Local SEO Tips – Using Internal Links

Local SEOIf you look at your site, are you inter-linking between your own pages and posts? A big part of local SEO involves long-tail keywords and you have the power to support your own pages.

I analyze a lot of small business SEO sites. On many of these sites, I see content without links to other pages or posts on the site. This is a big mistake. Your own pages on your site carry PageRank, just like external pages, that can be sent to your other pages.

I read in Fast Company this week that the average American eats 34 donuts a year. So, let’s use a local bakery as an example. I’m going to pick a resort area because they get a lot of visitors from outside of the area who will search for everything, including donuts.

The business that we’ll use is the fictitious Tony’s Bakery in Cape May, NJ. Let’s say that Tony has done a good job creating content. He has 100 pages on his site. He uses images of donuts, bread, cakes and bagels on his site. Let’s say he has 10 pages on donuts.

From within the text of those pages, he should link to the other donuts pages.

Here’s the idea:

Internal Linking

You can be more creative with how you link so that it flows more naturally, but you get the idea. Also make sure that a link to the home page is coming from within the text with anchor text like “Tony’s Cape May Bakery.” Each page would be titled like this – “Glazed Donuts | Tony’s Cape May NJ Bakery.”

If you have a site that’s in the top 30 in the search engine rankings for your terms, making these changes can be enough to move you to the first page.

SEO for local businesses is different from targeting national markets. Tony would not be targeting bakeries in the US, New Jersey or Trenton. He is targeting Cape May and must give the search engines enough information to make that clear.

If you’re targeting locally, you need to focus on your locale. When I started with local SEO, I couldn’t really find anyone who could tell me what I needed to do. My real estate business in Daytona Beach was how I learned to effectively rank my pages for Daytona Beach Real Estate and other competitive terms. I spent several years and over $30,000 figuring it out.

Obviously there’s more to ranking for local geographically targeted terms than what is presented in this article. But, what I shown is very powerful and effective.

I am a Daytona Beach SEO specialist, but I server small businesses throughout the US and Canada. Give Mike Byrne a call at 386-295-2049 or use my contact page with any questions. Of course you could always leave a comment or ask a question below.

Local SEO – Every Keyword is a Campaign

Keyword Campaign Index Card

Keyword Campaign Index Card

Here is your Local SEO 3×5 Card for the week focusing on keyword campaigns.

Search engines rank pages not websites. This is so important to keep in mind for local SEO. Even if CNN is ranking number one for your keyword term, you are competing against that page, not the CNN website.

If you set out with your small business SEO campaign thinking that you are going to beat a competitor’s website, you’re likely to waste time and money, make yourself very frustrated and end up believing that SEO doesn’t work.

Target One Keyword Phrase at a Time

We conduct market research and keyword research to determine the best targets for our website visitors. While you may have a list of 20 keywords that you want to target, you must consider each as a separate campaign. Why?

It’s really basic; search engines rank pages and you need to give them what they want to rank your page. To give them what they want you must provide the content that they’re looking for and send enough links to your pages to let the search engines know they are relevant and important.

And, never, never forget the customer. It does you no good to rank number one for a search term if your content doesn’t meet the searcher’s needs and answer their questions.

A Skirmish, A Battle, Or All Out War?

Now that you’re convinced that you need a campaign for each keyword term, how do we determine how big that campaign will be and how much time and money we’ll need to give the search engines and searchers what they want.

The Campaign Factors

Here are the factors that determine the extent of your campaign:

Competition
The Authority of Your Site
Your Conversion Goals

Competition

First, How many other pages are targeting this keyword phrase? But, more importantly, how many are intentionally and aggressively targeting this phrase. Do they have the keyword in the title, description, on the page several times, or, did they simply mention the term on their page. That happens a lot in Local SEO. It’s because no local businesses are targeting a good term, so other sites that simply mention the term, are ranking. A really fast check is to see how many links with the keyword in the anchor text are going to the page.

Competition varies even for the same term in a different location. It just depends if competitors in that town have begun their small business SEO campaigns.

Your campaign may be a single page, five pages or 50 pages or more. It depends on the term and the competition.

Your Site Authority

If CNN wanted to rank for your local keyword term, they would create page with relevant content, put the keyword in the article, title and description and then send a few links from their site to the page. A link from the home page would rank it number one forever.

