Local services have a huge advantage on Google search and other search engines for one major reason. They are local. Even if there are 50 other service companies in your area, you have a huge opportunity to rank keywords to your local customers, and it is not as hard as you might think.
If you are unfamiliar with the term Google Search, I mean the list of results that show up after you search in Google. You can apply the same principals in this article to all the other search engines as well, like Bing, Duck Duck Go, and others.
For a business like ours, it can be very difficult to rank any keywords, because we are competing with thousands of other Web design and website management companies on the web that have been writing much longer, have more “back-links” and have been ranking for years now.
For a local service business, you have a wonderful opportunity to rank your website in the top 10 results on Google, because you aren’t competing with nearly as many businesses in your area.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you want to rank for the keyword “Septic service company,” you will probably never do it, at least not without spending a whole lot of money, and providing services to all 50 US states. BUT, you will find it is MUCH easier to rank a keyword like “Septic Service company in city, state”.
The reason why is that your business is one of maybe 50 septic service companies in your area, and I would probably venture to say that only 5 of them have any sort of a website or have tried to improve their own search rankings.
Google and other search engines use robots to crawl websites. They go from link to link to link all day, every day viewing websites and recording what is written in the site. That is how they know what to show a searcher when someone searches online for something. Google serves them the most relevant content on the web.
Now, they serve the most relevant content on the WEB. They have no idea what is off of the web, so if you don’t have a website at all, they will never serve info about you to a searcher. Over years of business, other websites may have info on your business, but it will be limited in scope and you will probably not be accurately portrayed.
What if you do have a website? Well, that is where the contents of this article really come into play.
Your website should be structured in a way to reach your target audience. For instance, if you are a septic service company in Pasco Washington, you don’t want to be found by searchers in Seattle. They would simply visit your site, then go back and search again. You need the contents of your site to speak to people in Pasco.
One simple change you can make to your website that will help reach searchers in your local area is to rename your website title. Instead of naming it by only your business name like, “Septic Company Name”, you should name your site, “Septic Company Name | A Septic Service Company in Pasco Washington.” You can substitute the name and city with your business name and state. Of course, if you are a local contractor, you will want to also change the wording to correctly describe your company.
When you change your website title, use a descriptive term that applies to your company. Use a term that you would use if you searched for your own service online. For example, “local excavating contractor in pasco wa”.
Simply having a title that reaches your target audience will greatly increase your rankings in your local area, but don’t stop there.
You will want to make sure your website is welcoming and speaks to your customers when they first visit your site. Use high-quality images from your local business, not only of your work, but also of your employees, and maybe some of happy customers, (with their permission, of course.) Give these images names and descriptions that properly describe the photos and include your target keywords.
Another thing you can do to improve your keyword ranking for your local business is to structure your headings properly. I wrote another blog about that which you can read, but the jist of it is to make sure only to have one H1, nest other headings within it, and use your keywords.
Use your local service area cities in your content on the page as well.
When you write, it may be tempting to put a bunch of paragraphs poorly written together with as many words as possible so that you get as many keywords as possible on your site. That would be a terrible mistake. Your goal should be to draw visitors to your site into contacting your business or applying for a quote through your website. Language that is easy to understand and broken with headings will help do this.
When people visit your website, you want them to have a proper view of your company from their first glance.
If you realize the answer to that question is “no”, contact us. I would be happy to design your local business a fresh website and include all of the SEO best practices I’ve wrote about above in your site. Contact us today to get a quote!
Merry Christmas. We hope your day today is full of joy in remembering our Lord Jesus. His name is Emanuel, "God with us." He came to save us, His people, from our sins and bring us into a relationship with God, The Father, by His great sacrifice.
Thank you so much for your business this past year. Areli and I are so grateful for the work we have and the ability to live together in Mexico while we are waiting on her visa. I have learned so much over this past year and I am so excited for another year to come. God has provided for us through our partnership with you.
God bless your new year to come. Have a wonderful Christmas Day!
