What is SEO? Why do we do SEO? What is the difference between doing SEO for a local business in Sarasota and a business which needs traffic from the whole country?
If you want your website to come up on the first page of Google you need SEO. But SEO has become very complicated these days. I remember the days when adding some metatags and creating some links did the trick, but nowadays you need to be a social media expert if you even want to start talking about Search Engine Optimization. SEO and SMM (Social Media Marketing) have become one and will never be apart ever again.
Search Engine Optimization has become an art form, and we believe that this has happened for the good of everybody. We have heard stories of people saying that the Penguin and Panda updates, two Google updates designed to clean up spam and people who try to trick Google, have killed their websites and therefore their businesses, but we know that this occurred because they were not following Google's rules.
We have seen lots of websites grow because of Panda and Penguin. Their ranking has gone up, they come up higher on searches and traffic is coming in more than ever before. What did they do right? First, we know that they are embracing Google+ which has become crucial for SEO these days. They are also actively blogging and connecting articles through Google Plus Authorship. They are posting on all social networks, and above all, they are engaging with people through Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
While working on several local SEO accounts in Sarasota Florida, we have seen that verifying your Google+ local page is very important to making local businesses grow. We are convinced that the introduction of the new Google Search carrousel will be crucial for local traffic. Obviously, when you say "local," you can't forget about reviews, since local ranking is driven by them. By just looking at the new carrousel, you can see that businesses with more reviews and more stars rank higher locally. This raises accountability and results in a higher growth for businesses which run better operations and have better customer service. We believe this is GREAT NEWS!
If you want your site to come up on local search you definitely need to have your Google Map entry verified and have it connected with your Google+ professional page, which should also be verified. This makes Google perceive you as a real local business. After your Google+ page is verified, make sure that all of your information is complete and your categories are accurate. If your business is not local we recommend that you also create a local presence on Google+ since it will help you be more credible in Google's eyes. This can be accomplished by getting a virtual office- in Sarasota, you can get one atSarasota Executive Suites for a small monthly cost.
All businesses need to embrace Google+, even if they are not local. Google+ Authorship makes your picture come up on Google next to your blog entry, increasing the CTR (Click Though Rate) of your posts. Google+ posts are being indexed by Google, which increases your probability of getting people to your site. The Google+ community is growing at an amazing rate.
Even though SEO has become so much about Google+ and embracing Google tools, we also recommend that you make sure all of your traditional SEO tasks are done. I put a simple list below so that you can check what you have already done and what might need further attention:
- Keyword Research & Analysis: Make sure you know your keywords and target what's really worthwhile spending time on.
- Blog, Blog and more Blog: Blog using your keywords in the title and tags. Remember Google loves blog entries.
- Social Integration: Your site needs to be social friendly. Remember to push your blogs through all of the main social networks.
- Citation + Inlinks creation: The creation of entries in directories linking your address, phone number and URL is still important.
- Titles and H1 tags: Make sure your site is SEO-friendly and has keyword-rich titles and tags.
- Social Profiles + Engagement: Post and engage, this creates more ranking than anything else.
- Build your social list: Connect with people- your connections in social media increase your exposure.
Keep in mind that all of this is not only about getting people to your site, but also to keep them coming back. SEO is a lot more than just increasing traffic- we develop strategies for our customers to help them keep people on their site and to bring them back in the future.
We hope this helps you make sense of what SEO is and how it can make your website and your business grow.