Month: January 2016

10 Essential Local SEO Tips To Help Your Business Thrive Online

 
 

Do you want more local customers?

Do you know that local SEO is something you need to be concentrating on?

 

You’re not alone.

There are thousands of businesses thinking the same thoughts and looking for a little direction.

This has led me to creating my own list of the 10 essential local SEO tips to help your business thrive online.

 

Take a look at our infographic and read the summary below:

 
 
Local SEO Tips

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<p><strong>Please include attribution to YEAH! Local with this graphic.</strong>

<a href=’http://yeah-local.com/10-local-seo-tips/’><img src=’http://yeah-local.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Local-SEO-Tips.jpg&#8217; alt=’Top 10 Local SEO Tips’ width=” border=’0′ /></a></p>

Below is a summary of the infographic:

    1. Keywords – Keywords are still extremely important when working on your Local SEO. You need to know what your prospects are searching for and write content tailored around those search phrases. The best tools I have found for keyword research are KW Finder and the Google Keyword Planner.
 
 
    1. Create Engaging ContentSEO and content marketing go together, but it is easier said then done right? Think about questions your customers are asking and create content answering those questions. Still struggling with content ideas? Go to Buzzsumo and enter in a topic. It will let you know the most shared content on social media for last year. If you need to, hire content writers to turn out great SEO optimized blog posts on a weekly basis.
 
 
    1. Create a Page for Each Location – Putting all your locations on one page of your website is not good for SEO. You need to create a separate page for each location optimized with targeted title tags, descriptions, and content for that specific geo-location.
 
 
    1. Local Listings – You MUST claim & fully complete your profiles on Google My Business, Bing Local, Yelp, and other local listing sites. You can check to see which local listings sites you are already on by using Moz Local.
 
 
    1. NAP Citations – Citations are “mentions” of your NAP (name, address, and phone number) on the web. You need to get at least 30 to 50 citations with the correct NAP. Consistency of your NAP is key.
 
 
    1. Customer Reviews – Reviews are the easiest and most profitable way to grow your business. I am sure within the last week you were influenced by an online review yourself. Focus on 2 to 3 review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, or Facebook and encourage reviews by linking to your review profiles from your website and asking customers directly.
 
 
    1. Don’t Over-Optimize – Remember tip #1? Well, don’t go overboard and put your keywords in every sentence of your web page or blog post. When optimizing your site sprinkle in the keywords a couple times so it flows and makes sense.
 
 
    1. Mobile Searches – Make sure you have a mobile-friendly website. Go on your phone and look up your site just like your customers would. Is it easy to navigate?
 
 
    1. Social Media – Your business needs a social presence and the profiles should be optimized for SEO. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are good places to start. These profiles are usually the ones that show up first when prospects search for your brand online.
 
 
    1. Images and Videos – Most people love to look at images and videos, plus they are great for local SEO. Use them on your website, local listings and social media to engage your prospects. Make sure they are optimized with local keyword terms as well.
 

Have another Local SEO Tip you want to share? Leave a comment below and share this post with your friends, followers, or connections. It would be much appreciated!

 

Want More Local Customers? Download Our Local SEO Checklist Instantly!

 
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How to Drive Organic Traffic Without Ranking in Google’s Top 10

How to drive organic traffic without ranking in Google's top 10

The internet has evolved over the years.

Search engines have as well.

Where Yahoo once garnered most of the attention as the go-to search engine, we are now more familiar with Google as the one that most tend to prefer.

Once upon a time, you could stuff keywords in your content and just build backlinks to easily take over the top ten rankings.

Google SEO

Those days are long gone, after all of the shakeups and algorithm changes that Google has gone through.

Now, there’s much more that needs to be done to get those coveted top ten rankings, and it can be rather difficult.

However, that isn’t the ONLY way to get traffic, yet time after time that is the ONLY thing that people try.

Front door lockIt’s almost like trying to get through a five-inch thick steel front door, when there are other ways to sneak into the house.

