Are your search results as good as they could be?

As I was talking to a local business owner recently, he declared that he was “#1 on Google” for his search term in Waco, Texas.  Skeptical, I checked…and he was right! Even more impressive is that he did it without a big-budget website. It looked suspiciously like a build-it-yourself site. And while the site may not look pretty, it had good SEO Juice (Search Engine Optimization).

Search Engine Optimization for Local Business

That should give you hope. You don’t need a big budget and a fancy website to boost your traffic from Google and other search engines. But you do need to make sure you have your SEO juice. Because being one of the top 3 results in a Google search can mean a significant boost in calls, and thus, a significant boost in business.

Squeezing Your SEO Juice

Are your search engine results as good as the could be? Let’s look at it step-by-step, and see if we can improve your results and improve your business. To illustrate, I’m going to use a fictitious yoga studio in Champaign, Illinois as an example: Yin Yang Yoga

Step 1: Know Your Keyword

Keywords are the words people type into the search box to find what they want. You have determine what yours will be. Start with the most common, and big broad one: your product and location. For our example it will be “yoga classes, Champaign, Illinois.” Let’s call this your primary keyword.

Step 2: Add Your Title Tag

The title tag is the title element of your website and is critical to your search engine optimization. It appears in two places: In the top bar of internet browsers, and in search engine results. Add your primary keyword as a title tag to the home page of your website. The title tag for our yoga studio would be:
“Yin Yang Yoga – Yoga Classes in Champaign Illinois”

Step 3: Add Your Address to the Home Page

You should put your contact information, including your address on the home page of your website. It’s important for your address to be consistent, and by consistent, I mean with Google. Search your business on Google, and locate the address they have listed for you. If it is your correct address, copy it EXACTLY as Google has it.

For example, if Google spells out “Avenue” and “Suite #” you do the same.

If the address is wrong, claim your listing on Google+ / Google Places and correct the address. Put the correct address on your website. (You should claim your listing if you haven’t already)

Steps 5, 6 and 7: Create a Keyword Content Page on Your Website

Step 5: Create a page on your website with your keyword in the URL (website address). In our example it would be:

Step 6: Add the title tag to that page: “Schedule of Yoga Classes In Champaign”

Step 7: Create content (words) on that page with your keywords in them: “Yoga Classes in Champaign.” Don’t overdo it. About 350-400 words, with your keywords on the page no more than three times.

In the copy on that page would go the schedule of the classes, the benefits of taking attending a yoga class, and a suggestion to call to reserve your spot in a yoga class.

Drinking the SEO Juice

You can certainly get a lot deeper into search engine optimization, and maybe later you will want to. But this is the necessary first step. Before spending a lot of money on SEO, first implement these steps and track your search engine traffic in Google Analytics over the next two months. Given that most local business websites are not optimized well (your competition), I suspect you will see some results fairly quickly. Enjoy!

You may also be interested in:
Local SEO Clinic: Improving Traffic, Improving Business
Why You Need Local Online Reviews
Local Search: The Game is Changing

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