CNN has authority. They have 1.5 million pages and 25 million links. What you have now can help you rank for other terms. If your site is 8 years old with 500 pages relevant to the new keyword campaign, then your work will be easier than if you have a new site.

Your Conversion Goals

What do you want the visitor to do once they get to your page? What action do you want? Is your page created to lead them to this action?

If you want people to contact you, then make it clear. If you want them to go to product pages, entice them to do it and make it easy. If you want to educate them first, then multiple pages with videos may be needed. What you need to do to lead visitors to your desired action determines the number of pages and the depth of content.

This Seems Like a Lot of Work!

Perhaps this seems like a lot of work for local SEO, but that’s why you do keyword research to make sure there’s traffic. You look to see if your competition has been running Adwords and how much they’re paying. You make sure it will be worth the effort before you target a competitive term. But, if the traffic is there and your term converts, your one time big effort with a little maintenance will pay off for years. What other marketing platform gives you what no cost organic local SEO provides?

My business has prospered using Daytona Beach SEO methods to give visitors and search engines what they want. It can work for you.

Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 3

This is the third part of Assessing Local SEO competition and this one is where we introduce our:

Local SEO Secret Weapon

In Part 3, we’re going to talk about the tool I use to assess small business SEO competition quickly. The entire process shown here takes less than 10 minutes. The tool is Market Samurai. Of all my SEO tools, this is the one I use most often. It’s not free, but it’s the big time saver for assessing local SEO competition, helping you develop your SEO strategy and getting ranked and keeping ranked. Go to Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 1 to start at the beginning of the series.

Market Samurai Logo

I’m not going to go into a lot of details of how to use Market Samurai. Instead, I’m going to show you the results

Keyword Research

We open Market Samurai, enter a new keyword and the go to Keyword Research – Biloxi Seafood Restaurant.


Keywords Full Screen

We click the Generate Keywords button. After Market Samurai churns for a bit, we get a list of relevant keywords. These keywords are coming from the same Google Keyword tool that we used in Part 2. 59 results are returned.

Keyword Results

The next step is to get more data and now you’ll see where this application really shines. Clicking the bottom right button marked “Keyword Analysis” takes us to that screen. After adjusting for just the data we want to see, I deleted unrelated keywords and got a list of 36 keywords. Here’s a look at part of that list.

Biloxi Seafood Results Biloxi Seafood Results Only

Let’s look at what each column is showing us:

Searches = Total Daily Searches
SEOT = Traffic the number one ranking could expect daily
PBR = Phrase to Broad Ratio (higher is better)
SEOC = SEO Competiton (anything under 200,000 is good)
AWCPC = Adwords Cost Per Click

We see that Biloxi Seafood Resturants has about 13 searches per day, or about 395 per month. Other terms are showing more traffic and we would want to target them as well, but we’ll stick with our targeted Biloxi Seafood Resturants for now. The PBR at 15% means that only 15% of search terms are exactly for the phrase “Biloxi Seafood Restaurants”. We would definitely need those other terms to get good traffic. The SEOC number of 10,500 is low, so that’s very favorable. There is some Adwords bidding at $1.40, and that’s good to see as well.

There’s plenty of more information available, but this is all we need to assess local SEO competition. The other information is great when you start laying out your site structure and content. That’s the Keyword Research Module, now let more on to finalizing of SEO competition assessment with the SEO Competiton Module.

SEO Competition Module

Here are the SEO Competition results for Biloxi Seafood Restaurants.

SEO Competition Results

We are going to dive deeper into Yelp and Mary Mahoney’s.

Here’s the column key:

DA = Domain Age
PR = Page Rank
IC = Google Index Count
RD = Referring Domains or how many unique domains are sending backlinks
BLP = Backlinks to the Page
BLD = Backlinks to the Entire Domain or site
Title = Keyword in Title of the Page
URL = Keyword in URL of the Page
Desc = Keyword in Description Meta Tag
Head = Keyword in a Heading Tag

We are primarily interested in BLP and Title, URL, Desc and Head. The BLD, DA, PR and IC are for reference. Big numbers in the second group make ranking a bit more difficult, but as long as the first group numbers are good, we’re okay.

