SEO site audit: 7 essential steps for optimizing a local consulting business to show up in Google’s Lucky 7 Pak
This week’s winner of our Free Friday SEO audit that we give away on our Facebook page, is System Savvy Consulting, a professional organizer for businesses and homes.
As I looked over the site, I saw many of the same things missing that I see each week in other local business websites, so I decided to address the 7 essential elements that are necessary for all local business to incorporate into their websites if they have any hope of making it into Google’s 7 pak that comes up on the first page. (The 7 pak are the 7 local listings that Google gives preferential treatment to for local searches. They are identified with the red pin.)
1. We start with the keyword research because all search engine optimization starts there.
Please review last week’s SEO audit for Marketing Plan Retreats in which I gave pointers on how to compile your keyword list. Using those tips, and after a little research, I would recommend that System Savvy target at least these phrases:
- Professional organizer Chagrin Falls, OH
- Office organizer Chagrin Falls, OH
- Home organizer Chagrin Falls, OH
- Professional office organizer Chagrin Falls, OH
- Professional home organizer Chagrin Falls, OH
- Time management consultant Chagrin Falls, OH
2. Set up Google Places
After you know which keywords you want to target, head on over to Google to set up your Places account if you haven’t already. And if you have, head over there anyway and take your keywords with you because you need to optimize your listing with them. Here are instructions for optimizing your Google Local page. I’ll write a subsequent post on the details on how to optimize it for best results, so be sure to come back for that. But even if you don’t know how to do it right now, do it anyway. You need your Google Place account.
3. Get yourself in local directories
Now that you have your Google Place page, you need to get citations in other parts of the web so that Google knows you are real. You do this by submitting your site to local directories like Yelp, MerchantCircle, CitySearch, Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, and more. You can also use services like Universal Business Listing and Localeze to assist. They will aggregate your business information out to hundreds of local directories and save you the trouble.
4. Get citations
You’ll also want to be on the lookout for other citation opportunities, particularly in your local area. Can you sponsor a parade? Can you be part of a local business fair? Can you speak at a local event and get a mention in the newspaper? These all can be powerful citation sources for you. Look for opportunities for online mentions that will allow you to include your address and url if possible. And be sure to research your competition to see what they’ve got, then go after the same. I use Whitespark’s citation finder tool for conducting competitive research in this area.
5. Beg your customers for reviews
Actually, I don’t want you to beg them, but I say that to emphasize that reviews are hard to come by. But they are critically important, so do your best. Bright Local provides an easy way to incorporate a review button on your website like you see here. However, as you might notice. It doesn’t work here in Joomla/Wordpress, but it should work for most sites.
QR codes are getting popular now, so you can also try creating a QR code that lands visitors on one of your review site and the print it on stationery you use to communicate with clients, as well as your invoices if you mail them. See a previous post on how to use QR codes for reviews here.
6. Optimize your website
There are many books on the subject, so I’m not going to get into too much detail here, but since this is Savvy’s audit here are some tips for her based on what I see she’s missing:
- Create keyword rich titles for your title tag. This is the title you see at the very top of the browser. Currently Savvy’s home page title is “Home page.” No keywords there. It should be something like: “Chagrin Falls professional organizer, home and business organizer, time management consultant.” Each page should have its own unique title tag with its own keywords.
- Create a page for each of the services you provide and incorporate keywords into the body of the page. Be sure to include your city keyword as well whenever possible. That means multiple times. You’ll get more benefit if you put your keywords in head 1 tags, use them at the top of the page and bold them when appropriate.
- Put your address and phone number on each page.
- Incorporate internal linking throughout your site, linking on text that includes your keywords.
7. And, finally, build inbound links
Finally, try to acquire inbound links to your site from other sites relevant to your industry. Best way to do this is write great blogs that others find remarkable and want to link to. Another way is to provide a resource that others will want to reference and link to. Savvy would do well to think about other related – but not the same – businesses, for which she could add some value. For example, she could create synergy with a life or business coach who helps his clients organize their lives. If she provided some organization tips on her site, or on a PDF download, the life coach might link to it from his site. Savvy will have to publicize that information as part of the process, otherwise no one will know that information is there. SEO is one way to get the word out, but Savvy can also contact life coaches directly and ask them for a link. (It’s important to ask them to link on your keywords.) Being active in social media and posting your blog on your Facebook wall and tweeting about it will also help.
There is, of course, much, much more to search engine optimization, but Savvy doesn’t have that much competition. If she does well, these few things may just be enough to push her to the top.
Visibility is just the beginning
I’ll also leave you with a final suggestion, Lisa. Getting found in Google is just the beginning. You can have all the people in the world land on your site, but if they don’t buy, it means nothing. So your look and feel, the on-page marketing and usability all play very important roles to help you get conversion once people find you and land on your site.
It’s not the purpose of this SEO audit to give advice on usability or design, but I feel it would benefit your online business if you had a more professional appearance, particularly since you are a professional service. This goes for everyone, if your site looks unprofessional, your visitors will look upon you the same way. So invest a little money into your web design and I think it will pay back.
Best of luck to you, Lisa.
I think if you implement these suggestions, 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 which advertises you as a Chagrin Falls, OH professional business and home organizer. (Note that I linked on keywords. 🙂 )
And if anyone has any suggestions for Lisa, please leave them below!
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!
- Yelp Is Hiding My Reviews. What Can I Do? - March 12, 2020
- Take your run-of-the-mill SEO from ho-hum to the next level - September 25, 2013
- Make it easy for your customers to give Google+ reviews - August 13, 2013