When my wife was detained at the border in January of 2018, our life and plans quickly turned upside down. In December, we had gotten married in Mexico, as my wife’s family was unable to travel to the States for our wedding. We thought that my wife was able to travel with me to the US after we got married using her tourist visa while we were waiting for her “green card” to be awarded her. (The wait time for a marriage visa is 1-2 years).
When we reached US Customs, we were quickly surprised and shocked as my wife was detained, then sent back to Mexico on the next flight.Her tourist visa was removed, and she was ordered to stay in Mexico until she received her green card. I quickly went into planning mode to decide what I would do in order to move to Mexico to be with her and support us financially.
For the past couple years, I had spent a lot of time with my family’s business, Garden Gate Nursery, helping them online with their website and other marketing efforts. This provided a great opportunity for me to use my current skills in marketing and expand them to help other small businesses in the Tri-Cities. I formed an LLC in Washington State called Soltech LLC and built a business that is now supporting my wife and I financially as we live and work here in Mexico.
I have learned a lot over this past year, and I am so grateful for the opportunity this setback has given me to help other small businesses online and develop my skills in web design, email marketing, social media management and more. When we trust God, we can learn and grow in every situation he ordains for us. Through this experience, I have learned so much and now I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you are interested in hiring us to help you with your small business, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to chat with you about your goals and see if we are a good fit for your company.
When you are building your own website, or simply writing a blog for your own website, it is important that you structure your web page headings properly. A very common mistake of people (like myself) when they first start writing or building out their web page is that they think that headings are primarily a tool to use to make your website look good. They aren’t, but website builders like Squarespace, WordPress and WIX have made it seem that way.
That isn’t a very good explanation, but I think it works. Headings are short descriptions that describe what a section of writing is all about, and it is best when writing a website to think of them that way. Headings shouldn’t be used for design purposes like styling a paragraph to have larger text, or bolding an abstract phrase in your text.
The reason why you need to structure your headings with this in mind is because Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, and all other search engines use headings to learn more about what your web page is all about. If you make an abstract phrase a heading, Google and other search engines will serve your page to searchers who probably won’t match the target readers of your content. Your search rankings will be lower if you choose to structure your headings improperly.
The Heading 1 or h1 is the most important heading on your page. Make sure to include one! The heading one should match your page title,and be named in a way that readers searching for what you are writing about, will easily understand that your content shows them what they want to find. Use keywords that you want to rank for online, and try to write your H1 in a way that will capture your readers attention, so they want to read what you have to say.
Make sure to only use one h1 as search engines will be confused as to what your page is about if you have more than one. You will end up losing search engine rankings for both h1’s because search engines will split results between both heading one’s. Remember, search engines are robots, not people.
After you use a Heading 1 for your title and main idea, you will want to structure sections within your content with Heading 2’s (h2’s).You can use more than one h2’s as they should support the main h1 on the page.Use different wording for each h2 as you are not trying to stuff your site with just a bunch of keywords, you are writing to people first, just structuring thepage so robots can understand it as well.
Remember, you’re writing to people, and you want them to enjoy reading your page.
Heading 3’s should only be used under a heading 2. Make sure to start a section with a heading 2 then put your h3’s within the same section.
As you can see, headings should be used within their primary heading. If you like to use heading 6’s, then make sure they are nested in a heading 5. Headings make your blog articles and other web pages look structured and they separate your longer articles to make them friendly to the scanning reader, but make sure you’ve structured them so search engines can read them too!
Several years ago, when I started a small not for profit fair trade company, I wanted to build a website for the company, but I knew I didn’t have the money to hire a web development company to do it for me. I started doing some research on how I could build my own website after a friend suggested that maybe I build the website myself. I soon found Squarespace. To be honest with you, I fell in love with the app as soon as I started using it. I quickly built a good looking, responsive website and didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket to build it. I used a simple template and it was easy to set up and maintain.
Fast forward five years, and I get the chance to build a website for my Dad’s tree nursery. I decided that Squarespace would be the platform of choice, and again I quickly built a site for him with most of the features they needed.
To be fair, I have to admit that they make it easy and fun to build a site for people who know little to nothing about code or website design. It really isn’t design since you are using pre built templates, but hey make you feel like you are designing with giving clients the chance to “tweak” the template styles.
