Tag Archives: local seo tips

Ethical SEO Tips for Local Small Business

Interested ethical seo or social media and social marketing optimization?

Here is my ethical SEO presentation at Barcamp Birmingham. Here is the black and white version of my powerpoint deck I did for the informal unconference section of Barcamp Birmingham 2009. Its not pretty, but pretty information rich (aka useful) for the introductory or intermediate SEO. Although some of the tips I extemporaneously added that you don’t get here–despite all this I got a request to post the presentation and lots of complements. Enjoy this ethical search engine optimization goodness.

Feel free to link to the presentation here on my blog and embedded the code, which is available at Slideshare on your blog. Also, check out the rest of my local seo and ethical seo posts as well. Check out my ethical link development tips for bloggers. For those interested specifically in issues of local seo, you will want to check out the fantastic local seo tips and techniques. Also knowing your search ranking factors and local search ranking factors is a must.

Matt Cutts, who is head of web spam at Google and guru of search engine algorithms suggests that unethical and whats called grey hat and black hat techniques may be gone from Google the near future.

If you need help with search engine optimization or if you are a social media or search engine marketing firm in need of outsourcing your seo needs, feel free to contact me at (615) 974-9662

SEO Optimization Tips for PDFs

Search Engine Optimization Strategies Tutorial for PDF Files

I’m working with a client who has a plethora of PDFs and wanted to make sure we did a bang up job on the SEO for the files because their packed with great content for users. In doing my background research this article from Matt ranked high in the Google SERPS and I think three of his tips were particularly helpful from an SEO perspective:

1. PDF optimization is similar to optimization for a regular content page. Try this: good use of keywords/phrases, appropriate headlines and sub-headlines, solid content that reads well to a human eye, etc. If the PDF will include images, a caption underneath each image would be a good idea, especially if the caption includes a targeted keyword/phrase. (Of course, don’t overdo it.)

Also, take advantage of the document meta data that PDF-creation software or Adobe Reader itself offers.

2. The most important thing where PDFs and SEO is concerned is how the PDF is created. Don’t use Photoshop to make your PDF, because when you do that, you’re actually making a big image file, not a true PDF — and the spiders cannot crawl or “read” the text from that image file. The PDF should be created with a text-based program, like MS Word or Adobe Pagemaker, so that the final product is text-based and can be crawled.

Matt also suggests using a keyword friendly title. Additionally (although Matt talked about it in #1) you will want to pepper your key phase such as “improving search engine results” in various forms throughout the document. Equally important, remember to focus on longtail keywords as per Aaron Wall’s advice for search engine optimization:

Longtail keywords are easier to rank for. If you can pick off mid-tier phrases and rank at the top of the search results then you can build a revenue stream from them, which can be reinvested to further buy marketshare and distribution.

There is more value in…

* using your core pages (and link anchor text) to target lower competition variations of your core keywords (like best credit cards or compare credit cards) rather than targeting just the core competitive keyword credit cards
* ensuring that each particular deep page is well optimized and can pull in relevant traffic

than there is *almost* ranking for credit cards.

Core keywords require domain age, good anchor text, trusted links from a variety of sources, and perhaps links from within your topical community. It takes time to build all those external signals of quality. You can rank for longtail keywords much faster, because you control your on page optimization.

I think Aaron’s right on 95% of the time, especially when starting out a website. At the very least it helps the ego when you rank for a couple of key terms instead of just floundering on page 2 or 2,000 on the search engine results pages. Its also critical to keep in mind the other SEO link factors Aaron talks about in the second paragraph. An SEO strategist who forgets those will likely have their business strategy crushed, at least in the short run.

How do you find long tail keywords and how do you determine which ones are best? That is a discussion for another day. Feel free to add your tips about SEO for PDFs and long tail keywords in the comments.

Local SEO, Local Search, and the Small Business | Interview with Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide

Interview with SEO Consultant Andrew Shotland, Author of the Local SEO Guide Blog

Here is a text interview I recently did with Andrew in which he provided some value answers about local search trends, client relations, and local search resources. He was very kind to interview. And dearest reader…please don’t be offended by the caps. I will try to fix it soon… Cheers. Now on with the interview…

I’ve come across, these two key posts for local SEO, one by David Mihm and the other by Sugar Rae what other resources would you focus on to enhance your local SEO campaign?

WWW.LOCALSEOGUIDE.COM
WWW.SMALLBUSINESSSEM.COM
WWW.BLUMENTHALS.COM/BLOG (FOR UNDERSTANDING HOW GOOGLE MAPS FITS INTO THE EQUATION)

How do you pace a local SEO campaign?
TOTALLY DEPENDS ON THE CLIENT. SOME CLIENTS WANT TO GET STARTED RIGHT AWAY AND DO AS MUCH AS THEY CAN. OTHERS HAVE A LONGER TIMELINE, DEPENDING ON HOW FOCUSED THEY ARE ON SEO, HOW MUCH ACCESS THEY HAVE TO THEIR WEB DEVELOPERS, DESIGNERS, BUDGET, ETC. FOR SMALL CLIENTS I USUALLY RECOMMEND WE MAKE SURE THEY HAVE AN UP TO DATE PRESENCE ON OTHER SITES (E.G. IYPS) FIRST AS THIS IS USUALLY FASTER THAN GETTING THEM TO UPGRADE THEIR OWN WEBSITES TO SEO STANDARDS.

