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Local Search

Episode 16 | Local SEO Domination – Crush Your Local Competition

By | Advanced SEO Techniques, Local Search, Local SEO, Organic Search, Podcast, SEO, SEO Hack | No Comments

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarEpisode 16 | Local SEO Domination – Crush Your Local Competition

There’s a little thing called Google Maps. You see it when you search for businesses. It falls between the ads and the organic results. How can you dominate this listing and other spots on Google, as well as Bing?

Set up your local listing on Google by going to google.com/mybusiness and on bing by going to bing.com/places.

We also talked about setting up a Facebook Page, LinkedIn Company Page, Yelp and other local directories like YP and Mapquest.

We also analyzed another website today. The SEO was already done for the site by another SEO provider. They did not do the job. Watch and Learn

Episode 15 Podcasting for SEO Dominance

By | Advanced SEO Techniques, Link Building, Local Search, Local SEO, Podcast, Search, SEO, SEO Hack | No Comments

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarEpisode 15 Podcasting for SEO Dominance

In previous episodes I talked about ways of getting backlinks. One of those ways is appearing on podcasts as a guest.

We have also talked about developing content in the past. Creating your own podcast and adding it to your website is a great way to add content to your site.

I talk about both of these on this episode of The SEO Tear Down.

Learn a tactic that will develop your personal brand while improving your SEO efforts.  Become the recognized expert in your industry and drive more traffic to your site and more revenue to your business.  It’s a win/win.Learn a tactic that will develop your personal brand while improving your SEO efforts.

Episode 14 | Dominate the First Page of Google

By | Advanced SEO Techniques, Google+, Link Building, Local Search, Local SEO, Organic Search, Penguin, Podcast, Rankbrain, Search, SEO | No Comments

Episode 14 | Dominate the First Page of GoogleSEO Tear Down

This week I talked about dominating the first page of Google.  Have you ever googled something and discovered a number of listings back to the same site?  That’s Google dominance but how does a website owner dominate Google?

There are 3 areas of opportunity when it comes to the first page of Google.  At the very top is Google AdWords.  There are 4 spots there.  Capture one of those spots through advertising and you are on your way.  You have to create relevant, high quality ads to make this happen.

Second is Google Maps.  Set up your business on Google.com/mybusiness (I talked about this in a previous episode) and get reviews.  Show up in the 3 pack and you have accomplished step 2 of Google Dominance.

Finally you have the organic results.  The difference for organic results is you have an opportunity to rank more than once in the top 10.  I used my own results to make a case.  My website is first followed by LinkedIn, Facebook, Reciproty, Business 2 Community, Slideshare and other sites.  That means not only does my website rank on the first page but my social profiles do as well.  You can also have multiple pages on your site show up on the first page.

That’s Google Dominance!

We also analyzed a website for it’s SEO. This was our first episode using Twitter Live along with Huzza and Facebook Live.  Someone on Twitter asked that we analyze a chiropractic site live and of course I obliged.  Have a listen to see what opportunities exist for the site.

Episode 12 | Optimize Your Business for the Google 3 Pack

By | Advanced SEO Techniques, Google+, Local Search, Local SEO, Organic Search, Podcast, SEO, SEO Hack | No Comments

SEO Tear DownEpisode 12 | Optimize Your Business for the Google 3 Pack

How do you get your business in the Google 3 Pack, also known as Google Maps?  When you do manage to get your business listed how do you dominate the Google 3 Pack section of the Google Search Engine Results Page?

This week I talked about that very topic.  Adding real estate to the Google SERP by dominating the Google 3 Pack helps you dominate Google.  Here’s what you need to know to succeed on the Google 3 Pack.

First, the Google 3 Pack is managed by going to google.com/mybusiness.

Once you’ve created an account here are the items to ensure your success on Google Maps:

  • Thorough & Detailed Description including relevant long tail keywords
  • Profile Image, Logo and Cover Photo
  • Website URL
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Address
  • Hours of Operation
  • Have Clients Review Your Business
  • Connect to YouTube and Upload Videos

Ep 11 | YouTube Optimization for SEO

By | Advanced SEO Techniques, Local Search, Organic Search, Podcast, Search, SEO, SEO Hack, YouTube | No Comments

SEO is for the peopleEp 11 | YouTube Optimization for SEO

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few years you know that video has become a huge part of marketing and the internet in general.  Business owners are encouraged to create videos and upload them to YouTube as a means of marketing their businesses.  And so they do.  They have no idea what to do from there.

