Your Guide to Local SEO

Comment

Your Guide to Local SEO

Optimizing your website to show more frequently to those around you is one of the BEST ways to unlock website traffic. But before you can do that, you have to define your audience. 

 Simply saying "I want everyone from ages 25-60 to see my website" isn't exactly what we would describe as a well-defined audience. And, without a well-defined target, how will you know where to aim? Taking the time to define your audience, narrow enough that it's specific for you to target, is important and will save you a lot of time and wasted effort with search engine optimization. 

A well defined audience looks like this: Let's say that you have a clothing boutique. The majority of your shoppers are in their 20s and 30s, and they're female. Most of them come from within a 10 mile radius of your store. That's a perfect place to start! You want to have a specific age, gender, maybe even consider writing out profiles of your ideal client (perhaps who is most profitable for you?) if you don't have a product or service that dictates those parameters. 

Once you have a target audience in mind, NOW it's time for the good stuff! Local SEO is one of the best places to start if you're just dipping your foot into the search engine optimization waters. 

How to get more local customers with Local SEO

MAKE SURE YOUR SITE IS OPTIMIZED FOR YOUR LOCATION
If you have a general "contact us" page, that doesn't do a whole lot to tell Google about where your store/business/service area is! If you have multiple locations, make a specific page on your website for each. Maybe you know that people search for "Nashville Lawn Services." Build that phrase into your page in the title and meta data, with unique content. These terms are your local keyword terms. Side note: be careful not to over-optimize! Stuffing your page with the same keyword over and over can get you penalized. Make it natural, and you should be good! 

CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS
I'm not talking about the phone book! You may recognize these popular online listings: Google Maps, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing. You definitely need to claim your Google My Business listing if you haven't already (you can't show up in the local pack without it!) Listen up this is super important: Make sure  each place your business is listed online is consistent, and has your name, phone number, and address displayed the exact same way! These are called "citations," and they are a signal for the search engines, but they have to match exactly. 

GET REVIEWS
This is tricky, but it can be done! If you have any face-to-face interaction with customers, that is the best time to ask for a review. Once you lose that contact, you will be asking via e-mail and it gets tougher! Ask at the time the service or product is delivered, and make it personal. If you are relegated to e-mail, make sure you have made the process as easy as possible. A quick "Thanks for using ____ for ____! We want to know how we did. Tell us by leaving us a review (insert link)." Give them a direct line. The more reviews you have online, the better you will rank. 

SCHEMA MARKUP
Ok, no that is not another language. This one requires just a teensy bit of code and web savvy, but we promise it's not too difficult. Schema is basically marking up pieces of information on your website to help Google understand more about who you are and what you do. Everything you need can be found at schema.org - our favorite markups are for local businesses, and reviews. Markup your information and this will definitely help your click-through-rate! 

DON'T FORGET ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
Make sure you have filled out ALL the information you can in your description on each social platform. Put in your address, your web address, your phone number - everything you can. You can put your city in your Twitter description, if local is your focus. Social is such a powerful tool, but don't just do it halfway. Commit to one social channel and take some time to put a strategy in place to engage with your customers. 

Put one or all of these steps into place and you're on your way to an increase in website traffic! 

Comment

The SEO Secret: It's all about Content Marketing

Comment

The SEO Secret: It's all about Content Marketing

Want to know a secret about SEO? You can't do it without content marketing. That's right! Chances are, the goals you want to achieve through optimization can't be fulfilled without a stellar content strategy. 

Comment

Architectural Fabrication  - Print

Comment

Architectural Fabrication - Print

We were proud and excited to work with Architectural Fabrication in Fort Worth, Texas. Check out their new designs! 

Comment

Does your Website Meet these Five SEO Criteria?

Comment

Does your Website Meet these Five SEO Criteria?

To make sure you're in the best position possible to show up for search engine terms relevant to your services, ask yourself these 5 questions. 

Comment

Comment

The Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors

Search engine optimization — SEO — may seem like alchemy to the uninitiated. But there is a science to it. Search engines reward pages with the right combination of ranking factors or “signals.” SEO is about ensuring your content generates the right type of signals, and avoids sending the wrong ones. Don't get overwhelmed by trying to accomplish all 200 (yes, there are 200) ranking factors in Google. Focus on what you can do, and what will have the most impact as indicated on the chart. 

This chart above summarizes the major factors to focus on for search engine ranking success (our thanks to SearchEngineLand for creating it).

