Paying attention to and focusing on organic SEO can elevate your website ahead of the competition. A discussion with Don Silver, COO, BoardroomPR, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
What is organic search engine optimization (SEO) and why is it important?
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to establish and grow the flow of free organic traffic to your page. This helps Google better understand what your page is about. Google is then able to identify your page as being relevant to user searches, and therefore impacts the probability of your site appearing on page-one for a specific phrase or answers to questions that users are asking on the subject.
How can a specialized business reach its marketplace?
Find your niche market and cater specifically to that audience. Be thorough with your content and provide details beyond the surface of related topics. If you identify trends on what people are searching for, it may even make sense to create a unique, long-form page or blog post on that specific topic. Google favors these websites versus ones that have content on a wide variety of unrelated topics. Google’s search algorithm strives to match user search intent to the appropriate content, and ultimately attempting to match them to the most relevant sites.
How and why should keyword phrases be used?
You can use a combination of paid and free keyword explorer sites to identify the most popular keyword phrases in your industry. Examples include semrush.com, moz.com, ahrefs.com and others. They can be helpful in finding the best keyword phrases, rankings of websites that use them, and other related short and long-tail keyword phrases that highly ranked websites target. The most relevant keywords found should then be used throughout your website. However, overuse of them will come off as spammy. Usage of keywords should sound natural and flow well in a sentence.
Keep in mind that obvious keyword phrases will be the most competitive and more difficult to rank for and less likely to convert into a lead. Identifying specialized products or services your company offers may be more realistic, especially when long-tail keyword phrases are optimized. An example for a local locksmith might be, targeting “locksmith,” along with all your competitors versus focusing on “locksmiths that can open a safe” or “locksmiths for aviation.” Long-tail phrases are more specific and less competitive.
Is geotargeting important for the local marketer?
Yes, absolutely. People looking for services or products typically look for local suppliers. So, including the name of your city, neighborhood, county or region will let Google know you are conveniently located to the searcher’s location. That is one reason why many marketers create city pages for their websites to communicate loud and clear to Google that they have one or more locations in the area.
What are Title Tags and Meta Descriptions, and how can they be optimized?
Title tags are the links that appear as headings at the top of a listing when performing a Google search. A meta description is the text underneath these headings that provides further detail and preview of the link. Since these are the first items that appear when doing a Google search, it is essential to optimize them using relevant keywords. Remember to consider the customer’s point of view, in that they are very unlikely to click on title tags that do not state information that is in the same realm as what they are looking for.
What is a Google My Business listing?
Google business listings (GMB) are not websites, rather sections within a Google search page that appear when someone is searching for your products, services, related key words or brand, that states all the information regarding your business. These listings appear second in order, immediately after advertisements, on a search results page. Google only shows three company listings in the Map area’s standard view unless you click “view all” where you can then see all the listings. These three companies are the highest ranked by Google and get the privilege of appearing in what is called the “three pack” or the initial view of a searcher. Previously, Google had a “seven pack” in the initial view, which made it a lot easier for brands to receive more traffic. Being in the three pack helps your overall Google ranking and will therefore help bring more people to your website.
Why should businesses build out their Google Business Listings?
Google favors the brands who build out their Google business listings as much as possible. You can do this for free by using Google My Business, and either claiming a listing that is already there for your business, or creating one from scratch. By filling in all the information it allows you to input, add photos, receiving and responding to reviews, and actively updating information, Google will in turn rank you higher. Think of your GMB as a freestanding website that needs regular proper feeding and care in the form of posts, photos and images, videos and reviews.
Why is the Google Search Console an important tool in maximizing SEO rankings?
If you are continually optimizing your site, you know SEO is never finished, and what better way to improve your ranking than using tools they provide? Google Search Console, formally Google Webmaster tools, is one of the most powerful keyword tools in the industry. And the best part? It is FREE, available to everyone, and filled with all your traffic data from search queries. Search Console provides various tools to assist with day-to-day management, such as re-indexing web pages, monitor XML sitemaps, and even lets you see how Google sees pages and URLs on your site.
What other analytics tools are available, paid and unpaid?
Analytics tools will provide hard facts as to whether your SEO tactics are truly making an impact. This will help give your insight on what to improve on, and what to continue doing. A very popular analytics tool for keywords is Google Console and SEMrush. If you send out an eblast to your database of 5,000 contacts, did it have any impact on site visitors. What pages do people visit most and how long do they spend on them? What blog posts are opened the most? Analytics give you an accurate picture of what is working and what is not.
Don Silver is COO of Fort Lauderdale-based BoardroomPR, a statewide integrated PR and marketing agency with six offices located in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Naples, Tampa, and Orlando. For more information visit www.boardroompr.com.
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