I attended a meeting this morning where one of the business owners announced that she had just spent a considerable amount of time and energy learning all about local SEO. I wonder if this same owner has also become an expert on print advertising, website design, and interior store design. While small business owners have to have a basic understanding of many, many aspects of their business, time spent going in depth takes away from actually doing the business of the business. In other words, balance.
In the specific case of Local SEO, the rules of the game have been changing so rapidly that most companies who profess to be experts in local search engine optimization have to work like crazy to keep up. Whether by design or by failure of design, Google keeps their methods a secret. The result is a constant scramble by those who need to know. The goal is to unravel the methods and use them to the advantage of SEO clients.
If a local business owner spent ten hours a week or so trying to stay on top of the local SEO news, he or she might be able to stay on page one of organic listings and Google Places. But that would assume that they are spending even more time or money actually implementing the strategies they learn about.
Google Places alone has made almost weekly changes over the past 6 months: changing the brand, offering posts, reducing the outside maximum on the outside pack to seven from ten, now allow links in the listings at two places, came out with a specific list of rules on some issues, created a paid ad called tags, have eliminated the direct link on the short listing to the website, and have added a problem center (albeit as of now it is one way). These are just the major changes. The entire list would be the subject of another entire article.
Over the course of the next ten days, I will provide the inside information that we might seem foolish to reveal. Your SEO consultant doesn’t want this list to see the light of day. But you need to know it. The main reason is so that you can tell your web designer who claims to know local SEO how to correctly set up your website. You need to know it so that you can help the SEO expert who tells you they will get you on page 1 for hundreds of dollars per month, but your phone never rings.
Here is Tip One of Ten on Local SEM Through Use of SEO
1. Meta Title Tags may be the most critical words on your website. This title tag is often what will be the headline in search, and Google thinks this is what is important to you. Your title tag should not be “Home” or “Joe’s Restaurant.” It should be “keyword keyword keyword city keyword keyword city.” Using restaurant as an example: “Italian Restaurant Pizza Beverly Hills | Wine Tasting | Los Angeles” You get 64 characters to tell your story.
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