Sure these ways may be a little tricky to get through such as the side windows, but they’re much easier than trying to push and break through that front

 

door.

 

Make sense?

You can STILL get traffic, a lot of it, even if you aren’t on the first page.

How do you do this?

Well, to be frank with you, it’s just doing what makes sense and what has been working in the background for a while now. Here’s a closer look.

Longer Quality Content

Longer quality content always performs well.

Always.

You don’t need a search engine to tell you that. In fact, you don’t even need a search engine to bring you the traffic.

Longer quality content that educates its audience will be passed around and shared AND will get the traffic it deserves.

Why?

Here’s why, because the potential traffic is now in the hands of the user.

If the user finds VALUE in it. Yes VALUE, not keywords or phrases – VALUE, then it will be shared.

Adding Value with Content

Think about your own search behaviors or when someone shares ANY KIND of information with you that’s valuable.

What do YOU want to do with it?

Keep it to yourself? Not likely.

You want to share it with the people you know need to hear about it.

While you may think that longer content just won’t get read, we respectfully disagree. Many content experts have long argued that it does and that readers WANT longer content.

Think about these two articles, the first is one page in length while the second is four pages:

“5 Ways To Make More Money”

“20 Ways To Make More Money”

Keep in mind that the second article goes into greater detail and offers more ways to make more money.

If you wanted to learn HOW you could make more money, which one would you want to read AND which one would you be MORE interested in reading?

The first or the second?

Which one do you think you may be more inclined to share with others?

The first or the second?

Sure you might argue “Well, if the first one showed me a way I’m comfortable with, then that would do.”

Okay, point taken, BUT most of us need more direction, more information, and more options.

If there is a topic that we’d like to learn more about, we most definitely want to learn as much as we can.

This aspect of share-ability, being more content rich, is one of the ways your information can get more traffic.

Share content for SEO

Which leads us into one of the fastest ways (aside from someone emailing the link on) to get your content more traffic.

You probably know of it and use it on a daily basis. It’s…

Social Media

Whether your favorite Social Media platform is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest these Social Media monsters can put your content on the fast track if readers find value, there’s that word again – VALUE.

VALUE, and there it is again.

Can’t say it enough. If you provide content with a ton of value then it will eventually gain attention.

Yes, if someone reads your content and finds it valuable or finds extreme value, then the potential traffic you can get is truly limitless.

Here’s how Social Media and long-form content work together – Neil Patel of Quicksprout took a look at his long form content to see how it did. Want to know how often it got shared?

He looked at nearly 400 blog posts that he wrote. The results were as follows:

  • Posts under 1,500 words got an average of 174 tweets and 59 Facebook likes

  • Posts over 1,500 words got an average 293 tweets and 75 Facebook likes

As you can see, longer content does perform much better when it comes to becoming shared socially.

Here’s an example from our very own YEAH! Local blog.

The post titled “6 Super Useful Steps To Improve Your Online Presence” came in close to 1,500 words AND received a total of 258 social shares; 63 Tweets

 

and 72 LinkedIn shares alone.

 

Improve online marketing presence

You can view it here in its entirety:

http://yeah-local.com/6-super-useful-steps-improve-online-presence/

Now, please understand that we are not encouraging that ALL you need to do is JUST write longer content, no.

You can write tons of content with no value, that’s easy to do, however, it won’t get the kinds of shares you’ll want.

If you plan on writing longer form content, don’t do so just because you want to hit that 1,500 word mark – do so with the intent of providing more value.

Become An Engineer, Reverse Not Civil

You have probably heard the term “Reverse Engineering” before. All this entails is taking a look at where you want to be, and then picking apart their

 

process to see how they got there.

 

Reverse Engineer SEO

In terms of traffic, what you can do is take a look at your competitors to see HOW they are getting the traffic that they are receiving.

Do they have a large social media following? Are they industry experts that do a lot of guest blogging? Do they advertise with paid traffic to build their

 

mailing lists up?

 

If you take a look at what your competition is doing, you should be able to get an idea of what they are doing so you can reverse engineer it.

