How Long For Better Local SEO Rankings?

how-long-for-better-seo-rankings

No matter what you hear or read, local SEO is alive and well. It’s the reason you’re here reading this blog post. You obviously want to know how long local SEO and better search rankings will take.

You might be wondering how long is it going to take to see page 1 and top 5 search rankings. This is a common question I get asked during almost all of my calls and emails from potential clients. It’s understandable as you want to know when you can start seeing more traffic, leads and clients come your way.

The problem with trying to answer this question is that it’s too difficult to correctly predict. There are too many search rankings factors to do this.

I use to offer a guarantee for our SEO services but I stopped that very early on. Why? Because I think our past results prove that our services work. That and I wasn’t getting the types of clients I wanted.

Regardless, I always give a potential client a rough estimate of when they can expect to see page 1 results. Once our SEO work begins and a few months go by, I can see how the search rankings are improving and give a better idea of when page 1 and top 5 results will occur by.

But at first, I need to look at a few factors.

Search Ranking Factors At Play

There are so many search rankings factors, but when determining how long a potential clients website will need to rank on page 1 and the top 5, I look at:

  • what search terms you want to rank for
  • is your website well optimized for those search terms
  • how many websites/webpages rank ahead of you for those search terms (direct competitors and directories)
  • how many business listings does your business have and are they consistent
  • how many and what type of backlinks does your website have
  • how long has your website been around
  • what type of content is on your website
  • does your website have great local SEO content
  • have you changed business addresses or domains in the past

There are 200+ search ranking factors, but these are the ones I look at when determining how long it will take to rank a website.

Trial Period

With every potential client, I always suggest a three month trial period of our services to show them what kind of results they can expect to see after 6 and 9 months. If after three months we don’t see much improvement, it’s not a good sign. If that’s the case, which it rarely is, I offer a partial refund for the three months.

It’s risk reversal. We have to perform and generate better search rankings in those first three months. If we haven’t, then I don’t feel comfortable receiving money for not doing our job.

New Websites Vs Existing Websites

With this three month trial period, you might be wondering if that is enough time to improve the search rankings to page 1 and the top 5. Rarely will this happen, unless you are already ranking somewhere on page 2 and have an existing website.

Existing websites are, for the most part, going to take less time to rank. Why? Because an existing website has been indexed by the search engines, has business listings and backlinks created along with quality SEO content on the site. It’s built up existing credibility with the search engines which is going to take a lot less time to rank than a new website.

A new website doesn’t have the credibility and thus, is going to take a longer time to get to the top of the list. In all cases, SEO is a long term investment. Once you rank higher, you stay there as long as you update your website.

SEO As An Investment

With traditional advertising or even pay per click (ppc), you always are paying money. That’s not the case with SEO. Depending on what industry you are in, once better search rankings are achieved, you only need a few new clients to pay the SEO services off. Even better if you offer a service where the lifetime value of a client is high.

With all potential clients though I do suggest running a ppc campaign in coordination with an SEO campaign. Yes, it will cost more but with a ppc campaign, you will get targeted traffic to the site right away. Then as the search rankings improve and they get more organic traffic, we can reduce the spending on the ppc campaign.

Running a ppc campaign will also tell us if the website is good at converting so you can generate new leads and clients. If not, then we will have to make some conversion adjustments.

I hope I’ve been able to provide a detailed enough answer to the question of how long will it take for my website to rank higher with local SEO. If I haven’t, please contact me today and I’ll be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Most Valuable On Page SEO Tactics for Small Business Success

small-business-seo-tipsTo get your small business site in front of as many potential customers as possible, you need on page SEO. Search engine optimization is vital to your growth and success. With proper on page SEO tactics you can boost online visibility, external links, keywords, and most important of all, organic traffic.

The top three marketing tools a small business has are . . .

  • 54 percent email marketing
  • 51 percent website traffic
  • 48 percent social media marketing

On page SEO can make a big impact on your bottom line, not just by increasing traffic, but by also cutting your marketing spend in half. Do you run PPC ads on Google? With stellar on page search optimization in place, you can rank page one without running ads.

Make search engine optimization a priority in 2018 with the following SEO tips for small business online growth and success.
local-seo-tips

Get Local with Your Small Business

Mobile has become the preferred search device for products and services, making it essential to have your small business listed. In fact, 50 percent of mobile consumers who will visit a store they found in local search results within a day.

The first step is to set up a local listing on Google My Business.

google-my-business

When someone searches for products and services similar to yours, they will see your business, website, and also get featured on Google Maps. Leverage other local listing sites like Yelp or Angie’s List as well. The more local listings, the more your small business will appear in SERPs.

