Local search engine optimization
Elements of a successful business website – Part I
A successful local business website is one that’s easily found online and generates phone calls from potential customers.
It requires two important fundamentals: Search engine optimization and conversion optimization. Let’s talk about successful web design. This article will deal with the first element, Local SEO in San Luis Obispo County.
Local SEO in web design
SEO is structuring a website so it easily can be found and rank well in online searches on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
There are two main types of SEO: “on page” and “off page.” Good website design focuses on the important “on page” elements.
When search engines look at a website, they only see HTML source code, not the pretty design and artwork. Search engines use the text they read, links and other signals to determine the relevancy and authority of a webpage. They use this information to assign a rank in the results they return.
The first thing to decide is the primary keyword for the business. This is normally the company’s most important product or service and the primary city the company serves.
The steps for an optimized website
- 1. Keywords: Don’t guess at business keywords. Use Google’s keyword tool to research all possible keywords and select the most used term. Here is a link to the site: Keyword tool.
- 2. Site URL: The URL domain for the site should consider the following: the company name, primary keyword and geographic keyword, i.e. location. A few good examples are pasoroblesalarm.com, pasoroblesweddingstylist.com, etc. Shorter names are more valuable than longer names.
- 3. Site title: Repeat the website’s primary keyword in the site title. Each additional page should have a unique title. A good length is 65 characters. Include meta name keywords in the home page HTML. They tell the search engines what users will find on the page.
- 4. H1 tags: Repeat the website’s primary keyword and location in an H1 tag on the home page. Can you tell the targeted keyword for this page is Local SEO in San Luis Obispo County?
- 5. Body copy: Use the primary keyword once or twice in the body copy of the home page, but do not stuff a page with keywords. Each page should have 300 to 800 words of copy. Divide longer pages up with H2 or H3 subheadings. Include links to authoritative sources and links to other pages of the website with relevant content. Quality content builds credibility.
- 6. Use alt tags to describe the artwork displayed on the site. These are descriptions embedded in the HTML code with photos and logos. Don’t use a URL attached to the art unless that is where you want the viewer to go when clicking. For example, link to related content on the site.
- 7. Use the address on your Google Maps listing for consistency.
- 8. Address: Include the business NAP (name, address and phone number) on the home page and every page of the site. It should be identical to the company’s Google+ Local listing. This information is critical for mobile users who are usually looking for a phone number or address. Use the standard hCard microformatting to create the html code of the business NAP. http://microformats.org/code/hcard/creator.
- 9. Contact us page should include a live Google Map and a link to a KML map file on the domain titled “locations.kml.”
- 10. Include a link on the home page to the company’s Google Maps Business page. Use Google’s recommended formatting.
- 11. Create a sitemap and sitemap link on the footer of the home page.
- 12. Create at least four pages to the website including about us, contact us, and testimonials. Create unique pages for each major keyword to highlight. For example, an insurance agent should have a page for each type of insurance: life insurance in San Luis Obispo, health insurance in Paso Robles, auto insurance in Pismo Beach, etc. Repeat the processes above as they relate to page content.
Once your site is fully optimized be patient. It can take months for Google to reward your site with higher rankings. While you are waiting, start working on your “off-page” online presence. It’s called local search optimization and you can read more about it here: accesspublishing.com/localsearch.
We can help with Local SEO in San Luis Obispo Call us at (805) 226-9890.
See Elements of a successful business website – Part II – Conversion optimization
Posted by Scott Brennan
806 9th Street #2D
Paso Robles, CA 93446