What does local SEO mean?
You might be looking for a way to improve your businesses online marketing, that’s to say many businesses that are based in Bath, in the South West of England and also within Bristol, may have been investing in more traditional forms of marketing up until now?
That’s to say, many businesses may have been investing in a team of salespeople, they may have also been investing in marketing through sponsoring local sporting events, such as a rugby team for example?
However, more and more small and medium businesses across the South West of England are now investing in SEO?
Yet what is SEO? How can it help a business? Well, this blog post will explain all:
However, before we do start it’s important to know that there are many different types of online marketing- for example a business can invest in Pay Per Click (PPC), organic SEO and also local SEO as well as advertising the business on social media, such as using Facebook.
So, as the business owner you may not know which form of online marketing that you wish to invest in, that’s to say would you be better off investing in organic SEO, pay per click (PPC), local SEO or a mix of all of these?
To help you to learn more about what local SEO is, this article is dedicated to explaining what it is, and how it could help your business:
So, what does local SEO mean?
Let’s say that you run a local business here within Bristol, let’s say that you run a local plumbing business and your based near the great Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Yet, your plumbing business may notice that it’s harder than ever to secure commercial plumbing contracts in Bristol?
Therefore, you wish to invest in online marketing, and you wish for your business to come up for terms related to “commercial plumbing” within the city of Bristol.
This would make local SEO ideal for your business; however, a lot of businesses quickly learn that the prices for this service can vary massively. That’s to say where one agency may charge a few hundred, another may quote a few thousand, yet why are the prices so different?
This is where some business owners may get deterred, that’s because prices can be so different that the business owners do not know what they are getting for their investment.
That’s to say some may wonder why do SEO quotes often vary so greatly?
That is a business often does not want to invest in cheap SEO, because they know that you often get what you pay for.
A lot of businesses will also know that if they invest in low-quality forms of SEO, the business could be hit by a penalty.
For example, an algorithmic or a manual penalty, could be imposed on the business.
This is why it’s crucial that you invest in high-quality SEO work which is “white hat”, and must follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and the marketing agency must use the latest white hat methods.
This article will only recommend using “white hat” high-quality methods.
We will also explain what local SEO is, and how it could potentially help your business.
How can local SEO help a business in Bristol and in Bath, England?
Let’s say that you run a construction business here in Bristol, and on the first page of the results, there will be 10 other construction businesses, those 10 businesses have been placed there because the algorithm deems that their website has the strongest ranking signals, sometimes some agencies will call ranking signals, such as backlinks “ranking factors”-yet with that said ranking factors and ranking signals mean the same thing.
Now as a business owner, you may think that the search engines only judge a website on a handful of ranking factors, however this is not true, that’s because as any good digital marketing agency will tell you, the algorithms will judge your website on over 200 ranking factors.
For example, here are just some of the ranking factors that the algorithms will use to work out how strong your businesses SEO is:
· Content marketing
· Evergreen content marketing
· Meta title
· Meta description
· Business citations
· Bounce rate
These vary in terms of their importance, for example, a lot of digital marketing agencies will agree right at the top of that list in terms of importance are “backlinks”.
However, then what could be a less important ranking signals, are meta titles.
Now the businesses that are on the first page of Google have normally got there because they have invested in organic SEO or local SEO for many consecutive years.
Therefore, for a business in Bristol to get onto the first page normally has to do a lot of SEO work, which means a lot of catching up with the existing competition.
Now, this is why when a business quotes a very low fee for offering SEO work, the business should be sceptical- that’s because often it’s not just about optimising the website this month, it’s about catching up with all the SEO work that the competition have completed over say the last eight years.
In some industries it’s easier to catch up with the competition, however in highly competitive business sectors- such as the legal sectors, for solicitors, it’s very competitive and therefore the standard the beat is often very high.
Now as a business owner, this might have you scratching your head, thinking while how much work needs to be done in order to overtake the competition?
Now, this is why it’s very hard to predict how long it will take the business to get onto the first page of the search engine, that’s because in every single area, and in every different business sector, it will be a different standard of SEO to beat.
So, for example, let’s say that you run a employment law practice in the centre of Bristol, to get onto the first page of the search engine results, you will have to normally have to beat the 10 other businesses.