The most popular search engine for millennials, and the second most popular overall, is YouTube.  YouTube used correctly is a very powerful tool in your SEO strategy but how do you optimize your video for SEO?

That was the topic this week.  We quickly discussed some optimization opportunities for YouTube.

Your Channel

  • Get a custom URL
  • Add Cover Photo
  • Add link back to your website and social profiles
  • Add a thorough about section (did not discuss in video)

Your Videos

  • Include a descriptive title with a long tail keyword as the focus
  • Include a thorough description using long tail keyword variations in the description, and a link to your website
  • Include relevant tags.  Think of these as meta keywords for YouTube

Your Website

  • Embed the video on your website (blog post or page)
  • Include a description or transcription of the video
  • Optimize the post/page for On-Page SEO just like any other web page

There is certainly more you can do.  For example sharing the video is an important part of your SEO strategy.  Start with these steps and we will revisit at a later date.

301 redirect for SEO

The importance of 301 redirects for SEO

By | Local Search, Local SEO, Organic Search, SEO | No Comments

301 redirect for SEOThe importance of 301 redirects for SEO

There’s so much crap to worry about with SEO.  One of those things is web page redirects.  Before I get into what a 301 redirect is, and why they are important, let me first say you should have your website added to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools so that you will be alerted to errors within your website structure.

If you’ve had your website for a while it’s likely that you have made changes to the content or structure of the site.   You may have changed the URL structure of a web page or two in your efforts to improve your on-page SEO.  You may have even deleted a couple of pages that were no longer relevant to what you do.

I run into this all the time when a new website client wants me to rebuild their site and tells me we no longer offer this service or product, or the name of the service or product has changed.   To help drive traffic that means changing some of the on-page SEO elements.  One of those elements is the URL.

The Problem with Changing the URL

Changing the URL of a page is very simple.  The problem comes in when you have to deal with the backlinks to your old URL.  How do they know where to go now that technically the old page no longer exists?  The answer is they don’t.  That is unless you add 301 or 302 redirects.

What is the Difference Between a 301 Redirect & 302 Redirect?

To put it simply a 301 redirect is a permanent redirectA 302 redirect is temporary.  The type of redirect you use indicates to the search engine whether or not to make the change permanently.  A 301 redirect tells search engines forget the old page and only worry about the new page while a 302 lets the search engines know that they need to keep the old page information as well.  In most cases, you would use a 301 redirect.

What Do I Do?

the importance of 301 redirects for your SEOSetting up a 301 redirect is actually pretty easy but can seem scary to someone with no website building experience.

You will need to access a file on your website host.  The file is .htaccess and should be in the same folder as your index (home) page.  This also assumes you are using an apache server for hosting.  Once you have located the .htaccess file you will need to open it using a Unix text editor like notepad.  Most cPanels have a built in editor you can use.  Once the file is open add a line that looks similar to this.

RedirectPermanent /oldpage.html http://www.yourdomain.com/newpage.html

Replace oldpage.html with your old web page and replace http://www.yourdomain.com/newpage.html with your new web page URL.  Keep in mind that html may actually be php or another extension.

And then save the document.

Before doing this I would strongly encourage you to save a copy of the .htaccess file just in case you make a mistake.  Also, if you are uncomfortable doing this on your own, which is understandable if you have no experience building websites, then I would hire someone to do it for you.  A professional can add a redirect in less than 5 minutes so long as they have all the necessary login information.

I hope you find this helpful.  I am including a quick video to help further understand how it is done.

 

Top 6 Reasons You Need Local SEO

By | Local Search, Local SEO | No Comments

Local SEOLocal SEO is becoming one of the most indispensable components to every brand and business that desires long term success across search engines. It has grown significantly over the past few decades, particularly given the upsurge of smartphone usage and better connectivity. As the name implies, local search engine optimization is about focussing on online searches who are looking for particular services and goods that are available locally.

According to a recent study, over 80 percent of local consumers use search engines to find local businesses. People constantly request information whilst on the move via Android phones and iPhones or laptops. Gone are the days of dusting off the yellow pages from below the coffee table or cabinets. Consumers have now become more savy and require information on local businesses quicker than ever. If a local company cannot be found online, then it is already missing out on a plethora of opportunities to it’s competitors. Here are some reasons why businesses should use Local SEO.

