Oftentimes, the art of online marketing seems to employ skills which rather resemble a flair for archery.
Designing campaigns, adjusting user experience or planning out a campaign budget – all these have something in common:
They HAVE to be well-aimed. Otherwise, you lose on marketing weaponry.
To avoid this, you need to shape up a local SEO strategy with solid local keyword research at its core.
Bottom line is that it’s costly not to set straightforward targets from the get-go.
As long as you follow the local path, your digital marketing efforts will no longer look like the GIF below. You’ll aim straight, fire off and win the game.
And the proper marketing projectiles you need throughout this process are, first and foremost, local keywords. In what follows,we’ll show how Squirrly SEO Plugin’s Keyword Research Tool helps you use them to move up the local rankings.
Discovering Searchers’ Intent
It’s a commonplace thing to say you have to know what customer segment you’re addressing.
Do they need your services to be delivered in 2 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks?
Do they need to carry out a thorough research before picking a provider for said needs?
Do they mainly use smartphone or desktop search?
Each one of these yields its specific importance in your local search strategy, so you need to craft and sort out keywords accordingly.
As a Hubspot research points out, 50% of smartphone users who searched for a local keyword have visited a local store within a day after.
That says a lot about purchase intent. Employ the proper local search strings and the intent will convert into actual customers flooding to your local store.
To understand local search intent, the best exercise is putting yourself in the searcher’s shoes.
When you’re looking for a local service, you will most likely:
Search for business hours
Directions to the local store
Local store address
Availability of product at local store
Which means you won’t surf the net just for the sake of it. You know you have to make up your mind as soon as possible.
This being the case, do you have time to analyze a dozen Google page results to see which is the most suitable to your needs?
The most probable scenario is you’ll pick a service provider from the first Google results page.
This thought process is a bit like reverse engineering, meaning you tried to reconstitute the local customer intent, so that you can use it to devise your own strategy.
Understanding Local SEO
With local optimization, you know your KPIs are well-defined – you’re looking for more customers, plain and simple.
However, as much as we’d like it, there’s no ultimate set of rules to follow when doing local keyword ch. It’s not an exact science.
Which means, rather than looking for an ultimate guide, you should strive to develop a framework which suits your needs.
For instance, not all local businesses which manage to get ahead of their competitors also convert better than them.
It’s about the local marketing prowess you manage to master.
Conducting several types of sustainable campaigns is more beneficial than focusing only on Adwords. It will ensure you also fare well from an organic ranking point of view.
Granted, the state of local SEO in 2017 is pretty much what it used to be last year. One mention, though: getting noticed on the first page is harder since Google displays 4 paid ads you have to fight with. Plus, there’s also the local competition you need to worry about.
Getting Started on a Smooth Local SEO Path
The natural move when you have local optimization in mind is having a look at the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Then, you need to answer these questions:
Who has the most visible websites for the topics and keywords you intend to use?
How optimized is your site for near me searches?
What competitors display Google Ads?
How do the high-ranking websites’ snippets look like?
Slight details, like optimized snippet content, may be decisive factors when you are vying for those valuable clicks which really convert.
Not to mention other criteria like the country you want to rank for. To give you an idea, let’s use Squirrly’s Keyword Research Tool and see the results for the same keyword aimed at different countries:
A Blueprint for Local SEO Best Practices
If you’re a newcomer to the world of local search engine optimization, you’ll most likely welcome a brief guide to this notion. And even if you’re not, Google’s constant algorithm changes almost force you to feel like one from time to time.
But this is a good thing, as you’ll be pushed to revise and reconsider your SEO practices on a regular basis.
That said, gaining more online visibility starts with paying attention to local ranking factors like:
Google My Business (GMB) signals. Make sure you complete your GMB profile with the latest information. A Local SEO Guide 2016 study ascertains that high-ranking websites in local searches present a common characteristic: their GMB signals – like Pictures, Owner Verified or Reviews – are all in check.
Links and website content. These are organic SEO aspects which seem to be a differentiating criteria for GMB rankings. It does matter what keywords you optimize for or how many words you have on a page.