Local listings are also the perfect platform for your customers to rate and review your business, products, or services. This is more important than ever, since online consumers check ratings and reviews prior to making a decision to buy.

Make Your Small Business Site Mobile-Friendly

The New Year will usher in a few changes for on page SEO, and one of them is Google mobile-first index. This will give priority to mobile friendly, fast loading sites when a user searches via mobile. This is very important for future business growth and success, especially since most consumers are now more mobile than ever before.

A few on page SEO mobile-friendly tips for your small business are:

  • Make your site’s content readable on mobile devices, including the text and font you decide to use.
  • Avoid software that is not mobile-friendly like Flash.
  • Think like a user visiting your site by ensuring your pages are easy to scroll and navigate.
  • Make your CTA buttons and anchor text links easy to see and not in the way of a users scrolling thumb.
  • Ensure your page load time on mobile is optimized and under one second.

To check these potential on page SEO pitfalls, turn to Google. Google has a number of tools you can use to check just how mobile-friendly your site actually is . . .

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Think with Google Test My Site

Google PageSpeed Insights

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Create Unique SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions

Google algorithms are always on the hunt for duplicate content and poorly constructed SEO titles (page titles) and meta descriptions. These issues could cause your small business website and pages to drop in ranking.

The first step to better on page SEO is to look at your page titles and meta-descriptions. You want to tell Google exactly what your page is about, and why it fulfills search intent.

Make a list of all your title tags and start looking for duplicate keywords, and subpar title descriptions pages that promote your products or services. Then get a little creative by replacing those duplicate keywords using online tools like SEMrush’s Phrase Match.

sem-rush

To highlight this important on page SEO tactic, here is an example from Brilliance, for product page best practices, listing a number of keyword rich options.

brilliance

Time to Make On Page SEO a Priority . . .

Your small business can’t afford to ignore proper on page SEO tactics. These 100 percent free changes can decrease your need for large PPC ad spend while also providing a better user experience for your site’s visitors on both desktop and mobile. How will you make on page SEO work for you in 2018?

nick-rojas

Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto. You can follow him on twitter: @NickARojas

Beware Of Negative SEO

beware-negative-seo

I’ve talked a lot about SEO throughout the 4+ years of this blog. One thing I’ve failed to shed light on is negative SEO. This will be a very short post on negative SEO but you can read more over at Moz.

What is negative SEO?

It’s an SEO campaign that is launched to HARM and not improve the rankings of website.

Who would do such a thing?

In most cases it’s a website and business owners looking to drop the search rankings of their competitors. They’re many business owners out there who will do whatever it takes to beat their competition. It’s unfortunate but it happens.

In other cases it could be an SEO company who doesn’t know what their doing or is operating on old SEO principles that Google now frowns upon.

How does it work?

The most common case of negative SEO I’ve seen deals with un-natural ways of link building. This would be adding a bunch of backlinks on low quality sites pointing to a website with the exact same anchor text. It’s the exact same issue one of our clients faced a couple of years ago when they hired what they thought was a trustworthy SEO company.

How to prevent it?

Last week I was doing some link building for a client when I noticed they had 29 00 new backlinks pointing to their site!!

ahrefs

Certainly wasn’t me. When I dug deeper I found all the new backlinks were spammy.

In short, there is no way to stop someone from building spammy backlinks. But there is a way to stop Google from connecting those backlinks to your site. You can use a backlink checker tool like Ahrefs to monitor your backlinks. Then you can use the Google disavow tool to disconnect these spammy backlinks and negative SEO campaign from your website.

By using Ahrefs you will be able to see the majority of backlinks pointing to your website. When you add your website to the dashboard, you can set up automated emails to be sent to your account whenever a new backlink is discovered. This is very helpful and a much easier way to monitor your backlinks.

How Reddit Is A Local SEO Backlink Source

local seo backlinks

A few months back I wrote about how Meetup.com can be a great way to get local backlinks. Today I wanted to let you know of another great local SEO backlink source, Reddit.

For the longest time I avoided Reddit. The main reason is the design of the website. I’m a design snob in some ways and viewing Reddit feels like it’s 1999.

But I’m always looking for local online discussion groups to engage with and to find backlink opportunities. Surely enough I found a subreddit for Victoria BC. A subreddit is a fancy name for a group. In that subreddit I found that there were a lot of on-going discussions about everything local.

What I also found is that many people use the Victoria subreddit for business recommendations. And this is your chance to use Reddit as a means to get local SEO backlinks for your website.

