Let's get right into it then... Our 5 Do's and 5 Don'ts for local SEO!
We are always talking about website content at LaunchLocal, we understand that it truly is a huge factor when talking about even the most basic of search engine optimisation topics. This is a MASSIVE DO on our part and we recommend having as much content as possible that is unique, relevant and of course, extremely well written on your website. Think of it like this, when you read an article or website, you can instantly tell if something is badly written or does not make sense. Well Google actually does the same thing, it will read through your website and the content that it displays and its algorithmic bots will rank you depending on this factor (along-side a HUGE number of other variables, but getting this one nailed, is really important.)
2. Images (Alt Tags & Sizes)
When choosing the images on your website, ideally is best to take your own photos and display to your users exactly what you services/products you are offering. This gives your site an authentic finish, not to mention makes your website look professional and more inviting for users who actually want that service/product. With the images now chosen, ensure the size is adjusted accordingly to which allows them to load faster. Then, take the time to make sure that every ALT Tag of the images is clearly labelled using variations of the key words that you are trying to chase for that page. Google will also use its bots to read through ALT Tags that are labelled on website images. So, go and double check the images on your website and ensure they are correctly titled and that the correct use of ALT Tags are in place.
3. Keyword Variation
So you either know the keywords that you are chasing, or you are still trying to find the ones that are right for you. Either way, when you have selected your keywords and you begin writing your website content, we feel that it is vitally important to take the time to utilise a range of keyword variations that relate to the topic you are writing about. What do we mean by this? For example, as we are an SEO company, our keyword choices would vary within that specific industry, i.e seo Cardiff, Cardiff seo services, Cardiff seo companies, seo companies Cardiff… I think you get the jist. This is a far more efficient way to make your website content relevant to the topic and it allows you to rank for an increased number of keywords that people are searching for on the major search engines, because remember, people search for things in a number of ways and they always will be. So displaying your website to as many people that are searching for you will in turn increase traffic and rankings. Make sense?
4. H1 and H2 Title-Tags
There is most definitely a benefit that is seen within search engine rankings when the correct H1 and H2 Title tags are used within a website. What this allows Googles Bots to do is clearly identify the topic that is being spoken about within the website. We advise that when using H1 and H2 Title Tags to ensure that the keywords that you have chosen are used correctly, you do not have to stuff your Title Tags with key words and once again, variation is essential! This not only is beneficial to Google’s bots, but without a doubt makes the message the website is trying to convey clearer for any user that enters the site.
5. Out-do competition
This is something I could talk about all day, outdoing the competition. This is a HUGE do for us and we feel that this is vital to a websites success within the rankings, especially a new website. Not only are we talking about out-doing the competition from a website point of view, but from an online marketing standpoint, you quite literally need to dominate in all senses of the word. From every angle possible, try to make your business seen and gain online presence. So, what we mean by dominating is using every social media platform to its full advantage, utilising Google + and Google My Business. When using both Google platforms take the time to full complete every aspect of your user profile, write lengthy descriptions about your business (No, do not copy this from the website!). Secondly, use as many images as possible and should we tell you again? ALT Tags need to be labelled correctly, with correct keyword variations.
1. DON’T use keyword stuffing
Now, I know for a fact that there will be a huge number of people that are going to read this part of the article that will instantly know what I am talking about. Once again it’s back to content, when writing it, do not be the person that bulks out your content with one keyword or unnecessary keywords in the wrong places. We still see this a lot with a magnitude of websites and it truly bothers us. It all comes down to user experience as well as Google Bot experience, so always complete the human test before you ever publish a piece of website content and be scrutinous in your approach t (Trust us, it helps) it really does not add value to your website and it turn, does not make much sense when keyword stuffing is taken to an extreme level and in some cases, businesses allow poor keyword usage to damage the style and design of their website.
2. DON’T Copy Content
One of the biggest DON’T’s for us at LaunchLocal is copying website content and not taking the time to write 100% unique content that has never been seen before. This is classed as duplication and will not allow you to rank in any way, shape or form for the desired keyword choices as my guess is, and you have probably taken content of a page that is higher up the search engine? Or maybe taken the content from a large site like Wiki? If you can write content yourself, do it well and do it right! If you have to hire someone to write your content for you, remember, what you get is what you pay for. When using a content writer that is of cheap cost, make sure that you check the content for plagiarism and triple check it as well as incorporating any other keywords that you want to rank for.
3. DON’T Use Spin-rewriters
This is such a huge mistake made by so many people who frankly, are too lazy to actually re-write content and are just taking the shortcut to success, but will soon realise that success will never arrive as using this method leaves you with nothing, but a bad taste in your mouth. Spinning content through re-writers that you find is website suicide. No text spinning program will ever be able to create 100% website content, it just will not happen. Remember, when we are talking about taking the time with content on your website, we are talking about the difference between ranking highly, to not ranking at all. Take the time, it will seriously be worth it and will most definitely benefit not only your website, but potentially your business.
4. DON’T overlook mobile optimisation
It is funny really, how mobile phones are now used to search for more than half those people that use a desktop computer and we have seen that business owners are neglecting this fact by now updating their website efficiently and correctly optimising it, to be seen on mobile devices in a sleek and stylish manner. Allowing an SEO team, or us here at LaunchLocal SEO to correctly optimise your site for mobile not only gives the end user a pleasant experience, but Google’s bots will as we always say, read through the websites and we have seen that websites that are not optimised for mobile definitely are dropping in the SERP’s.
5. DON’T Skimp out
We mean this in all senses of the word, spending the money, writing the content and taking the time to actually develop your online presence will 100% only benefit you and your business. There is no logical explanation for business owners within this day in age to not recognise this fact. Yes, money is horrible to part with and so is time, keeping both of these things are at the forefront of a lot of business owners mind, but when it comes to acquiring a ready stream of customers that are actively looking for your products and services, putting YOUR business right in front of their faces, is the smartest decision you can make. Always keep in mind that as you take the foot off the gas with your online marketing, someone else is going out and buying a newer, faster car and hitting that gas pedal much harder.