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  • Writer's pictureTaylor B.

10 proven SEO strategies that will help you get to the top of local Google searches


One key to getting your business noticed is making sure that people see your website. This can be achieved through SEO or Search Engine Optimization. What is SEO? SEO is optimizing your website content so that your website appears near the top of search engine results. Read on to find out more about why SEO is important and how you can make SEO work for you.









1. Publish quality content.

Getting views on your website requires going beyond the basics. It’s important that you publish quality content on your site to increase your SEO and hold visitors’ attention. Blog posts are a great way to get people to visit your site and stay on it longer. With a little effort, you can create strong blog posts. First, start with a catchy title. The title is the first thing a person will see when they are encountering your blog post, so it must catch readers’ attention. A blog post that answers a question will also attract more readers since many people use search engines to find answers. Finally, a blog must contain enough content. Blog posts should be at least 300 words or more.



The rest of your site copy should be just as catchy and well-crafted as your blog. For SEO optimization, your site copy should have plenty of strong keywords that people will search for. If you own a used bookstore, for example, you may want your site copy to contain words and phrases such as used books, cheap books, sci-fi books, fantasy books, classic books, and bookstore in [name of your city]. These keywords will match keywords that your customers may search for!


Of course, it’s not just about the text. Your site should also include other types of content, such as high-quality graphics and video. You want your website to be truly eye-catching -- a plain wall of text can bore your audience and lead them to leave your site for a more interesting search result.


2. A strong keyword strategy.

As mentioned previously, your site copy should utilize strong keywords that people will type into their search engines.



But how exactly do you make sure that you have these keywords on your website? Start by finding keywords related to your industry. If you own a hair salon, wedding hair might be an important key phrase for your business. Next, you should build content around those keywords. For wedding hair, you could create a video tutorial showing people how to do a simple wedding hairstyle, or you could create a blog post that includes photos of some of the best wedding styles you have created. Always remember -- the title of your page or content will be the first thing people will read and will also affect the SEO, so make sure your keywords are included in the titles!


3. Utilize powerful backlinks.

A backlink is a link on another website that leads to your website. Backlinks help people find your website, but more importantly, search engines use backlinks to tell them which sites are most popular. If a lot of other high-quality websites link to your website, then a search engine ranks you higher because your site must be pretty important to get all of this buzz from other pages!




It is important to remember, however, that not all backlinks are created equal. First, your backlinks need to be indexed by Google and other search engines. This means that the search engine will look for links on a website and collect them in a database or index. When your link is on another website, you want the search engines to place your backlink into its index, as it will increase your presence on search results. It can take several weeks for Google to index a backlink, but links on higher-quality and older websites will typically get indexed faster.


Second, your backlinks should be follow links instead of nofollow links. Both of these terms define tags that Google codes in to describe whether links are quality and should count towards your overall “score” for search result ranking. These tags were created to reduce spam. If Google counted all links towards someone’s ranking, then comment sections on blogs, for example, would be nothing but link spam. However, by designating these spammy comments as nofollow links, spammers don’t get as much benefit from overrunning a comment section. This does mean, though, that your backlinks need to be in quality locations to ensure that they are follow links.


Finally, the websites that link to your site should have strong domain authority. Domain authority refers to a website’s ranking on a search engine results page, or SERP. If you want to rank high on a SERP yourself, you are better off getting backlinks from higher-ranking sites, as these sites will have more domain authority and will lend you credibility that will increase your domain authority, too.


4. Share content on social media.

While there are still some holdouts, the majority of Americans use social media, and it’s one of the internet’s most popular activities. It stands to reason, then, that effectively using social media can boost your brand. Share the quality website content you have created -- blogs, videos, etc. -- on social media to get more views and more traffic to your site.



You can also share special links to your site, such as a link for a special event or a link with a discount code for people who discover you through social media (this can also help you keep track of how many people are coming to your site and buying your products or services through social media). You can also run paid ads via social media that link to your webpage, often reaching more people for less money than traditional media ads. Think about how many people you know who mostly get their music and television from streaming services, or even how many who still have cable or satellite TV choose to DVR their favorite shows and fast-forward through the commercials. TV and radio ads don’t reach people like they used to. Do you know more people with a Facebook account or with a subscription to your local newspaper? Social media reaches more potential customers and clients.


5. Use metadata to your advantage.

Underneath the visible layer of content on your webpage is an extra layer of data, known as metadata. Metadata describes the content on your page and includes information like title, author, file information, and keywords. Some examples of non-digital metadata include the date and title written on hardcopy file folders in an office filing cabinet or the table of contents in a book.



