Sunday, February 21, 2016
How to Make your Maine Website Search Engine Friendly
This is a guide for small business owners in Maine to take that Maine Web Design and make it Search Engine Friendly. Increase your website ranking with
these simple tips and tricks that any business owner can implement.
Here in the Great State of Maine, there are a lot of small businesses that can’t afford an SEO expert. This guide will help those that are a little Internet
savvy and want to do the basics themselves to improve their search engine ranking.
Of course, you don’t have to live in Maine to use this guide nor do you need to be a web wizard to use most of these tips.
There is a lot of confusion about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing. SEO can be a very technical field and hiring an SEO guru certainly
will give your website an enormous ranking boost.
Oddly enough the experts will tell you not to write for the search engines and in the next sentence recommend you go to Google and study the 200 plus ranking
factors. Which is it?
Well, studying Google’s 200 ranking factors that analyze your website and content will certainly give you great insight into how to setup your website
This guide is to help those that want to learn the core basics without learning all the technical jargon and still improve their website ranking.
Learn the basics of good SEO combined with a little old-fashioned common sense and it will take you a long way.
The Truth is SEO is much like baking a cake. You don’t need to be a chemist to bake a great cake. As long as you know how to bake and include the right
ingredients your cake will be delicious.
Of course, that doesn’t make you a master baker nor will these tips make you an expert in SEO but the tips will certainly improve your ranking and get
you on the right track.
SEO is not some “black art” brewed in a cauldron. Most of SEO is just combining common sense with great content that is relevant to your audience.
Now let me show you some of the main ingredients to improve your SEO and Search Engine Ranking.
If you want to learn more about SEO than Moz has a great "Beginner's Guide to SEO".
Something as simple as your Name Address and Phone number can impact your search engine ranking. So make sure your NAP is consistent across all your major
Inconsistent NAP across the web can cause confusion with the search engines and damage your credibility and search engine ranking so be sure to keep it
consistent on your website, Google My Business, and directories.
It may seem inconsequential but this includes using the same exact format across the web. For example, if you use 1210 Main St., Ste 102 is sure to use
this format everywhere and not change to 1210 Main Street, Suite 102. Pick a format and stay with it throughout all your listings. You want an exact
match so there is no confusion and it makes it easy for the search engines to validate your listings.
A common mistake that many websites exhibit is to list their NAP in graphics or photos. Search engines cannot read this information so be sure your NAP
is in text format.
Search Engines crawl the web for data and when there are any discrepancies in the data the search engines may see this as inconsistent info and, therefore,
unreliable. It is an easy fix and better safe than sorry.
Creating consistency across all your Internet listings will strengthen the relevance, reliability and validity of your website which will increase your
Google My Business
There is no cost to set up your Google My Business page for your local business. At zero cost it is one of the best cost-effective ways to increase your
page ranking. It puts your business listing across multiple Google properties including Search, Maps and Google+ so be sure to claim your listing.
GMB is a great resource and it will give your Google ranking a boost so head on over and get started with Google My Business.
Content marketing is the heart and soul of Local SEO. “Content is King”
is a common mantra
on the web for a good reason.
Before you create your content, you need to research and think about what audience you want to interact with your business.
Once you find your target audience you need to discover what problems challenge them and how you can help them solve that problem.
When you know your target audience and what they are looking for then you can create content that is addressed directly to them and their problem.
Now that you have a good idea about your target audience, it is crucial to creating a buyer persona that is a composite sketch of your ideal customer.
Developing buyer personas will help you visualize your ideal audience so you can better target them with highly relevant and useful content.
Without your ideal buyer personas, your content will end up being too generic and not speak directly to your audience and the specific information they
seek on the web.
You want to know exactly who your audience is so you can adapt your content and strategy to connect with a receptive audience.
Create more than one persona because your audience is not one-dimensional. Different segments of your audience will have different problems or focus on
different aspects of the problem.
