Ranking on Page 1 on Search - That is the Goal

A brief look at a local search ranking factors and NAP SEO

What is a website?

A website is, at the end of the day, a series of pages with content.  All of these pages are connected to each other through links on each site. Editing content within each page, making sure the links are strong, and encouraging others to link back to the pages on your site helps your rankings in search engines. To put it simply, the higher the number of websites talking about your site, the higher your page will show in search results.

This is the process known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

At the heart of this process is generating organic traffic to any website.  Organic traffic, as the name suggest, is the natural traffic that any site receives.  When end users find websites through the natural course of searching for products, services, information or entertainment, it generates organic traffic.

Website owners know the importance of creating websites that are visible to all search engines. They know that if they land in the good graces of search engines, it will result in high volumes of organic traffic to their site.  An increase in the number of visitors to their website means that they are beginning to rank for more keywords that are important to their product or services.   The ultimate result of landing on Google’s’ 1st and 2nd pages of search results, is considered a badge of honor for any website.

With new methods of generating local organic traffic, come different ways of creating websites. These sites have a well-crafted funnel; they look appealing on all devices and follow all best practices as laid out by major search engines (depending on which one you are looking it up in).  Local SEO is becoming vital for generating local traffic.  When people in your community find you on the first page of their search results, they are more likely to purchase from you as opposed to a company that is far away.

Let’s look into a real world scenario:  

There are two websites that are selling the same product. To make things more interesting, let’s make one of those to be a website for your small business. You have a website that sells shoes at a local brick and mortar store in Kissimmee, Florida.  We will call it Feet First. Your main products to sell are blue suede sneakers.  You go through the trouble of creating a special page on your website dedicated to blue suede sneakers.  On this page, you provide every single detail about these beautiful shoes, including the type of shoelaces.  You have used every keyword in your page that is related to blue suede shoes and shoes in general.

The second website is Zappos’s website.  They have the same shoes and have a page dedicated to the same shoes.  They have included all the important information about the shoes just like your page.  They may even have eliminated some of the vital information that you included on your site.

In every way, your page is superior to their page.  However, when someone searches for blue suede shoes in Google, guess whose page shows up on the first page of the search results?  Yes, you answered correctly.  Zappos! What is worse is that you have people who live a few blocks from your store and they are purchasing the same product from Zappos.  Chances are they don’t even know that your store exists!

So, why does Zappos show up before your site even though you have a better page?  

There are many local SEO factors at play here:

1) Zappos has more people talking about their site

2) They rank higher for keywords that are frequently being searched.

3) They have paid promotions

3) They have a great mobile friendly site

4) Their website has been around for a long time and it might be set to expire a decade in the future

How do you get your page to rank just as high in the search results as Zappos  or even higher?

 While there is an overwhelming amount of information on the web for ranking,  many businesses choose to hire a professional. A pro is on top of what works, latest trends and can map out a solid plan and budget.

One important thing to keep in mind is that search engines love when the end user experience is pleasurable. Google search bots and other search bots look for things like site speed, load time, user activity on the page, relevance of data using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), rich snippets and schema.

The most important thing is to avoid using shortcuts on your website.  Local SEO is a finicky concept.  One wrong change or adjustment and you could loose your standing in search engines.

What kind of shortcuts should you avoid?

Avoid Dynamic and ID based URLs:

“pretty” like this one: www.yourexample.com/topic-name
“ugly” like this one: www.yourexample.com/?p=578544

Avoid Inline Styles CSS:

They detract from the site’s validity and can cause a drop in traffic.

Keep your Promises!

Don’t make promises to your customers that you can’t deliver.  This will result in people writing bad reviews online.  When they search for your site and the first thing they see are bad reviews listed directly below your number one spot on Google, you have lost that business.  Always focus on improving the user experience on your website.

That includes having a website that runs faster, smoother and make it mobile ready. When you site is mobile friendly, Google will rank you higher for your Local SEO.  This is the way to stay on top of the Google search results and stand out as a leader in your chosen industry. It shows your customer that you care. Finally, encourage your satisfied customers to talk about how great you are! Tell them to use social media and review sites as much as possible. Wait! First make sure you create citations.

What are citations?
Citations are local directory listings such as Yelp, Thumbtack, Google My Business, Yahoo Local, Hotfrog and others. Check out Synup.com’s amazing resource list of everything you need to work on to begin to rank locally on Google Maps and in the organic section of Google.
After looking at this exhausting list, you may need the help of a professional.

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The more people are talking about you or your brand and linking back to your website, the better for your visibility and page rank. Talk to internet bloggers and have them include you in a blog post, or better yet feature you on their blog. Ethical Guest blogging will never go out of style. Keep up to date with quality content. Stay on top of your SEO linking and keep pushing the boundary to keep your site at the top of the results! If you keep all this in mind and stay on top of new trends and happenings in the cyber arena you will achieve and maintain that page one rank you fought so hard for!


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