SEO site audit: Local businesses need to stay out of the ocean and keep to the pond.
“Free SEO Friday” audit for Marketing Plan Seminar
How can a local marketing consultant optimize her site to attract more customers and students for her marketing class? This is what I told her.
Normally on FREE SEO Friday at Kat & Mouse’s Facebook Page we do one free site audit, but today I’ve chosen two: Marketing Plan Retreats and Going Green Promos. (Notice how the winners also get an SEO-powerful, inbound link! 🙂
Why two? And why these two that seem so unrelated?
Besides the fact that I enjoying helping as many businesses as I can, if I can put some life into two birds with one stone I will. In this case, both can benefit from the same advice, so why not two?
In fact every website can benefit from the advice I’m about to give. So if you are not getting the traffic you want from the market you’re going after (and isn’t that most of you?), read on.
Search engine optimization begins with keyword research
No matter what your business or your market, optimization of every website begins with keyword research. As I look at both these sites, I wonder what keywords they are targeting. Oh, I can tell at a glance what each website about, but what gets forgotten sometimes is the fact that Google is just a machine, and a stupid one at that by human standards. So it’s very important to make it crystal clear to Google what your site is about, and the way to do that is with the choice of words you use on your page. But what words?
First step – Compile a list of keywords that will attract your market, keywords they’ll be typing in Google to find you.
Compiling your list of keywords is not as easy as one might think. Let’s take Magda’s marketing site as the first example.
What do you think Magda should optimize this web page on?
If you said, “marketing plan workshop,” I might argue with you, at least in part. Why? Go search on that phrase now. You’ll see there are almost 1,000,000 results. That’s the competition for those keywords.
Can you really compete in that arena? But the better question is, do you even want to?
In this case, not only would it be very difficult to rank for those keywords given the competition, there is very little value in it because most of the people clicking your link would probably not have any interest in what you offer simply because yours is a local service and if they find you with those keywords alone – without a city filter – good chance they live so far away, they couldn’t take the class anyway!
So how can you better your odds?
The way to better your chances and actually capture our market is oftentimes as simple as adding one more word to the keyword phrase you’re targeting, in this case it would be your location. Greensboro should be added to the page, preferably right next to the other keywords you want to target. And I recommend adding it a few times throughout! In fact, you’ll be better off if you put the address of the class right here on this page.
But what other keywords besides location should you use?
This is when you should take a detour over to Google’s free keyword research tool and find out exactly what people are using when they’re searching for help on their marketing plans. I took the liberty of searching on these phrases:
- how to marketing plan
- how to write a marketing plan
- help with marketing plan
- marketing workshop small business
- marketing class
And here’s what came up:
Check the numbers. Which phrases should you use?
You might decide that if you want to attract people specifically looking for a marketing class, good phrases for you might be “Greensboro marketing class,” or “Learn how to write a marketing plan in Greensboro.” Note that marketing workshop was used less, so you might want to avoid that term.
Are those phrases on your page? There’s something similar in the banner at the top, but that banner is an image and images are nothing more than a bunch of colored dots to Google. You did assign this great alt tag to that image: “Beyond Word of Mouth: The only Simplified Business and Marketing Plan Seminar that guides you step-by-step through the planning process and strategy – right there in class!” But only Google can see that alt tag in your code. You will get more clout if you get those keywords out where they are visible to human eyes. Google likes that.
But now ask yourself, “Are you sure those are the best keywords?”
You are literally never done when it comes to deciding on your keywords. You should always be looking and thinking deeper, adding more or removing some as you go along and as you watch the results in your analytics. (You do have Google analytics installed, don’t you?)
I did another query with Google’s tool on different keywords, this time adding the words “marketing consultant” and “marketing company,” and look what I found:
As you can see, searching for a marketing company or consultant is more popular than searching for a class. So maybe you should target those keywords instead or in addition to?
But you might ask, “how to marketing” is the most popular in that list, so why not just use that phrase? You could, but keep in mind that someone searching on that phrase is not necessarily looking for someone to help them. If they searched on class, or consultant, or marketing company, you know they are, and there’s a good chance they are looking for someone or a class in their vicinity. So if you use “how to marketing” alone, your net is too broad. Doesn’t mean you can’t use it, however, so maybe these phrases could work for you:
- “Come learn from Greensboro’s marketing consultant, Magda, and learn how to draft your own marketing plan in this fun and informative marketing class.”
- “Unsure how to market your company? You can hire a marketing consultant, or you can learn to do it yourself in this marketing class in Greensboro, NC.”
With those phrases, you have it all: how to, class, marketing, consultant and company.
So here’s my best recommendation for you.
- Settle on the keywords you want to target on this page. Limit it to just 3 or 4.
- Put your keyword phrase first on your page in a <h1> tag.
- Repeat the keywords 2 or 3 more times in various ways and combinations.
- Turn your Session boxes into text so Google can read it. There are good keywords hidden in there!
- Set yourself up in Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Local and the local directories like Yelp, Merchant Circle, YP. Be sure to select or create marketing consultant and marketing classes (or training if your keyword research finds that’s better).
- I also recommend investing a good amount of time into building a Facebook page, and there you can start posting marketing ideas like I do with my Facebook page. It’s a great place to engage with your student, past and present, and a place for them to turn their friends to.
Best of luck to you, Magda.
I think if you implement these suggestions, Magda, you’ll be on your way to increasing your visibility. After you do and you give Google a few weeks to register the changes, can you return to this page and leave a comment to let me know how it goes? I would really like to know.
My final gift to you is this outbound link to your website promoting a hands-on, how-to marketing class in Greensboro, NC. (Note that I linked on keywords. 🙂 )
And if anyone has any suggestions for Magda, please leave them below!
Now let’s move onto the second Free SEO Friday winner.
Ted’s Going Green Promos could benefit from the same keyword advice, but let’s look at his site specifically to see how he can apply the suggestions. His is a bit more challenging because it’s not limited to local clientele, so let’s see what we can do for him. Click here to go to Free SEO Friday, Part II »
Get your own FREE SEO audit!
If you would like a Free SEO audit for your website, post your url on our Kat & Mouse’s Facebook wall on Friday before noon. I’d love to give you all one, but these take a very long time to do, so only one will be chosen. Hopefully, you can benefit from others if you are not the one.
And please tweet, share and like!
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