After almost a year of using Squarespace for the Nurseries website, as well as building two other clients websites on Squarespace, I started to see the problems with the platform. These problems started to frustrate me more as time went on and I wanted to build more unique, client-specific websites with SolTech.
Now, Squarespace forms are pretty good looking. I will give them kudos on that, but they are next to impossible to integrate with any other platform other than MailChimp, the leading email marketing platform. They now offer Zapier integrations to send form submissions elsewhere, but if you want to integrate their forms with a marketing software like Infusionsoft, you will have to pay another monthly fee to Zapier to be able to send form submissions there, or deal with embedding their terrible looking forms. Quite frankly, it is not a smart move to pay an extra 20 bucks a month to create yet another level of complexity to your site.
When you build a website, you put all of the work into making it a reality and you want your website to be yours, kind of like a business store front. You need the bargaining power to be able to move your site to another hosting provider in case your hosting provider has a problem with security or their pricing raises too much. Not so with Squarespace. When you build a site with Squarespace, the only content you can export out in case you want to move your hosting is your content. That means you will NOT be able to move your site to WordPress without designing your site fresh again from the ground up. Maybe you are okay with that, but to be honest, this gives Squarespace a lot of power over you. They can decide to raise prices on current customers easily because they’ve purposely made it such a challenge to move off of the platform.
One plus of the software is the many really good looking templates available to download, but in truth they are all really similar. There are a few odd ducks, but they have their issues of their own. Your site will look pretty much like everybody else’s on the web. Maybe you are okay with that, but that was a major downside for us.
The most popular template on Squarespace is Bedford. It is also the most used template as well. This template is actually a terrible template. The reason why is that Bedford uses the META Description to populate the header photo on each web page! Why is this terrible? Well to be frank, a meta description needs to be what users see as a plain sentence when they are searching for on Google. This is what will attract them to your web link and what results in a higher search engine ranking. This is not where I would want to put a long descriptive sentence on the web page, it just looks weird. Header photos work best with one or two short, catchy phrases that will draw the readers in. Not a long, spelled out sentence that describes the entirety of the content.
There are many more reasons why I will never build a site on Squarespace again, and I might write another blog about it, but I figured I should put it out there just in case some of you are thinking about going with them. It is a bad decision. My best advice to you is to pay a web developer to build your website. It may be hard to bite the bullet, but you’ll be happier with the results in the end.
But today, we see that millions of businesses are now generating original content for their own sites. Why the sudden uptick in blogging?
There are six benefits of blogging that you and your company should identify as valuable to your business. We’re going to discuss each of these benefits in this piece.
Let’s dive right in!
Blogging is one of the most effective ways of bringing organic traffic to your site, and there are two reasons why this is true.
First, written content is extremely marketable because it’s free. All you’re asking from people in exchange is their attention.
Second, every time you produce original content, you’re telling Google and other search engines that you’re important. When used in tandem with search engine optimization (SEO), original content allows your business to rank for different keywords.
Not only can you direct traffic with your content, but you can also convert that traffic into leads.
Make a habit of incorporating call-to-actions (CTAs) into your blog posts. Every time you issue new content, engage your audience.
You might even use your content to market a new eBook, which you can give away in exchange for your reader’s email address. This brings you one step closer to converting prospects into customers.
So many businesses fail on the customer relations front. They ask and ask, but never listen. They sell and sell, but never give.
Would you expect customers to trust you or be invested in your brand if you only employed money-hungry marketing tactics? Blogging is one of the ways you can engage your audience without asking them for anything.
And that goes a long, long way.
Blogging gives you the ability to expound on your products and services. And here’s the best part – people don't mind as much because, after all, you’re giving them free content.
What other avenue gives you this kind of opportunity?
Marketing through content gives your audience a better look at what you can offer and why it’s of importance.
When you cover a topic thoroughly and repeatedly, guess what? People start to view you as an expert – and perhaps even an industry leader – in your niche.