Local SEO also seems to involve coaching to get small businesses to create content, how do you encourage and help small businesses and content creators?
I LIKE TO TEACH BY EXAMPLE. I USUALLY POINT THEM TOWARDS BLOG POSTS OF MINE THAT RANK FOR SPECIFIC TERMS AND SHOW THEM STEP BY STEP HOW I DID IT. THEN WE PUT SOMETHING UP ON THEIR SITE THAT IS RELATIVELY SIMPLE TO RANK FOR AND ONCE THEY START TO SEE THE MECHANICS OF HOW TO GET RANKED THEY START TO GET THE RELIGION. IT GETS ADDICTIVE. THAT SAID, MOST WILL NOT INVEST THE TIME/RESOURCES NECESSARY TO MAKE CONTENT CREATION REALLY PAY OFF. IN ALL HONESTY THEY ARE BETTER OFF FOCUSING ON GETTING LINKS. EVEN THOUGH IT’S HARD, FOR MOST SMBS IT JUST SEEMS EASIER TO SELL SOMEONE ON GIVING YOU A LINK INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY HAVING TO WRITE SOMETHING OR MANAGE A WRITER.

How do you track your SEO campaigns? How do you calculate or justify ROI for the business? How long does this generally take?
PRETTY SIMPLE REALLY – GROWTH OF NON-PAID SEARCH ENGINE REFERRALS, GROWTH IN CONVERSIONS, GROWTH IN CONVERSION RATES, DECREASE IN BOUNCE RATES, ETC. IF YOU CAN TRACK THESE METRICS, SHOWING THE ROI IS PRETTY EASY, PARTICULARLY IF THE CLIENT HAS ALREADY DONE PAID SEARCH AND UNDERSTANDS THE COST OF A CLICK.

How do you see local SEO differing from traditional SEO?
IT’S NOT TOO DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER NICHE, BUT IT HELPS IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE SEARCH BEHAVIOR AROUND THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LOCAL DATA AND THE DIFFERENT WEB SERVICES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO PROMOTE LOCAL BUSINESSES. FOR EXAMPLE UNDERSTANDING HOW TO DEAL WITH GOOGLE MAPS IS DIFFERENT THAN FIGURING OUT HOW TO GET TO THE FRONT PAGE OF DIGG.

What do you see as the future of local SEO?
IT’S A CLICHE AT THIS POINT BUT MOBILE IS DEFINITELY GETTING MORE IMPORTANT. I USE MY IPHONE FOR A LOT OF LOCATION SEARCHES. VOICE SEARCH I THINK IS GOING TO TAKE OFF IN 2009. I DEFINITELY THINK THERE IS A STRATEGY FOR ADDING AUDIO TO YOUR SITE THAT WILL PAY OFF FOR MOBILE. THINK ABOUT IT. YOU’RE DRIVING SOMEWHERE AND YOU’RE HUNGRY. YOU DO A VOICE SEARCH VIA YOUR PHONE FOR “PIZZA”. THE PHONE DEFAULTS TO A LIST OF LOCATIONS NEARBY. ONE OF THOSE LOCATIONS IS PIZZA HUT WHICH HAS AN AUDIO PROMOTION. GOOGLE DETECTS THE AUDIO PROMOTION AND GIVES YOU THE OPTION OF PLAYING IT. IT SAYS SOMETHING LIKE ‘IT’S TWO FOR ONE DAY”. YOU MIGHT BE WILLING TO CHECK OUT THE OTHER LISTINGS BUT THEY DON’T HAVE AUDIO AND YOU DON’T WANT TO CRASH SO YOU SAY “DIRECTIONS” INTO YOUR PHONE AND YOU’RE OFF TO PIZZA HUT. THEN AGAIN LINKS FROM TRUSTED LOCAL SOURCES MIGHT BE GOOD TOO.

Thanks to Andy Shotland of Local SEO guru and editor and chief of Local SEO Guide for taking the time to chat for this interview about local search and local SEM campaigns.

Geotargeting your local community or why I rank really well for “Nashville Social Media”

Tips for Local Small Business Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a great way to get your message directly to your consumer during one of billions of your (potential) customers make online each year. One critical way to leverage seo and in particular ethical seo tactics is to use geo-target. Geo-targeting allows you to reach your customer while they are making searches for local products. For many small businesses the best target market is their local community, where its easiest to build relationships and trust. (Which after all are the fundamentals of sustainable business development.) For instance, I always get by best business from Nashville Social Media and Nashville SEO, not Ankorage Alaska SEO (No eskimo love).

Everybody Get Your Geo-Local On!

SEO Moz has a great video with several ways to leverage your local community to rank higher in Google, MSN, and Yahoo.

The next step in creating a geo-local strategy is to create great online content, which Google and your customers will eat up. Great content combined with relationships is the touchstone for business success.

Any other tips for local search engine optimization? What say you?