When we search something on Google there is a reason the links come up that do.
This blog post will examine how Google decides what information to connect us with and how to help Google choose your small business.
What Is Local SEO?
Many different types of SEO exist, but this post will specifically talk about local SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and the elemental idea is that there are things we can do so that our business website shows up on the front page of Google.
Local SEO is made up of on page SEO, posts with relevant information to your niche/internal linking and off page SEO/link building.
If you’re overwhelmed don’t stress, it’s common. In the next sections, we’re going to explain each key point thoroughly and you can ask questions at the bottom of this post.
Let’s dive in.
What Is On Page SEO
To understand on page SEO more thoroughly, we need to talk about keyword phrases.
Keyword phrases are queries that we type into Google.
For example, if my real estate business specializes in first time home buyers, there are specific phrases and words we can have on our site so that the business comes up when someone searches “first time home buying in boise”.
This is a very esoteric idea, and for me was a challenging one to initially wrap my head around.
But at the core, the idea is that Google “reads” the information on pages, and attempt to connect queries to the most relevant information.
On page SEO is the process of collecting keywords and phrases and then strategically using them on our website so our small business shows up when searched.
For example, if we are an “empanada shop in Boise Idaho”, we want to have that relative keyword phrase on our home page.
Some other keyword phrases we could employ are:
Mexican restaurants Boise
Mexican food Boise
Now, these phrases look similar but in the eyes of Google, they are considered different phrases.
Each phrase has a different search volume.
We can find keyword phrase ideas and their search volume by using Google Keyword Planner.
All of the phrases from Google Keyword Planner are queries with the volume that are searched each month.
Once we have collected our phrases and implemented them on our home page we should also add our address and our contact information. This gives Google signals to what our business does, where it is and how to reach the company.
Once we’ve done this we are ready to start writing relevant blog posts.
Why Blogging Is Important For Small Business
Content is king. At some point, you’ve probably heard this phrase tossed around in a conversation about modern marketing. But what does it imply?
Content comes in many forms such as blog posts, videos or pictures.
One of the key measurements Google looks at with a small business site is the content that is on the site. The bigness, relevance and internal linking are how this content is measured.
Bigness is how many posts are on the site. These posts should include photos, videos etc. But just bigness can be bad if the content isn’t relevant.
Relevance is the relativeness content has to your niche. For example, If you’re a dog walking company, you want to have content like “Best Dog Parks In Boise”.
Finally, internal linking is the idea of interconnectedness of your entire site. You want all of your content to relate and linking to other blog posts is a way to show this.
To conclude, blogging is important because it shows your company is active in the community and trying to provide value. This is something Google wants to see.
Also, the more relevant posts on a site the most prospective traffic and in turn the greater the potential customers.
What Are Backlinks And Why Are Local SEO Backlinks Different
Backlinks are links from one site to another. For example, your friend’s nail salon website links to your drywall business.
In the eyes of Google, a backlink is a vote to your site. It’s signalling this site is important in some way, that’s why I am linking to it.
But, all backlinks aren’t the same and each has their own value. Also, if the backlinks aren’t relevant to our site, they will be looked at as spam by Google and can hurt you more than help.
For local SEO your want to dofollow backlinks and nofollow backlinks.
Dofollow links are links that should come from other related sites in your geographic. An example is one local business linking to another.
Nofollow links are links that are created by social media. For example, if we get a lot of repins on an image, all those repins are nofollow links.
We want to go after both types of links because it makes a diverse backlink portfolio, and Google likes seeing this on any site. It tells them it is less likely to be spam.
On a final note, another important factor for local business rankings is reviews from the major sites: Facebook, Google and Yelp.
Google looks at these reviews as validation that your business exists and is trusted in the community. The greater the trust, the more likely Google will answer queries with your business.
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