Well-written location pages
Off-site local signals
Citations. Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP). Although they’re not quite high on the priority list, you shouldn’t neglect them.
Depending on your business niche and competition, the above factors can be prioritized to different degrees. In some cases, basic practices suffice, while in busier markets there are more local SEO efforts required of you.
All in all, local link building and optimized website content are – still! – the pillars of local rank-boosting.
To turn your site content into a Google Local magnet, make sure you start off with good old local keywords.
What a Local Keyword Research Has in Sight
Local keyword research is based on volume data. You have to make sense of what high vs low volume means in terms of local search intent.
Low volume can mean anything from zero volume to a few searches which are actually converted into purchases within a small perimeter.
To make sense of this, you’d normally have to compare the search volume for that keyword in larger surrounding areas. If in the latter case search volume is still reduced, you’ll know the “low” qualifier stands for a keyphrase people don’t type in a search engine bar.
This rationale, though, is based on a search psychology principle which states people in neighboring areas are likely to present a similar search behavior.
Another DIY technique here is letting Google Suggest offer you hints.
Start your phrase with a domain-related term, then add the name of the area you’re interested in. Google will retrieve a few phrases which post high volume search in the respective area.
Pay attention that results might show different items for mobile and desktop devices.
You can also look for related phrases which will be displayed in related SERPs. These are similar results, while what Google Suggest displays are similar topics. In both cases, you can gather useful keyword suggestions.
The only thing is, testing all the above for your local keyword research takes some time.
And, let’s face it, when you are delivering loads of content per week, you don’t have as much time as you’d like.
We’re excited to come up with some good news, though.
Squirrly SEO Plugin’s Improved Keyword Research Tool
A Squirrly SEO plugin user can optimize all the pages in their WordPress site by utilizing our keyword research tool.
The tool has been recently updated for finer insights.
What resulted was an uber powerful feature – we’ve heard it’s even more effective than some other keyword research tools out there. And to think this is only one of Squirrly SEO Plugin’s features (besides many others).
First, it retrieves 3 times more long-tail keywords, which increases the chances of getting the best local keyword to use in your pages.
Plus, Squirrly Keyword Research instantly analyzes your local competition and displays the likelihood you rank high.
Let’s see it in action now.
First, make sure you go to the right upper side of the tab to select the country you want to rank for – Squirrly now offers you 26 options:
When digging for local keywords, even the last minute details are important. Word order is one of them. It matters if you choose to optimize for “bookshop Atlanta” or “Atlanta bookshop” on Google.com.
Squirrly Keyword Research algorithm knows that and acts accordingly by displaying keyword insights which help you pick the best phrases:
Although this keyword is easy to rank for, you can see the exact search is low, which means people in Atlanta don’t search for books using the keyword we exemplified above. So, you should go further and explore other options.
Let’s try out “Atlanta bookstore”:
Voilà, it seems this is something which looks more like what you’d wish for. You get the number of exact matches, so that you know the volume that specific keyword has been searched for.
But how about going further with your research? Let’s reverse word order and we’ll get something better:
This time, you find out the trend is steady, so this phrase is more reliable long-term.
Let’s add more words to enter long-tail territory. For “bookstores in Atlanta” you get:
How about “best bookstores in Atlanta”?
Out of all the results we got above, the one to go for would be “bookstore Atlanta”, the one for which Squirrly Plugin’s research has retrieved the most specific data.
Not Your Average WordPress SEO Plugin
When you go for local SEO as a main rank-boosting strategy, the first impulse is to rely on a separate tool for keyword research.
But it turns out, your plan can be fulfilled in a more cost-effective and time-saving manner using Squirrly’s SEO plugin.
Ready to smarten up your local efforts and get your products seen by the right customers? Then try out the SEO features Squirrly has to offer and drop us a line in the comments section to let us know how it went.
As CEO of Squirrly I get this asked a lot: “Florin, make my business rank high in google. I’m using your Squirrly SEO Plugin. Can you do that for me?”
