December 16, 2014 Need to Get a Handle on your Local Listings? Here’s How!

Managing your local listings can be a headache if you don’t have a plan. There are lots of moving parts, and even a relatively small error can lead to problems that can cost you in a rather expensive way.

In some ways managing your local listings is more work than a site serving globally. You need to make sure all your data is correct for each location and this can be challenging. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials necessary for good local listing management.

Getting the basics of your local listings in order

Here are some of the things you’ll need to get in order from the start.

  • The most essential aspect of managing your local listings is to ensure that your NAP data, that is your company’s name, addresses and phone contact, (along with all your other data) is correct across all locations and platforms.
  • Many times local companies make the mistake of lacking a phone contact number. Don’t be that guy! Even if it is only a voicemail ensure your customers and prospects can reach you.
  • Make sure to completely fill out any profiles online that contain your information. This is a great way to get info out there about your business, and the more you can inform readers, the greater shot you’ll have at getting that new lead.

Taking the next step

Once your basics are covered, make sure you are taking advantage of all the wonderful sites and opportunities that are available to local businesses. A lot of them are free, and others have a modest fee. Here’s just a few to get you going.

  • Ensure that you have a local presence in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Look at local directories like Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze, and Factual as aggregators like these provide data to mobile companies and search engines alike.
  • Look into listings with properties like Yelp, Yext, Foursquare, Facebook. You’ll find that their local packages can be less than you might have thought, and can make a huge difference.
  • Use tools like Bright Local, Moz Local or Whitespark to monitor your citations and track your progress. This will be an ongoing process, as you’ll want to keep getting more and more citations that will give your business even greater reputation.

December 11, 2014 How to Know What Google Uses to Determine Where your Web Pages Rank

What Effect Do Your Keywords Have in the Search Results?

There are many factors that go into determining where your pages rank in the Google search results, at last count more than 200 and climbing. And this is only a guess, using the available empirical evidence SEO’s and webmasters have been able to divine from looking intently behind the curtain.

While SEO is at least in part a crap shoot, we can make very educated determinations regarding what we ought to do and ought not to do to our pages to try and get them found highly in Googles search results.

In a search world not so long ago and far away, you could get top rankings simply by stuffing as many of your primary keywords into your content as you could reasonable fit. Not any longer. These days Google’s search algorithm has become smarter, and is able to discern a great deal more intent, and recognizes keyword stuffing instantly.

This is not to suggest you can’t do well by strategically inserting keywords in all the right places. Indeed, you should do this. You just have to do it naturally.

How to use keywords to increase your search rankings

Shaping your page content to focus on a particular keyword ranking is something of an art. Often the domain name may have little to nothing related to the keyword in question, and that’s one reason keywords in domain names are no longer the signal they used to be.

Today having the keyword in your URL, title tag, H1-5 headings and sprinkled judiciously throughout the content is the best way you can help your cause.

What keyword tactics can hurt you

There are some ways you can shoot yourself in the foot in this respect as well. Keyword stuffing, that aforementioned relic of yesteryear, is but one.

Another frequent mistake is that when acquiring backlinks, webmasters often tend to go hog wild making their anchor text is all the same keyword. Nothing screams unnatural to Google more than a link profile employing only the most prized keywords. Mix it up with a variety of keywords, and some non-keyword phrases like “click here”, and others.