On the internet, metadata helps search engines identify your content. That’s why it is important to include keywords in metadata. While the number of keywords in your metadata won’t increase your SERP ranking, the right keywords and well-organized metadata will help search engines find your content. Make sure your titles, tags, descriptions, and other metadata are well organized and contain strong, relevant keywords so your page will be discovered.


6. Optimize your website for mobile users.

Did you know that around 80% of all internet usage happens on mobile devices?





If your website isn’t optimized for mobile use, you may be missing out on the largest pool of potential customers and clients. Many websites look good on a computer screen but may not look good on a phone, and menus and links may be difficult to use. Make sure your website looks good in both formats and is accessible for all of your customers. There are additional benefits to mobile optimization, too -- Google gives a higher SERP ranking to mobile-optimized websites because it wants its users to have the best information no matter the device. This prioritization means that it’s actually more important to get your mobile site right than your traditional site, but you should still make sure your website can be seen by every user.


7. Create strong URLs.

When people go to find your website from another source (such as print media), they will probably type in your URL or web address. Your URL, therefore, needs to be memorable and not too complicated. Having a good URL is not just about making it easier for potential customers to type in your address; it’s also an important SEO strategy. Think of it this way -- which of the following URLs would you be more likely to click:


That first one is clean and crisp and seems more likely to take you to the content you want to find. Potential customers are more likely to click on a search result with the first URL than with the second. This, in turn, will increase your clickthrough rate, or CTR, which means more visitors for you. A higher CTR also causes Google to rank your page higher. As an added bonus, if your URL is used as the link text, it will already contain your keywords.


8. Be on Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free business listing on Google that helps customers quickly find your business information. Have you ever noticed that if you were to search for, say, “sushi restaurants near me” on Google, the top of the results page includes a map with a listing of sushi restaurants near you, with information such as hours, reviews, address, and contact information?





Those are Google My Business results, and since they appear at the top of the search results, you have a great chance of getting noticed this way. Have you ever encountered a business listing on Google My Business without the proper information, such as incorrect hours or no link to their website? Did it make you less likely to use that business? For many potential customers, the answer to that question would be “yes.” In order to optimize your Google My Business listing, you must first claim the listing using your business’s Google account. Once you’ve claimed the listing, you can make changes to information like the website link, hours, address, and other important details.


9. Get a large number of good reviews.





Google My Business also allows customers to leave reviews for businesses directly on Google. If you want to be one of the top results in your area, which means that you could show up in the top three Google My Business results and be one of the first businesses that customers see, you need to have a lot of good reviews. Both the quality and the quantity of reviews are important. Too few reviews, and you won’t be ranked very highly. Too many bad reviews will hurt your ranking, too.





Quantity and quality also impact how customers interact with your website and business. If they Google “Italian restaurants near me” and see a listing with only two reviews, they might make assumptions about why so few people go to that restaurant and choose the restaurant with 50 reviews instead. However, if they see a restaurant with about 50 reviews that has an average of 2.7 stars from customer reviews and one that also has about 50 reviews but an average of 4.2 stars, they’re probably going to opt for the restaurant with 4.2 stars.


Keep this balancing act in mind when asking for customer reviews. More reviews will get you ranked higher, which will lead to more clicks on your site. For that reason, it’s better to have 60 4-star reviews than three 5-star reviews. But at the same time, it may be better to have three 5-star reviews than 60 2-star reviews!



The graphic above shows a perfect 5/5 rating on Google. That's great! Only issue is that only 7 people recomend this business. Are you more likely to go with them or a company with a 4 star rating but 25 reviews?


10. Use the right tools to track data.

Okay, you’ve created quality content, strengthened your keywords, optimizing your website for mobile, sharing your content across social media, etc., and you feel you have a strong set of SEO strategies. Now it’s time to keep track of your data. There are a number of powerful tools to help with this.


The first important tool for tracking your data is Google Analytics. This Google program tracks your website’s activity including the number of visitors to your site, how long they stay on your site (session duration), how many pages they visit while on your site (pages per session), whether they stay on your site or leave quickly (bounce rate), etc. It can tell you information about how people find your website and where those visitors are from, what kind of device they were using, and some general demographics of your users.





Another great data-tracking platform is SEMRush. SEMRush features a large selection of SEO and data tools that can help you with everything from strengthening keywords, competitor analysis, social media analytics, and more. It shows you how your website performs in searches and can help you improve your SEO strategy.





Another free tool that can help you with your SEO strategy is Ubersuggest. With Ubersuggest, you can see insights about your top competitors and learn about the keywords that work for them, and get suggestions about your own keywords. You can get data about your backlinks and get website content ideas by discovering what pages from your competitors are getting the most backlinks.





Finally, if you’re looking for even more advice about your SEO strategies, you should consider LEO. Through LEO, you can get help crafting SEO strategies from experts.






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