Posts in 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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keyword suggestions and volume from Ubersuggest

Free SEO Tools: How to Rank Higher Without Paying a Dime

November 15th, 2018 Posted by SEO 0 comments on “Free SEO Tools: How to Rank Higher Without Paying a Dime”

There are now some truly amazing free SEO tools that can get you very close to all the way toward ranking higher for targeted online searches.

Wait.

Is it really possible to fully optimize for Google’s algorithm without paying for expensive SEO tools?

I would say yes. Now it is. And that’s awesome.

How to Optimize Your Existing Website for Search Engines

Once you’ve done your initial pass at optimizing your website for your target keyword phrases, you should monitor and work to improve your rankings over time.

As I often tell our team and our clients, the work of SEO never really ends.

We all need to remain vigilant to continue to reap the rewards of targeted search traffic from customers and clients who are looking online for exactly what we offer.

Here’s the process I follow when I’m optimizing my own pet portrait company’s website for Google search. While I love using fancy paid SEO tools like AhrefsSEMRush and Moz Pro, I can get pretty dang far using just the following free SEO tools:

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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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Link building lego man

Link Building: The Most Important Part of SEO

March 5th, 2017 Posted by SEO, SEO Link Building, SEO Ranking Factors 0 comments on “Link Building: The Most Important Part of SEO”
We started ranking in the top 3 organic results on Google for “seo madison” after launching our website last July, and we believe links played a deciding role in this ranking.
Google Result page for "SEO Madison"

 

The paid SEO tool Ahrefs shows we’ve earned at least 184 backlinks.

SEO backlinks for Get Found Madison SEO agency

That number of links would probably be overkill for most local businesses, but we needed to be aggressive in our link building to compete with six pages of competitors who also do this professionally. We knew links would be important, so we took earning them seriously. If you want lots more visitors to your website, you should take links seriously, too.

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What Do We Actually Know About Google’s Algorithm?

February 18th, 2017 Posted by Google, SEO, SEO Ranking Factors 0 comments on “What Do We Actually Know About Google’s Algorithm?”

How Google Works

If Google’s algorithm is proprietary, how do SEO professionals know what factors can help a business optimize for top rankings in the search results? There are a couple different ways.

We can:

Here’s a talk I recently gave at PechaKucha Madison on this subject. It’s a neat format, 20 slides in 20 seconds apiece, that forces you to be concise.

 

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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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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 […]