ACTIONABLE LOCAL SEO TIPS
(AN EPISODE OF THE DIGITAL STRATEGIST PODCASTING)
You are listening to Web Strategy Viking podcast head by the local Minneapolis digital strategist, Jake Goss-Kuehn. On this podcast, we will take in-dept on how you can do your own SEO to build link velocity, to create local citations and to be available for local directories, where if you not already at, will not tell Google that you are a local business.
I will go on with the theory and the nitty-gritty achievable tips, so this is available in video and audio on our podcast with exclusive content that are free and all available at webstrategyviking.com. Other things also available under lead strategy over at webstrategyviking.com head by a remarkable creative team and I cannot be here without them to provide all this content that we have. We try things that works and don’t work, and over time we figure out things that Google like and don’t like and what we (people also) find out is that Google does not like untrustworthy website or website that do not get shared. If you use your website maybe once or twice a year, it is not trustworthy, and no one is sharing it, so Google doesn’t if it could show that and trust it if someone is trying to find that local business. For example, we have this Life Coach come to the agency and say, “We need leads” and we say “Great, let’s see the website”, but unfortunately the website will not be able to be lifted in the search engine because the website does not talk about what they do regarding that keyword. If they are a Life Coach in Minnesota, it will be nice to have the website says “Life Coach in Minnesota” or “Life Coach Mn” anywhere on the page, instead it has a lot of wide compelling task, benefit and reasons why you will want to hire this person. So, this website only showed up if you looked up the name of the Life Coach. So, before you do any sort of work to build citation listing, there is about three things every small business needs to do to shop online. If you want people to find your business, you have to do these three things.
The first thing you need to do is, have a WEBSITE anywhere, you can go to the free route and go on Facebook. You just need to have something that you can claim as yours, something you can keep and something that your client, prospects or anyone can go to if they want to find your business. For most people, having a “Google my business” is one of the fastest ways and most trustworthy way because consumers are trained to not just find what we need but we are also trained to find the company with the biggest reviews that looks legitimate. For example, if I am trying to find a Life Coach, and I type “Life Coach in Minneapolis” and if it does show up, I will take the one with the biggest review. However, both of this problem can be solved with a “Google my business” listing which is free. That is step one, you need to have a website that someone can use to find you and go to you.
Step two is to make sure that that piece of digital real assets is prepared. We call this OPTIMIZE (which I think is too fancy for most people), some think it is kind of technical, No, it isn’t. It is just about finding your text; does it activate the search query that people are trying to type in? If I am typing in “Anxiety” or “How to hire someone who can help with my Anxiety”, will that trigger Life Coach, if my page just says, “I am a Life Coach” or “Why you should hire a Life Coach”? That might be over-optimized. So, we use like a checklist that is really standardized and with a lot of free content, we call this on-page SEO, on-page optimization; where you are preparing the page or website. If your website doesn’t even say your business’ name, you can’t be upset, if no one can find your business’ name or your business’ website if you have not taken that step to tell Google that “so and so” is a business located at “this” avenue, down town in Minneapolis that provide life coaching services.
That page might rank for “Life Coaching services”, “Life Coaching Minneapolis” and the business’ name, and that is just two or three sentences. You just want to make sure that you can put text that Google search robot can search for and read the site and say, “these all checks out, they should show up for this keyword if I trust them”. That is all the essence of this; to get Google to make that confirmation, to say “If I trust them well enough, I will position this website above all other website”.
So, step one is to make sure you can build an asset, step two is prepare that asset and step three is to make that asset trustworthy than your competitors, that’s all it is.
The third step is to make your website more trustworthy, to get your website to be shared more by trustworthy websites. I will give you my life case example, when I start building on my website, of course, it is fresh, I am building on it, there is just task on the page, optimizer and all. All I had to tell Google is that I am a legitimate local business. The best way you can do that for local businesses is to just go to local citation directories, what these directories are; the first one that come to my mind is the local chamber of commerce. If your name and address is in the local chamber of commerce, and that is link to your website, not only is that building a citation, it is creating a local, authoritative backlinks saying, “that my business is a local Minneapolis business”. Website vote for other website, every time you link to another website, it is that website telling Google, “that this website is worth sharing and if I am a trustworthy website, this is also a trustworthy website”. If that doesn’t make sense, the intuition of that is let’s say you are running for office of a mayor, and the senator of Minnesota walks in tell people “Hey, Jake is a great guy, he is running for Mayor, he gets my vote”. I don’t think anyone else will care what another candidate has to say, “if the senator endorses you, does any other candidate have the Senator endorse them?”, “No, okay let make Jake the Mayor”. And likewise, if I have like 3 or 4 members of the representatives endorse me, that will spring out thousands more vote, that is democracy.
So, to continue that, you need to have a network, which is easy. You need to convince a lot of businesses or get a lot of local backlinks quickly, and you can do this by going through this local directory’s websites. And if you are specific contractor, you want to go to some specific listings. There are these specific listing that if you properly fill them out with name, address and phone number and linked to your business website, this tells Google that, “Hey, this is what should show up when people try to find this business”. And if you are not doing that, you are going to lose to the person that is taking the 30 seconds out of their day to just leave a link on the local chamber of commerce website. All it does take is one link. You can’t win office if you don’t have one vote. So, a lot of this website comes as untrustworthy because no one is linking to their website, no website is voting for their website to really get that across. So, if you can get a website up or a Facebook page up, prepare that with the right name, address, phone number and other right details, also add the descriptions, all the text that will help Google to pick it up. There are thousands of other small things, but this is like 50% of the work. If you can do that, I guarantee you that you will be able to position yourself more in the search engine, people are going to find you more, and you are going to start getting a stream of phone calls. Again, this is Jake Goss-Kuehn with the web strategy Viking podcast, feel free to leave a comment and reach out, if you like our stuff, you can follow us and like us.