SEO Best Practices For Local Service Professionals

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Do you want to know the SEO best practices for local service professionals?

If you’re a chiropractor, therapist, pet sitter, or CPA and your business relies on local word-of-mouth, I have good news.

It’s not that hard to achieve good Google rankings (which in turn, can bring you more clients) just by following these basic SEO (search engine optimization) best practices.

The reason is simple.

Your competition is lazy.

Ok, maybe that’s a little harsh. Let’s say, your competition doesn’t know what to do. But you’re a smart cookie so you’re going to find out what to do and either spend time learning it or hire someone. THAT makes you smart.

SEO best practices

Image of happy woman with outstretched arms standing in field

Over the years, I’ve had the honor to work with therapists, a chiropractor, numerous pet sitters, a dentist, and many other professionals and seen their websites ZOOM to the top of the search engines with these “can’t miss” SEO secrets.

Here’s the deal, if your competition doesn’t care about turning their website into a lead generating machine that’s GREAT news for you.

Now you may be thinking, SEO…that’s full of wizardry that I know nothing about and those companies that call me always want a small fortune.

But I’m here to tell you, you can learn to do the basics yourself and in many instances, doing a bang up job on the basics will put you head and shoulders above the rest.

Why just last week, I was at an event and two separate clients told me how much more business they were getting since I’d handled the basic SEO on their sites. Neither have an ongoing SEO package. It wasn’t necessary for them. It was simply a matter of putting into place the best practices.

Another client told me her calls to contract tripled after I rewrote her site incorporating SEO best practices.

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What Do I Mean By SEO Best Practices?

It starts with keyword research which means you write the copy using the language of your potential clients.

Next, each keyword term is “assigned” to a web page. If you think of your site like a book with multiple pages, each page needs its own keyword term tied to the topic of the page. Google recognizes individual web pages and puts them together as a website. That means, you want to treat each page separately and link them together as appropriate.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a divorce attorney.

You have a

  • home page
  • your about you page
  • services page
  • maybe individual pages to answer different questions about divorce such as one on “child custody”, another on mediation, etc.
  • contact page

A basic website for any service professional is going to be at least 5-7 pages. Each of those pages gets it’s own “name” if you will. For example, your services page might be titled, “Divorce attorney services in Princeton.” It’s not an exciting title but you know what it does? It tells Google/Bing that the page is about “divorce attorney services in Princeton.” It also tells your reader that as soon as they land on the page.

That’s the goal behind SEO.

It tells your reader (and search engines) EXACTLY what your page is about when they get there. It’s far more effective than a simple “Services” because “services” expect your reader and search engine to know what type of services you offer before they get there. “Divorce attorney services is Princeton” is explicit. No guessing required.

You answer their questions within the copy and link to other pages within the website.

If you do a good job answering their questions, using the terms your readers use, you link the page to other pages and you include good meta title and descriptions, you’re more than halfway there.

Of course, the devil is in the details. Here’s a post I wrote on how to writing web content is different than writing other material. If you don’t craft it according to the guidelines, then you’ll miss out on important elements.

Such as, don’t forget to optimize your images as well as your web pages and blog posts. To do this, label your images with the keyword term for the page, not “image12_45.”

My Site Is Done. Can You “Add” SEO?

Of course you can. However, it’s not ideal.

A lot of my clients are undergoing a website refresh and want to make sure they’re hitting the best practices this time around.

When you start thinking about the “new” site is the time to think about SEO. What questions do people ask you about your business? Use a professional level program to handle keyword research or at least use Google’s Keyword Planner to guide you in the keyword terms.

Often clients come to me after their sites have gone live to “add in the SEO.”

It can be done but SEO web writing is not like adding icing to a cake. Rather, it’s like the eggs that go into the cake. SEO touches every aspect of your site — from design to site speed to navigation. That’s why I like to work with the web developer from the beginning.

However, assuming the site is done and now you realize it’s not the lead generation machine for which you’d hoped, reviewing it (and implementing) with an eye to SEO will still raise your site head and shoulders from your local competition. The reason is simply most local businesses aren’t covering the basics.

If you’re a service professional who serves a local area and you want to use your website as a critical tool in your lead generation arsenal, implement the SEO basics and you too can enjoy more clients from the web.

What are your biggest questions about local SEO best practices?

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community

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What Social Media Professionals Should Learn From “Weird Twitter”

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Twitter is such a pervasive part of our world today, and businesses can no longer ignore that fact. Not only does it represent a huge piece of the digital ecosystem, but it also allows companies to shape and reflect public perception of their culture and identity. As something grows, and more people use it, especially for business, there naturally comes more rules. Now that Twitter is a globally known platform, most brands try to fit their campaigns and content into a set of rules. However this might not be a good idea.

There is a very different side of Twitter, far away from these set parameters and best practices that can teach us a thing or two about growing and keeping a strong, engaged audience. This outlandish world on Twitter is known to be called“Weird Twitter”, a confounding, but incredibly entertaining part of the internet more and more individuals are discovering each day.

