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Over the weekend I was asked to define SEO in one sentence, and yes I do need to change my social circles. It was an interesting question from a friend that gets 5 emails a day from India offering SEO services. So what did Peter think it meant? “Getting your website ranked highly in Google” he said.
I disagree, I would suggest it’s; “the actions required to attract high-quality well-qualified traffic to a destination that converts this traffic into new prospects or a sale ”.
Anyone with a simple knowledge of how Google works could get your website, or a page on your website, to the top of Google for a particular phrase, assuming that competition levels aren’t too intense and the phrase is specific enough. So for example a butcher could get to the top of Google for the phrase “best sirloin steak in Fife” by the simple action of creating a well focused webpage on this exact phrase.
That sounds great until you find out there is no search engine traffic for the phrase ”best sirloin steak in Fife” so being number one for that phrase has a zero value.
The business goal of this imaginary butcher is the same as most of us, to get more people buying his products. So what he needs to consider is how people search for butchers. By just giving some thought to this you can easily come up with a few keyword phrases then check them out on Google’s Keyword Tool for traffic. In this instance they may be:
So let’s address each of these possible phrases with an actionable SEO task.
1. When you search online your computers Internet address gives the search engine some indication of your location. If you are logged into Google for Gmail or surfing Google will know your locality. The fastest and cheapest way to be found at the top of Google, any local search phrase is to register your business with Google Local.
TASK:- Setup Google Local for your business. All you need is a Google account and a little bit of time, and within a few weeks your company could be number one for a local search about your products or services.
2. This second point highlights the need to think a little bit outside the obvious. To capture traffic for this phrase we need a page that advises inexperienced cooks on how to choose and cook a sirloin steak. Simple hints and tips about various methods to cook steak features pan, griddle or grill, with the benefits of each, some simple cooking time rules based upon the meats thickness and the requirement for rare, medium or well done, will put you in a good position to be rank well for this phrase. In addition having this kind of content on your website will help people perceive you as an authority in your area.
TASK:- Think creatively about new content and target traffic generating phrases.
3. Local butcher selling sirloin steak should be fairly self-explanatory however if you don’t mention the words butcher, sirloin, steak, on the same web page then it’s unlikely Google will be able to work out if this is a product you can provide. So again understanding how to create your content and Google’s indexing requirements will allow you to rank well for this phrase.
TASK:- Make sure your pages have content that’s aimed at actual searches. Use the Google keyword tool for research.
4. Butcher in Kirkcaldy is a really simple phrase but if I search for this the top position is a paid advert and the next four positions are directories. Underneath that I have Google local listings and only one of these is actually a website. This simply highlights the amount of potential traffic you could get by creating a fairly simple web site focused on keyword phrases that people are searching for.
TASK:- Make sure your web site and local marketing are targeted at your clients. Use Google’s tools for help.
5. When people search for reviews they are looking at other people’s recommendations for a local butcher. These may be on yell or Google local, or even your own review system. Things like testimonials on your website can show up here however they won’t have the same credibility as a third-party source. If you don’t have any reviews and your local competitors also don’t have any reviews, then just getting one or two reviews could make a massive difference to the amount of inbound traffic and consequentially business your company gets from its online presence.
TASK:- Get a review on Google Local and Yell, just one will make a big different. 5 reviews and you will see a major difference. Consider a 3rd party review system.
I know this is a complex area but local marketing is very important to any locally focused business. If you’d like more information getting your business found online please get in touch. The first meeting is always free and I won’t take it personally if it doesn’t lead anywhere.
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