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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics for Local and Small Business

SEO for Local is big business – and is arguably the single most important element to lasting success online. But what is it? Why do you need it? And why on earth are there Horizontal Blinds in this video!? Find out here in Episode 5 of Adster’s Educational Video Series where Dave runs you through ‘Real World’ SEO and the 3 essentials to achieving effective results for your Small Business:

Video Transcription –

Hi there – Dave Forster with Adster Creative. If you’ve been following our video services so far, you’ve heard an expression come up over and over again. And, that is Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is one of my favorite things to do at Adster, and I think the reason is that SEO is really connected to all the different elements of online marketing. It has to do with design, programming and is a really interconnected mechanism that’s really a balance of art and science.

Today we’re going to talk about search engine optimization for local business. Before we get into the three key points for SEO, we’ll do a technical definition of what search engine optimization is.

SEO basically is optimizing website content and structure to make your website easier for search engines to determine who you are and what you do, and rank you on their search engine.

Real world example: let’s say that I’m in Edmonton and I am looking for some new window coverings for my house. I go and I type in Edmonton window coverings and – Hey! Look it who it is! It’s Andrews Window Company right at the top of Google. So, I contact Andrews Window Company to have them come to my house and install some beautiful blinds. I pay them some money and he goes on his merry way and that is how search engine optimization works in the real world. Wow. Compelling.

Okay, obviously there’s a lot more going on with SEO than snapping fingers and having them appear magically. Let’s talk about the three things that are actually involved in Local SEO.

Number One is Fundamental Signals. What we’re talking about here is communicating to Google clearly the name of your business, your address, your phone number, and the types of products or services that you want to offer. It’s amazing how many websites make it difficult for Google to figure out what it is your website is about. Through SEO we make it easy for the search engine to find out who you are and what you do.

Number Two is User Experience. Now, user experience is something that has been increasing in importance in SEO. When we talk about user experience, let’s just go ahead and say that you’ve been able to get your website ranked maybe number two or even number one for Google. Now, when somebody looks at the listing of search results, what are they seeing there? The information that displays in the search results — are people actually going to click on that? Are you displaying a clear and concise message that encourages visitors to want to click on that search result? Let’s say that they’ve actually clicked on it and now they are inside of your website. What are they doing inside there? Did they take one look at your site and bounce right back to the search results? Are they viewing multiple pages of content? Are they staying on your site and really engaging in your message? User experience is one of the growing fundamentally important things with local SEO.

Number Three is Popularity and Social Reach. We’ve met with all kinds of clients who believe that their product or service is better than all of their competitors, and I’m certainly not going to dispute them on that, but popularity in the real world and online are a little different. They’re growing more connected all the time. Popularity and Social Reach refer to things like, are people discussing your business online? Are they happy with your services and are they posting reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Places, or even Facebook or Twitter? How engaged are you with your customers online? And, in addition to that, your popularity in the offline world. But, online are other important websites linking to your website? Are they talking about you? Are you where you need to be in these important websites? So, popularity and Social reach is very, very important as well.

This search engine optimization thing sounds great; unfortunately, SEO is a time intensive mechanism that requires careful planning and strategy for it to pay off. So, you say, Dave, that’s well and good, but I want to be on top of Google today. I want to be on Google by the end of this video. Can it be done?

Actually, it can. And that’s going to lead into our next video on Pay Per Click Advertising and Google Adwords. We’ll see you back here soon.