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SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To “optimize” a website means to make changes to it that make it more likely to show up higher in the organic Google search results.
These changes can range from properly labeling your images and videos, to creating content such as blog posts and explainer videos that contain the keywords that represent what your website is about.
If you are a small business owner you’ve surely been approached by someone promising to put you on the first page of Google, or even worse, promising you the first position on the first page.
Why do they promise this?
It’s based on this fairly simple string of logic:
You need more leads to grow your business.
Whether those leads come in the form of a phone call or a contact form, you need people to contact you.
Most people who don’t know you are going to find you through your website. That’s where they get your phone number or send you a contact form.
But how do they find your website?
They find your website by searching on Google. Most likely they search for a certain set of keywords related to the services you offer, your website listing pops up and they click on it.
Once they get to your website if they find what they are looking for then they call you.
You’ll book the appointment and then ask, “how did you hear about me?”. They’ll say “I found you on Google.” Thusly proving the value to you of leads that come from your website and Google.
Now, you can only assume that if you show up on the first page of Google for more keywords, you will get more phone calls from your website and more leads.
So how do you show up on the first page of Google for more keywords?
(Related Post: 3 Ways to Improve Your SEO Without Breaking the Bank)
Companies that offer Local SEO services perform a wide range of tasks with the end goal of helping you rank higher on Google search results and get more leads.
Reputable SEO providers will make changes to your website that make sure your website follows “Google’s Best Practices.” These are rules and guidelines Google has published to help people make websites more Google-friendly.
Google developed their Best Practices to improve the Google User Experience. The easier Google searchers find what they are looking for, the more they will continue to use Google.
Considering Google made $67 Billion from advertising revenues in 2015, it doesn’t take much to figure out why it’s in Google’s best interests to show relevant search results that help people find what they’re looking for.
Following Best Practices
It’s the job of SEO providers to know these Best Practices by heart. Their first job will be to make physical changes to your website to make it more Google friendly.
After making “On-Site” changes to your webiste, a Local SEO provider will work on improving factors that make your site more relevant in the eyes of Google.
Think of Google as the world’s largest referral source. People go to Google to find a business that offers what they need. Google in turn, shows them a list of websites that are relevant to what they searched for.
How do you make your website more relevant? You need other websites to refer people to your website. If Google sees that other websites are mentioning your website related to certain topics, Google will then see your website as a worthy place to send people when they search for that topic.
This brings up Link Building and Content Creation
The purpose of Link Building is to get links to your website placed on other websites. The goal is to get enough credible links to your website that Google begins to rank your website as more relevant. Local SEO providers will work on getting other websites to put links to your website through a variety of techniques.
Content Creation is done to show Google that your website is producing fresh, relevant content about the topic of which your website is based on. If you’re a Bankruptcy Attorney and your website regularly produces new blog posts about Bankruptcy Law, Google will start to see your website as a valuable resource for people in your area who search for Bankruptcy Attorneys.
Using a Local SEO service can be a great way to get new leads for your business from Digital Marketing, however, you can’t make the huge mistake in assuming that just because you rank highly on Google you will get new leads from your website.
If you have absolutely no brand awareness at all, you could show up in the number one spot for every Google search for your service and many people would still not click on your listing.
Local SEO is just one part of an overall Digital Marketing strategy that will help you generate new leads for your business from your website. Once you get people coming to your website you need enticing offers to collect their contact information.
Most of the people who come to your website won’t contact you at first. You need a way to stay in front of them after they leave.
Having great Local SEO is an amazing start, but it’s just the beginning.