Now, if those businesses have hundreds of good-quality backlinks, and really good-quality content marketing, then it may take many years to overtake the existing competition.
This is why when you contact the business, and the sometimes seem as though they’re putting roadblocks in front of you, they might actually be explaining to you as the business owner the real challenges that the SEO agency will face in order to get your business on this page.
So, in a nutshell, what we are really getting at, is that local SEO and organic SEO often takes a great deal of time.
For some industries, in may mean it will take many years, however to get a less competitive industry, let’s say for example a scaffolding business in Bristol to rank on the first page then it may only take a few months to show results.
What is for sure is that SEO is a long-term process- the business should be committed to investing over the long term, and also know that results take a great deal of time to show in terms of customers purchasing via the website.
Also because there are over 200 different factors that the SEO agency Must improve, there is a lot of work needs to take place, so the business needs to be realistic in terms of its marketing budget.
That’s the say if you contact the business and think for a few hundred pounds you can catch up with competition then often this is not the case.
There will of course be loads of businesses willing to take the marketing budget, but often if the work is then low quality then the business will incur an algorithmic or a manual penalty.
This could mean that the business incurs an algorithmic or a manual penalty, which removes it from the search engine, or it could mean the business is placed much lower down the page on the search engine.
Therefore, the business should only invest in high-quality, white hat SEO, even if this means that it will take a great deal longer to show results.
Now, we have got that out of the way, it’s important to look at the benefits of investing SEO, for example, when somebody is looking for a local plumber, your business could come up in the top three results, so therefore when you consider that there are potentially hundreds if not thousands of plumbers in a city like Bristol, your business could potentially have a lot of valuable leads.
And as most marketing companies will tell you, organic and local SEO can be a highly effective form of marketing, because you will be marketing your business when that person requires your services.
This is different from other forms of marketing, for example sponsoring a local rugby team for example, because you are advertising your business when that person might not necessarily need your services, or what your company can offer so your business might easily get forgotten about, and the business might just be generating brand awareness of your company instead.
This is where SEO is completely different, because when somebody is looking for that service or the product your business offers, it can appear instantly, and therefore your business could gain potentially valuable leads for your business.
However, we must stress the point that you should only invest in high-quality work, because if your business does incur an algorithmic or indeed a manual penalty, then the business could be removed from the search engine completely, which means that your business is no longer visible.
What does white hat SEO mean?
White hat SEO basically means that the job is done right, however as you can imagine the cowboys of the SEO world, will say that the work is “white hat” when it is not.
This can confuse business owners, as they think they’re investing in quality, when they are not, therefore you must invest in high-quality work, and it might be worth you getting a second opinion from another company, from somebody that knows a lot about SEO, to make sure that the work is done right.
What is for sure is if the work is not done right, and it is not high-quality, then the business will incur a penalty, this could mean that the business slips down the ranks, from say page 1 to page 11 of the search engine, or it could mean if the work is done really poorly, that the website is totally removed from the search engine completely.
For example, a lot of businesses that were impacted by the Penguin penalty.
That’s to say a lot of agencies were building low-quality backlinks, these backlinks caused the problem that many businesses incurred an algorithmic or a manual penalty.
Once the business incurs a manual penalty or the algorithmic penalty, it could then be removed from the search engine, and sometimes it could potentially take the business many months or even years to start to recover from a penalty.
This is why it is crucial that the work is done right, because it could adversely affect your business if it is not done correctly.
We therefore only recommend that the very high-quality methods and white hat methods are used.
We would also recommend using a local SEO agency in Bristol or Bath, because often you will want to meet with your Seo consultant so that you can discuss progress on how well you SEO is doing.
Therefore, if you were to choose an agency based further up the country, it will obviously be hard to have a face-to-face meeting about how your organic your local SEO is improving.
For example, you may wish to meet with your agency to discuss how they are building backlinks, and how many backlinks the business built since you last met.
Also, you may wish to look at analytics data discuss how the bounce rate could be reducing also for example.
Therefore, you may wish to pick a local agency here in Bristol, an agency that can offer white hat SEO.
There are many agencies that are based in the city of Bristol, and that are based in the city of Bath as well.
What’s the difference between organic Seo and local Seo?
