing your content.

You also have to make sure that you write for both the user and the search engines. This means, you must include keywords related to the services you offer, this way the search engines can rank you for them, but make sure not to overstuff/overdo it.  You have to write to your customer, not at them, you have to pull them in, invite them, connect with them and be clear about your product an services.

There is no need to include irrelevant information, they’re only there to read about what they’re interested in, the services and products offered by your business.

In search engine optimization, duplicate content is a huge problem. Make sure that you run your site through a duplicate content search and make necessary adjustments. Run your website by “Site Liner”, it’s a great service that checks on duplicate content issues. Google webmaster tools, will also report any duplicate content issues and give you time to correct them before being penalized.

Local SEO Citations Image

The Benefits of Comprehensive Local Citation Building

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From a search engine optimization and marketing perspective, local citation holds a lot of power. It is the process of creating links for a business. Back in the pre-internet ages citations could be compared to a yellow page listing. These listing would include the name, phone number and physical address of a business with intent of targeting the local customer.

The printed yellow page catalogs are a thing of the past, now your customers grab their mobile phones and search for the products and services you offer, well assuming they can easily find you online. The search engines hold all of the power in relation to making the connection between your business and your customer. Truth be told, the old principles of a good product and good service still stand.

You could have the best product and if you treat your customers negatively, they will move on to the next business. Just like if you have the best service but a brad product, well you probably lost the sale.  But you will never know, unless your business is establishing itself online for the sake of being found by these highly targeted customers.

Below I will describe a few of the benefits of building citations for your business.

Local Citation Building - Image reference

How Local Citation Building Can Be Beneficial For Businesses: 

Citations are brief references on sites like Yelp and FourSquare with active links to an establishment. These references include the business phone number, physical address and business name. The citation links can include information about the products and services, images related to the product or a list of the services you offer.

Citations remain as one of the available resources of link building to improve search engine ranking or placement. If you’re looking to rank higher in the local queries your customers are executing, then you have to take a moment to implement an effective local citation building strategy.

Citations can propel a website to the top of the search engine rankings when combined with several other local SEO techniques. Websites such as Bing Maps, Yahoo Places, Google places, City search and Yelp, are all primary examples of sites to add an establishment’s listing.

Traditional search engine optimization citations provide local establishment owners with a great method to build their rankings. Local rankings usually happen any time a location is mentioned in Bing or Google’s search results. These traditional searches include slightly different variables like the location. For instance, “flower shop in manhattan” could be a local search submitted to google and if your citation strategy is properly executed, there is a probability of ranking in the first page.

When implementing a search engine optimization strategy for a local business, citations are one of the most important factors to consider.

Of course you want to make sure that your citation references are giving your website some power. The higher the trust or authority of the citation source, the better your chances of improving your search engine result pages rankings.  You may want to start adding your businesses references on Yelp.

Keep in mind that when building citations consistency is key. If you hope to rank well, make sure that all of your citation references include identical business name, address and phone number. Inconsistencies will have a negative impact on rank.

In 2016 every business should have a website, but if chances are that you’re still in the 90’s then at the very least you want to make sure that your web 2.0 business listing pages are ranking well. We will get into this in a future article.

One of the other places to include your business information are in local chamber of commerce websites. Search engines like Google will give tremendous value to this as it would be difficult to “fake it” if a reputable chambers is listing your information.

In SEO Links and citations from these types of web pages can drastically improve your local search engine rankings.

Visibility is another great benefit of using citation building in your business. There are so many businesses that have faded away to thin air due to the lack of online visibility.

If your business has been struggling to make extra profits, citation building will help increase ROI quickly. Since targeted audience will be directed to your business website through citation building, there is every possibility for ROI to increase drastically. This is a great advantage of using the citation linking process without any difficulty.

Even if you want to make your business unique from the crowd, this process can also help effectively. It is a great marketing technique that can help build your business from a zero to one hundred. This means success. Nevertheless, it is important to also know that this process and technique can help bring more unique traffic to your business website.

Local citation building is the best way to boost your business, when implementing your online marketing plan, do not forget about the power this holds.

Have you used citations before? leave your comments below..

How to Increase Local Sales With Local SEO

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Sales are the core of any business, without them there is no lasting success and to achieve the sales you need to reach the target customer, but how do you do this? Let’s assume you own a shop you’ve established a sales goal for yourself now to achieve your local sales goals you have to reach people in the immediate geographic area your business is in. This is when search engines can become your immediate online marketing ally.

Local Search Engine Optimization is critical if you use a website to operate an online business within a specific geographic area. With the help of local SEO it becomes possible to attract local customers to your website. Without SEO, though your website may be attractive, it may not draw customers since it remains inaccessible to search sites. SEO optimizes your website such that it is located by search engines and customers.