If you are having trouble creating personas head on over to Hubspot
and you will find a complete "how to" on building personas as well as a template to help you.
You should develop 2 or 3 personas that represent your core audience but never more than 4. Too many personas are almost as bad as none because your content
ends up too broad and appears less focused.
It helps to give each persona a name and visualize them when you write so you can tailor your content to them. It will help make your content more personable
Good buyer personas with great content will help a receptive audience find you. If you want a more comprehensive article on building buyer personas you
might like to read this on SemRush.
Now that you have your target audience you need to make a list of the most relevant topics that relate to your business and your audience.
Research your target audience and determine the topics that will get them involved with your content.
Make a list of keyword phrases related to your topics that your audience is probably going to include in their searches.
Keyword Phrases (often called long-tailed keywords) are the backbone of your content marketing. They are the words or phrases your audience uses tin their
searches to find products and information.
Make sure your keywords are included in your topic title. Do not make your content spammy by including keywords where they don’t seem to flow naturally
in the context.
The correct keywords phrases need to be used so that Google can connect your content with the audience that is searching for that exact information.
Here is a good tutorial on how to choose your keywords according to relevance to your website. You will also find a guide on how to use those keywords
in your content. Check out Bruce Clay for a solid framework in your journey to learn SEO.
Additionally, whenever possible it is advisable to geotarget your content and the closer to the top of the content the better. Try something like: Here
at Bigtown, State all our blue widgets are locally manufactured.
Google factors in location when returning search results. Since people often include location when searching it helps your ranking to include it in content.
Geo-targeting gives your ranking a local boost in the search engines and gets the right traffic to your business.
Spy on the Competition
One of the first things you need to do is spy on your competition. It is a great way to jump-start the process of content creation.
You want to know what keyword phrases to target and spying on the competition can save you a lot of time.
Find a competitor with a similar target audience and similar goals.
You should focus on uncovering what keyword phrases are working for your competitors to bring traffic to their website.
Have they missed any keyword phrases that you can use? How can you use the same keywords and create even better content?
Is their target audience the same or are they missing a segment of the audience that you can target?
Here are 3 metrics you should analyze to better understand the competition and your content and keyword strategy.
1.Keyword Search Volume
a.This is the number of searches for this particular keyword phrase and it will allow you to evaluate if it’s a keyword phrase that you want to target
in your content creation.
b.There is no sense including a keyword if the search volume is not high enough to bring real traffic.
a.Check out the various competitors ranking for your keywords and determine if there is room for you to move into this space.
b.Determine if they are well-established brands and how well they rank for your keyword phrases.
c.If the competition for ranking is especially stiff you may not get ranked well for this keyword phrase.
a.This is similar to Keyword Ranking and is a good indication of how hard it will be to gain appreciable ranking for a particular keyword phrase.
b.If it is a keyword phrase that is central to your business then you really do need to cover it but the primary purpose will be to inform an audience
that was primarily brought to the sight my other phrases.
These and similar questions that relate to your situation will help you evaluate the web landscape in your niche and make better decisions on where
you fit in and how to approach your content marketing to be a real competitor in the marketplace.
Your content strategy should not focus primarily on promoting your business. Offer your customer content that is valuable to them and they won’t mind
that your secondary objective is to sell your product to them.
Your primary strategy should focus on providing relevant content that helps your audience and what you can do for them.
You will get a lot of benefits creating this type of content for your audience on the local level. It shows your audience as well as Google that you
really are part of the community.
Deliver a valuable experience for your audience on your website and in return the value of your website will grow and part of your audience will become
The more valuable your content the likely it will be read and rank well in the search engines.
Your valuable content can take many forms. It can be a free product (which is why companies have giveaways and sweepstakes) or it can be an article
that shows them how to solve a problem.
It can be a simple as a guide telling your customer how to pick the best blue widgets.
Be the person that delivers the solution to their problems and it will generate trust. It is human nature to gravitate toward the people that we trust.
Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to sent me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org