Getting you local business on the front page of the search engines if you are based in Camberley, Frimley or Sandhurst isn’t so difficult. But can be time consuming if you want to do it for free.
But is anything really free?
OK so how can you get your business ahead of all the other local plumbers, tile shop owners, garages, personal trainers etc.
Well first of all, you go with the paid advertising that Google offers called PPC (paid per click).
As you look at the pages of Google, after you have entered a search term, at the top in most pages you will see one or two paid for ads, normally highlighted in a yellow/sandstone colour, or on the right down the side, under the greyed out title “sponsored links”. These are the paid for adverts.
But what I am talking about is the organic listings down the left hand side. The “Organic” Listings”. These are not paid for in money terms to Google, but to get a listing on the front page does cost you time.
To get your site onto the front page of Google, your site has to be optimised, this is called “Search Engine Optimisation” (SEO).
Now please be aware, this piece has been written for lay people and not search engine experts, so this is a simplified version of SEO.
SEO is not difficult and generally means tweaking your site or getting other site linking to your site, generally called “Back linking”. In fact SEO is a subject that could probably span a thousand pages and just skim the surface.
But before we get into all this, we have to start at the beginning by understanding, that you need to know how people are looking for and finding you, by doing some word research. Called appropriately “keyword research”
There are many ways to do keyword research, but Google offers a free research tool, just do a search for “keyword tool”.
So lets say you have a garage in Camberley that services cars. Go to the keyword tool from google, enter the keyword “garage camberley” and you will see from the results at the top that there are 1000 searches per month for that keyword term.
So quite simply, you create a page on your website (I will tell you an easy way to do this shortly) and in the title of your page you include the words “garage camberley”, a typical page might be called “Get your car serviced by “Camberley’s top Garage” or something similar. I’m sure you can see what I mean.
Now as you look at the keyword tool results, you will see that some of the terms displayed do not have a lot of searches per month and if you were promoting something nationally or worldwide, there would not be enough searches per month.
But if you take the top searches in the UK like “car servicing” and add the word “Camberley” then you write a page about that and put it on your website, you will get hits on your site.
Take the other terms and do the same “car valeting Camberley”, “MOT Camberley”.
Now one of the biggest problems for most local businesses, is they do not have control of their website. If they have a big corporate website with lots of pages and shopping carts, then for a novice, its best to stay away. But you should be able to contribute to your own site. But a lot of web masters say its too complicated… ****OCKS
If you set up a blog as an add on to your site, it is just like writing a word document.
All my customers that I have built sites for are running on a blog platform, which means that after a little training and I mean a little, you could be adding items that would get you on the front page of Google. …But i digress.
Ok, so lets assume you have some pages written and you have uploaded them (via your blog for example) to your website, now we have to optimise.
There are two types of optimisation that I want to talk about here.
- On page optimisation
- Off page optimisation.
As I mentioned earlier this is a big subject and I can only cover it briefly here
On page optimisation means optimising your web that you have created. So you have to make sure that your page title is correct and has one that corresponds to what you have written about, no point have a page about “Paving Your Garden” when the title is “Home Decorating Tips”
So once the title is right, you want to create some anchor text and html links.
An anchor link would be a link to somewhere else on the same page or to another page on your website and you need links via an html link to other sites for further information (obviously not a competitor site) or maybe to an offer on your site. But Google loves to see links from your site to a relative subject.
There are other things like making sure your town is mentioned in the first line if possible and what the page is about, but make sure you don’t stuff the page full of keywords that you think would help your page rankings…They wont….Write for a real live visitor.
Off page optimisation means backlinks. That’s right, you have to get back links to your site, preferably a site that has a higher ranking in the search engines and that relates to your core subject.
If you had a blog, you could comment on other people’s and add a backlink to your site, you could ask others in a related business for a backlink and give them a reciprocal one.
You could make a video and add a backlink, make a podcast, add photos to flickr or you could write some articles and post them on directories.
Locally, getting a link on TheBestOF Camberley has got to be one of the best links to get, yes you have to pay but as they get over 10,000 hits per month from people looking for local businesses in Camberley, Frimley, Sandhurst and the other local areas, you should make this part of your local marketing strategy as well.
These are just some ideas, there are of course many more.
If you set up a blog you could do these thing easily. Ask your webmaster to set up a blog for you, but make sure it is powered by WordPress and if your webmaster doesn’t know how to do this, give me a call.
All my customers have a Word Press blog for good reason.