I’ve started writing more and more answers in our Knowledge Base, but I’ve also decided to write something about this on the blog.
When you say “make my business rank high in google” it’s amazingly easy for me to do that for you. Honestly. Ask me right now. I could make your business rank high in google in about 2 days. Maybe even faster.
You wanna know how?
Let’s say you have the business “Carpet Cleaners Industry” (that’s a funky name) and you tell me to rank your business. I’d look at your site first, to make sure you have a website for your business, otherwise what in the world am I going to rank …
Okay, so you have your site: carpetci.com (I do not know who owns this site in the real world).
I can now start ranking your business. Here’s what I will do:
Make My Business Rank High in Google – Start
1. Let’s see what you have under the hood:
a. I’d go to your WordPress Dashboard.
b. There, I would check that you have Squirrly SEO Installed. (you’d most probably have it, since you did ask me to do this for you)
c. I will look at your SEO Audit to see if all your SEO Settings are Okay. Hopefully, there’s a Green on all the SEO tab inside your Audit Suite from Squirrly. If it’s not, then this would create a delay in the process of ranking your page.
Awesome! Everything under the hood is now fine.
2. Since you have good SEO in your Audit from Squirrly, let’s move on to creating an optimized page.
a. I’d go to WordPress -> Add New Post
b. I’d place the keyword: “CarpetinioLocco” in the Optimize for Keyword section of the Squirrly SEO Live Assistant which loads up in your Add New Post interface.
c. I’d write a 500 words article that is fully optimized with the Squirrly SEO Live Assistant. (it can be a page or an article, whatever).
2. Submit Social Bookmarking and Social Media to Feed Your SEO Content Machine
Social bookmarking is a way to tag a web page with a web-based tool so you can easily access it later. Platforms like: Pocket, Delicious, Bitly and even Pinterest can be used for this.
Make sure to social bookmark your articles and also make sure you Share, Tweet, Pin all your content.
If you don’t have social media accounts yet, start building them and connect to people from your niche or people who you think would like to read your articles, because it makes sense for them to read your articles.
This will get your SEO content machine fired up!
3. Submit Your Feeds (RSS) to Relevant Sites
If you want to increase the chances of your articles spreading like wildfire, you need to submit your WordPress site’s feed to as many sites that collect information from feeds as possible.
You can find your feed (for your WordPress site) at the following location: http://domainname.com/feed/.
So if your site’s name is coolcakes.com, your feed can be found at www.coolcakes.com/feed/.Try visiting your site and adding “/feed/” to the end of the URL to get started.
4. Share Your Opinions (and links) in the Comments Section of other Blogs
A longer-term solution could be to look for articles from other blogs written about the same topics. Make sure they have a comments section.Make some remarks regarding the content, state your opinion and insert a link to the article where readers can find your detailed opinion or more information they will find useful.
5. Start Conversations around Your Article to Generate Traffic
Start conversations about your article on question-and-answer sites where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by their community of users.
If you can swing it, you can try promoting some of your articles or pages through AdWords from Google or social media ads.
At Squirrly, we use Boosted Posts on our Facebook page and it works really well. It’s something that we recommend if you already have a targeted following on Facebook.
8. Post as Often as You Can without Compromising Quality
If you manage to publish valuable articles often, you’ll build a loyal audience around your blog. In turn, the number of returning visitors will increase over time.
It’s not easy to put together an efficient content creation method that allows you to post fresh content constantly. But once you establish a clear editorial process, it won’t seem like such a hassle anymore.Plus, it’s an essential step that will get your SEO content machine running at full speed.
What’s more, it gives you relevant information so that you can understand why your article ranked the way it did.
For instance, if you get more visits than unique visitors, it means your visitors read more pages, or they returned to the site, both being good things for your blog and the way search engines see your site.
It basically means visitors think your content is relevant. This will place you higher in search rankings.
Besides traffic, Squirrly also monitors the impact of your articles on social media, which shows if your readers have shared your articles. The more shares your articles get, the better your search engine ranking will be.
Another thing that you should consider monitoring is the number of Inbound Links, which shows how many other websites have linked to your article.
