The tips nestled in this article come from a great deal of experience, yet they seem to ignore and/or contradict the things your so-called “Expert” friends tell you and seem to disregard the many things you have probably already read online about local SEO. That is because what you read online about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and local SEO is mostly fluff. Metaphorically, they are articles that promise to teach you how to fix a car, and yet only show you how to wax the bonnet. Read this article before you continue on with your SEO campaign, and maybe dial back your SEO efforts and take them a little less seriously because the most important element to your search engine ranking is a consistent and methodical service that offers use to your visitors.
Concentrate on The User and Everything Else Will Fall Into Place
Google has been singing this tune for years, and the only people who suffer when Google updates their search engine algorithm are people who have cared more about search engine ranking than they have about their viewers and website visitors. If your website does what it is supposed to, and if it lives up to the promises it makes, then Google will rank you up the search engine results. It may take longer than you want, but the companies that ride high are the ones that provide a consistently good and useful service.
Sign Up for Google and Bing “My Business”
Of all the points made in this article, the suggestion that you join Google “My Business” and it’s equivalent on Bing is probably the most controversial. The truth is that having an active listing on Google is good for your website’s SEO. One of the most powerful tools is its ability to have your website indexed very quickly.
Let’s say that you post something on Google My Business every week, such as a tip relating to the products you sell and lets say you have around 800 followers. Now, you add a new page to your website and you want Google to read and index it as quickly as possible. You can go through Google, or you can share the link and a post on Google My Business. If five or more people like your post, and/or if Chrome users follow your post, and/or if other people share your post, then the web page it is linked to will be read and indexed within 24 hours.
It may sound like an urban myth, but interest from Google regarding links to your website will always result in your website being crawled and indexed by Google. If you join forces with other people in your local area, such as by sharing each other’s’ posts, your local SEO will benefit even more than it already does.
Use Google Adwords To Direct A Little Traffic To Your Website
Another, albeit less, controversial tip listed within this article is the tip that you should use Google Adwords to improve your SEO. Where it is true that your SEO will only benefit a little from using Google Adwords — and Bing Ad Center — your use of local targeting tools may help people in your area learn about your services and/or your website.
What you need to do is generate a little publicity in your own area so that local Internet users know you exist and know what you do. Getting the attention of people in your area is more likely to result in them promoting you as a byproduct. Maybe they will mention you on social media, or maybe they will write lists and include you in them.
There is also the unproven theory that Google builds a profile on your website, and things such as outgoing links, incoming links, and your use of affiliate advertising helps them learn more about you. The theory states that if you target people in your local area, then Google figures out that maybe that is your target audience and so directs more local people to your website. However, this theory (although convincing) is unproven and unverified.
Avoid Popups, Auto-start Ads, Pinging Noises, And the Overuse Of Ads
What do these sorts of things have to do with SEO? Remember the first tip that says you should concentrate on your viewer/user and nothing else? Things such as pop-ups, adverts, etc., are there for your benefit and not for the benefit of your user.
For example, one of the dumbest popups is one that asks people to subscribe. People who are new are unlikely to subscribe just because your website tell them to. Plus, what about the poor loyal visitors who have to click that subscribe pop-up away every time they return. The same is true of all pop-ups because they punish people who visit your website repeatedly.
Webmasters use chat functions with loud pinging noises, pop-ups, auto-start ads and people overuse ads because they believe statistics. They see promotional content about how pop-ups improve subscription rates by 77% and they believe them without sparing a thought for their sorry viewers who have to repeatedly mute and close these things.
Use Backlinks to Funnel Traffic And Not To Build Search Rankings
Remember the first tip about concentrating on your viewers/users and letting everything fall into place. Well, there is no reason why you cannot go out and do a few guest posts and/or set up a few reciprocal links with other websites. However, your primary aim is not to build a backlink profile (a collection of backlinks). Your only goal is to put links on other people’s websites with the hopes people will click your links and follow them to your website.
There are plenty of technical reasons why doing this is a good thing, but simply take it as a fact and target websites where you think your target audience may congregate. For example, if you sell toddler’s shoes, then try to get links from local nurseries, health centers, playgroups and so forth. For example, assignmentgeek.com.au set up reciprocal link deals with companies that sell college supplies and grammar checking services because those are the places where their target audience may congregate.
Also: Recognize Old Tips as Useless Fodder
As a final point, try to take what you read online with a heavy dose of skepticism. Some older tips, and some of the most “common sense” tips are actually nonsense. Here are a few examples of the sorts of advice you should avoid.
- Use page keywords that include your address (Google doesn’t care about these)
- Include your name, address, phone number on your website (Google doesn’t take these into account for any SEO purposes)
- Stay active on social media (Plenty of websites have very little social media presence and still rank highly on Google’s search engine)
- Include reviews on your own website (Reviews on your own website have no effect on SEO)
In short, do your own research and your own trial and error testing to figure out what works and stop believing the things you read online because many times the things you read online are only copies of copied text that lazy writers have rewritten to create new online content.
About the Author: Mary Whitman is a writer and editor based in Adelaide, South Australia. At her odd moments, she is taking full advantage of creative writing and blogging.
Could your small business benefit from a pro bon expert on SEO?