And they’re not wrong. The more you research something, the more information you’re able to glean, learn, and reinforce over time.
Take a moment to think about what separates your business from its competition. If you’re having a tough time identifying those elements, the reality might be that you’re not all that different . . . yet.
One of the unsung benefits of blogging is the extra dimension it gives your brand. With a blog, you have the ability to exercise your company’s style guide and develop your voice.
Over time, your audience will begin to understand what you’re about and what makes you stand out.
SEO is a popular buzzword used in marketing; so if you’re new to writing or marketing, it might even be you who’s asking the question, what is SEO? Well, according to dictionary.com, search engine optimization (SEO) consists of, “the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximize user traffic to the site”. But what exactly does that all mean and why is it so important to businesses? What IS SEO?
There are two sides to this equation.
On one side we have search engines – the most popular, of course, being Google. Then there’s Yahoo, Ask.com, Bing, and hundreds of other popular search engines. Each of these has its own unique algorithm that dictates which sites and posts rank for different “keywords” that are used online.
For example, if you were to run a Google search for the term, “flowers”, Google is likely to return results that include large florists and flower delivery services that have applied SEO principles for that keyword.
Now, on the other side of the equation is you – whether you’re a writer, marketer, or small business owner. You play a huge role in optimizing content for search engines, as you’re trying to propose your content as the answer to a consumer’s question. This is important because you want to bring more users to your site and convert them into customers, right?
Millions of people run Google searches daily. Per Hubspot, roughly 75% of Internet users never leave the first page of results.
So, if you want to generate more site traffic, you’re going to want to do everything within your power to rank on the first page for keywords that are specific to your niche.
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is SEO?” and have a greater understanding of the basics, it’s time to look at what we can do to optimize our original content for search engines.
On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
The more you explore the world of SEO, the more you’ll hear about two different types of optimization: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO consists of your typical search engine priming, like using keywords, meta tags, title tags, and so on. These are elements that exist on your site’s page. Off-page SEO, on the other hand, consists of guest posting on other sites, circulating content via social media, and link building, among other methods that are, for the most part, executed externally.
Sometimes writers and marketers get so immersed in on-page SEO that they neglect off-page SEO altogether.
Using the two search engine optimization methods in harmony is the only way you’re going to rank for your keyword and have a chance at maintaining that spot. So, it’s important to be thorough when optimizing your content!
Are you ready to try SEO for yourself? If you already have experience with SEO, what have you found to be the most important factors for ranking? Share with us in the comments below!
Today, Internet searches produce significant amounts of organic traffic for businesses. How? Simply put, through search engine ranking.
Naturally, more and more businesses have made concerted efforts to boost their search engine ranking. That means that your business is actually at a disadvantage if it isn’t making an effort to rank within search engines. But have no fear! If you’re looking to boost your own company’s search engine visibility (and you should), here are nine ways that you can do just that.
1. Harness the Power of SEO
First and foremost, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to your business’s ability to obtain a higher search engine ranking. In fact, it’s everything. You can follow the next eight points, but if you don’t implement SEO whenever possible, you’re going to struggle to rank in search engines. This involves your site title, headings, and meta descriptions. Make sure your page fits with what your descriptions are about because these will be what help users decide whether they want to visit your site.
2. Ensure that Search Engines Can Crawl Your Site
Most major search engines have bots, sometimes referred to as web “crawlers” or “spiders”. These bots collect data from sites and update their search engine’s information accordingly. Your site can either facilitate or hinder efficient web crawling, depending on how many errors and bugs are present on your site. Clean things up so that search engines can gather updated information regularly.
3. Enhance Your Site Speed
One of the biggest search engine killers is site speed. Yes, Google does know when your site is quick; but similarly, it knows when your site uses a poor web hosting service. If you can do better in the speed department, don’t hesitate to shop around!
4. Run a SEO Site Audit
Once you think you’ve done a decent job optimizing your site, run a SEO site audit just to be sure. More often than not, site audits can identify issues that hadn’t crossed your mind. It might even take a few audits before you’re able to flush out all of your SEO problems.