The number of links is not the only thing that is important. The authority of the sites that linked back to you is also relevant.
Squirrly monitors the authority of your site, and you’ll be able to see if the sites that linked to your article have authority in their industries or not. The Authority should at least be over 30.Note: Squirrly Article Rank offers the info about links and authority through MOZ.com. The updates for this section are not made in real time, but on a weekly basis, thus giving you time to build more links to your blog.
10. Check Out Fiverr if You Need Help
If you need a little help in some areas (be it for content creation, link building, design, and so on) you can try using fiverr.com.
You’ll find freelancers eager to help you for as little as $5.
After you publish each article, it’s important you make sure that it reaches your readers and even new readers. No matter how good a piece of content is, if nobody gets to see it, it’s useless.
Distributing articles via social media is an excellent way of getting your article to more readers, faster. Make a consistent effort to leverage it as much as possible.
Use Squirrly Performance Analytics to discover what are the weak points of your strategy and make informed decisions about further actions you can take to improve results.
We hope you found some useful information in this article and that you’ll start applying these tips right away!
We launched the first version of Squirrly back in 2012.
Since then, we released five courses, each containing an average of 7 lessons. 139,000 people became better marketers after learning how to do SEO using one of our training programs and approximately 50,000 people have completed them.
We only provide top, relevant training for Squirrly SEO users. That’s because we believe that the more you learn, the more you earn.
To help you keep moving forward on your path to SEO greatness, we’ve analyzed all our courses and the lessons we’ve taught so far. One of the conclusions we’ve reached is that if you are to get amazing results, you need to develop an SEO content tree.
Do you remember the SEO content tree from Lesson 4?
Here’s a reminder:
While the Squirrly SEO tool helps you on so many levels, in order to develop a great content marketing strategy, you need to keep learning.
We’ll keep adding new training programs to it so that you can keep renewing your strategy and manage to up your site’s audit score.
In Lesson 9, we wanted to show you a great way to get new lessons, because what you’ve learned until now sets you on a path to business growth.
However, there is more to learn. Remember that in order to improve your rankings you need to get social signals coming to your site, and you also need quality backlinks.
Education Cloud will help you understand what you need to do with your blog posts and pages after you’ve published something new on your website.
Imagine What It Would Be Like If Nobody Linked Back to Your WordPress Site
Without backlinks, your SEO content tree would be just one tree on a lonely field.
It could even be a magnificent tree in a great looking field, with beautiful mountains in the back.
However, it would not matter.
If squirrels (yes, well, we’re Squirrly like that) were your customers, they’d try to jump from tree to tree and find as many attractive opportunities as possible. This is what your success would rely on.
Every lesson until now has been about helping you build an amazing SEO content tree.
What you must do now is make sure that many other content trees will surround the content you create. This will enable squirrels to reach your tree while they’re “browsing” all the trees. They could finally get to jump from tree to tree and reach yours. They would end up seeing what you have to offer.
Otherwise, it would be impossible for them to find you.
This is the reason why Google needs to see backlinks (either from other sites or social media). If it sees backlinks, it knows that your content tree is in a place like this:
Each of these content trees is surrounded by other content trees and squirrels could easily go from one to the other.
This is the type of environment in which Google would like to see your content tree to consider your WordPress site more valuable and rank it higher.
Education Cloud will help you with both setting up your content tree and surrounding it with others.
Without any coding knowledge, you can achieve this. Without being an SEO expert, you can become an SEO superstar.
When your potential customers have easy ways of landing on your site, that’s the moment when you will win.
People are searching for companies in your industry. Be the one who shows up (in search engine results).
You’ve Made it to the Finish Line
It’s good seeing you here.
This coaching session has come to an end, and I hope you now feel more confident when it comes to your SEO knowledge and your ability to apply what you’ve learned using Squirrly SEO.
It was great having you onboard. And to reward you for taking the time to stick with the lessons, I’ll send you an exclusive offer by email over the next few days. Keep an eye out for that in your Inbox; it’s the kind of offer you don’t want to miss out on.
