Local Search

WordPress Posting Tips with SEO in Mind


22. September 2011


Once of the benefits of creating websites on WordPress is that training our clients to manage their own website is simple. No more being “held hostage” by some developer or company when you want to make minor changes to your website. Once the website is built, we believe all our clients should know how to make changes, and be able to do it for free.

However once our clients are trained to easily make their own blog posts, it’s also important for them to be training on effective content writing for the web. Here are some WordPress posting tips I want to share with WordPress newbies and small business owner clients:

  1. Use “external” instead of “internal” keywords for Titles & URLs. Write titles to include keywords others will use (and lead with these words) Don’t use brand or product words that are unique to your business. For example, compare this title: Is it ok if I lay them off? vs. Considering Employee Lay Off?. Here’s another one, compare: “New Updates for Our Clients” versus “SEO News for Small Business Owners”
  2. Eliminate “empty” words where possible, especially from titles. Empty words not only make your content harder to read, but make it harder for your content to rank. Words like have, from, and then, become, update, etc. say nothing about your content.
  3. Use headings and subheadings. Google looks for H1, H2 tags for relevance. The title of your post should use the H1 tag. Then use the native “Format” drop down to create subheadings (Heading 2, Heading 3) with good keywords to break apart and summarize paragraphs of text. This is also good for readability
  4. NEVER create duplicate pages or posts with the same content. Pages with the exact same wording/content are harmful to your SEO and site authority. If these pages exist, have them deleted and redirect the old URL to its duplicate.
  5. Avoid using custom styles, font sizing, custom colors. Aside from bold, underline and highlight, any other font styling should be done purely through a well designed theme and use of the H1, H2, H3 and paragraph style tags. Using custom font styling and sizing adds unsophisticated code to your content and and makes your website styling harder to change in the future.
  6. NEVER copy and paste directly from Microsoft Word into WordPress. We understand that not everyone will feel comfortable drafting posts directly in WordPress. (We do encourage it. Forgo Word altogether.) So when you want to copy content from Word, use the Paste from Word button to strip out funky code.
  7. Use the native bullets or number styling instead of manual numbering or dashes. Don’t manually number things. Use the ordered list styling buttons in your WordPress Editor for those sections.
  8. Bold main keywords relevant to your website. Bolding is minor way of telling search engines what the focus of your content is about.
  9. Make keywords the anchor text for links to another resource, and not just the words “click here”.
  10. Add ALT tags to your images. Alternative text is another opportunity to add relevant keywords to your content.
  11. Fill in SEO meta details for each post. If you’re using an SEO plugin like All-In-One SEO Pack, then you also want to fill in the Title and description area of this section. This is usually found at the bottom underneath your post content.
  12. Remember to add your post to the right category. Use the categories to keep your content organized into themes.
Local Search

Create Citations to Build Links for Local Businesses


31. August 2011


Citations are references of your local business on other websites. Citation links can be created on local directories, review and Internet yellow page portals, and other niche sites. Citations don’t always have a link to your website. They may just mention the associated name, phone number, or business address. And often these citations can be just as strong as traditional links.

Local Link Building Strategy

Citations are an important part of SEO for your local businesses. And over years, with the patents, changes to search results, and local pages design Google have made, specific local marketing efforts are more important. Citations contribute to a good link building strategy for your company, especially if you have a clear cut branded image. Even a mention of your brand name helps you rise in SERP rankings because the citations lend to your credibility and authority.

Some local internet marketing experts have debated over whether citations provide an accurate reflection of web marketing trends. Google’s recent removal of citation sources from the Local Places page design has many speculating if this indicates that citations are no longer important. We see evidence to the contrary. The change in the design does not automatically mean there was a change in the search algorithm.

Citations Give Your Customers More Opportunity to Review Your Business

Reviews and user generated content are also an important part of a good local marketing strategy. And the citations you build on review sites open your business up to more reviews. And reviews are a form of user generated content. Recent changes to Google SERPs hints that user generated sentiment are an influential signal in their search algorithm and effects rankings for local businesses.

As of this moment, Google cannot depend solely on its own data as an accurate source; they must rely on others and this includes reviews of your business. Google relies on an aggregation of external directories and listings for reviews. While Google may be trying to cut out the other local sources eventually, this may not be the inevitable result with the advent of mobile apps. So until then, build citations and build them everywhere with accurate data and full profiles.

Local Factors Trumps Freshness

For awhile Google focused a lot on “freshness” as a relevancy indicator for their search results. But 1 in 5 searches on desktops have local intent, so in order to remain relevant to its users Google has been focusing on localization for some time now. And let’s not forget that local advertising avenues are worth billions of dollars, so it’s not surprising that Google is trying to dominate this market too. There’s so much opportunity as print advertising starts to convert to online. If anything, Google’s aggressive push for relevancy in local could easily double their current revenue. (Yea, no kidding!)

Local Search

What are Long Tail Keywords


20. December 2010


Long tail keywords are multi-phrase search queries. An example of a long tail keyword would be ‘Where to buy Half Priced Nike Shoes,’ where Nike shoes is an example of a short tail keyword. Long tail keywords are beneficial because they represent the visitors desire for specific service, product, or information. (more…)