SEO Basics For Local Business
In the context of search engine optimization, many people equate an optimized site to a site with impressive search engine rankings. Sprinkle a little fairy dust over here and waive the magic wand over there and wallah… a magnificent dish of first page rankings for the Internet’s most competitive keyword terms. [enter annoying alarm clock signaling the end of euphoric online marketing dream sequence]
The fact is, if you think you are going to achieve rankings for competitive keyword terms simply by adding a few keywords to your website, you need to pinch yourself because you’re dreaming. Perform a search for your primary keyword terms and you will see a descending list, several pages deep of websites that have been “optimized” with varying degrees of success. The key is to understand the factors that differentiate those that rank on the first page from those that don’t. The attributes that determine search engine rankings can be classified into two basic categories; “on-page factors” and “off-page factors”. In the most basic sense, on-page factors have to do with attributes within your web site and off-page factors have to do with attributes that occur outside of your web site. In a way, on-page factors tell the engines what you think of yourself, while off-page factors tell the engines what the Internet at large thinks of you.
Let’s Tackle the On-page SEO Factors
The first step is to determine the keywords that people search for when they are looking for the products or services you have to offer. Keyword tools such as WordTracker and KeywordDiscovery let you know how many people search for a particular search term and provide suggestions for related keyword terms. Use the tool to match two to three appropriate keywords to each of the web pages within your site. Once you?ve selected your keywords, incorporate then into the various html elements of your web pages including the title tags, meta tags, header tags, ALT tags, and body content. This will ensure that the search engines categorize your pages for the keywords you are targeting. OK, so now we’ve got all the “on page” stuff hammered out, your site should start its meteoric rise to the top of the engines, right? Well, not exactly. It depends on how competitive your keyword terms are. [enter off-page factors]
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization Matter Too
Off-page factors have to do with the quantity and quality of incoming links from external web pages. The algorithms that determine search engine rankings depend heavily on external linking in assessing the authority or trustworthiness of web sites. In turn, sites that have achieved “authority status” end up ranking higher than those who have yet to achieve such status.
Backlinks – SEO’s Best Friend
A quality backlink is a link from a subject relevant web page that contains the keyword you are trying to rank for in the anchor text of the link. There are many ways to obtain quality backlinks. Submit your site to Internet directories such as Yahoo or DMOZ.org, ask your business partners or other friendly websites to link to you, or consult with a professional search engine marketing firm who is credentialed in the art of link building.
If you believe what people say about your business online has no impact on your success or bottom line, you’d be wrong.
In 2015, it’s more important than ever to have a system of consistent reputation management in the online world. Your online presence is building trust, making a statement of your brand, and provides protection for your business online. To ignore this is like shooting yourself in the foot.
Customer reviews are POWERFUL – whether they’re negative or positive. 80% of consumers are likely to pay attention to and trust an online review. It used to be that personal recommendations were the standard “go-to” for figuring out with whom to do business, but that has changed.
Besides attracting potential customers to your business, managing your online reputation has many more benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of these benefits:
SEO Benefits – It’s a fact backed by much research – Search engines love fresh content. This probably makes you think of articles or blog posts, but actually, each new customer review, comment, “Like,” or mention is handled as fresh content. This means the more good reviews you get on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, Bing and Yahoo Local, the higher your business will rank. This type of ranking is much more likely to drive sales than simple blog posts, because it is focused on actual recommendations from people who have used your products or services, or visited your business.
Enhanced Customer Relations – We all hope it never happens, but if a customer says something negative about your products or your services, you have the perfect opportunity to shine. You can contact that negative reviewer, apologize, rectify the situation, or at the very least, tell your side of the story and ask further questions. You’ll most likely get positive strokes from the upset customer, but everyone else who follows the thread will see what happened, and probably be very impressed with how you handled yourself on behalf of your business. Win-Win.
Brand Monitoring – If you aren’t monitoring what’s being said about your business online, you’re letting less interested people do it for you. Bad idea. You can’t fix something if you aren’t aware it’s broken. A solid reputation management plan will ensure that you aren’t in the dark concerning situations or comments that could hurt you without your knowing it.
Proactive online monitoring is not an option any longer. You’re on the internet whether you planned to be or not.
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Video Marketing Tips from Video Marketing Expert Dean Renfro
Video Marketing Tips From Video Marketing Expert Dean Renfro
Video Marketing Tips From Video Marketing Expert Dean Renfro
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