Why Local SEO is Critical To Your Business Success

1. Branding

Local SEO will help establish your brand and business online, allowing potential clients and customers to find your website. Local SEO SignThis in turn will help to build your online presence. A professional business website that is simple to navigate and provides a positive user experience is extremely imperative as it is the first impression a potential client or customer will receive. Additionally, the combination of a user-friendly, high quality website will automatically result in more phone calls, leads, sales and revenue.

2. Sales

The right SEO service will also boost your company sales. Wondering how? Well, imagine if more customers found your site, don’t you think that would lead to more sales? Of course it would! Position your company in front of your potential clients and see for yourself. If more people view your site, it will translate into more sales. With the entire world connected through the internet, it makes it extremely imperative to be found online.

What’s even more valuable for businesses is that 18 percent of local searches lead to purchases within a day – more than double the rate of non-local searches (7 percent). This means that for every five times your web content shows up in a local search result, one person will likely make a purchase. 

3. Traffic

With search engine optimization, your site will receive augmented traffic, which will be highly targeted based on relative search phrases and keywords. While creating a search engine marketing plan, we search and identify phrases and keywords that are highly searched terms related to your company and location. Wouldn’t it be great to have your site at the top of the search engines? Clients automatically believe that the top results are the best results. This in turn will drive huge traffic which can later be converted into profits.

A client who is ready to purchase the products or services that you offer, who wouldn’t want that?

4. Cost-Effective

Think about the thousands of dollars your business spends on other forms of sales promotion and advertisements.  For instance, print media is very expensive and does not provide great returns in most cases because you target the masses when using this form of advertising/marketing. The masses are not ready to buy from you. Most of them have not even considered your service or product. Instead you should consider investing your print media budget into a digital campaign using highly targeted local SEO and marketing.

A recent campaign managed by my company averaged just under $20 per referral for a service that cost $197.  Taking one week of the campaign; the highly targeted ad spend and associated fees was a little over $600. The client sold 33 units at $197 each. This resulted in a net profit of about $5900. Not bad for one week, right?

5. Competitiveness

With local SEO service, your business can easily outrank a competitor, thereby acquiring the online market share. Your companies online presence and the overall image it portrays online are extremely crucial. This is the first thing every potential customer will notice. Times are changing and if your business does not dominate online, then it is not taking full advantage of the opportunities that are available. Time is of the essence. If you want to win the local marketing war then get started on your local SEO now!

6. Return On Investment

Return On Investment on ChalkboardEvery business wants to know what their ROI is going to be. SEO will provide your business with excellent long term return on investment. Radio and TV advertisement is extremely costly and there is no guarantee that the audiences are even remotely interested in your service or product. With Local SEO, the potential customers are landing on your website page after searching for related and relevant search terms and keywords related to your business. What do you think would fetch your business more returns? 2000 random people viewing your advertisement on TV or 2000 people visiting your site because they are interested and actively searching for your service or product? This is what makes internet marketing so imperative. With SEO service, you can help grow your business and immensely augment your return on investment.

Want to know how you appear in over 55 local directories? Get a free report now!

Ready to Start Your Local SEO Campaign? Let’s get started

Google makes it easier for small businesses

By | Google Authorship, Google Plus, Google+, Local Search | No Comments

Google Helps Small Businesses

Google for Local BusinessIt’s true, if you read between the lines

In recent years Google has implemented several major updates to it’s search algorithm, much to the dismay of many digital marketers and business owners alike.  With all the Pandas and Penguins running around people may be lost in the updates or unsure of what to do and where to start.  Perhaps you just don’t have the time to keep up with the updates, after-all, you are running a business.  There is no need to fret.  If you were doing things the right way all along and not using Black Hat SEO methods you are probably already seeing the positive results.

To build on that, In recent years Google has added features that help improve local listings.  The problem is many small business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as ill advised internet marketers may not know any better.  We are going to discuss some of these tools today, and show you that Google really does want you to succeed using their product.

Pandas, Penguins and Updates-Oh My

The primary focus of the changes to Google’s search algorithm is to eliminate web spam.  As we discussed in previous posts Matt Cutts’ job is to squash those who use less than ethical methods of improving search results.  Some of those methods include:

    •  Backlinking from irrelevant resources (link farming)
    •  Keyword Stuffing
    •  Hidden Content
    •  Gateway Pages (Fake Pages)

The updates to Google’s search algorithm have made these methods, as well as others, extraneous.  What this means is sites that were using these methods as their dominant internet marketing plan have suffered in the Google Search Results.  Google has even shut down some of the companies who were selling link farming as a service.

