Unless you have been hiding under a rock somewhere, you probably are aware that Local SEO has become very important for any business that has a physical location or if the business is targeting a specific geographic location.
Years ago, Google and other search engines did not have different listings for local search results. To get traffic to a site, we practiced the method of using Keyword phrases with the specific locations.
Local SEO in 2006
One of my original clients, who has since retired, had several business’s. One a landscape company, and the other a Corn Stove Dealership. Back in 2006, before local search became a priority, we targeted the big phrases, but then built links to the site with the locations as well. So my friends site not only ranked for “Corn Stoves” but also dominated in the local search markets. For his landscaping company, I did likewise.
Local SEO Today
Back in 2006, smart phones like the iPhone did not exist. Phones, were, well, phones. Remember the Motorola Razar? That was the dominant phone back then.
Well, I digress. Today, Mobile use is slated to consist of over 50% of all search traffic. If you look at the use on the past weekend(black Friday), I bet it was even higher.
Today’s business environment requires that Local SEO be a service that any business that wants to be found locally needs to use. Like regular SEO, it is now a mainstream advertising method.
Sorry to tell you, but directory submissions don’t provide a ton of traffic. Don’t expect to see visitors coming from any directory that you submit your site. But what can you expect?
You can expect that the links from these directories should count as backlinks to your site if the directory page where your link resides after being approved is cached in Google. Content may be king, but backlinks are still important.
Niche directories rather than general directories are a much better quality link, so I suggest seeking them out for your niche. Below is a list of travel directories that I have compiled.
Warning: Don’t just submit to Niche directories, but use niche directories as an arrow in your SEO Quiver. Create great content, and remember to use a variety of types of links.
All-travel-sites.com premium, but has a lot of free methods..comment on the blog or do a guest post. (my site)
Well, that’s my list of travel directories and list of lists of travel directories that I can recommend. I know there are a ton of directories out there with lists of travel directories or lists of general directories with travel categories. I would recommend using the former, but chose wisely when using general directories with travel categories.
With all the changes Google has made and continues to make, I believe its best to use these sparingly.Variety is not only the spice of life, but is the spice of your SEO.
SEO and PPC are now the 2 hot new ways to market businesses and companies as googling has become the most popular way to find out information. However with the vast amount of popularity in digital marketing this has also caused a flood of new companies claiming to be ‘the best SEO consultancy’ or a ‘PPC agency guaranteed to give you fast results’. When choosing a consultancy or agency to provide SEO or PPC services how do you know who to trust? Should you go for a cheaper company or one with more experience? Choice is great but with SEO and PPC agencies it can be very confusing and you want to get the best for your money.
However frustrated you might get when trying to choose a company do bear in mind you are doing the right thing. Companies who manage their own SEO or PPC often don’t have the extensive amount of knowledge a professional company do and by spending money on a quality service you free up time to spend on other aspects of your business. Nevertheless it is good to clue yourself up on how SEO and PPC works as this is the first step in preventing you going with a fraudulent or inefficient SEO consultancy.
One of the phrases you should never trust when it comes to choosing a PPC agency or SEO consultancy is: ‘we promise number 1 ranking on Google’. No company no matter how professional or experienced they are can guarantee a number 1 ranking on Google. If a company does state anything like this on their advertising take it as a red warning sign because the mystery of Google’s rankings is not fully understood by anyone but Google themselves so there can’t be a guarantee like this.
Like with all things a good way of finding a reputable site is by word of mouth and the new hot spot for SEO is Reading. Lots of digital marketing companies have been flocking to the area and the location is getting a name for being a powerful hub for tech companies. ‘SEO Reading’ may not be the glamorous London offices you perhaps would have associated with the rise of this new industry but if you want expertise and reliability it is best to go to the source. Just like Persia is known for its rugs, Berkshire is getting known to be the home of digital marketing.
Once you think you have decided on a company you can then also do a few things to check their creditability. First of all use SEO to check them out- Google the company and see whether there has been good reviews or negative feedback from customers. You can then also see how the company market themselves online- if they haven’t done a good job on their own website then this probably means they’re not going to for your company either. Before committing to a company you could also get a couple of examples of SEO content they have done for other companies or give them a test article and see if you like what they come up with.
I just got back from attending my second Rotary Leadership Institute class. As an officer of the Boyertown Rotary, I feel it is my duty to learn as much about Rotary International as possible.
Note: Many of the tips in this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) post could apply to any non-profit or company site.
What is Rotary?
Rotary International is a non-profit service organization. There are clubs all over the world, and there is probably one or more Rotary Clubs near you. Many towns have multiple Rotary clubs.
Each Rotary Club operates a little differently, although most meetings have many of the same elements such as sharing info, doing service projects, and networking.
Service projects vary from doing local community projects like student mentoring, park development, or projects that are unique and needed in each clubs town.
In my town, one of the service projects done by the Rotary was a “playground for everyone” which is a playground that is handicapped accessible.
But Rotary is much more than service..if you are lucky enough to be asked to join, check it out, you’ll be glad you did.
Why do Rotary Club Websites Need SEO?