While this may seem like a strange place to go for practical advice, there are undoubtedly some “Weird Twitter” all-stars to pay attention to, and ones that actual businesses should know about. Warning that some tweets on these accounts may be NSFW

@dril: Be Unique, Be Entertaining, Never Be Boring

If there was a rulebook for how to use social media and foster engagement, one Twitter account would give the author of that book nightmares. I present to you: @dril.

Truly nothing about @dril makes any sense. His tweets are largely nonsensical and strange. His retweets are confusing to say the least, and his favorited tweets all consist of one line from the movie Joe Dirt. Despite all sense or reason, @dril has managed to amass over 250,000 followers, and his tweets receive an incredibly high level of interaction.

Regardless of how little sense it might make, companies have plenty to learn from dril. He has a distinct voice that makes him very hard to ignore, and keeps followers coming back. In dril’s case, this voice may be incredibly bizarre, but it’s certainly never boring. This is something that brands can learn from. While you don’t want your tweets to baffle followers in the way that dril does, you also don’t want to let yourself become predictable or stale.

@jonnysun: Find Balance in Your Content

Maintaining a Twitter account that is both genuine and funny is a difficult balance. If you try too hard to be funny, it’s easy to lose sight of the marketing side of your social media campaign. You may produce some excellent and memorable social content, but those who view it are more likely to think of the content separate from your brand, which is bad news for conversions.

However, if you focus too heavily on delivering serious content, you are less likely to reach new viewers. Relying too heavily on one side or the other, you will find yourself stuck in a position of targeting one segment along your sales funnel, which is an incredibly bad place to be right now.

Conversions aren’t the goal of these bizarre Twitter accounts, but if you’re striving to balance humor and actual value, there might not be a better example than @jonnysun. What differentiates this account from other members of “Weird Twitter” is that Jonny Sun is a real person, and there is a substantial level of transparency about his identity, and how it differentiates from his Twitter persona, Jomny Sun, who is an alien that doesn’t quite grasp human language, but is trying his best.

Sun describes himself as an “interdisciplinary architect, designer, engineer, artist, and writer” on his website, and is currently a PhD candidate for architecture at MIT. It is safe to say that he is an unquestionably intelligent person, yet under his Jomny persona, his tweets are frequently filled with misspellings and questions about routine aspects of life.

While this might seem silly, by doing this, Sun has actually given himself a unique opportunity to showcase his incredibly thoughtful and clever writing. If he was too focused on either the silliness or seriousness of his tweets, it simply would not work as well as it does with this balance. Similarly, you should find a balance with your social content. Regardless of any struggles with human language, Jomny actually seems to be a pretty astute observer of social media, so it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to take a page or two from his book.

@coffee_dad: Be Committed To Your Message

Committing to your brand’s message and mission is essential. Straying from these is an easy way to send mixed messages and dilute your impact on fans and customers. On Twitter, it’s hard to find an account more committed to a message than @coffee_dad. Coffee dad’s twitter bio reads “just a dad who loves his coffee,” which sums up the great majority of what you’ll find on this twitter account. He tweets more persistently about coffee than is even comprehensible at times, usually with little or no punctuation, and frequently with completely incorrectly used hashtags.

It is a masterful impersonation of someone who is new to using the internet and doesn’t really get it. Then, without a perceivable pattern, there will be a single tweet referencing personal tragedy.

It’s an incredibly simple joke, but the overwhelming commitment to it is what makes it work. Coffee dad currently has over 158,000 followers, and receives more than 1,000 retweets and favorites on most of his tweets, no matter how trivial and basic they are.

Your twitter efforts might benefit from taking a page out coffee dad’s book by truly committing to a message. You won’t hit a homerun with every tweet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t all important. Look at each of them in the grand scheme of your social campaigns and strategy, and how they contribute to your overall message. Coffee dad’s greatness is not solely in the coffee tweets or his depressing non-sequiturs, it’s the combination of the two working together. His commitment to building up his message is something learn from and emulate.

@DennysDiner: Weird Twitter as Marketing

If any business has learned from, and taken on the mantle of strange twitter, it’s Denny’s.

Denny’s has fully embraced social media culture and the potential for strange humor without abandoning its central message and identity of providing cheap diner food to the masses. In fact, they use this to make their tweets even better. They realized that you can only be so serious about breakfast food before it would become a parody of itself, so instead they got out in front, and now are in control of the joke.

Denny’s perfectly demonstrates the lessons from these all-stars of “Weird Twitter”. They have created a unique voice that they consistently work to refine and keep original and, like @dril, it keeps their followers guessing and surprised. They take the commitment of Coffee Dad by sticking to the voice they have established, even when some of their tweets are duds. Finally, like Jomny Sun balances thought provoking writing with silliness, they find balance in their content between humor and marketing their food so that the two sides blend together.

Twitter is an important tool for businesses, and it will only continue to grow, especially as global access grows through the rapidly expanding smartphone market. Because of this, businesses need to learn how to create content on social platforms effectively.

While much of this should come from industry leaders and trends, sometimes it’s a good idea to look outside of these usual channels for fresh ideas. “Weird Twitter” might not seem like a natural place to go for this, but if you want to improve your company’s online presence, maybe a trip to the weird side of the tracks is exactly what you need.

Social Media Week

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