Local Search Blog

Here’s where we dig into the details about how to rank using SEO in Madison

How to Grow Your Business Through Online Search

Huge thanks to Wegner CPAs for hosting us at their Wake Up With Wegner event at the Sheraton on John Nolan Drive yesterday morning.

We spoke on “How to Measurably Grow Your Business Through Online Search,” touching on pro tips, strategy and tactics for SEO, Google AdWords campaigns and Google Analytics set up and tracking.

Here’s a video re-recording in case you missed or would like to brush up.

Top Google AdWords tips for Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns

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“Hair Salon Madison WI” SEO Google Page 1 Analysis

What does it take for a hair salon in Madison, WI to appear on the first page of Google?

We analyzed the top known local search engine optimization (SEO) factors to let the businesses currently ranking lower what it would take to earn a spot higher up on the first page.

Here’s an indication of the kind of monthly search volume a phrase like this gets according to Google’s keyword planner: 1300 per month! That’s real money every single month of the year for those who go after it.

monthly google searches for hair salons madison wi

Why page 1 matters and what it takes to get there in general

Here’s an overview video in which we discuss how ranking higher for popular search engine queries can grow your business. We also describe the top ranking factors SEO companies target to make gains.

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Local Businesses – Slideshare

Here’s the SlideShare presentation about local SEO we gave on Dec. 14 to SCORE in Madison.

Get free digital marketing tips to grow your business.

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Is it still necessary to submit your website to search engines?

It’s worth questioning whether manual search engine submission is still worth doing. Here’s some information that calls into question the need to manually submit your site to Google and Bing:

“You don’t need to submit your website to search engines because search engines have evolved beyond the point of needing to be directly notified when a new website, or page on a website, is created.”

Source: http://www.seomark.co.uk/submit-website-to-search-engines/#ixzz4T0imBPfD

“Since 2001, not only has search engine submission not been required, but has become virtually useless.”

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Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews

Reviews on your Google My Business page are a likely ranking factor for Local SEO. And as you may know from our post about creating links to get Google reviews, once your business gets five reviews, your stars start appearing.
Wisconsin SEO map pack results plumber
Those stars next to your business name help you stand out and make searchers want to click on your listing. Just look at the example above for “plumber verona.” Which would you click if your shower drain was backed up?

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SEO on your own website: onsite optimization

SEO on your own website: onsite optimization

Onsite optimization makes a big difference to your SEO because search engines crawl your site and glean keyword information directly from it. If keyword research is step 1 in a local SEO campaign, onsite optimization is step 2.

Once you know what keywords to target, you can evaluate your website to see if they are included in strategic places in your website’s HTML.

Sometimes this means re-vamping your existing web pages and sometimes this means changing your website structure by creating new pages on your site to target specific keywords. 

Your website is one of the few places on the web where you have absolute control over your content online, so we want to take advantage on your home turf!

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Google Analytics: What to look for in your website reports

Google Analytics: What to look for in your website reports

Sometimes in our periodic frustration with Google (over say, how needlessly difficult it is to properly link Google My Business to Google+ to our YouTube channel), we forget what incredible services they actually provide to users free of charge. Those of us old enough to remember know that it didn’t used to be possible to just search for answers to basic questions and immediately receive accurate and helpful answers. Now, for virtually any informational question you have, the answer is there at your fingertips or even voice search.

From the business owner’s perspective, I would put Google Analytics in this category of incredible stuff that’s now just free. By placing a short snippet of code on your site, you are able to see how many people come to your website, how they found you (from SEO or SEM), and what they did once they arrived. Speaking again in pre-Google terms, this would be a costly enterprise software suite, not a free service, which it now is.

Now that we have the proper gratefulness for “GA” just in time for Thanksgiving, let’s talk about what metrics a business owner should focus on in the busy and complicated-looking interface.

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Keyword Research: The first step for every page on your website

Keyword Research: The first step for every page on your website

Most business owners would generally avoid setting up shop to sell things people don’t want, yet they regularly plop content and pages on their website with hardly a thought for what their customers want. Keyword research should be your roadmap; let the search data guide how you create your website, from your regular pages or your blog posts.
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Business Owners: How to Use Yelp Before Yelp Uses You

Business Owners: How to Use Yelp Before Yelp Uses You

We are constantly amazed at the animosity Yelp inspires among business owners we talk to. They frequently bring it up to us unprompted or fly into a mini-rage when we mention the “Y” word. Terms like “shakedown,” “scam” and “the devil” arise commonly enough that the company might want to take notice. (From the conversations we’ve had with Yelp, they don’t plan on changing anything.)

Once the curses have mostly passed, it’s then our unfortunate job as a Madison SEO company to tell businesses they should capitalize on Yelp anyway, however bad the blood. This doesn’t always go over well, and we’ve actually been told this is a non-starter: that the business has been burned so badly they don’t even want to deal with Yelp.

So what’s going on that business owners resent this top online business directory that is almost a search engine in its own right?

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The Phases of Search Engine Optimization for a Local Business

The Phases of Search Engine Optimization for a Local Business

Madison-area business owners often ask us what SEO entails. Contrary to common belief, good SEO doesn’t consist of “manipulating” Google’s algorithm. To the contrary, ranking on the first page for your services is more a matter of following online marketing best practices and adhering to search engine guidelines.

To rank well, you need:

  1. Keyword Research to anticipate how people search for your services
  2. Onsite Optimization built onto your website so Google and Bing start to associate those keywords with you
  3. Speed and Mobility so your site loads fast and works well on mobile devices
  4. Accurate business listing citations on the web’s top directories and data aggregators
  5. Great, keyword-rich content posted regularly on your site
  6. Links from other sites showing you are trusted, authoritative, and valuable

Easy, right? Well, not exactly, but it at least helps to know what we’re up against when we want to be in the “modern phonebook” on page 1 of Google and Bing. The following describes how we break this all down in our recommended 6-month SEO projects.

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