5. Create a Blog
Have you noticed that more and more businesses are starting to produce original content? This shouldn’t come as a surprise. There is a direct correlation between this new wave of company blogging and search engine ranking. Creating a blog will make your business stand out as an authority on your area of service.
6. Develop Shareable Content
When you write, include call-to-actions (CTAs) and plenty of sharing options so that your content can make it to as many places as possible. The easier it is for readers to engage and share, the better it is for your site’s SEO.
7. Use Social Media
Make no mistake – social media has dominated this decade, and the collective networking phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. If social media isn’t part of your content marketing strategy, you’re not going to generate nearly the number of leads that social media can help you create.
8. Make Sure Every Page & Post Is Optimized
You want your site to rank as high as possible, right? Well, in order to achieve that, make sure you leave no stone unturned with regards to SEO. Every page and post on your site should be keyword-rich and include solid title tags, image tags, and meta descriptions.
DOES THIS ALL SEEM LIKE TOO MUCH? WELL, THAT IS WHERE WE COME IN. WE ARE A TEAM OF PEOPLE WHO WILL PARTNER WITH YOU TO IMPLEMENT ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MORE FOR YOUR COMPANY ONLINE. CONTACT US TO GET STARTED!
In the past, a debate has raged over whether social media is an essential marketing tool for businesses.
Well, that debate is over.
Social media has become the single most important medium for all types of marketing. When you choose to set up your company’s social media accounts, you create a number of unique opportunities for both your business and its customers.
In order to get a better understanding of the importance of social media, let’s look at 10 of these opportunities.
1. REACH A LARGER AUDIENCE
If only there was a network where millions of people across the world could be connected via a single platform . . . Enter Facebook, and now Instagram, Twitter, and others.
There are only so many people you can reach with a brochure, an email, or a letter. Social media allows you to reach people who are otherwise unreachable.
2. DEVELOP A BETTER BRAND
Social media plays a vital role in modern branding. How do you want your business to be perceived? Image-driven apps such as Instagram and Snapchat allow you to create the look and culture that you want for your company.
3. STAY CURRENT AND RELEVANT
This isn’t to say that if you don’t have social media you’re not relevant. But being present and active on social media goes a long way in assuring customers that you’ve adopted a modern approach to marketing.
4. GIVES YOUR CUSTOMERS A CHANNEL FOR COMMUNICATION
Social media has made it easier for customers to get in touch with their favorite brands. Instead of calling and being put on hold for 10 minutes or waiting 48 hours for an email to be returned, they can send a direct message or reply to a comment thread.
5. GATHER AND RESPOND TO FEEDBACK
If you’re doing something wrong, social media will let you know. Whether it’s through the 5-star review system or tagging your company in a post, customers can make their voices heard. And that’s a good thing! Social media listening allows you to make constant improvements to your brand and the way you work.
6. LEARN ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE
Social media makes it easier than ever to survey your audience and receive input. Take some time to learn about customer interests and the major selling points of your brand. Engaging your audience not only keeps your customers involved, but it also allows you to gather information about them.
7. PROMOTE CONTENT
If you’re creating original content for your blog but aren’t circulating it via social media, you’re only going to reach a fraction of your potential readers. Anytime you create, be thorough! Use every tool to your advantage.
8. BOOST SITE TRAFFIC
We know that growing your site’s traffic can be a struggle. Using social media, however, can bolster those efforts. Whatever you create or advertise on your site, be sure to share it around on each of your social media pages.
9. IMPROVE SEARCH ENGINE RANKING
A common misconception is that search engine optimization (SEO) is only performed on-site. That’s only half the truth! The more that people link to your site and share your content via social media, the higher your site will rank in search engines.
10. NURTURE LEADS AND MAKE SALES THROUGH ADS
Social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram in particular, have become marketing powerhouses for businesses to leverage. With the addition of paid advertising, your business has the ability to reach relevant prospects and generate real leads that convert.
If you haven’t yet set up your business’s social media pages, what’s holding you back? Most accounts can be created and verified within minutes. Try social media for yourself and see how you can engage a larger audience!