This learning activity is for anyone interested in the basics of Search Engine Optimisation Sunshine Coast. Also known, as SEO Sunshine Coast.
We’ve all used search engines to find information on the web. Do a search for just about anything, and you’ll get back thousands of results. Chances are, you’ll pick one of the top 10. Very few people scroll down. There’s so much available information that websites constantly compete to be at the top of the search results.
So, what can a website do to improve it’s ranking in searches. How can it bubble up to the top of the results? One of the most powerful tools is SEO specialist Sunshine Coast. Proper optimisation of your site for search engines will lead to higher rankings and page visits. You might think SEO is about making modification to search engines to make them better, but it’s not. These modifications which include; well planned structure, site maps and engaging content all serve to make the site more attractive to both web crawlers and visitors. Proper SEO on the Sunshine Coast can help ensure that your visitors are engaged by your content and will return to your site. If you think of SEO as a three layer cake. The layers would be, site organisation and structure, then site optimisation, then analytics, then the finishing touch, or the frosting, would be promotion, which includes, among other things, social media, blogging and paid ads.
It makes sense that a well organised site leads to a good visitor experience and this is achieved through great web development Sunshine Coast The visitor can find what they are looking for and will be more eager to explore. To understand this, we must first understand how search engines work,search engines use web crawlers. Web crawlers are always crawling, ranking and sorting information in data farms for quick retrieval. So, when you type a question into a search engine, or submit a request, the search engine looks at the relevant results, then ranks them based on the popularity of the website.If the site is well organised and has a site map and a directory, it is easy for the web crawlers to make their way through all the data on the site.
There are many different approaches to SEO. Focusing on site structure and optimising your content are great places to start. A well organised site with a site map and directory will increase it’s rankings. Now that we have an idea of what SEO is, how do we know if we’ve done it properly?Well, you likely will experience increased traffic and new customers. One way to find this out is through analytics.Another way is to watch as your site moves up in search result rankings
Analytics are the third layer of the SEO cake. They can help you identify areas of improvement on your site. In addition to optimising site structure and content you can also pay to increase the site’s ranking in search results. Often, the top five, or so, results may be labelled, Ad. Or, have ad written in a yellow square to the left of the site listing. This means that the site paid money to increase their prominence on the page. SEO can be both inexpensive and easy. Yet, very effective to improve both the user experience and increasing traffic to your site. Congratulations! You’ve completed a brief overview of SEO.
Registration with major search engines.
Now, in the United States, in Canada, in most of Europe, in parts of Asia, it’s very easy. You either send a postcard to Google or Google sends you a postcard to your address and you fill out the code that they give you or they call you on your phone and verify where you are. But in Peru, and in many other places in the world, Google does not offer this registration.
The major engines typically are just Google and Bing, but in Russia remember it could be Yandex. In China, it might be Baidu. In the Czech Republic it could be Seznam. I think in Norway there is actually a tertiary engine that is doing relatively well there. Some places you might even want to double check with your Yahoo local listing if that sends traffic too. But for those folks who can’t do it, and for everyone else, you should also be claiming your listing on all the major local portals.
These are the international major local portals. In countries like Peru, one of the big powerful ones there is actually Trip Advisor. You want to be doing this for places like Yellow Pages, YP.com, Urban Spoon, CitySearch, Yelp. In many places, Foursquare is actually quite popular. We found that in South American and Latin America Foursquare was actually huge, and weirdly enough Foursquare was a much more accurate map system than Google Maps. I think probably because of this issue. So, take care of claiming those listings for your business on all of these portals. If they don’t have you listed yet, remember you can add your business to them.
Get listed on key local sites.
This means regional portals. A lot of times these are media institutions. Here in Seattle, it might be KING5.com. It might be TheStranger.com, which is a local weekly publication. It could be The Seattle Weekly. It might by KOMO TV. All of these local regional sites that have listings for local businesses and you want to try and get included in those. Many times, remember that these media stations they love to cover whether it is in the newspaper, the weekly, on their website, or with a TV camera crew, they want to cover new local businesses.
