“Basic search engine optimization (SEO) is fundamental. And essential. SEO will help you position your website properly to be found at the most critical points in the buying process or when people need your site.” – Victoria Edwards
It is well-known that Google is the biggest search engine in the world. A 2015 study conducted amongst USA citizens confirms this fact by demonstrating that 75% of Americans prefer Google over all of the other search engines. Yahoo and Bing ranked second and third in the results of this study with 8% and 7% respectively.
Not only do these numbers show how popular Google is, but they also point out the fact that the SEO industry needs to concentrate on ensuring that websites are optimized to rank in the top three-pack on Google before it concerns itself with ranking on anyone of the other search engines.
Local SEO, Ranking in the top three-pack: A case study
Local SEO rose to prominence in 2014 when Google released its Pigeon update – a new algorithm which provides “more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals.” Additionally, the field of SEO, including local SEO, does not stagnate. The basics remain the same; however, the nuances of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methodologies need to continually change to align themselves with the small changes Google regularly makes to its ranking algorithms.
Furthermore, as Jayson DeMers points out, Google’s new love of local business “has led many entrepreneurs… [who] already practiced regular local optimization strategies, saw the update as an opportunity to increase their efforts even further.”
Therefore, to help entrepreneurs and small business owners work on their local SEO strategy, let’s look at a case study for the website cartitleloansla.com:
There are several on-page factors that affect search engine rankings. The site’s copy needs to be content rich, provide a solution to a problem or meet a consumer demand, and Google should be able to crawl it and index it properly. If it cannot be indexed, Google will not be able to display it on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Additionally, for local SEO, the “Contact Us” page should contain accurate contact details as well as a Google map of the business’s physical location. One of the most critical parts of Local SEO is to ensure that company address and contact details are identical across all marketing channels. The smallest deviation will dilute the effectiveness of the local SEO strategy.
The purpose of off-page SEO is to send positive messages about the brand to its target audience. White-hat guest posting, social media, and reviews are used as channels to send these signals to the brand’s consumer base. Local SEO includes all of the above as well as setting up local listings on Yellow-page-type directories, a Google My Business listing, as well as accumulating citations on sites such as Yelp.
The SEO expert working on the case study site will pay close attention to all of the details listed in the “On-page SEO” section. Once this is finalized, the next step is to work on the Off-page SEO part.
In closing, it is vital to note that SEO, especially off-page SEO, is not a once-off exercise. Statistical apps such as Google Analytics should be correctly set up to monitor the outcomes of the SEO strategy, and changes should be made with the end goal of increasing the site’s ranking into the top 3-pack on the SERP.