When I search for a town’s Rotary, I expect it to come up. Often times, I am looking for a town’s Rotary to see when and where it meets, and I can not find the chapter or any info about it. Or even worse, I find an out of date site that is from 2005.
Additionally, I think the Rotary Websites should be optimized so that when someone searches for the club’s town name, the club should be on the search engine results page right at the top of the list. So if I was to optimize my club site fully, it would show up for terms like “Boyertown, PA” ‘Boyertown Service organization” in addition to “Boyertown Rotary”.
Lastly, if the site were to truly become an authority in the town, it would make selling advertising to reputable businesses with the town so much easier. What club wouldn’t love to bring in some extra revenue for service projects?
How Can Rotary Clubs Optimize their Sites?
First, they can use content management systems that are SEO friendly and which can be updated easily and regularly. ClubRunner, the system we currently use is not SEO friendly, but it does have a ton of features that make it good for Rotary clubs and it is pretty easily updated. I am thinking about doing a blog post that compares different platforms for Rotary Clubs. I believe providing platforms for Rotary Club websites is a huge niche that a web development company could do well in. My small club pays maybe $35 a month for the site. There is a club in almost every small town, and in some towns there are multiple Rotary Clubs. Additionally, Clubrunner charges more if your club has more members. But I digress…
The second thing that Rotary Clubs can do to optimize their sites, is to integrate their sites with Social Media. Having social media widgets for your Social Media profiles does affect search rankings.
The third and most important thing that Rotary Clubs should do is to undergo a club link building campaign. This can be as simple as getting each club member to comment on one blog per month, and drop their club’s site url into the website field. Additionally, if the members have websites of their own, they can link to the club on their site. One way links are what it’s all about.
Easy Rotary SEO
These three tips are not a complete SEO strategy, but they are a start. If your club is in a competitive market like Las Vegas or New York, to show up at the top in the search engines, it may take a bit more work. If you need some help, let me know by dropping a comment with your contact info.
Rotarians: Drop your club or district’s url in to the web page field in the comments section to get a link to your site.
A new addition to the sites to submit your local business to is the old time map site MapQuest.com which became a much less used map site due to Google Maps. MapQuest.com is the number two map site, behind Google, so it can’t hurt to submit your business to it for free.
I just submitted a client’s business to Mapquest Local Business Center and was using Mozilla, and was having difficulty. So I openned up IE and it worked much better. (let me know if you notice a difference)
In addition to the free submission listing, Mapquest also has some premium listing services to include the $99/yr highlighted premium listing, and the multiple listing feature for $399 a year to a broad partner network:Yelp!, Yahoo!, SuperPages, CitySearch, White Pages, Yellowbook, YellowBot and LOCAL .
What other sites to you list your local businesses?
Wow, it has been almost two months since I posted. Why? I am not exactly sure. It must be summer. What have I been working on?
Well lots of stuff. But what have I been thinking about?
Home Improvement SEO
What I have been thinking about are Niches of SEO. We have multiple websites that focus on various niches, such as real estate, travel, food, and home improvement. Since I have these niche sites, I have decided to focus on these areas from an SEO perspective. So for example our home improvement site, which does have some home improvement articles and home improvement info, I will now focus on doing blog posts that put some SEO type info that include info on how other home improvement webmasters can optimize their sites to improve their results. So maybe some home improvement company owners will find some useful info, and realize how time consuming SEO is, and request a proposal for our Home Improvement SEO services. I have already started out contacting these types of sites via Twitter and Facebook.
For our restaurant review site, I would like to be seen as an authority in the field of resaurant SEO, so I have started adding articles for restaurant owners that will help with their online marketing. Restaurants, much like Home Improvement contractors, should be more concerned with their local search results. Restaurants don’t necessarily need to rank in the natural listings, but do need to show up in the local listings. We can help them with that for sure.
For our travel site, we will be positioning ourselves as an authority in the travel seo field. We are already getting some traffic for the term Travel SEO. The blog currently has some articles which are aimed at travel agents who would like to increase their marketing. But I believe I can do more than help travel agents. This SEO niche, would seem to be the one that has the most potential. Travel SEO clients could include hotels, airlines, restaurants at popular vacation destinations, destination travel bureaus, hospitality industry web advertising agencies that do not have in-house SEO staff, resorts, and more.
First, we have already positioned ourselves as a reputable SEO firm. Secondly, we have the sites, which we can use to focus on these other SEO niches. Third we need to spread the word and get more clients in the focus niches.
My efforts as the Social Media Director will be to make contacts with potential clients via Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, by using tactics such as those discussed by our former intern in Using LinkedIN, Twitter and Facebook to to find a Job.
I will be using the rule of 8 touches and tracking my efforts by noting dates and times of contact.
Next, I am in the process of creating landing pages on Baldydog.com for the three SEO Niches, and I will then build some links to the said landing pages, which should help them in the SERPs for these SEO terms which should be far less competitive than SEO terms such as SEO, SEO company, SEO contractor, SEO firm, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization Company and the like.
So, what is your seo niche, and how can I help you?