The Periodic Table of SEO highlights ranking factors and Tangram Sky can describe them more depth, with tips on how to best implement them on your existing site. Why pay attention to SEO? Putting these factors into practice on your website translates into greater web traffic volume, higher quality traffic, and ultimately - more leads and sales for your business. There is no "one-size-fits-all" SEO program, so don't be fooled! Get an individual recommendation for your website (for free!) today. 

Comment

Four Ways to Spot an SEO Scam

Comment

Four Ways to Spot an SEO Scam

Many business owners are hounded every day by solicitors selling various services and products. Unfortunately one of those services is search engine optimization, or “SEO.” These calls or emails often are laden with promises of amazing results – hundreds of leads, first page listings, and more.

Don’t get taken for a ride! Many so-called SEO experts are taking advantage of black hat methods that will hurt you in the long run, or worse, they’re taking your money and doing nothing!

Arm yourself with the right questions to ask a potential SEO or Internet Marketing or Content Marketing firm. We’ll help you spot red flags that can help you identify when you’re being scammed.

FOUR WAYS TO SPOT AN SEO SCAM:

PROMISES OF FIRST PAGE RESULTS

Run away quickly! NO real SEO expert can promise to get you to the top of page one. No one. The algorithm changes so frequently on Google, first of all. Secondly, unless you’re selling a super niche product nobody else has you will be up against websites with tens of thousands of pages of content. A website can only rise in natural search listing according to its potential. A small website of 30-50 pages will not usually outrank a giant like Amazon or Forbes, if that’s what currently holds the top spot for a given key phrase.

NO DEFINED TACTICS THAT ARE MEASURABLE

Great, they’ll help you get to the top of the search engine. But for what, exactly? What search terms are even important to you? How could the SEO company possibly know unless you told them? Be sure you know what you’re paying for. Are they developing content? Are they helping you disseminate content on social media outlets or blogs? Are they optimizing the current pages of your site? Get the specifics in writing.

TRAFFIC WITHIN HOURS OR DAYS

Optimization is complex and difficult. It takes Google a few days to even index your new content or site structure. If an SEO company is promising to get you traffic within hours of days, they’re not going about it the right way. There are no shortcuts, no secrets, no “insider info” that could make this possible. Period.

HUNDREDS OF LINKS

Be oh-so-careful with backlink strategies. Buying links or getting links in any way that is unnatural (that means anything other than your awesome content being passed around) is a Google no no. It’s a surefire way to get penalized and will hurt your ability to rank in the future, and may get you booted off search results entirely. Linking is an advanced SEO strategy that only comes from producing original content. If an SEO “expert” is offering to get you a ton of links, you need to ask how! 

Bottom Line: SEO takes time and a lot of hard work, but it is worth it when you’ve got a good partner on your side. Any good optimization firm should be able to explain to you, in a way that you understand, exactly what they’re going to do to help you gain quality web traffic. SEO is also very individual and has to have a customized approach. It is tied to your objectives, history in the search engines, and content – no one-size-fits-all program will do it.

Ready for a real, logical, results-driven SEO program? Contact Tangram Sky.   

Comment

Directory Listings: the SEO X Factor

Comment

Directory Listings: the SEO X Factor

SEO campaigns can be scary for small businesses. You don't have a $30,000 budget each month to throw at advanced link building strategies and expert blog writers. We get that, and we have good news for you. 

There are easy, simple SEO strategies that you can implement that won't break the bank or hog your time. One of them is often overlooked, and that's the almighty directory listing. 

Directory listings are like built-in back links you can get for free and with little effort. Think of the Internet like a spider web, with your website as the main circle in the middle. That's the end goal - it's where you want everyone to end up. Your Facebook page is one entry point. Your Google + or Google Maps listing might be another. You keep adding those "strands" and your web branches out. You want as many of those as possible. That's where directories come in! 

What is a Directory Listing? We're sure you've heard of Manta.com, Angie's List, Yellowbook, etc. These are directories…and each one of them has a free  component just waiting for you to set it up. We're not kidding. This is especially valuable for being found in local search results. You're repeatedly listing the name of your company, a link to your website, a description, and the location of your business. Every directory you submit to adds another thread to your web. 

Here are the top directories Tangram Sky recommends: 

1. Google (Google My Business, you need a profile) 
2. Bing
3. Yelp
4. Facebook
5. YellowPages
6. Yahoo
7. Angie's List
8. Manta
9. Merchant Circle
10. SuperPages
11. YP.com
12. LinkedIn
13. CitySearch
14. Better Business Bureau
15. Yellowbook
16. EZ Local
17. Hotfrog
18. Foursquare
19. Local.com
20. Showmelocal

This list may look intimidating to you, but rotate a few of these into your SEO strategy. Add four listings a month, maybe, or even two if that's all you can manage. Are there review sites that pertain to your business or industry? Get a listing on there too, and start asking customers for reviews there. 