Your Goals Moving Forward
Post Optimized Content on your Site Weekly
Test New Tactics to Grow your Social Media Reach
Constantly Freshen Up Your SEO Strategy to Keep Ranking Higher
Glad to see you back in Coaching Session class. From now on, we’ll send you two lessons per email.
We initially created this coaching session as a series of lessons at the end of which you’ll be super close to becoming an SEO Superstar.
It’s not only about what we teach you; it’s also about what you do with your WordPress site after learning everything.
The idea is to go through one lesson/day. That way, you’ll keep moving forward.
Practical Things You’ll Learn in this Lesson:
How to choose the keyword you want your page to focus on
How to optimize a page in your site for Google
Why is SEO important for your strategy
Part 1 – Keyword Research from Squirrly SEO
Squirrly is simply a complete SEO powerhouse for WordPress, and we have Neil Patel (a recognized expert) agreeing with us on this one.
Neil Patel mentions in his article that only a handful of bloggers have access to the right queries that Squirrly provides.
There are many benefits you can get by using Squirrly SEO, but right now I want to show you the Keyword Research Feature.
You’ll be able to find amazing long-tail keywords to rank for on the first page of Google directly from our Keyword Research.
This is what will change the game for you online, whether you’re a blogger, a side-hustler, or a full-time online shop owner.
After installing and activating the plugin, you can do a keyword research right from your WordPress site.
You just need to go to Posts > Add new> Click on the blue arrow to open the keyword research tool.
After you do that, it will look something like this.
By entering a keyword, the plugin will start searching the main Internet databanks that have been built for SEO and return long-tail keywords that you can easily rank for.
When I say YOU, I really mean you and your site. The algorithm is super-advanced, and it takes into account the authority you have for those keywords on Google vs. the authority of competing websites for the same keywords.
Other than what I’ve mentioned above, the algorithm also takes other significant factors into account, such as:
How many people discuss that topic on Quora, Forums, social media;
The trend of the subject. If it was trending years ago, then it’s no longer relevant, and we’ll give it a lower score. That way, we make sure the content you create stays relevant.
Creating long-form content using the keywords you find is always an excellent way to get your articles indexed.
Here are 4 main aspects to look at when choosing a keyword for your page:
The number of words. Ideally, you want to go for keywords that have 3 or more terms because big media sites or news outlets already rank for terms formed of 2 words. Also, using more words will help you respond to your audience’s needs and help them find your content much easier.
Competition. Choosing a keyword with high competition won’t help you bring too much organic traffic to your site. If you want to rank on the first pages of Google, then you need to pick a keyword that doesn’t have a lot of competition.
Search volume. Let’s say you’ve found a long-tail keyword that’s easy to rank for. That’s great! Or is it? If the search volume for that term is very low, then it’s not that great of a keyword. Why? Because it means that very few people are searching for that term, so you’ll be getting little to zero organic traffic.
Trend. Trending keywords can bring you a lot of organic traffic, so we recommend using them if you find some good ones during your research. When a term is trending, it means that a lot of people search for the topic on search engines during that particular moment in time. It surfaces the things that are popular now, or are on their way to becoming super popular soon.
There is also the advanced mode, where you can even search for keywords based on different countries. Learn more about it from the step-by-step presentation below.
Part 2 – Why Does Neil Patel Use Squirrly SEO?
Now that you’ve chosen your keyword, you’ll want to start optimizing a post/page using it. You can do that with the Squirrly SEO Live Assistant, which is our most popular feature.
The reason why even experts like Neil Patel use this plugin is that it saves a lot of time for content creation and it helps with quality assurance as well.
If you see all those lights turning green in the interface, it means that you can hit Publish.
You no longer have to rely on guesswork to make sure you have 100% SEO on your blog posts, product pages or landing pages.
Part 3 – Why Use the Squirrly SEO Live Assistant for Your WordPress Pages?
Websites which are not optimized tend to under-perform. Optimizing is done by turning all the lights green inside of the Squirrly SEO Live Assistant.