Before I explain how, DO NOT spam your local subreddit with a bunch of backlinks to your site. Engage in other discussions and add value to the community. You’ll get kicked out fairly quick by moderators if they notice you only post backlinks.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s help you find a local subreddit.

Search For A Subreddit

 

The first step is to search for a subreddit. By far the easiest way is to do a Google site search. If I was going to search for a Victoria BC subreddit, I would Google:

“site:reddit.com Victoria BC”

You can also use Reddit search bar located at the top right on the front page.

Now that you have found your subreddit, go ahead and search some terms that people use to describe your business. Use the same search bar within Reddit, but make sure you are in the subreddit before you do your search.

Otherwise, feel free to do a Google site search again. If I was looking for mentions of SEO, I would Google this:

“site:reddit.com/r/VictoriaBC/ seo”.

In a way this is a lot like using Twitter’s search function to find local leads.

What happens when you do find a thread where someone is looking for your service or business?

How To Link & Two Benefits Of Reddit Backlinks

 

When you happen to find a thread where someone asks for a recommendation or is looking for your business, be sure to state you are the business owner and give your elevator pitch. Don’t oversell yourself.

When you do comment, make sure to link back to your website. Follow the formatting for links in the image below.

If I was to link back to this site, I would format the link like this:

[//outcareyourcompetition.com/](Meaningful Marketing)

By engaging with your local subreddit, you are in a way networking. The more active you become, the more trust and credibility you build. This is the first benefit.

The second benefit is that you get a high quality dofollow backlink. Backlinks aren’t the top factor when it comes to local SEO and better rankings. But it’s still important.

I’m sure hardcore Redditors might get annoyed about me posting this. But again, be sure to engage with your local subreddit. Heck, even keep an eye out for opportunities to recommend friends. Just DON’T spam!

CDN vs Dedicated Server

cdn-vs-dedicated

This is the final post of our page speed improvement series. Today’s post will discuss content delivery networks vs dedicated hosting servers.

For high-loaded websites, CDN or Content Delivery Network and dedicated servers are normally used. In this post, I’ll go through both servers and compare their advantages and disadvantages, their variations and a few tips on which one to choose between the two hosting options.

What Is A CDN?

CDN works by serving content to end-users with high performance and high accessibility. The networks of CDN serve most all web contents such as videos, text, and URLs.

How will CDN help with your website?

Through CDN service, there are a lot of internet nodes being designed to share web contents. So after browsing your website, it will then send data from the closest data centre to the users. In this manner, CDN helps in reducing the latency or failure that is due to networks, web server, etc. Various CDN’s utilize P2P technology in caching files to produce top performance.

CDN vs. Dedicated Server

Since CDN is already ideal, why should we need dedicated server? What are CDN’s weaknesses compared to the traditional dedicated server? Well, read on.

Performance

Rationally, CDN can guarantee 100% uptime because it is being served by numerous servers; but, it is also possible to have slowness due to the configuration of the network. Using dedicated server, the performance will depend on data centre network and server hardware configuration. Since there is a dedicated bandwidth allocation, there will not be too much latency present.

Security

For many CDN service, security poses the biggest concern. Since it’s going to send data from your website to various locations or servers, it is difficult to have everything protected particularly when it pertains to sensitive information on the website.

Then again, a dedicated server is going to offer maximum security to any data since everything is being kept on one device. Provided that the single server is properly secured, data leaks are not possible.

Reliability

Today, you can find a lot of CDN service providers on the market but, there is a huge difference in their service quality. A CDN can be built through 3 or 30 nodes. A good CDN service provider has data centres on various places such as Microsoft Azure, but it is not possible for many CDN service providers as they just have a few servers from various DCs and don’t have much access to the network material. A dedicated server is completely controlled by a team with complete access to different configurations, has control over resource allocation and security protection and updates.

Support

If issues do happen, the CDN support will examine each node to get it fixed, and the process may take quite a while depending on the complicacy. A dedicated server is supported by the dedicated server service provider, given that the server is still up and they can access it. Means, unless it’s a MUST, they don’t have to bother your server provider for problem fixing.

When should you choose CDN or dedicated server?

Ideally, a good dedicated server is more costly compared to CDN services; particularly there are CDN providers such as MaxCDN which are only about $120 per year. On the comparison mentioned above, we have learned that a dedicated server is in fact much better than CDN when it comes to performance since it’s driven by the dedicated resource.

So it all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend. We’ve found for our clients websites and ours, the results in page speed improvements have been great despite having a shared hosting account with a CDN in place.