NYC, Boost Your Online Presence Through SEO
To many, it’s the greatest city in the world. New Yorkers hold a deep sense of pride in where they come from and constantly seek ways to make the most of all of the city’s offerings. Truly a melting pot, the city attracts all walks of life in an extremely condensed area, which directly leads to phenomenal opportunities for business owners coming from all over the world. With tremendous opportunity, comes tremendous competition and business in New York City is both expensive and non-forgiving. You need to give the city-dwellers and/or tourists what they want if you are going to stay in business and you need to be able to reach these people in more ways than a store-front.
This is where that beautiful thing called the Internet comes into play. Your online presence is your 2nd storefront (or maybe only) and building a comprehensive, natural, and informative presence will lead to improvements across all aspects of your business. Your website is where you funnel people to, and your social media platforms are how you will get them there and ultimately earn the customer’s trust and loyalty.
Building and establishing a great Internet presence is based on many, many factors and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is tied into all of this. SEO is basically the governing guidelines created by Google that you must follow so that they are able to return the absolute best results to the person searching a query. Local SEO is optimizing certain parts of your content for the region your business serves, no matter how large or small it may be. The location-based optimization should be strategized between the client and their local NY SEO firm, in order to target the correct demographic.
5 Ways to optimize your online presence as a local NYC business are as follows:
Use Google+ For Reviews & Testimonials
So many people hate on Google+, always undermining its capabilities compared to Facebook, but it’s not the same. The relevancy of communities on Google+ actually provides pertinent, significant dialogue. Google of course, values interactions with a businesses’ Google+ page more than other social medias. These specifically include earning Google Reviews from real customers/patients/clients/etc… as well as earning Google+1’s. Even if you think that people don’t really use Google+, they do…Even Guy Kawasaki says so. By improving your Google+ authority, you are in turn improving your online reputation. The saying “Fake it til’ you make it” does not apply to Google’s algorithms.
Ensure That Your Keywords Are Optimized For Location
Go through all of your page titles, H1 tags, Alt tags, and anchor texts to make sure they correctly and effectively target your keywords as well as both short-tail and long-term variations of them.
If you are trying to rank for the term “Blueberry Pancakes” and you are located in The Lower East Side, it is beneficial to combine these terms while taking into consider keyword variations such as
- Order Of Words
- Possible preceding adjectives describing blueberry pancakes AND that people will actually search on Google.
Please, please, please do not keyword stuff. You need to write as if you are writing for the user, because that means you are naturally displaying your message and are not sucking up to Google.
Engage Your BRAND
What is a brand? We’ve all heard the word and we all have our favorite ones, but if you think about it…what does a BRAND really mean? The logo, the mission, the customer relations, the product, the affiliations are all part of it. It is easier to understand everything if you think about it like Google. It is their underlying mission to reliably separate “brands” from “spam” in Local Google SERP’s. That brings into the concepts of “brand signals”. When Google sees your “Brand” across the Internet and active on social media is can safely assume that you are in fact, a brand and not a spam local listing trying to scalp clicks from the top of the results.
It’s Simple, Be Part Of The Community
Register your website across various relevant online local directories. This will help improve your local rankings and domain authority by building up a localized link structure. Find niche-based “Do-Follow” community directories or websites focused specifically on what you provide for the region. You can run a fundraiser, review a local event, create a contest, donate money to New York charities, thus becoming a beneficial part of the community in real life while being able to improve your business online. It creates a spectacular win-win situation.
Google Knows Your Exact Actions
Not only does Google know exactly how each individual user interacts with their search results, they know exactly where they are in relation to larger, more competitive commercial regions. This is all based on data, big time data. So why does this matter to your local business as it relates to SEO? For a bunch of reasons:
– In the past year data has shown that the impression-to-click ratio carries more weight and that Google considers this a good indication of your relevancy. Of course, with a catchy page title, meta description, and sitelinks, you can get someone to your site if you rank highly, but if they quickly bounce, this becomes more detrimental to your online presence. In the Internet world, bouncing from one search result to the next is known as “pogo-sticking”. Google even takes into consideration a user hovering over the search result and not clicking it.
When analyzing your website’s bounce rate, you should determine whether this is a good or bad thing, as it may be one or the other. Is your home landing page attracting the right audience and satisfying their needs all on the first page, or is it the complete opposite where they decide to immediately search for a better source.
There are obviously a tremendous amount of factors taken into consideration in determining the companies that rank the highest in the local results. While on-page titles and tags must be used effectively, Google has decreased the importance of using the location in all page names, meaning that you should include the city and state on only the pages where it actually becomes relevant, while using that space to optimize other categorical keywords (The homepage being the most relevant).
Wespotlight is a NYC Web Development & SEO Firm that is passionate about implementing and staying on the forefront of the best SEO practices. We would love to hear from the rest of you!
If you have clients, what factors did you notice to be the most relevant in campaigning to improve their local and blended results?
If you own a business, how have you benefitted or been harmed from Google’s local ranking factors?