We are often asked by clients to match a competitor "guarantee" of a page one position one organic spot within the search engines. No one can do this and those that do you truly need to run from. No matter how much money is thrown at Local SEO you cannot guarantee a page one position. When it comes to your search engine optimization (SEO) results you need to do the right thing (white hat SEO techniques), having truly awesome content (content is king), and staying in it for the long haul (sounds like the stock market doesn't it?). Whether you are in a smaller and growing community like Kouts Indiana or in a big city like Chicago Illinois the techniques we will discuss pertain to all.
We are going to delve into some math in this article but there is nothing to worry about. The numbers we've thought about and made easy and not complex. By the time you finish this article you will soon understand the barriers your business has in being on page one of the search engines. We are not stopping at just the barriers. We are going to conclude with some techniques to help you out and move up against your competitors.
Local SEO Perspective
As we dig deeper into the ever changing realm of local search we have to put our mathematical hat on. Thankfully we are programmers that understand algorithms and technobabble. We also know no one likes "geek speak" so we've simplified the entire process. When it comes to Local SEO for small businesses you need to explain how your services are more important than national brands and sometimes justify the increased prices that you are charging over the national brands. You also have other small businesses wanting into the same space that you are in.
Unless you are fortunate enough to be in a unique industry where you are one of only a handful of businesses in your area Local SEO can be a hard nut to crack. This is where math comes into play in understanding the challenge when it comes to local SEO. In Valparaiso Indiana we have a lot of restaurants, just like many small towns. These restaurants will all be competing for page one on the search results.
The Math Equation
For our part we are going to deal with pizza as there are always a lot of pizza places in every town and will produce good results for our formula.
Whether you are using Google, Bing, Yahoo! or any other search engine there are typically the following on a search engine results page (SERP):
- 1-2 paid advertising spots at the top of the page
- 3-4 map locations shown within the results (typically right below the top paid ad results)
- Around 9-10 spots for organic results
- 2 paid advertising spots on the bottom of the page
Each search engine is different but we will use these totals which equate to a maximum of 18 available spots where a company can be shown. Being we are not talking about paid advertising as we would want to have your business found organically (e.g. free) you really have 14 spots available to be found. These being the 9-10 organic results and the map locations results. For this scenario we are going to leave the map locations off as we will have another article covering how to show prominently in the map results. This leaves 9-10 spots available to be found. We will go with 10 as it's a lot easier number to do the math on.
There are 30 restaurants in Valparaiso with the flag of Valparaiso Indiana according to yelp (http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=pizza&find_loc=Valparaiso,+IN&start=0&l=p:IN:Valparaiso::).
30 pizza places – 10 available spots leave 20 pizza places that will NOT be found on page one. Even page two could be a challenge.
When you are looking at the big picture though you want to be found by more than just a single city. You want to be found in your near geographic location. This means not filtering on Valparaiso Indiana but the surrounding and close towns and cities as well. When searching on yelp again for the phrase of "pizza" we get a larger pizza base of 99 locations (http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=pizza&find_loc=Valparaiso,+IN&start=0).
99 pizza places – 10 available spots leave 89 pizza places that will NOT be found on page one.
The Secret Sauce
Looking at the two above numbers of 30 and 99 you quickly see that hitting page one is not as easy as it looks. That doesn't mean you can't do it. You can do it even if your competitors are also investing in Local SEO. The list below will help your business succeed in the Local SEO space and as a nice side benefit the non-Local SEO space as well.
- High Quality Content
- Update often
- Internal links to other pages
- External links from other pages
- Citations referencing your business
- Social interaction
- Reviews (hopefully positive) that link to your site (external links) or at a minimum mention your name (e.g. citation)
- Have "Local" pages on Bing, Yahoo!, and definitely Google
Search Engine Optimization whether local or not is a process that takes time, determination, and a lot of patience. When you do all the right things you will achieve positive results and there will be a strong likelihood that you will reach page one on the search engine result pages.
If you would like help in achieving the best possible SEO and Local SEO results for your business using solely the best practices of the search engines give JM2 Webdesigners in Valparaiso Indiana a call at 855-456-2669, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form here.