What is Local SEO?
What exactly does Local SEO or search engine optimization mean? Well, first of all, nobody wants to say all of that, so the acronym SEO is used more commonly. Search engines are what find your page, so you want to optimize or improve as best you can its chances of being found when certain keywords are typed into a search engine. In other words, if I sell cat food, I want my site to show up whenever anyone in my area or beyond types in the words “cat”, “cat food”, “animal food”, “pet food” and maybe even “cat toys.” “In my area” is where the local comes in. If your customers are within driving distance, you need to target certain areas.
With all the websites on the Internet today, how can the search engines find your specific page? Well, there are a few things that must be done for your site to be found. First, your site must be constructed with keywords. There cannot be too many per page, and they should be focused around one or two keywords or strings of words or word families. Second, your site must be indexed and submitted to the major search engines. The majority of the US uses Google as its default search engine, so that is key. Finally, your site must be compatible for mobile usability. This means it must be just as visible and legible on a phone as on a desktop computer. This is no easy task, but WordPress templates sometimes help with this issue.
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the top three search engines with Google being the most used and, therefore, most important to tackle. Each search engine has its own criteria for page ranking, and each changes its criteria as people figure out unscrupulous ways to get around them – not unlike stuffing a ballot box to win an election. When Google realizes a site is “stuffing the ballot box” it actually penalizes that website, thus lowering its page ranking. Such unscrupulous tricks include keyword stuffing, hiding links using same color backgrounds and placement behind graphics.
Because of unscrupulous webmasters, SEO criteria changes to keep the playing field even. However, this moving target is what makes dominating SEO so difficult and time consuming for business owners to master. Allow Xizzee to do your SEO for you, thus saving you time, frustration, and failure.
At this time, Google’s most important element of page ranking focuses on mobile device optimization. Text size, layout, and ease of navigation are all evaluated by Google to establish a website’s ranking. Many websites get downgraded because of mobile site issues. In addition to mobile use, number of keywords, number and type of links, amount and quality of text, text structure and formatting, and more are evaluated by Google, Bing, and Yahoo for page ranking and must be followed weekly and possibly daily to make sure ranking is not negatively affected by changes or lack of changes.
Time is Money
SEO is a moving target, and thus, is time intensive. If a business is serious about using its website as true advertising, SEO is worth paying for. Consider SEO as a replacement for your monthly advertising budget. It requires detailed analysis and action to identify and remedy weaknesses affecting search engine optimization for and page ranking by Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
If you have the many, many hours, interest, and dedication it takes to learn and apply SEO, then by all means, you should do it yourself. However, if you would rather use that time to work your business, you might consider hiring a professional to do it for you.
What does Xizzee provide with its SEO Analysis?
Techies talk techie, but most business owners need things to be communicated in laymen’s terms. One of Xizzee’s customers is fond of saying, “Explain it to me like I am a kindergartener.” She knows that she will receive an explanation that does not include acronyms and techie terms. Each business SEO Analysis is presented in a narrative report with charts and graphs to help you see that data. Each narrative breaks down the data into bite-sized pieces that any person can understand and use to make business decisions.
Your business report includes your Google Page Ranking at the end of the month, an analysis of how many pages are currently indexed and searchable by Google and Bing/Yahoo, an analysis of keywords used for each page, and how many hits each received
After reviewing the narrative report, Xizzee provides a To-Do list that should help increase the SEO and Page Ranking. This To-Do list can be completed as a DIY for the business owner, or the business owner can employ Xizzee or another third-party company for assistance.
What types of tasks might be on the SEO Improvement list?
SEO improvement can range from the most simple task to what might seem an impossible task. Tasks include updating your content, adding more text to your pages, making content more interesting to your customers, adding contact forms to allow customers to email you directly, linking to social media pages, reformatting graphics to load more quickly, changing the entire format to be mobile friendly, and more.
Are Google AdWords an Option?
Sometimes small mom and pop businesses cannot compete with the big corporations that have entire budgets dedicated to social media marketing, website design, bloggers, and more. Because of this, another option for being noticed on the web is Google Adwords. The way it works is you choose which keywords you want to focus on, and you create a campaign to get those words noticed. You create an ad that will run on the right side of the search, and if someone clicks on your add, you pay Google whatever amount you agreed to. You also tell Google what your budget is for the month, and Google will never go over that budget. For example, if you have a $100 budget for the month, and you get a lot of hits in the first fifteen days, you might use up your $100, so Google will not run your add again until the first of the next month.
Creating a successful keyword campaign is not easy, but the Google representative can usually help you analyze which keywords might work best for you. Another competitive issue is that the best keywords cost more money. This could be another instance where the big corps outbid you on the amount they are willing to pay to use those common keywords. Don’t let it get you down. Look for keyword strings or families that might not be in use yet. You can also use the second or third most popular keywords for your campaign at a much lower cost than what big business is willing to pay.