Yelp is number one, but it’s based entirely on the strength of the domain and the size of the site, not the page. We covered this in Part 2, but a quick recap shows 15 links to the page, but over 39 million links to the site. They have the keyword term Biloxi Seafood Restaurant only in the Title tag.

Mary Mahoney’s is the first local restaurant showing. They have 226 links to the page, but as we’ll see in a minute, they are only ranking because of the number of links to the site. They have not included the keyword in their title, url, description or in heading tags.

Link Analysis

Now lets dig deeper. There a little arrow to the right of each URL listed. After I click that down arrow for the number one listing, we see:

Backlink Dropdown

We click the PR Analysis Button and after a minute or so, the following list shows:

Yelp Backlinks

These are the backlinks to the page, but there are only a few and they all come from the same site. We should be able to do better and beat this page.

Now let’s turn to Mary Mahoney’s. Here are the results of our backlink analysis:

Mary Mahoney Backlinks

Mahoney’s is showing 213 links to the page, but not a single one uses the anchor text – Biloxi Seafood Restaurant. We could not beat this sites ranking for Mary Mahoney’s, but beating it for Biloxi Seafood Restaurant should be doable.

Summary of Local SEO Analysis

No site has optimized aggressively for the search term – Biloxi Seafood Restaurant. For this term, we could create a few pages targeted to the term and generate backlinks until we rose in the rankings and stay near or at the top.

I also looked at the term – Biloxi Restaurants. We see much the same thing with the exception of a site on Biloxi Tourism in the number 2 spot. Their backlink profile includes only 1 backlink to the page. They are ranking because they have the keyword in their title, and the name of their site includes Biloxi. We should be able to rank for this term with a little work.

We are going to conclude this series in a few days with Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 4. In part 4, we’ll recap the process and show a video of the actual process using Market Samurai. Please use this link if you’re interest in obtaining Market Samurai. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s my affiliate link. The software is a bit quirky and stalls sometimes, but the developers of the program keep up with changes in Google. I use it everyday. It saves me a tremendous amount of time in my Daytona Beach SEO and local SEO efforts. There’s a free trial. So give it a try.

A funny sidenote. The first part of this series is ranking number 74 in Google for Biloxi Seafood Restaurant based on having the keyword repeated in the body of the post.

Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 1
Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 2

SEO Tips – What is The Purpose of Your Website?

SEO Tips Image

What Do You Want Your Website to Do?

The purpose of your website is _________? The purpose of my real estate website is lead generation. Everything I do on that site is designed to engage the visitor to eventually call, send an email or register to save property searches.

Different sites have different purposes, but unless you clearly and specifically articulate that purpose, much of your website and SEO efforts will be wasted. You may hear the question asked, how well does your site convert?

Conversion is basically getting visitors to take the action you have defined. It can be lead generation, product sales, customer service support, information for clients, list building and more.

The SEO Foundation

Many factors go into driving traffic to your website, but if you haven’t defined your ideal customer(s) and what you want them to do, who are you creating the site for? The foundation of SEO is targeting traffic. That’s what keyword selection, competitive analysis, link building and site design lead you to in the end. Targeted Traffic is targeting the buyers, subscribers or other customer most likely to buy your offerings.

This is a big part of the problem of throwing your website design and SEO efforts over the fence. By that I mean handing it off to someone else without giving them the proper specifications for what you required. Just build me a website or just get me traffic will not be enough in way too many cases.

Who Knows Your Business Best?

Do you believe there is another person in the world who knows your business better than you? Do they know your customer better? You know why your customers come to your business. You know if you have one ideal customer type or ten.

It’s extremely rare that an outside party will know enough about your business to design a great website and bring the most targeted traffic without your guidance. You must demand that your website brings you more of what makes your business successful.

State Your Purpose

To be effective, state your purpose. State the purpose of your website, first to yourself and then to anyone who touches the design, technical aspects or SEO. The purpose of the website your visiting now is to help business owners and managers improve business results through internet marketing and SEO. My ideal client knows their business well and wants to know how internet marketing can improve results.

I’m an owner of multiple businesses. I rely on internet marketing almost exclusively in several businesses and not at all in one business. There is no one size fits all for web marketing and SEO. Knowing the purpose of your site can can you tons of money.

Contact Mike at 386-295-2049 for more information or to discuss your options. I’m a Daytona Beach SEO specialist, but I serve clients regardless of where they’re located.