Often business owners will get confused as to the difference between organic and also local SEO, local SEO means that your business can come up in the My Business results, and sometimes some agencies also mean the organic business results as well but only for a city or a town.
However with organic SEO some businesses may wish to rank on the first page on a national basis
What is on page SEO mean?
You may hear your SEO consultant mention on-site SEO, that’s the say when you first ask an agency the start improving your businesses SEO, they may say that they are going to work on improving your businesses on-site SEO.
This may mean that they will work on improving the following
· Meta titles
· Meta descriptions
· Anchor text
· Content marketing
· Evergreen content marketing
· Internal links
· Improve the website design
· Lower the businesses bounce rate
· And much more
Therefore often a marketing agency will start work on improving the website on-site SEO, this sometimes means adding content marketing.
For example, the marketing agency may add content marketing to the blog section of your website
On page SEO
Meta titles and meta descriptions
the agency may add meta titles and meta descriptions that every single page on your website, that’s the say the may add meta titles and meta descriptions to the main pages and also to the blog post of your website.
If you have a WordPress website, then this is often very easy to do, however sometimes a web developer is needed to add meta titles and meta descriptions to each page.
If you do not know what meta titles and meta descriptions mean, they are simply the title and short description that you read in the search engine results pages, so that they tell you what that page is about.
Let’s say for example you are about to purchase a brand-new electric bike, and you select one business because the meta title says that they offer free delivery. This is a good example of how a marketing agency can improve a businesses meta title, so that it improves the click through rate, which you may mean that more shoppers visit your website.
This is as opposed to a business not writing a meta title or a meta description, which then means that sometimes a title and a short description of a page can sometimes be taken out from the page at random.
This sometimes does not encourage a shopper to visit your website, for example there may be a brand of electric bike that sells really well, if you were to put this in the meta title, then it’s more likely that someone looking for that brand of bike is likely to click on your website therefore improving your businesses click through rate.
Therefore the digital marketing agency should write the meta titles and meta descriptions for each page so that they improve your businesses click through rate.
Now if your business sells many thousands of different products, then it may take many weeks to write the meta titles and meta descriptions, therefore you may wish to ask the marketing agency whether they employ copywriters.
A copywriter will be able to write the meta titles and meta descriptions for your website, they should write the meta titles and meta descriptions to improve your businesses click through rate.
your SEO agency in Bristol should work on improving your businesses homepage, for instance if your businesses homepage has a very high bounce rate, then this could mean that you are potentially losing sales.
For those that do not know what bounce rate means, it simply means the percentage of shoppers that are landing on your website but leaving straightaway without visiting another page on your website.
your marketing agency should work hard to reduce your businesses bounce rate. Let’s return to our example of a retailer selling electric bikes, let’s say for example that the marketing agency notices that the homepage has a bounce rate of over 80%.
Therefore the digital marketing agency should work out why the bounce rate is so high, for example the SEO agency may work with a web developer to improve how the main menu works.
For example, you may change the main menu so that people can see the brands of bike that you sell, they can quickly click on the brands that they want and to see the bikes that your business sells.
This is as opposed to grouping all the different brands together, then the marketing agency may notice that the businesses bounce rate therefore often the SEO company in Bristol or in Bath will need to work with a web designer to reduce the businesses bounce rate.
Remember if a businesses bounce rate is very high this could mean that you are potentially losing out on sales, so you will want to keep your shoppers on your website for longer so that you can increase your chances of increasing your sales
Often a local SEO company will spend quite a lot of time writing content marketing, that’s the say you may hire an agency improve your businesses local SEO for say three days per month, they may spend to or at least one day out of the three writing content marketing sometimes.
The reason for this is content marketing is used to improve the businesses on-site SEO, but it is also sometimes also used to help the business to build back links.
However, if the business is trying to build back links, the backlinks must be quality and built in a white hat way
Evergreen content marketing
Let’s say for example that you run a solicitor’s practice in Bristol, yet your business is not getting any customers via its website.
You may notice that your marketing agency is stating that the need to improve your businesses evergreen content marketing.
Often a SEO company will use internal links, for example let’s say that you run an e-commerce business that sells running trainers.
