I enjoyed the tips for local business Search Engine Optimization provided in the Construction Marketing Association’s blog, based on Moz’s recently released most important SEO factors. Effective SEO these days is far more than just achieving lots of back links. You need to combine authority, content, and relevance. (Indented references are attributed to the CMA blog.)
Elements to consider include:
1. The website’s domain authority
Domain authority is a metric given by Moz on a 100-point scale. To calculate, it uses many metrics and rankings related to SEO. It measures the domain as a whole, rather than just a single page. The goal of the metric is to represent the overall authority of the domain itself. To improve your domain authority, focus on improving your overall SEO.
2. Structured citations consistency
Keep your name, address and phone number consistent. If there are variations and old addresses in directories, these will negatively impact your rankings.
3. Inbound links quality and authority
I think most people think of SEO from these links. “Being listed on a high-quality, authoritative website will help improve your SEO. Some authoritative sources are newspapers, industry associations, high-profile bloggers, and local business indexes. The higher the quality of sources, the better it will improve your ranking. Create good content on your construction blog to increase chances of an organic link.”
4. High-quality structured citations
Again, listing sites are important, but so are their quality. If it is a crappy directory with a bad reputation (spammy) you won’t help your case.
5. City search physical address
Location is playing a major role in search. Search results are affected by the city the user types into the search and the city that the user searches in. If someone in Chicago searches ‘construction firm’ in Google, Chicago construction companies will come up in search. Similarly, if he or she types ‘construction firm Chicago,’ Google will pull up construction firms with addresses in Chicago. In a more rural area, it may pull from surrounding cities as well. Ideally, your business’ address will be located in or around the city where you earn most of your business. If not, you may want to consider landing pages that highlight your work in that city.
6. Quantity of native Google reviews
This is one I hadn’t thought much about, but it seems that Google reviews have become increasingly important. You’ll want high-quality, five-star reviews with comments. If you know a customer is satisfied, encourage the review — just don’t overdo it, because (as is the case with Yelp and other sites, efforts to game the system probably will backfire.
7. City in Google My Business landing page title
Needless to say you should register your business with Google My Business (GMB). Then, Moz suggests, correlate the city in the landing page where you are located with the GMB to achieve the highest results.
8. Click-through Rate from Search Results
Moz reports that Google measures the click-through rate, or CTR, of the people who click through to your page of the people who have the opportunity to do that. In other words, a successful conversion strategy that causes action will also help your SEO. This would be a double-win, I think.
9. Proper GMB category association
Back to GMB, the category you select for your business matters as well. Selecting a category incorrectly means you are not optimized for the right audience and your online information made be seen as inconsistent with your business category. This hurts your rank. For example, your construction business should select a category to reflect such, rather than a category like food or retail.
10. Proximity of address to point of search
Location matters and the system will rank you higher for people closer to you. I don’t think I’d move just for SEO rankings, however.
I’ll add an important point to the SEO discussion, by relating that you can “try to hard” for SEO when the simplest approach is to compile relevant, useful, referable, and current content that truly relates to your business. Undoubtedly, a good blog will help you with currency and relevancy. Google’s Webmaster Tools also provide some really useful free resources, and will help you to be indexed and found much more quickly.
Do you have experiences/thoughts about SEO? Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment or by emailing email@example.com.