1) In a study published by Forbes.com, it was shown that content that was not optimized for being found on search engines by the desired audience had very weak performance over time. Only 1 in 10 articles had a chance of making it big.
Here’s a quote from the Forbes article by Skip Besthoff:
“If I told you that only 20% of your content is doing anything for you regarding traffic generation, you’d either fire all of your writers, or you just wouldn’t publish anything that they’ve generated for you.”
2) In a study made by Squirrly, it was shown that the optimized content managed to bring an increase in readership of over +285%, and in some cases, it was even as much as +500%. We told you more about the study in our first lesson.
This study was made on 49,000 sites, and the increase happened only for the articles that were optimized more than 50% with the Live Assistant.
When you first started working on your website, you might have thought that SEO techniques work like magic. You optimize a few articles and the structure of your site, and before you know it you’ll be on the first page of Google.
Unfortunately, the “If I build it, they will come” principle didn’t stand for long, and you created a Social Media Strategy so people would start coming.
If you haven’t already, it’s not too late. Let us give you a helping hand with our free course that will manage to get you up to 300 readers for every article you distribute.
But a great Social Media Strategy, won’t get you that far if you’re not using the right words.
How should social media distribution messages be different from the article you wrote?
If you’re familiarized with Squirrly, you already know that there needs to be a keyword in mind when you start writing a piece of content. This workflow is not just to help your site rank better than before, but also to make it easier for the audience that is searching for that topic, to find your content.
After you finish the article, you might consider that the right way to connect your social media strategy to your SEO techniques is to use the same keywords. You might have used it as a hashtag or just in the body of the Tweet you used to promote that piece of content to your Twitter audience.
Well, let me tell you why that is not the best approach. (learned after hitting my own head against the wall)
You might think you’re targeting the same people, but in truth, most of the time you aren’t.
The people that search your keyword on Google won’t search the same term on networking platforms. But that’s not the only reason this isn’t the right approach for your Social Media Strategy.
The online environment is different too. Hashtags are made to show all the messages that are tagged with the same keyword. In many ways, it resembles a SERP. But the way your audience uses hashtags in messages is very different to how they use keywords while searching the Internet.
That’s why someone will go to Google and search for “dog veterinary near me” but use “#vetcheckup” to find the same information on Twitter.
Targeted content brings the best results, even in your Social Media Strategy
To find the best words to use on Twitter you can use Moz’s App FollowerWonk. A free account will provide all the information you need for this task.
After you’ve entered your account, go to the Analyze tab.
Here you can add the Twitter handle of your account if you want to improve the engagement with your followers, or the account of one of your competitors if you want to grow your reach. Either way, make sure to change the second field to “analyze their followers” and then press “Do it”.
If the account you want the information for has lots of followers the report might take some time to generate. You can come back to it when it’s finished. The app will save it in reports, up to 60 days.
There is a lot of useful information in the report that will help you improve your Social Media Strategy. Today we will focus only on the “Two word bio cloud”.
These are the words you should be using for your distribution messages. Even if they do not match the Keywords in your SEO techniques.
Focusing on them will help the right audience find you faster because you’ll be speaking their language.
How the Squirrly Plugin will connect your SEO techniques to your Social Media Strategy
What makes content more convincing is proof that others say it too. With Squirrly, this can be done quite quickly.
Go the Top of the Live Assistant menu and click on the Twitter icon.
By default, the Squirrly WP plugin will show you most recent Twitter messages that contain your Keyphrases. But you can also use the terms from the “Two word bio cloud.” You just need to click “Not relevant?” and type it.
An excellent way to find targeted tweets is to type your keyphrase as you would a hashtag with no spaces between the words, as you can see in the image bellow. This way you can find tweets on that specific hashtag.
Adding them to your content is as easy as can be. Just place your cursor in the text where you’d like to insert the Tweet and then click Inset it, and it’s done.
Presenting the same content in different packaging
It might sound like a hard task but having a successful social media strategy is not that difficult if you invest time in it.
When it comes to a great blog, distribution is just as important as content creation. But you must always find a way to use the right words for that particular online environment.