What is the Value of Local SEO?
As a Local SEO Consultant, I know the benefits of Local SEO. With the right strategies in place, a business can have a firm foothold on Google Page 1 search engine results for their niche in their market. And what this means is that anyone searching for their product or service on the internet in their area is likely to visit their website and potentially become a customer. It’s what’s called Inbound Traffic and Conversion. And since it is Organic traffic, it is theoretically free, but we all know that is not really the case. At least I haven’t started doing Local SEO work pro bono.
Yes, that was a very simplified explanation of what Local SEO can do for a company. For a more detailed explanation, please see my article “Compete With The Big Dogs With Local SEO Marketing”. But now that we have covered the benefits, what about the added value to a business? After all, marketing is not just about the ebb and flow and conversion of prospects. It is also about how the public perceives a business as well as the reputation of the business. These are the intangibles of marketing that also play a role on the Internet. So if I haven’t lost you yet, allow me to explain in a little more detail what I mean about value in contrast to the benefits of Local SEO. Continue reading
Plugins can improve your Local SEO
As a Local SEO Consultant who often works with WordPress for building and maintaining websites, I find myself looking for plugins from time to time that solve specific problems. And if you are like me, basically unskilled in website development or design, sometimes those Plugins can be a life saver. In a previous post, “SEO For Your WordPress Website”, I listed six WP Plugins that were useful for SEO. They were:
- Google Analyticator
- Google Author Link
- Google XML Sitemaps
- W3 Total Cache
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
These six FREE plugins create a good foundation for any WP site (although the designers are always happy to accept donations). As I mentioned in the article, the Google XML Sitemaps plugin may not be necessary since the Yoast plugin includes an XML sitemap, but I had an issue with the Yoast version (since updated several times) so I used Google XML Sitemaps instead. But in addition to these six essential Plugins, there are 5 others that I want to share with you that have come in handy when needed. Use of these Plugins can either help your Local SEO or make the content creation for your website a little easier.
5 More WordPress Plugins for Local SEO
Once again, the following Plugins are all free. Please keep in mind that someone had to invest their time and resources to develop these great tools, so try to feel generous with the donations. More details are available by going to the website for each Plugin using the links provided. Continue reading
Don’t let Anchor Text sink your Local SEO!
If you ask a hundred different Local SEO consultants “What anchor text distribution is best for inbound links?” you will likely get a hundred different answers. Back in the day, before mean old Google started handing out spankings for over optimization, the answer would have been “Use the keywords that you are trying to rank for on search engine results”. So if you were trying to rank for “Cheap Hotel Rooms”, then that keyword phrase was what you used for the anchor text of your links. Seems pretty easy, right? Well, Google doesn’t like easy. Google not only wants you to earn your links, they (he, it whatever) wants you to have a “natural” anchor text distribution for your links. What does this all mean? What is anchor text? What is anchor text distribution? Let’s take a couple of moments to break it down.
Anchor Text Influences Local SEO
Anchor text, as it relates to inbound links, is the verbiage that is used in the link itself. One of the most common anchor texts is “Click Here”. It became apparent some time ago to SEO consultants that generic anchor text like “Click Here” would be no help at all to Local SEO or any other type of SEO. It didn’t give Google any information about what the link or the site it was being directed to was all about. So some brilliant SEO consultant (no, not me) came up with the idea that if you used the keywords that you were trying to optimize your site for as the anchor text for inbound links, well, Google would be all over that and your site would get a boost in terms of relevancy for those keywords in the search engine results. Soon, everyone and their brothers were flooding the internet with highly optimized anchor text links, which means far too many links looked like our “Cheap Hotel Rooms” anchor text example. Continue reading
Friendly Customer Service is Good Local SEO
Last week I went off on a little rant about my un-favorite internet service provider Comcast. And yes, I am done being coy about the name of the company. We discussed how Local SEO is dependent upon your local reputation of not only your product or service, but your customer service as well. Clearly, as was evident in my previous diatribe, Comcast had dropped the ball in the customer service department. In fact their product, in this case their internet service, was also lacking, which is what precipitated the whole ordeal to begin with. None of this would have happened had I not called the support desk several times to resolve an internet service issue and had been finally convinced to change my package of services. What was I thinking?
Since that article was written, I did make my way over to the service center to turn in the modem. The impetus was my discovery that one of our TV cable boxes was not HD compatible, so I needed to exchange that box anyway. It made it so much more palatable to justify my presence there as not being because of the internet modem fiasco, but because of the cable box exchange necessity. Kind of like, “Oh, and while I’m here, I might as well turn in this internet modem that has been sitting around my office.” And who would have thunk it, but while I was there, anticipating the worst, I would be pleasantly surprised by their Local SEO upgrade to: “Well, that wasn’t so bad”? Continue reading
Customer Service is part of the Local SEO Package!
OK, time for another rant. If you have read any of my articles, you know that Local SEO is dependent on the reputation that a company has, particularly as it is exhibited on line. This reputation is won not only by the quality of the product or service sold by the company, but also by the customer service provided by that company. So, what happens when a company provides terrible customer service, to the point that they act as if they don’t care one whit about what their customers think about them? I’ll tell you what, they develop a bad reputation and their Local SEO is severely compromised.
Here’s my story, and I’ll try to keep it brief, but probably not. I was having some problems with my internet service provider about a month ago. For some reason, they were blocking access to my business websites. I could access them with another service provider, just not mine. And it was not just from my IP address either. But that is not the issue that prompted this rant. While calling more than once to resolve this problem (happened two weeks in a row), they kept telling me that I was overpaying for my services and could save a significant amount of money by bundling my services, both internet and cable TV.
Local SEO begins to die a slow death
Against my better judgment, because somehow I knew they would screw things up (I’ve dealt with this company off and on for many years) I relented and changed to the packaged service. While setting things up over the phone, the conversation turned to my internet modem. I already owned one when this company took over service in our area, and my bill always reflected an owned modem, which meant no rental fee. So when the customer service rep brought up the modem, I emphasized that I did not need a new modem as I already owned one. I even told him to check my current account to see that it was reflected in my billing statements. He assured me that the modem rental was removed from my package, and that we were good to go. Well, you know where this is going, don’t you? Continue reading