And you are writing about a blog post which is stating the bestselling running trainers of 2020, it just as happens that your business also sells the running trainers, so as you mention the brand and the running trainer you can add an internal link over to the page on your website that sells those running trainers.
Marketing agencies refer to this as an internal link, this can help your customers to find products more easily and it can also help your SEO if that page can be crawled and indexed
However the work must be white hat, that’s the say when you are writing the anchor text this must be done in a white hat way.
It’s really important that if you want to improve your businesses SEO in Bristol, that you add your businesses NAP information to your website.
You may not know what NAP means, nap simply stands for name of your business, address of your business and phone number of your business
You should add this to your website so that it can be crawled and indexed, most businesses will add this to the contact us page and also to the footer of the website.
You may therefore wish to ask your SEO company and your businesses map information to your website
A lot of businesses will also mark up the NAP information using schema, that’s the say schema is used to highlight the businesses map information.
local phone number
Our business always recommend that a local phone number is used, for example if you run a business in Bristol then you should use a local phone number.
If you run a business in Bath you should use a local phone number, this can help to improve your businesses local SEO.
Therefore if you have the option of choosing between a mobile phone number and a local phone number, we would always recommend opting for a local phone number.
The local phone number should be added to your businesses map information, we would recommend that your businesses map information is added to the footer of the website and also on your businesses contact us page.
Often SEO agency will recommend that new pages are added to your company’s website for example let’s say that you run a plumbing business in Bristol, the marketing agency may have a page to better optimise your business for boiler replacement, or emergency callouts or boiler repair for example.
So many businesses in Bristol just opt for a one-page website however these are often difficult to optimise
Your business should try reduce its bounce rate, for example a digital marketing agency may spot that your business has a very high bounce rate.
Let’s say for example, that your business sells smartphones, your marketing agency may spot that the bounce rate on the home page is say over 90%, the marketing agency should therefore try to reduce that bounce rate.
Sometimes this will mean redesigning the homepage, other times it might just mean making some design improvements
We would recommend using analytics, to monitor your businesses bounce rate and also to see how many organic visitors are coming to your website.
Must be white hat
We would always highly recommend that all of yes your work is white hat. If the work is not white hat then your business could incur a penalty.
Many businesses in Bristol have received a penalty, such as a Penguin or a Panda penalty, this can mean that the business is removed from the search engine.
We would therefore only recommend investing in white hat SEO
What is often page SCO mean?
You may hear your marketing agency talk about on-site and off-site SEO, that’s because there are over 200 ranking factors, for example one ranking factor is backlinks another ranking factor is meta titles and meta descriptions.
Because there are over 200 ranking factors which the algorithm calculates to see how strong your businesses ranking factors are, often marketing agencies split the ranking factors into on-site and off-site.
And often a business will talk about backlinks, that’s because backlinks are considered one of the most important off-site SCO ranking factors.
That’s the say marketing agency’s know that even though there are over 200 ranking factors, there are still some that more important than others, and most marketing agencies agree the backlinks are very important.
Therefore for a business to get onto the first page, often the business will need a lot of high quality backlinks.
Therefore often an agency will build do follow and no follow backlinks.
For example, let’s say that you sell luxurious cars in Bristol, your business to get onto the first page in Bristol your business will often need high quality backlinks the backlinks should be built in a white hat way, and often it means many days worth of work to build backlinks, this is why a marketing agency is often used to build backlinks.
However the backlinks must be built in a white hat way
What are backlinks?
Let’s say that you are booking a holiday in Bristol and you have booked your holiday, then at the end of the payment process you see an advertisement to hire a hire car.
You click on the link and it takes you to a hire car website, this means that you clicked on a backing from the holiday company to the hire car company, therefore you are followed a backlinks.
Now to improve a business’s SEO, high quality backlinks need to be built.
What do we mean by high quality backlinks?
For example let’s say that you run a construction business, you will want high quality backlinks from trade bodies which represent the construction sector
the backlinks must be high quality, plus they must be built in a white hat way.
If the backlinks are not built in a white hat way the business could incur an algorithmic or a manual penalty. A penalty could mean that the business is removed from the search engine.
Why must backlinks be built in a white hat way?
It’s really important that your company builds backlinks in a white hat way, that’s the say the backlinks must be high quality.