In doing so, you will be able to bring in the traffic you have been looking for.

Don’t know WHO your competition is? Then check out:

SimilarSites.com

Similiarsites.com for SEO Company research

When you enter your website, you will be able to see who your competition is in your given field. You’ll see the specific areas that they target.

You can then visit their sites to pick apart their process to see how they are doing things. If you are looking to build a large mailing list and want to

 

see how they are able to keep subscribers and readers on it, then you can do one simple thing today.

 

Sign up.

Hmmm…sound uncomfortable?

Maybe.

However, how are you going to know what to do if you don’t know what it is they are doing?

We know, thought provoking.

Please understand that we are NOT suggesting that you sign up to your competitor’s list and plagiarize their content.

No. Sign up with the intention to learn. Are they sending out content on a specific area? Do you notice that their newsletters are longer? Do they mail on

 

a weekly basis?

 

If you want to beat your competition, then you’ll need to know WHAT they are doing in the first place.

It’s the same as watching game film. For our Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, and Atlanta Falcons fans out there, you know what we are talking about.

No one goes into a competition WITHOUT learning about their competition first, and here’s the thing – Whether you want to or not, you ARE in a competition.

Share It Yourself

The last way we’ll discuss getting traffic for your business without the search engines is this – Be Proactive.

You want some? Go get some.

You want traffic? Go out and get it.

How?

Here are two ways. The first is guest blogging. That’s right, take that valuable content that you created and share it with others whose audience could use

 

that kind of content AND will find VALUE in it.

 

Guest Blog

Man, there’s that word again.

For example, let’s say that you created a special type of fishing lure. The kind that will get ANY and ALL kinds of fish, but you’re new to the scene.

So you create a neat little infographic on WHY it works so well, how it works and all the kinds of fish you can catch. So you write a short piece on it and

 

reach out to fishing blogs to “Guest Post” it.

 

All you ask for is a one-line link back to your site.

You reach out to 100 sites, half of them (that’s conservative) take you up on it.

It’s a win-win.

The blogs are providing tremendous value and you in turn get a mountain of free traffic, with little work on your end.

Here’s the second way of being proactive – Find sites to share your value filled information that interested parties will visit, and want to share with

 

their audience.

 

A site that comes to mind is Growth Hackers Community. You can post things such as your infographic for others to find and share.

While the paid alternative to creating an infographic are much better, you can still get away with a free web-based program such as Piktochart to create

 

yours.

 

You can visit the site at: http://piktochart.com/

YouTube Video

Ideally, your content will contain a link back to your site. In essence, you are piggy-backing off of their authority ranking and everyday traffic.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see there are many other ways to get your content out there, get your site noticed and get more traffic without relying on the search engines.

However, these aren’t the only ways that we here at YEAH! Local suggests you do so.

If you are ready to get started and want the best Atlanta SEO company to get you the ranking your company needs, then fill out our Discovery Form and we’ll

 

be in touch with you as soon as possible.

 

Also, share this post and leave a comment below to continue to conversation.

Want to Learn How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing? Download Our Content Marketing Guide Instantly!

Content Marketing Guide

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Don’t Get Duped: Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency

Hiring an SEO Company

How your business chooses an SEO agency is important.

But it can be pretty tricky.

Modern business demands a credible online presence.  Yet, shysters seem to lurk behind every web page, just waiting to pounce.

This post is for any business owner that knows they need SEO but is wary of getting scammed.

The truth is:

Entrepreneurs are smart to be skeptical.

If you don’t understand our industry, your local “SEO expert” might just take you for a ride.  Or worse yet, some shady overseas “SEO agency” may just reel you in with an irrefusable offer and then ruin your domain name forever.

Avoid SEO Scams

That’s not to say that all one-man SEOs or foreign agencies lack search optimization skills and need to get over on people.

However, plenty of them do. If you aren’t careful, your website, brand, and business may be forfeit.

At the end of the day, you have to talk to your SEO agency, ask questions, and hash out a customized plan that makes sense.