Local SEO raise awareness of your business amongst a certain audience, within a certain region in quick time. It is more effective than local newspaper, TV or radio advertising. It offers more of a sustained presence and can easily assist you in catching the attention of only those people searching for your product or service in your local area. In fact, the key objective of local SEO is to increase online visibility and online brand understanding not on the web as a whole, but in the localities served or the area you are planning to target through your business.

IMPROVE LOCAL SALES WITH SEO

Image of Local sales with SEO

Local SEO is of importance considering that today there are many who use internet for shopping and are more interested in local businesses to fulfill their needs. Also, as a businessperson, when you try to create a niche for yourself in a specific area, local search engine optimization becomes more necessary than global SEO. For example, a global business in real estate would need a SEO for ‘luxury villas’ to attract traffic, whereas, a local business needs SEO for more specific keywords such as ‘Georgetown villas.’ Hence, local search engine optimization helps to attract a local crowd as opposed to a global one.

If you want to enhance your local position on search, you need to provide higher number of keywords and relevant content to the user. In technical term the keyword density should be great to get more traffic on your website. The more you traffic gets more profit you will get.

It means you have to concentrate on your keyword density and content to get the best position in the local optimization. This local optimization technique is the best technique to collect more visitors or traffic on your websites, if you want to place local search then emphasize on local keywords to attract more customers. It means customers put the local name of the products therefore you need to put local language keyword on your keywords.

Using local SEO to optimize your website is an ideal way to gain a foothold for your business particularly when there is tough competition around. This is especially useful if you run businesses such as real estate agencies, hotels or retail stores for which there is always plenty of competition. In such business, attracting global audience is of no consequence, rather targeting local crowd gains importance. For this, designing a website using local search engine optimization is the only solution.

To put it in a nutshell, local search engine optimization builds the utility and aesthetics of your website making it more captivating to local customers. Through local SEO, search sites such as Google, Yahoo and MSN that are used by many prospective customers to search for products gain access to your website which helps to improve site ranking. A better site rank ensures more qualified and genuine traffic and thus more business.

Is Search Engine Submission Necessary?

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The simple answer is no – search engine submission isn’t necessary. The majority of search engines nowadays (most notably Google) crawl and index pages by following links. Using that logic, a single inbound link from any already-indexed page will identify your page to the engine. Subsequently, if that page links to other pages within your site, they will also be indexed… and so on.

For this reason, inbound linking is very important. In fact, acquiring back-links may be the most important of SEO. In theory though, a website owner shouldn’t have to ’scout’ or ‘hunt’ for links. If the presented content is of interest, useful, and/or important, there is a natural tendency among web users to link to information. This is the basis for the Google PageRank algorithm.

With all due respect, submitting your site to the search engines can’t hurt. Plus, it only entails about 5 minutes of added work assuming you only submit to the big guys. And once is enough… you don’t need to submit your site more than once. It doesn’t help or get your site crawled any quicker or more often.

It should be noted that submitting your site to Google, Yahoo, MSN, and many others doesn’t cost a fee. Many SEO companies assert that you need to pay to be indexed. This isn’t the case and I would stay away from these companies. They are money hungry and aren’t looking out for your best interest.

Would you ever consider going on a vacation across the country without bringing a map? It is hard enough to find your way in some places with a map. How hard would it be if you tried this adventure without one? Yet, this is exactly what people do every single day in the online world. They tried to build their own businesses online without having a roadmap to success. Then, after months or years of just wandering around online, they give up in frustration and quit. They walk away saying that the Internet doesn’t work for them. The reason it didn’t work is that they didn’t pick up a map and follow it!

You don’t have to end up lost in the online shuffle. Below I will give you ten steps to help you map out your course and get you started in the right direction. It isn’t everything that you need to know by any stretch of the imagination, but it will give you a basic foundation to build upon.

Consider it your beginner’s map to Internet marketing profits.

1. Choose a targeted market

The biggest mistake most people make when starting a business is that they choose a product and then try to find people who want to buy it. If that is the direction you are starting from on your journey, then you are going the opposite direction from your destination. Wise businesses operate from a different concept. They pick a market first, and then they pick a product those people are searching for. In other words, instead of trying to find leads to sell their product to, they find targeted leads and then ask them what they are wanting to buy.

Don’t even consider starting a business until you know exactly where you are going to get your leads from. Think targeted customers first. Then, you can come up with a product for those individuals. Would you rather have 1,000 hits a day at your site of a general audience OR 10 hits a day of people who are desperate and willing to pay any price to buy your products? If you are smart, you will choose the people who are ready to buy!

2. Develop a Product

Next, you need to develop a product or service for this market. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon of affiliate programs when you come to this step. There are three major ways to selling a product online:

a. You create your own exclusive product.

This is the best opportunity you have. If you develop your own product, you can pick it’s price, sell reprint rights to others, set up an affiliate program, etc. Don’t tell me you can’t do this. Tens of thousands of innovative entrepreneurs have used their own information products to get their careers started. You can to.

