Onsite Optimization is Key for Local SEO
Many times onsite optimization is placed on the back burner, but that can lead to an unnecessary slow start to a local SEO campaign. It is important to make sure that the onsite factors are fully optimized prior to starting a search engine optimization or content marketing campaign. There is no sense spending all of that time and money if the website is not going to perform to its fullest potential in the search results. Here are some onsite optimization factors that you should look into before going forward with a local SEO campaign.
Page Title: It is a good idea to use the main keyword in the page title, but do not go overboard and stuff it in there multiple times or just repeat it. It is also a good idea to get your “brand” name in the title as well. Keep the title less than 70 characters.
Meta Description: While the meta description has no impact on the search results it does impact the click-through-rate. The meta description is what shows under your page title in the search results. It is a good idea to keep the page’s targeted keyword in there (since that is what the user is searching for) and it helps to attract the user to your listing. This should be a few sentences that describes what you are offering. Short, sweet, and to the point in order to get a click. Most search engines will display up to 155 characters, so it is a god practice not to exceed this character count.
Page Content: Page content is what sells the product and or services to consumers when they land on your site. It also helps the search engines determine what your page is all about. It is important to use the page’s keyword throughout the content in a natural way and also include it in the H1 heading tag. We see several businesses purchase page content from freelancers overseas that reads horribly and is stuffed with the keyword. This will not only turn off potential customers, but it can also negatively impact the search results. Write your page content for the visitor and not the search engine, but make sure there is enough “meat” in the content for the SE’s will clearly know what your page is about.
Website Performance: Errors in the website code can lead to poor performance. This can also hold a site back from ranking to its full potential. There are several programs that will quickly scan your code and point out potential problems. We also have a full onsite audit service that detects any potential problems, and it is something that is very beneficial. Correcting problems like this in the beginning can lead to stronger initial rankings as well as a faster journey to the top of the local search results.
Website Speed: Search engines display what they feel are the best results, and they take page load speed into their algorithm. If your page loads slowly the visitor is going to click away and find a site that loads faster. The structure and development of the website impacts the load speed. There are some online resources that will check your speed, but if you have specific questions you can contact us and we can dig into your page speed issues.
G/B/Y Local: If you have a local business then there is no reason why you shouldn’t already have a Google+ Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo Local page already established. If you do not then you need to immediately get those up and verified. It is important to also optimize those local listing pages as well. These are the listings that show in the local search results on top, so they are prime real estate.
The suggestions above are extremely basic, but surprisingly many websites do not attempt to optimize the onsite factors. We analyze websites daily that are missing simple onsite factors and by making slight changes the websites shoots up into the local search results. Several local businesses can immediately have a presence in the local search results by simply optimizing these factors. This provides a great SEO base to build on.
Contact us if you have questions about your local SEO campaign or would like to learn more about the local search marketing services that we offer. Many companies will attempt to confuse the business owner with fancy terminology and tactics, but we believe in being 100% transparent.