Learn How to Utilize Local SEO for Your Startup
While it’s easy to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no momentum as a startup, your SEO abilities and how well search engines find your business can make or break your company. Understanding local SEO is the key to your startup’s success and you won’t be able to meet your goals without it.
Step 1: Make Sure Google Likes Your Website
To understand how search algorithms help your company, you must first understand how they work.
Search engines, like Google, rely on automated programs called “spiders” or “bots” to help index their results. Indexing is how Google knows why an article is relevant when users search for it.
The bots and spiders travel through internal and external links in a website, storing the site’s information in Google’s index. It’s your job, then, to make sure that your website is the clear choice when the programs index websites and their relevance to certain searches.
Broken links and hidden content only obscures the bots’ abilities to “crawl” through your website. By facilitating healthy, working links and thoroughly covering content, you’ll make the bots’ jobs easier, put your website among the first few results, and give your local SEO a little boost.
How do you know when your site has crawling difficulties? Set up an account with Google Webmaster Tools to see if you have any “crawl errors” that can be fixed.
Step 2: Get High-Quality Reviews
Now that there are no crawling issues on your website, you must make sure that customers think highly of your site or services.
Look up any pizza shop on Google. Unless there are no other competitors in your area, you’ll likely see the highest ranked pizza shop near you.
This is because Google wants to satisfy user searches the first time they search. They can’t do that if they give users results that aren’t trustworthy or good, as bad ratings suggest.
Businesses with bad results aren’t relevant to search engines, so it’s your job to be the most relevant business if you want to nail your local SEO.
But before you go buying bots or writers to produce fake positive reviews, know that Google has advanced software to detect fraudulent reviews. And these websites will be punished in either lower results ranking or, sometimes, with legal action.
No matter how good your keywords are (as seen in step 3), your business will suffer if it isn’t rated highly.
The best thing you can do is get good reviews the honest way—providing a good service and letting the positive reviews come naturally.
Step 3: Get Those Keywords Rolling
Search engines rely on keywords to function.
Let’s say you looked up “What’s the best waffle iron?”
From your query, “waffle,” “iron,” and “best” become your keywords. A search engine’s bots will use those keywords to index its library of information and find the most relevant article possible.
Relevant articles are determined by how well the keywords from the query match the keywords contained in the article. Also, where the keywords are help clue the bots into the relevancy of your post.
Put keywords in several different places, such as in the title and headlines in addition to body copy.
However, this doesn’t mean that keywords are to be thrown around with reckless abandon. Duplicating content won’t make your results more relevant. Copied content can detriment your search results standings, according to Entrepreneur.
Instead, focus your keywords on industry and brand.
Industry is the general business area you’re marketing towards. Examples include “baking products” or “tax software.” It’s like how grocery store aisles are organized by categories like baking, frozen foods, fresh meat, and so on.
Branded keywords are the phrases that help people in the grocery aisle pick your specific product. By implementing keywords over your company’s tagline, name, and URL, you make it easier for search engines to pick your website above the rest.
Step 4: Prioritize Backlinking Through Awesome Content
Backlinking makes a tremendous impact on how your website does in search results and it does play an important role when it comes to local SEO.
Backlinking, or inbound linking, is when other sites link to your website.
This raises the relevancy of your site in Google’s eyes since other people have found your content useful enough to link on their websites.
Of course, the quality of the links matters as well. Google can tell the difference between a site that’s been around for a long time with lots of articles on it and a shoddy looking, brand new website full of your links.
To compel legitimate websites to put you on their website, you must make quality, informative, and unique (otherwise known as awesome) content.
Step 5: Choose Keywords Intentionally
Don’t use keywords without cause. Know what further specifications search engines look for.
The first is search volume. If more people are searching for a word, the more likely it will be that someone searching with that word will click on your site.
Also note the competition between other SEO content marketers capitalizing on the same keyword. Unless you’ve got a deep pool of funding, it’s best to choose a less competitive word.
And of course, use keywords with intent. If your site is about best armchairs, you won’t net a lot of searches for “Best travel destinations.” Keep your website focused and deep, rather than broad and shallow.
To run an effective startup, not only will optimizing local SEO make or break your brand, but you’re going to want to also make sure you’re familiar with the global marketer’s checklist for buying translation services.