So, if you are a new local business, you want to reach out to them, and it is a great way to generate some press. You also want to be considering regional portal sites that may not be specifically local focused. So in the Seattle area, I believe it is Northwest, what is that? NWSource.com is sort of our big local portal for aggregation. These are wise ones to consider as well. For these three, it is absolutely essential that you have consistency. What I mean by consistency is the same name, exactly the same name.Exactly the same name every time. Same address. Same format of the address every time. Same phone number with the same phone number format every time. All of those things are critical to the consistency of citations that engines look at to determine is this the same exact business that is being referred to here. Even slight variations can generate those differences and can mean that you don’t get all of the sort of link juice or citation juice that the engines are using to rank things.
Do competitive research on listing sources of high-ranking sites for your keyword.
So, let’s imagine that one of your keywords is Seattle plumbers. So, you do a search for Seattle plumbers, and you see here are the guys in the top eight spots. Where are they getting listed? Now, it used to be very simple. You just click on them and you could see a big list of all the sources where Google pulled data from. Not so simple anymore. They will still show you some of the sources for the images, so it might say Yelp or Insider Pages or Zagat or something like that, Gayot, but now it is much harder because they will no longer show those. But it is easy. You just have to make a quick tweak. What you want to do is take the name of the business and the address and search for that, possibly minus the site colon of the actually business’ listing, and that with show you all the places where the address is. So, for example let’s say I wanted to find all the local places where SEOmoz was listed, I would do a search like this. I would do a search for “SEOmoz (11919 Pine Street)-site:Seomoz.org”. I am going way off on the side here, but that’s okay. The reason that this is going to work is because it is going to show me all the places where there is a listing for SEOmoz not on our site that includes our address. That’s what you want to do when you are doing this competitive research on those high-ranking websites, and it is going to show you a ton of different sources where you should be listed for your local business to help with your local SEO.
Curate your reviews.
What I mean by this is you want to go through all the places, all the listings that are popular, your Google Profile, your Yelp Profile, Insider Pages, City Search, wherever you are listed, Trip Advisor. If there are reviews for them, see what they are saying and see if there are ways that you can get more people commenting on the positive stuff and fewer people commenting on the negative stuff. For example, if someone says, “I was very frustrated that I didn’t get a receipt.” Great. So make sure that the folks at the front desk know they need to be giving out receipts. If someone says, “Hey, I had a fantastic experience when I ordered this particular thing,” great. Tell your wait staff, “Hey, guys, people seem to love this thing. Feel free to recommend it when people ask for a recommendation,” and then when they do, great. Maybe there is something special that your restaurant, that your business, that your service offers and does that really gets people excited and you find that when you do it for people, they are much more likely to leave a positive online review. Great. Do that thing. This is your customer research. This is telling you what people think about your business, and it is a great way to learn, grow, and become a better business.N
Audit your site’s usability, accessibility, and content.
Now, a local website does not need to go through all of the steps of inbound marketing and thought leadership that a scalable B2B company or a startup or someone who wants to take over the Web in their category needs to go through. A local business can stay relatively focused on their local niche, and you can earn top rankings with just a lot of the first five things that I have talked about here. However, however, you want to make sure that usability, meaning your site is phenomenally simple to figure out the places. I hate when I go to a local restaurant’s website and I can’t find the place for reservations. It is not on the contact page or the about page. Where is it? I am looking for this. Have those key buttons that drive users to say, oh, right, these are the seven things I can do on the website, those are the seven things I want to do on the website. Have buttons for all of those. Have pages for all of those. Make those easy to access. Make sure there is not a Flash intro that is blocking someone or an experience that can’t be, for example, seen on a mobile phone or by search engines. This happens all the time with a lot of local business websites. Then finally, make sure that you have the right content. You can do this, very simply, by when people come into your business, if you’d say, “Hey, we will give you a 5% or 10% discount if you can take this little survey for us or send it to ten of your friends, or email ten of your customers that you have got.” That survey should simply say, “What are the top five things you would look for from us on our website?” The top five pieces of information. People will tell you the same things all the time. It will be things like I need your hours, I need directions, I wish you had a little Google Map built in where I could just plug in my address. They’ll tell you that they need a list of services. They almost always want prices. If you can provide these things, you’re just going to do a phenomenally better job of converting people faster once they find your website through the great local SEO that you’re going to do. There you have it, my local SEO checklist.