But before you start throwing questions their way, make sure you’re actually prepared for the answers you might receive.

Make sure you start with a little introspection.

Set Marketing GoalsQuestions For Yourself

Few business owners actually understand how search engine optimization works.

So even if you’re looking for an SEO agency, the technicalities are not where you should focus.

Instead, entrepreneurs should concentrate on running their business and completing goals.

To this end, there several questions any business owner should answer about their own business before they even consider selecting a digital marketing company.

What is our value proposition?

A strong value proposition sends important signals about your business.  It’s crucial that any online marketing you do is centered by a value proposition that sets you apart.

What does the ideal online sales cycle look like for us?

Your focal point might be an online store, generating phone calls, growing an email list, or something else.  Your particular combination will be based on your brand and industry.

How much is each new customer worth to us over their lifetime?

Customer acquisition is the name of the game in Internet marketing.  A real understanding of what new customers are worth helps you answer related questions regarding budget.

What level of success have we had with online marketing so far?

Your brand’s online history is an important part of the SEO equation.  Age is a big deal to the search engines as well as users.  That’s why this question helps establish perspective.

What are our (short and long term) goals?

Never forget that good SEO is a long term strategy.  Balance your goal timeline and always keep perspective on what is most important.  Quick hit SEO is not the way to go.

The power in understanding these aspects of your business is two-fold:

First, any good SEO consultant or company is going to ask these questions, so be prepared to provide answers.  Indeed, the presence of a well-designed Discovery Page indicates that a company designs custom campaigns for their clients.

Second, knowing these answers will give context to the questions you’ll be asking during the interview process.

phone interview

But before we get around to putting these questions to prospective agencies, let’s go ahead and eliminate as many unfit candidates as possible.

Prescreening SEO Services

There’s no reason to talk to an SEO who you don’t trust or already know isn’t the right fit.

So, doing research up front will save you time (and headache) down the road.

prescreening seo servicesIf you’re researching Internet marketing companies, it only make sense to use the Web to screen them.  Luckily, the modern Net is quick to volunteer information on businesses and brands.

We say your first three filters should be Rankings, Reviews, and Reaction.

Not every good SEO company will focus on all three, but if they can’t do any of these right for themselves, it’s hard to imagine they could get them right for your brand.

The place to start though, is quite logical.

Rankings: Search Engine Results

It’s all about proof.

The most obvious way to prove that you can help a business rank for their keywords is to rank for your own.  

If you’re looking for local results,  you can search by your industry, ie. “dental marketing atlanta”, “seo for lawyers atlanta”, etc. and see who turns up on the first page.

These “showcase keywords” are one of the primary ways search marketing companies jockey for position in front of potential clients.

However, this requires ample resources.  Many SEOs choose not to fight that battle.

And they don’t have to, when their client’s rankings are enough.

Reviews: Online Reputation

For the last few years, Internet reviews have had the power to make or break businesses.

But now, online reviews are even factored into search algorithms.  Which means that online reputation management now falls into the realm of SEO.

So when you’re looking through reviews of potential agencies, you’re also performing a basic component of the modern web presence audit.

Realize that great testimonials are the ultimate marketing tool.

For SEO, look for them on Google My Business, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Atlanta SEO Reviews

But be on the lookout for fake ones.  Many companies see the value and pay for reviews from places like fiverr.com.  It can be hard to pick out the genuine article unless you know what to look for.

That’s partly where the next filter comes in.

Reaction: The “Gut Check”

One of the main things you want to do when you seek out SEO companies is to analyze their marketing at an emotional level.

good vibes good marketingHow does it make you feel?

Emotion plays a big role in marketing.

Remember that the company you choose will be creating marketing campaigns that represent your brand.  If you don’t feel they’ll help you connect with your audience, you’ll want to choose someone else.

 

Many of the best SEO agencies create authoritative content designed to inform their audience and establish trust in their industry.

For example: This post.

In theory, they’ll be responsible for doing the same thing for your brand.

