Can you hear me?…
There’s a huge need for local business owners in Carlisle to look into that strange world: of understanding SEO Carlisle style! So many business contacts have asked. “What the hell is that and why should I bother?”
Will a Carlisle Focus on SEO Improve My Local Business?
Simple answer – YES! The truth is, that a huge amount of research and buyer decision making is carried out by consumers and businesses, to find local solutions to urgent needs. As for the SEO side of this; in plain English this means ensuring that the information on your webpage relates closely to the words that people type and the devices they use when searching for your type of business, service or product. Effective local SEO, for Carlisle businesses, depends on a good understanding of: the keywords that your customers are actually using; the importance of back links in the right context and the importance of social signals: along with the ever increasing need to be accessible via mobile phone or tablet.
Bricks and mortar, traditional businesses, are in highly competitive situations just now. Big high street retailers that didn’t follow the way shoppers habits changed were doomed. HMV and Jessops are just 2 of the big names that have withered in recent months. Many smaller businesses also remain blinkered about the encroaching changes in buyer behaviour. At first sight, it’s daunting to try and move up in the search results against established competitors, when there’s the daily pressure of running your business and a whole new language and learning curve to get your head round.
For businesses with a local focus, it is quite a bit easier. By targeting a specific area or locality, you are reducing the on-line competition massively. With a little help and guidance, you can get ahead of the local competition in most cases, with just a moderate effort and outlay.
This is still true in Carlisle and many parts of Cumbria and the Borders because; application of careful market research, FOLLOWED by skilled keyword research, lags so far behind in Cumbria, many markets or niches are wide open at the local level. There is still a window of opportunity to gain an advantage with SEO, for Carlisle businesses. Businesses which get in early have a relatively simple task ahead of them in getting found in what I like to call “Cumberland Google.”
SEO, Carlisle and Local Search keywords
For the price of an Internet marketing consultant’s day, the most important keywords for your business can be assessed. The content of your website can be optimised to match those keywords and a series of relevant back links from relevant interested websites can be attracted rapidly. Too often business owners simply throw in the words that their gut tells them are right. Often your gut doesn’t have the same view as a prospect in a hurry to become a customer!
Search Engine Maps – Quick Start Local SEO
An overlooked sources of back links and traffic to a business’ webpage are the online directories which work alongside Google, Bing,Yahoo and their map listings for businesses. Google had Places which it has now merged (rather uncomfortably) into Google Plus. (update May 2013- the mariage of Places and Plus Local is still pretty broken! Obviously some tricky technical issues that are baffling even the Google brainiacs!) If they ever iron out the kinks, it will be one of the most powerful map references. It shows the location of your business to an interested prospect if your listing is optimised for the most likely keywords they type. Additionally, when prospects search from their mobile device, it’s often a Google Plus Local listing that will show up first (based on Google et al’s) assumption that the searcher wants quick results close to their location! Having a well crafted listing that shows information, consistent with NAP data fields of major directories, gives Google confidence to give you some authority and raise your website and listing’s ranking. (NAP is Name Address Phone number in this context )
This is just the first part of making you visible. For many businesses in a local setting this can be enough on its own.
Backlinks and the Power of Approval
Just over a 2 years ago, it was possible; nay… easy to get a website in front of the desired audience by blasting it with horrible spammy links from thousands of pretty useless websites and SEO, whether for Carlisle based businesses or anywhere else began to be about gaming the Big G! Now Google is a large powerful and wealthy beast. Hidden away behind it’s fabled porticos it just happens to be paying huge salaries to some of the smartest brains on the planet, to keep its search algorithm pure and relevant to the honest searchers, shoppers and researchers that use it. For years G and the other search engine’s had relied on Backlinks as the most important signal of a web page’s worth, with quantity able to overwhelm quality! Google wasn’t a happy bunny and started a campaign to clean up the Internet; it’s search results and the nests of spam-vipers it saw everywhere.
That clean up took the form of Panda in February 2011 and the Penguin in April 2012. Panda put the ursine boot into crappy link building practises, while the Penguin waddled around the web, picking off low quality sites with keyword stuffing and other shady practices going on. These 2 changes actually put dozens of web based companies out of business. Not before time as well with their dubious tactics.
The importance of this for local, Carlisle SEO activities is that quality and relevance now count for a lot. Links need to be earned not spammed! It’s a tougher scenario, but as local businesses, your websites have a much lower hurdle to clear than a business that needs national ranking. To help out, there’s a new assistant… it’s the voice of the web!
Get Social to Boost Your Local SEO in Carlisle
Your customers’ voices can have a huge impact on your website’s worth! If you can get them help you out in their social media surfing and chatting, then you have hit a vein of pure gold! Google has been very explicit about its decision to include social signals as part of its assessment of a web pages authority. Generating a Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profiles is no longer something for the young techie; it is now a necessity for almost every single business enterprise; large or small! Social media is where the search engines pick up the vibe that you are causing online… add that to a well thought out, optimised and engaging website – and you could quickly be sitting pretty.
Consulting Cumbria – Local Seo That’s Carlisle Based
Contact Ray Cassidy at Consulting Cumbria Ltd to discover the many ways in which you can boost the online presence of your business in local search results. What’s the benefit? More visibility = more click-throughs to your website = more business! Don’t miss out on the dozens of local searches that can’t find your business online and the dozens of potential customers. Making sure that a simple, straightforward online marketing plan is part of your overall marketing strategy is essential for gaining new customers and retaining existing ones. After all, if the customer keeps finding your competitor they might just think that you are not interested in keeping up with their habits! SEO will work for Carlisle‘s businesses to make sure that you harvest your share of the money that is flowing online to off-line businesses like yours.