Basics of Local SEO

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SEO is not this great mystery that needs to be hacked or coded.  It’s based on human behavior and thinking things through.

There’s a lot of misinformation regarding SEO online.  Here’s just a few things you may have heard:

  • You need to keep paying for SEO or you’ll lose your rankings…
  • It’s all technical and you have to be a coder to understand.
  • You can guarantee ranks if you do a certain approach.
  • Backlinks are all that matters.
  • It’s all behind the scenes.

These statements are far from the truth.  In the real life world, SEO is as simple as making a great and helpful website that Google WANTS to show searchers.  This may be a serious over-simplification, but at it’s core, that’s all we are doing with SEO.  Getting your site found online!

The best way to understand all of this is by thinking from Google’s point of view.  They run a business that helps people find what they are looking for.  And NO, they don’t run the internet or own the internet.  They simply index it and allow us to use the index.

So if your site gives someone exactly what they are looking for, and does this in a better way than other sites, it should outrank them over time.   

There are over 200 factors Google considers when deciding what pages it should rank.  From there, the Google algorithm constantly tests the pages against one another to see which pages users click and visit the longest to promote up the ranks.  This process is on-going and ranks move all the time.

But SEO for a business owner isn’t about getting caught up in all these details that make the big picture.  That’s for the agencies and companies to work on.  If you are wanting to get a good start, search for the keywords on Google that you think would help your business most.  

Start with a question based approach

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We’ve grown so used to search in our lives, we now even use it verbally, and often in the form of a question.  Your customers are asking these questions all the time.  Things like “What’s the best plumbing service near me?”  or “How do I fix a leaky sink?”.  Building up a guide on your site answering all these questions is the best way to start off strong SEO.

And believe us, your competition is likely NOT doing this.  They don’t want to give away secrets… Even though just about anything anyone wants to do is already somewhere online.  

By doing this you are adding more relevant terms to your site for Google to get a great picture of your business.  These terms may get picked up by Google and start to bring in more traffic, but they will also re-enforce your site as the EXPERT on what your business does, and rank you higher for local search terms.


You’ve probably been to a website and been unable to find prices, especially in the service industry.  Companies like to keep these to themselves in case they need to change them or because it’s a complex process.

But building a pricing page is key for just about every single business.  And if you don’t charge your customers it’s probably tough to make money anyways…

 If your services are too diverse to lock down static prices, offer a range or more details about why the pricing can be tricky.  Go in-depth and talk about the different services you offer and how varied they can be.  Your clients will be happy to see these, and you might start ranking for pricing searches on Google for your business!

Since SEO services are so varied on pricing, we built our pricing page here.  Check this out for an example.

Location Based Content for Local SEO

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In local SEO, these are location based terms that are specific to your business.  Not broad terms like “plumber”.  Let’s be honest here, there’s a lot of competition for a word like that and you’d have to be the top ranking site on the internet to compete there.

The terms are more like “Denver plumbing services” or something similar thats even more niched down to specific neighborhoods.

Search for this term to see who’s taking the top positions and check out their sites.  Really look in depth on each one and see what content they have and how the site is built.  This is how you can see what’s working the best. 

Pay special attention to details as to what keywords they are using.  You’ll likely see something like “Denver’s top rated plumber” or “Denver plumbers at your door in 30 minutes, guaranteed” . 

You’ll also see a map and locations posted all over the site.  This appeals to Google searchers because they know it’s a business near them.  Google sees these and knows where to feature the business in the search results based on where the person is searching.  

It’s all about thinking from Google’s side

Although we mention a few methods here, it really comes down to thinking like Google.  If you were Google, you’d want to give good results so people keep searching through your site.  Think about what you’d want to find if you typed in any keywords you’d like to rank for, and build that site!

For a complete guide to a no-nonsense content approach, be sure to checkout Marcus Sheridan’s book, “They Ask, You Answer” here.

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