This filter is all about trust.  It’s no guarantee, but it is a good start.  You still have to get the marketing consultant on the phone and:

Ask the Right Questions

The questions you should ask should have less to do with SEO strategy and more to do with legitimacy and fit.

You could almost say we’re still screening here.

Look for Red Flags

looking for seo red flagsSome questions you’ll ask to weed out shady companies.

Many of these are tests.  You’re looking for specific answers and if you don’t get them, you know that the company you’re interviewing doesn’t practice top-tier search engine optimization.

This is where you separate the real SEOs from the SEO salesmen.

Are your services cheap?

Start here because there is no such thing as “good, cheap SEO” anymore. Today, this is the first tell-tale sign that an agency doesn’t prioritize sustainability.  Turn tail and run.

Can you guarantee we get to the number one spot for our best keyword?

Guarantees in SEO are sketchy.  The fact is, no one knows exactly how Google’s algorithms work on any given day.  So promising the top spot is always risky business.

How fast will you get us ranked?

Mentioning “easy wins” is one thing.  But legit SEO timetables are a really difficult thing to come by.  Predictability in SEO is at an all-time low.  Beware those that say otherwise.

How many backlinks are you going to build me?

In this case you’re looking for shysters to betray themselves with answers like “100s” or “1000s”.  That type of answer reflects an outdated and limited understanding of SEO.

How do you handle communication and reporting?

It’s important that you know your contact person within the company you’ll be working with.  On top of that, legitimate agencies provide periodic reporting on rankings and other info.

Do you always follow Google’s best practices?

This is huge.  If you encounter an SEO with blatant disregard for what the search giant has to say, run the other way.  They are begging for penalties.  And so are their clients.

Why should we hire you?

With this one, you’re looking for unrealistic claims not otherwise listed.  Here, the SEO salesmen hits you with unrefusable offers.  Open the door and see their true colors.

If they can make it through this batch of questions without raising any alarms, it’s time to move on to the real interview.

The Right FitFind the Fit

Just because they are legit doesn’t mean their business is a match for yours.

You want to make sure that they can represent your brand the way it should be.  So you need to ask questions that pertain to your business.  But the conversation should be open on both ends.

This is where you can expect those questions you answered about your own business to come up.  And if they don’t, you should consider that the last “red flag”.

As you’ll notice, this last set of questions requires they know a bit about your business.

What kind of SEO work do you do?

Modern SEO is an expansive topic.  Effective optimization plans are based on the business they are designed for.  Some agencies specialize in one area of SEO, others do it all.

Can we see samples of work for similar clients?

If you’ve properly prescreened your list of potential SEOs, you might already have all the examples you need.  Either way, try to find someone with experience in your industry.

How will your work tie into our other marketing efforts/industry?

Any SEO firm that you choose to work with will need to mold their tactics and strategies to fit your business.  Focus on how well the consultant integrates your vision into the answer.

How do you typically determine success?

Your marketing consultant should be looking to build on the ideas you have for your brand online.  So when it comes to goals, you want an SEO that lines theirs up with yours.

Depending on your business and the plan your chosen expert has in mind, there maybe more specific questions you should ask.

Dont fall down the SEO rabbit holeDon’t be afraid to be creative with your inquiry.  Just try not to journey too deep down the rabbit hole of search ranking theory.

Final Takeaway

If you use this post as a blueprint, you’ll be able to select an SEO with confidence.

What you want is a tough decision between several great agencies.  If you’ve gone through the entire process and can’t decide, return to the “Reaction” phase of the prescreening process and go with your gut.

As long as you’ve focused on finding legitimate digital consultants whose marketing strategies and expertise are compatible with your brand, you’ve done your due diligence.

If you feel that Yeah! Local might fit the bill for your business, please get the conversation started today via our Discovery Page.

Also, if you’ve found this post helpful, please share it on your social media network to help others make smart digital marketing decisions.  Or, if you have a question or another excellent question to ask prospective agencies, please comment below!

Want More Local Customers to Find You Online? Download Our Local SEO Checklist Instantly!

Atlanta Local SEO Checklist

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