SEO 101: A Resource Guide for Getting Started
A Guide To Running Your Own SEO Campaign
Having an effective web presence should definitely be on your to-do list. Chances are, your main competitor has one.
Somebody has to be on the top of Google for a search result, so why not you? There are way too many things to do in a day, things that translate into a much quicker return on your investment.
Optimizing your website is something that you know should happen, but not today. If there was only a cheat sheet available….
Well, here it is.
But be warned, it won’t be easy. Creating a great, top-of-search-list website and online presence is a challenge. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
The Making of a Google List
This first item means a trip to an online directory like Google Places. You might think, simple enough. Just tell Google things like your business’s name, address, phone number, maybe the hours. In fact, Google provides a dashboard for businesses to do just that. And they say it only takes five minutes.
But that’s not going to be enough. When Google determines the information it will list when searching for your dentists
in Salt Lake City, for instance, it will get the right place but the information listed may be incorrect. The phone number may be wrong, for instance. That’s because Google aggregates information from more than just the dashboard.
It will use information from government documents, companies that collects business data like Axiom, Google employees that call businesses to clear up discrepancies, and even Google Street View. It’s the aggregate of all that information that leads to the result you see on the search page.
In order to clear any misinformation, a business owner needs to contact a few different sources. For a more detailed explanation of this dynamic, see this whiteboard presentation by SEO authority David Mihm.
Also, see the image below. It illustrates the paths (many paths at that) taken in the local search ecosystem. The lines alone give you an idea of the complexity involved. This sweet graphic was also created by David Mihm.
Get your SEO on…
From here, you will need some resources to help optimize your online marketing efforts. This may be the point where you get the assistance of an SEO expert, like SEOBulldog. Or you may still want to go it alone. If so, take a look at a recent blog post I made on the subject, a guide to optimizing your business for local search.
Among some of the best practices when looking to improve your on site SEO and your overall web presence:
- Make sure your business’s address is listed on each Web page. And, make sure the address is not just part of an image.
- Create separate Web pages for businesses in other locations.
- Embed a Google map onto your Web page.
- Claim your business at Google My Business Listing.
And, there is another item from David Mihm to get a hold of. It prioritizes the factors that affect local searches on Google. The survey is also dense but comprehensive as well. In fact the list of factors is pretty huge, but does give you an idea of the top items to consider including:
- Choosing the right categories
- Physical address in city of search
- Consistency of structured citations
- Quality/authority of structured citations
- HTML NAP matching place page NAP
And if you want a laymen’s explanation of the above, see the post I made concerning the rankings factors over here.
Going Beyond SEO 101
The links discussed prior to this point talked about SEO from a “101” perspective. If you want to go more in depth, consider some of the following sites.
Check out “Optimizing Your Google Places Page” on Moz.com. It gives a more thorough explanation of the steps needed to make the most of your Google Places page. Among other things, the author suggests filling out every field available. Although some of those fields may say “optional,” it doesn’t mean leaving them empty will have no bearing on your page. All fields count toward the profile’s completeness. Other suggestions? Don’t stuff keywords in all the wrong places. In listing descriptions, don’t overdo it with the keywords. Google takes notice of that sort of thing and may label you a spammer.
The article gives a good review of the main construct of Google Places. However, Google makes changes to these pages and you may want to keep up to date. For this, consider Mike Blumenthal’s blog. Here you will find updates about changes to the GP rules as well as information about things like fake reviews. The site is not the easiest (or prettiest) read in the world, but it is clear Blumenthal know his stuff. To get an idea of the complexity tackled, read the post about the “hummingbird effect.”
Interested in social media? I’d seriously consider reading “Social Media for Small Business.” Why? Because 15 percent of
consumer use social platforms like Facebook to discover local businesses. Adding a social angle to your business is a pretty easy decision, though challenging to implement. The authors of this comprehensive PDF ask the reader to consider how Facebook and Twitter can advance business objectives. This is an evolutionary question of sorts. The question down the evolutionary chain is to consider adding these social channels to the marketing mix. The answer is yes, of course. “As of this writing, Google and Yahoo are the only websites that receive more daily traffic than Facebook. Current trends suggest that may not last much longer,” they write in the report. Not convinced you need social media? You can check out this recent blog post I wrote talking about how an active social media campaign can help your SEO efforts.
And if computer code doesn’t scare you, consider MicroData markup. Here you will find a list of markup code from Schema.org, which Google considers the standard. For an explanation of how it’s beneficial to your site, take a look at this article. It talks about snippets and how the right microdata can help search engines.
Of course if all this is a bit much, Titan Web Agency is here to help your business get on the right track. Contact us and we can help move your business to the top of Google’s search results.
Source: Titan Web Agency Blog Posts – SEO