Posts in Local SEO

How to do SEO for your local business: The Local SEO Checklist

December 4th, 2018 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 1 comment on “How to do SEO for your local business: The Local SEO Checklist”

Updated December 2018.

Note: Looking for an actionable Local SEO Checklist for 2018? At the end of this post, you can download a PDF that distills all the important points into checklist items. You can also watch our in-depth video below.

“I know I need to work on SEO for my business’s website, but there’s so much to do and learn and I don’t know where to start.”

If that’s something you’ve said (or found yourself thinking), then this blog post is for you!

We want to de-mystify this arcane art of search engine optimization. We’re doing that by giving you a checklist-style guide to the main things you should be concerned about when it comes to SEO for your local business.

First off, here’s the big picture as a series of straightforward bullet points:

The Local SEO Checklist

  1. Find the keywords you want to target and rank for.
  2. Use your keywords for effective onsite optimization.
  3. Update your site to use SSL.
  4. Proactively work on link building.
  5. Get your Google My Business page up to date and ask for Google reviews.
  6. Create, post, and promote unique, high-quality, original content.
  7. Use website analytics to measure your results.
  8. Have a snappy and responsive mobile site that loads quickly.

Now we’ll take a look at each of these items, and explain how you can take practical steps to improve your business’s SEO.

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website migration

Website Migration SEO: How To Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO Traffic

June 9th, 2018 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 0 comments on “Website Migration SEO: How To Redesign Your Website Without Losing SEO Traffic”

Don’t neglect search engine optimization in the flurry of excitement around the launch of a redesigned website. Everything on the new site is fresh and up-to-date, and it looks slick as hell – but is that good or bad for your SEO?

It doesn’t have to be bad at all! We’ll explain how to maintain strong SEO and stay in Google’s good favor when you migrate to a newly updated website. It starts with knowing your old site and making sure nothing is lost or forgotten. Then we’ll tell you how to create redirects to avoid errors and confusion. Lastly, we’ll explain how you can make sure Google knows what you’re doing, so that the search engine will be friendly to your new site.

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Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews

May 30th, 2018 Posted by Google, Local SEO, Reviews, SEO 2 comments on “Use this email template to ask for Google Reviews”
Updated May 2018 to include the most relevant info and provide everything you need for Google reviews outreach.

 

Reviews on your Google My Business page are a likely ranking factor for Local SEO. And as you may know, once your business gets five reviews (update: nowadays you don’t even need this many), 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 of the three would you click if your shower drain was backed up?

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Madison WI SEO Keyword Research Plumber

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

February 26th, 2018 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 4 comments on “Keyword Research: The first step for every page on your website”

Most business owners would 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 to your blog posts. It’s now possible to know the demand for what you offer before you even create it!
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Use Your Web Analytics to Measure Your Marketing and Bring Visitors Back

October 11th, 2017 Posted by Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Local SEO 1 comment on “Use Your Web Analytics to Measure Your Marketing and Bring Visitors Back”

Note: Here’s a video covering the same material as this article, in case reading detailed posts isn’t your cup of tea.

Take a moment to think about why your business has a website in the first place. Your site is not a static brochure that you tell people to go look at; it is a lead-generation machine. Your business’s site should be working for you, bringing in leads, and making your job easier (certainly not harder!). So how do you make your website into an effective tool for churning out valuable leads?

That’s where website analytics tools enter the picture. Website analytics can help you make sure that the site is doing its job — bringing in more clients/customers (or donations/volunteers if you are running a nonprofit). Secondly, analytics can help you identify ways to fine-tune your website so that it can do an even better job. Here are some of the questions that analytics can answer for you:

  • Is my website working for me and generating leads?
  • Where are people falling out of my funnel?
  • What can I do to bring them back?
  • Which channels are bringing in the most traffic and leads?
  • How can I make my website even better?

Website Analytics - Conversion Funnel

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What Should a Local Business Blog About?

August 15th, 2017 Posted by Local SEO, SEO Link Building 0 comments on “What Should a Local Business Blog About?”

Your local business should have a blog; it demonstrates expertise, builds trust with potential customers, and helps you rank higher on search engines.

Maybe you added a “Blog” section to your WordPress site, but there’s nothing living there except the default “Hello World” post. Maybe you started out writing a post every week, but it’s fizzled out because you couldn’t maintain that posting schedule. After all, when you’re running a local business, you’ve got much higher priorities than writing articles, right?

Maybe you never even bothered with the whole blog thing, and you haven’t touched your website since your nephew set it up for you last year. Whatever your situation, we want you to understand that blogging is actually crucial for your business.

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How to Grow Your Business Through Online Search

January 20th, 2017 Posted by AdWords, Local SEO, SEO 0 comments on “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. 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

January 4th, 2017 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 0 comments on ““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

December 16th, 2016 Posted by Local SEO, SEO, SEO Ranking Factors 0 comments on “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.

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

December 16th, 2016 Posted by Bing, Google, Local SEO, Search Engine Submission 0 comments on “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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Madison SEO onsite grade

SEO on your own website: onsite optimization

November 30th, 2016 Posted by Local SEO 0 comments on “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. Keyword research is step 1 in a local SEO campaign, and 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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Cartman South Park Warning: Yelp Critic

Business Owners: How to Use Yelp Before Yelp Uses You

October 8th, 2016 Posted by Local SEO, SEO 0 comments on “Business Owners: How to Use Yelp Before Yelp Uses You”

UPDATE: Never ever ever buy Yelp ads!

Never ever buy Yelp Ads

Yelp is a ripoff Google Analytics comparison to Yelp data Google Analytics Yelp Referral traffic

ORIGINAL POST: 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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Downtown Madison, Wisconsin Metro stop sign

The Phases of Search Engine Optimization for a Local Business

September 26th, 2016 Posted by Local SEO, SEO, SEO Ranking Factors 0 comments on “The Phases of Search Engine Optimization for a Local Business”

Business owners often ask us what SEO entails. Despite the still-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 and capitalizing on what we actually know about how Google works.

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 website loads fast and works well on mobile devices
  4. Accurate business listing citations on the web’s top directories and data aggregators
  5. Lots of great reviews on your Google My Business listing
  6. Great, keyword-rich content posted regularly on your site
  7. 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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Link to your Google Local page for reviews

September 18th, 2016 Posted by Google, Local SEO, SEO 0 comments on “Link to your Google Local page for reviews”

Why ask for Google reviews and how many should I have?

Five (UPDATE: Three) is the magic number when it comes to reviews on your Google Local or Google My Business (GMB) page. That’s because once you have 5 reviews, Google shows your star rating visually to potential customers on Google Maps and in the result page 3-pack. Something about seeing stars just makes a person want to click and check out that business.

SEO business ranking in Google

Not having those stars when other businesses do just makes it look like you’re lacking somehow. And you are, really, because you should regularly be using social proof (like testimonials and reviews) to sell to your future customers. Anybody can say their own company is great, but new customers are more likely to believe your past customers.

How do I get more reviews on Google?

So how do you encourage your customers to leave you reviews on Google? There’s no obvious link URL like there is for your main website.

Fortunately, someone has made it easy by creating a tool. Check out how it works in our YouTube video here.

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What Schema markup does for your local SEO

February 27th, 2014 Posted by Local SEO, SEO, Web Design 0 comments on “What Schema markup does for your local SEO”

Attractor theme is extremely customizable, fully responsive and HiDPI ready WordPress theme based on a well structured framework which allows you […]