SEO in local areas can be quite competitive at times between businesses fighting for the top spot on the Search Engine Results Page. SEO is the organic and non-paid way to achieve a high rank in a search engine’s results page (i.e. Google & Bing) by creating pages and posts relevant to the product/services you’re advertising. This can be daunting for some, but here at Imagefix, we have compiled a list of SEO tips & tricks to help beginners to get started.
The first step is to simply pick the search term or phrase that is relevant to the service or product your business is promoting. If I am writing content or a blog promoting a particular restaurant, for instance, I’ll want to know the relevant keywords people input into Google to search for this.
The best way to find your keywords & phrases is to use Google Keyword Planner, this a completely free tool that allows you to search for any keyword or phrase. It works by collecting data that Google users search for, helping you gain an understanding of how many times people have used a certain keyword in a search.
Search Engines like to see new unique content that they know new customers of yours will have never read before, if you decide to copy from another site you’ll get penalised or worse your site will get blacklisted from Google. Reusing the same wording can also cause a low rank, although it might be your content, Google will see that you’ve used it before and again penalise you for it.
The Keywords you use for your website’s blog posts and pages need to be incorporated in the content you write. You can, and need to, place your keywords in any element of your website’s pages & blog posts, this can be in the page title, headings, paragraphs, alt text of images, meta descriptions and page tags. These are some of the most important places where you can put your keyword for Google to scan for relevance and rank your site or page highly.
Some Content Management Systems will do this for you, but if not you will want to make sure that you do this so that your most popular pages are being cross-linked throughout your website.
Most Search Engines will automatically index your content, but this is not the case for every Search Engine. You will want all of the popular Search Engines to be crawling your website so that users find you. this can also be done manually through Google search console.
By uploading your content frequently, you show Google that your site is still active and relevant to your company’s service or product. If you don’t upload content frequently search engines don’t have any new content to analyse and keep your website ranking highly so it will start to fall behind the competition as other businesses that produce content regularly will take a foothold in the searches.
A large factor of your site’s SEO is determined by how fast your website loads, page load times are important, so get rid of any elements that would slow down your website, like large image files and unused plugins. The page load time is confirmed by Google to be a ranking factor that also affects the user experience. If your website loads too slow users may not wait for the full duration and leave your site to move on.
‘Sites that load in 5 seconds vs 19 seconds observed: 25% higher ad viewability (and) 70% longer average sessions (and) 35% lower bounce rates’ Alex Shellhammer – DoubleClick
Finding the right balance between local and national marketing can be difficult. Dependant on the services or product you offer, you may want to target a specific area and sell to only this chosen location. A national marketing campaign allows for a message to reach a wider audience than a specifically targeted local campaign, but on the other hand, a localized target market may result in a higher chance of more relevant customer interaction.
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