SEO for Local Businesses – Onsite

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Local Business Marketing is changing

We have all seen the information posted everywhere. We may have noticed a decrease of new customers coming in due to the effectiveness of the old marketing realms. We may even be blaming the decrease on the economy, while the economy may be having little to do with the decrease in our business. Searching for the ways to grow our business may be easier than we think. We just need to think like our customers and realize the buying decisions are no longer coming from the TV, Radio, Yellowpages etc. When it comes to our local business the ways of advertising are changing, we need to change the way we advertise in order to continue having success.

Everyday more and more users are jumping on the computer, cell phones and tablets. The way a customer finds you now may depend heavily on how you are listed on the search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo & Bing), major directories (Yelp, Citysearch etc) and social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn etc). If your customer cannot find you when and where they are looking for you or your services, than they may not become your customer at all.

By visiting this page I will take a educated shot in the dark and say you realize this is the case and you are now looking to do something about it. Below we have listed some helpful tips to ensure if you are trying to handle your internet marketing alone you have a guide to help you make all the right moves and avoid potential pitfalls that most DIY’s run into. I have tried to make it as easy to read and understand to help you build your online presence. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me at MichaelParente@busybeemedia.com and I will try my best to answer your questions ASAP.

Onsite – SEO for Local Businesses

Step 1) Already have a website? Go to step 2.
If not that is your first step. Creating a website is something that is very important to your business and the success you can find online. Without a website how are your potential customers going to find you online when they search for a service in your market with no company in mind?

The first step is to get a website up so you at least have a shot at potential customers finding your company and the information they need/want. You can find several sources online if you want to build a website yourself. Some require no knowledge of HTML/CSS and some do. Choose the one you are most comfortable with. You can always upgrade your website at anytime 🙂

Step 2) Website structure and making sure it is easy for customers to get the information they are looking for.
So you have a website but your not getting much traffic or people are coming in and leaving without looking around, there is a simple solution for this. Create a friendly website structure. Make the information your customers are looking for easy to find and navigate through. See an example on our website structure page.

Step 3) Go to Google Keyword Tools and find the most searched keywords related to your business. Example: if you are a roofer in Cleveland you may type in roofer Cleveland or roofing Cleveland. You will than get a list of keywords and the monthly searches. This will assist you in choosing the keywords you should use in the next couple of steps.

Step 4) Meta tags. Make sure your meta tags are created to let the search engines know what your website is about. The main meta tags to make sure you enter are the title & description tags. You can use the keywords meta tag as well, but if you do keep the list of keywords small and focused on the page you are writing them for.

Title tag: If you are a roofing company in Cleveland you may make your title tag: Roofing Cleveland | Roofers in Cleveland | ABC Roofing Company. Make sure not to use more than 65 characters (including spaces) as the Search Engines will cut off your tags and in some cases you can make your site look spammy by stuffing your title tag. example of what not to do: “Roofing Cleveland, Roofers Cleveland, Cleveland Roofing Companies, Cleveland Roof Repairs” see how this looks unformatted, spammy and to top it off non-user friendly. This could flag the search engines as you being a spammer even though that is not your intent and worse off turn your customers away to the next listing if for some reason you did make it to page 1 with those tags.

Description tag: This is the tag where you would want to tell customers why they should choose you and what makes you different. We usually try to keep this to 150 characters including spaces to keep from any portion of your description to be cut off. Using the same example above this may be what you make your description tag: We specialize in residential, commercial and emergency roofing repairs and installations in Cleveland. Call today for a free no obligation estimate.

How the search engines list this information:
Roofing Cleveland | Roofers in Cleveland | ABC Roofing Company
We specialize in residential, commercial and emergency roofing repairs and installations
in Cleveland. Call today for a free no obligation estimate.

step 5) Creating compelling and helpful content.
So you have your website created, a sound and easy to navigate website structure, the keywords you want to target now its time to put it all together. One of the main and most overlooked parts of SEO is the on page content. Having compelling and helpful content to your user can mean the difference of a user choosing you or a competitor and the difference from you being buried in the search or right in front of your potential customers.

You can have a professional content writer create this, if you do you should give them a few paragraphs about your company. You know your business and service the best. You know who your best customers are, what customer you want to attract, the lingo of the trade etc. When you write (or have this content written) talk to your user. Points of emphasis;
What Separate you from your competitors (don’t bad mouth the competitor just explain why people in your area choose you)
Services you offer and what your service areas are (e.g. we specialize in residential and commercial roofing and repairs in Cleveland, Toledo & Columbus Ohio)
Give a little information about the service offered (e.g. paragraph about residential roofing another for commercial roofing etc.)

Once you have your website designed, structure sound, keywords targeted and content created you are ready to place a few lines on your website to help you track your visitors and the way they use your site. Go to Google Analytics and create an account. This is a very important tool to help you analyze where your users are coming from, what pages they entered, which pages they left, how long they stayed on your site etc. With this information you will be able to update your site to fill any holes you may be seeing with your visitors usage. For instance if your visitor is coming into your site and backing right back out (high bounce rate) you could analyze what the cause of this maybe and make changes to help get them to the next page of your site (note a lot of service industries may have a slightly higher bounce rate due to the customer going to the site and making the call). The longer your visitor stays on your site, the more valuable you can see your site as. The more pages viewed by your visitor usually means they found useful information they were looking for and wanted to see what else you have to offer.

If you have covered the basis of onsite SEO please visit our offsite Local Business SEO page. I hope you find this information helpful. If you need any further information or have any questions please feel free to email me with those questions and I will try to help you.