Meanwhile sites that used methods that Google has always asked website owners to use are now moving up in the search results.  As long as you have been and continue to use what Google has always suggested you use then you will move up in search rank.  Some of the methods include:

    •  Develop Original Content
    •  Effective Keyword Usage using Tags and Markup
    •  Proper Titles and Descriptions
    •  Proper Markup (Code)
    •  Strong Website Structure

The above is obviously not everything to consider but will make for a good foundation and you will be able to build off of these suggestions.

You mentioned tools?

I did as a matter of fact, and Google has a wide variety of tools specifically for local businesses.  The obvious tool is Google Analytics but we are going to leave that for another post.  Three of the resources I strongly encourage using for local search are:

    •  Google Places
    •  Google Authorship
    •  Google Alerts

Google Places

Google places allows you to add your business to their local maps search results and track metrics related to those listings.  The example below is a computer repair shop in Meriden, CT.  If someone searching for Computer Repair shops in the general area (which will default to local results if Google is able to detect where you are located) then this and other local shops show up instead of the big box computer repair chains.

Google Places TechsRUs

That’s one resource any local business can definitely appreciate.   This allows you to have a stronger presence within the search results and if set up properly you will see positive growth in website traffic and sales.

Google Authorship

Google Authorship is set up through Google+ (Which you should also set up).  Authorship allows you to claim ownership of your original content.   This allows you to localize your content and in turn would place you closer to the top of the Google SERP.   Google has stated that content developers who have Google Authorship set up will achieve better search results than those who don’t.

Google Plus in Connecticut

 

That’s two things working for you as a small business owner.  That means tying original content and Google Authorship together will help generate more visitors to your site, and if your site is optimized properly those visitors turn into conversions.  To learn more about how to set up Google Authorship click here.

Google Alerts

Another topic we discussed in a previous post is Google Alerts.  Using this free tool you can have alerts sent to your email.  The alerts can be whatever you want them to be.  We have found that having alerts set up for keywords used on your web presence allows you to see what people are talking about and what the competition is doing.

Imagine having Google do the research for you, all you have to do is read.  That’s a powerful utility you cannot afford to pass on, and it doesn’t cost you anything except the few minutes it takes to set up.

The time is now

The time to optimize and improve your web presence is now.  Google has made it easier than ever to compete with those who have invested heavily in unethical Search Engine Optimization.  Using their resources, most of which are free, and your own original content you can achieve the ROI your business or brand has always looked to gain from using the internet.

Let’s face it, you cannot afford not to use these free resources, or ignore the updates that Google has made to it’s Algorithm.

 Looking to learn how to implement these and other best practices to improve your local search marketing in CT?  Start by clicking here

Local Search Infographic. Are You Measuring Up?

By | Internet Marketing, Local Search, Organic Search | No Comments

A lot of numbers to look at with this one.  Are you taking advantage of your local search opportunities.    Probably the most interesting to me is that there are 350 million business reviews done DAILY!  If you are a local business you definitely need a piece of that action.

By the way, over 40% of Connecticut is on Facebook.  If you do not have one of those 16 Million business pages you are doing your business a dis-service.

Which fact do you think is the most interesting?

Local Search Infographic

The importance of local search

You’re a local business in Connecticut and you need to target consumers and/or businesses in Connecticut.  You have a website but your not sure who is seeing it.   You need to focus on your Connecticut Local Search Marketing but now you are wondering how to go about that, or if your current internet marketing team is doing that for you.

There are numerous directories dedicated to local businesses and the consumers who support those CT local businesses.  Almost half of the app downloads on iOS are social and local.  This means that not only are consumers looking for businesses on the go, but they are looking for your product or service.  Is your competition getting the business because you’re not taking advantage of the directories and local search/social media?

Mapquest lists restaurants, banks, stores and other brick and mortar locations when anyone uses their service.  Is your business showing up on their site?  Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yelp are all dedicated to local business growth.   Many other sites tie in with local directories and search.   Millions upon millions of people are using local search to find what they are looking for, and many of them are ready to purchase.  Don’t miss out on the potential!

Ready to see how your doing with your local internet marketing? Click here…

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