Build your web, constantly adding opportunities for entry to your website. 

Interested in outsourcing? Call us and we'll work out a custom plan to reach your goals. 

Comment

Your Pocket Guide to the BEST Social Media Posts

Comment

Your Pocket Guide to the BEST Social Media Posts

Here is your pocket guide to the BEST Social Media Posts!

Comment

Comment

It's a Hill, Get Over It!

Our recap of the San Francisco Nike Women's Half Marathon is coming soon! For now, we want to show you our awesome marathon gear. We partnered with our friends at Texas House of Graphics and created these shirts that were a total hit at the marathon! 


Comment

Comment

5 Things your Landing Page Could be Missing

They're HERE! You've got 'em! Wait, wait, where are they going? Come back! 

Landing pages are critical for your online marketing campaign. Think of it as your big chance! You've been sending messages, waiting…and you've hooked them! But, what good is a landing page that doesn't convert? Here are six things you might be missing on your landing page, so take some inventory here: 

1. Branding. This may sound ridiculous, but are you present anywhere on your landing page? Does it look like you? Is your logo there? Are you using familiar design, etc.? Continuity is very important. Your customers have to be able to trust you and identify you - even when it's a stand-alone landing page. 

2. A clear offer, in 3 seconds. Seriously…you don't have much time. You need to capture eyeballs and get them filling out a form FAST. Use the headline appropriately. What's the offer? What do I need to do? Make it crystal clear what someone will get if they offer their information. This is a trade! If someone has to spend a lot of time digesting complicated material on your page, you're going to lose them. Which brings us to the next point...

3. A SIMPLE form. You don't need the color of their underwear to capture a quality lead. This is really important - you can interact with your leads after you have their basic information. You promised them an email, a quote, whatever…get what you need to deliver what they want. Now is not the time to take a survey. 

4. Interesting photos/graphics. Nobody wants to read a ton of text. You'd be surprised at how many web pages we see that induce yawning and 3 p.m. I-need-a-nap feelings. Make your landing page interesting, make the visitor WANT to fill out their information! Make sure that your photos or graphics correlate to the offer. Use them to increase the quality of your page - say something with your photos. It's valuable real estate that people are going to see. 

5. A Thank You Page. I take all the time to fill out your information, hit submit, and then…nothing. Did it go through? Do I need to fill it out again? Do I wait for an email, a phone call, anything?! A simple thank-you page redirect after filling out a form goes a long way to boosting your quality of leads. 

Good landing pages are about more than just good design and having the right elements in place. To truly be outstanding, you can take an even deeper dive (3D content, anyone?). Our friends over at Toptal created the ultimate landing page that provided users with a seriously engaging experience to promote a new keyboard.

Take care of these things and watch the leads pour in. Need help getting your web traffic to convert? Contact us. 

Comment

Here's what Running can teach you about Content Marketing

Comment

Here's what Running can teach you about Content Marketing

What does marathon running have in common with content marketing?

Comment

We don't do Failure.

Comment

We don't do Failure.

We never lose. Either we win or we learn.

Comment

Comment

Entrepreneur Productivity Infographic

Time management is hands down the most important skill to have as an entrepreneur. You can't afford to waste time due to being unorganized! Here are some of the best insights we have for managing your time wisely when you have your own business. 

Comment

The Entrepreneur Illusion/Delusion - Do you have what it takes?

Comment

The Entrepreneur Illusion/Delusion - Do you have what it takes?

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? We want to know why/why not -- and we'll let you in on what we think is necessary for entrepreneurial success. 

Comment

Comment

How to Grant Google Analytics Access

Easy, step-by-step guide to give users access to Google Analytics.

Comment

What is Native Advertising?

Comment

What is Native Advertising?

What is Native Advertising?

Comment

Your Social Media Journey as a Business Owner

Comment

Your Social Media Journey as a Business Owner

Your Social Media Journey

Comment

What is a Tangram?

Comment

What is a Tangram?

In my world, a Tangram is so much more than a Chinese puzzle consisting of 7 wooden pieces!

Comment

Workin' 9 to 5?

Comment

Workin' 9 to 5?

Workin' 9 to 5? Not Me!

Comment

How to Hire a [Real] Social Media Manager

1 Comment

How to Hire a [Real] Social Media Manager

Hiring a social media manager: educate yourself, know the time involved, hire someone w experience.

1 Comment