Content Is King
The idea of featuring quality, keyword-rich and frequently-updated content on your site is not so much a local SEO tip as it is an absolute-must-do for any SEO strategy. The reason why should be pretty obvious. When search engines’ crawlers visit your website in order to index it, they are determining what your site is about, in order to serve it up appropriately when a matching search query is entered. One of the most-obvious (but also frequently overlooked) ways for them to determine this is by reading your content to deduce the topics being covered.
Generating SEO-friendly Content
Generating content that will be effective for search engine optimization purposes should not be that difficult. If you are running a business (or marketing for a business), you should know enough about your industry to provide insight and information that people outside of your industry are not privy to. Consider starting a blog, even if only for SEO purposes. A blog can be easily implemented on your website, and will provide a means for keeping your site’s content fresh (search engines like that). Don’t know what to post about? That should be easy too! You can post about industry news, news specific to your business, special offers you are running at the time, customer testimonials, reviews, etc. If you have done your keyword research correctly, it should be easy to naturally utilize your keywords within your blog updates, without sounding forced. If in the end your site is not about the keywords you are optimizing for, your SEO efforts will ultimately fail. Even if you are able to dupe the search engines into ranking you highly, the potential-customers erroneously sent to your site will quickly note that it does not provide the information they were seeking and bounce right back to the SERP.
“I don’t want to blog”
Many small business owners attempting local SEO may not have the time to blog. In this case, I would suggest including plenty of content on your page when you initially set it up. It goes without saying that this content should be rich in the keywords you are focusing your search engine optimization efforts on. Since your content will be mostly static, you need to provide some incentive for the search engine’s crawlers to continue to crawl your site. You will need to focus on driving traffic to the site through marketing & link building, or plan to update (even in minor ways) your site at least once per month so that it looks like more than a page someone set up and then forgot about.
Tagging & Linking Within Your Content
When I talk about content, I am really referring to everything on that page and in its source code, including links to other pages on your site, title attributes within those link tags, alt tags on images, etc. Because a search engine will see buttons and other image links as images, and not words, it is more difficult to easily convey to that engine what your site is about through these types of links. Consider using stylized text links, which will allow you to keep your site pretty, but still implement effective SEO with minimal effort. Filenames, links, title attributes, alt tags, etc. should all include keywords whenever it is possible to include them without seeming forced & over-stuffed with keywords.
I cannot stress enough the importance of quality content in SEO. I have literally seen sites go from not ranking to ranking within the top 2 pages of the SERPs simply by re-evaluating the content on the page and re-writing it so that it actually included the keywords being optimized. It is easy to write and write without including your keywords, but in order to be successful in SEO, your site needs to be about what you’re trying to rank for. Bottom line. At the same time, your site should not just be a blurb of text listing out the products & services you would like to appear at the top of the search results for. Content written for human eyes, but with SEO in mind (includes keywords, but naturally, rather than just jamming them in there) will make or break your SEO efforts.