Throughout your life, I am sure that there is something you have learned that you can share in a How-To product. Maybe you know someone else who has the right knowledge for a How-To product and you could offer to help them create a product if you both shared the rights to it. Don’t just jump past this opportunity and say it can’t be done.

b. You buy the rights to a product or you JV for an offline product.

You can buy the rights to successful products for $500 – $20,000. If someone else has created a product that you know your targeted market is interested in, offer them a large up-front fee for the rights to it. This way you can get your own product and never have to pay a penny in royalties. You can also search through magazines your targeted market reads and look for products people are selling. Then, give them a call and ask for the exclusive Internet rights to their product for a certain percentage of the profits or an up-front fee.

c. You join an affiliate program.

If you are just starting out online, this can be a good choice. You do have to keep in mind though that it doesn’t offer quite the profit potential that creating your own product or obtaining rights to one has.When choosing an affiliate program, make sure that it is something your targeted market cannot be without. They absolutely have to have it. Also pay special attention to the profits you receive from each sale.

If you are only be paid 5% commissions on the sales of $10 books, you will only be making 50 cents per customer. It would take 2,000 customers just to product $1,000 in profits. You cannot make money like this online! Look for higher priced products and higher commissions…especially commissions in the 25% or higher range.

3. Create a USP

Create a Unique Selling Position for your product or service. Too many companies are just trying to be me-too companies online. You cannot be just like the next guy and expect to make a profit in a global economy. Just going to the next guy’s web site to order is too easy for your customers.

You have to create a Uniqueness to your product or offer. What can you offer that no one else can? Can you offer better guarantees, better customer service, more technical support, faster shipping, or lower prices. Think of something that will set you apart from all of your online competitors and tell in complete detail what it is.

4. Pick a Domain Name and Hosting Service

The next step is to pick a domain name that describes your company, USP, and offer. Try to keep them as short and descriptive about your business as possible. Avoid using dashes or misspellings of your product. Both of these things will cause people to leave out part of your domain if they type it in. Someone else will be getting free traffic that you worked hard to obtain.

For hosting, I personally choose to use Virtualis since they have the Fastest customer service and technical support in the industry. Test them out. They will respond to you within the hour…anytime 24 hours a day. No other company I have ever been with has even come close!

5. Develop a Customer Friendly Site

The next step in the process is to develop your web site and put it up for the world to see. If you are planning to own a full-time Internet business, I recommend that you learn how to design the site yourself using one of dozens of programs which are readily available at any software store.

You will save so much money if you can do the work yourself on just the editing alone as your site grows. If your main business is offline and you are just adding a secondary income, then you may want to consider having a professional do your site for you.

When designing your site, keep the customer in mind always. Provide order forms for online credit card orders. Make all of the links easy to understand. Try to keep your site simple. Think like a customer, not the business owner.

Your customers are not nearly as interested in your business as you are. Make sure to put the benefits of your site and your USP right on top of the site. More than half of the web surfers never drop down past the first screen full of information. So, you have to give them the information they need as quickly as possible. The rules for any type of business are Benefits, Benefits, and more Benefits.

6. Offer a Freebie

One of the major keys to developing traffic and sales at your site is to always offer some type of freebie as a drawing factor. For example, I offer dozens of free reports, weather reports, news, and more. My greatest drawing factor throughout the past 8 months though has been the two free e-books which we offer on our site to people who subscribe to this newsletter.

You need to come up with a freebie no matter what type of business you are in. Create a free report and give it away. Add in a message board or some other type of CGI program on your site. Give a free demo of your software. Create something that you can give away for free on your site to draw in the visitors.

7. Start Your Own Opt-In List

Almost every full-time Internet marketer I know has developed their own Opt-in email list of some type. For most of them, it is a weekly newsletter they send out by email. For others, it may be a Tip of the Day. Other people might just have a list that they send out important updates to.

No matter what you choose to do, odds will be on your side if you concentrate on building a list of loyal email subscribers. Very rarely do customers purchase from you the first time they visit your site. Most of them will get on your list, hang out for a few weeks or months, and then they buy from you. They have to get to know you before they are willing to spend their money with you.

I have found that the most effective leads come from offline advertising. For example, you could purchase ads in a popular targeted magazine for your business. You could also purchase a postcard in one of the card decks. Start up a co-op and get 10 other people to advertise with you and run your own ads for free. Offline leads which come to your site often turn out to contain a much higher percentage of buyers than any of the online advertising methods.
Once you put our short 10 step outline together you have a basic map to creating your own Internet success story. You wouldn’t consider going on a trip without a map. So don’t try to go it alone online without a map.
Terry Dean’s Brand New Fr-e eBook, “10 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Profits to ANY Web Site Overnight!” Reveals More Time Tested Proven Internet Marketing Secrets Than 99% of the Paid Products Available…Showing You Step-By-Step How to Increase Your Traffic, Drop Your Expenses, and Drive Your Profits Through the Roof