The backlinks must be high quality, it’s also good idea to have no follow and do follow backlinks.
If the backlinks are not high quality, not built in a white hat way and the business could incur a penalty.
If the business was to incur a penalty, because the business has low quality backlinks then this could mean that the website is removed from the search engine.
This is why you should only earn high quality backlinks. Your digital marketing agency should therefore be building do follow backlinks and no follow backlinks
What business citations?
You may hear your SEO agency talking about building business citations, which are sometimes called map signals.
Business citations are simply mentions of your businesses name, address and also phone number (NAP).
For example, let’s say that you run a solicitor’s practice here in Bristol, you should add your solicitors practice NAP details to the footer of the website.
So the company’s name, address and phone number should be written at the bottom of the website. Your marketing agency may also add schema to your website.
Your marketing agency
What does not mean?
You may choose to promote your business on Facebook and Twitter, therefore you may ask your SCO agency to add links on your website to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Sometimes for example before somebody chooses to purchase a product or a service from your business, they will have a look at your businesses reviews on Facebook.
Let’s say for example that you run a fencing business in Bristol, before somebody hires you to build say a feather edge fence, they may have a look at your businesses reviews on Facebook.
So even if you do not want to spend money on advertising your business on Facebook or Twitter, you may wish to use Facebook or another social media website in order to get business reviews
We were to recommend that you set up a Facebook page for your company, you should add your businesses NAP information.
For example let’s say that you are a plumber here in Bristol, you should have a company website, which the SCO company should be applying white hat SEO to will.
but you may also wish to have a Facebook business page, where the company’s phone number and address should be added
If you do not have any business page on Facebook, your marketing agency should be able to easily set you up a Facebook business page.
This often only takes a you minutes to do, yet it can be another place where your business can obtain a business citation.
For those that do not know what business citation means, it is a mention of your businesses NAP information
We would recommend setting up a Facebook business page as well to show your customers your most recent work.
For example, let’s say that you are a construction business and you serve Bristol and also Bath, therefore you may be paying an SEO company to optimise your website for both of these areas.
However, the evergreen content marketing on your company’s website may stay the same for a long period of time.
For example, let’s say that you have a page which is dedicated to advertising your company’s services such as offering loft conversions
However this page on your company’s website might stay the same for many years.
Therefore what is often needed is the marketing agency to update your businesses Facebook account.
So when a customer wants to see your most recent work, such as a recent loft conversion you can add this to your company’s Facebook account.
Digital marketing agency or SCO agency?
This is a question that many business owners ask themselves that is do they want a SCO agency, Woodley wanting digital marketing agency?
You might not know the difference, however an SEO agency will specialise in just offering normally pay per click, or SEO or local SEO.
However with that said more and more businesses are opting instead for a digital marketing agency, because sometimes such an agency will have website developers, website designers, copywriters, logo designers, pay per click, SCO staff.
And sometimes your website will need to have the design improved in order to make SCO improvements such as lowering the businesses bounce rate.
So it just makes sense sometimes to hire an agency that has web designers and SCO staff in one company.
If you were to hire an SEO agency, often need to then liaise with your web designers or recommend a web design.
This sometimes means as a business owner you have to manage two separate businesses.
Which can mean that there is a lot of emails going back and fore with your web designers and your SEO agency.
Therefore a lot of businesses in Bristol now instead opting for digital marketing agencies which can manage all of the services in one company.
For example, you might contact the agency to design a WordPress website, then the agency might offer copywriters to write the text website.
Then you might notice that you need to invest in pay per click or SEO, so instead of having to go and find a different agency, you can just manage that one business instead.
However, you must make sure that the work is white hat, sometimes a web design business will offer SEO but the work is sometimes is outsourced or not white hat.
How our agency can help you in Bristol
We are an SEO agency in Bristol, we work with many different businesses in Bristol.
We offer organic and local SCO stop
So no matter if you run a hairdressing salon, or you run a large solicitors practice, we can help to get your company onto the first page.
In the very first month of working with your company, we will look at which ranking factors we can optimise to bring you the best results as soon as possible.
For example, you may notice that the evergreen content marketing on your website needs improving, we may therefore rewrite the text, and this may make a improvement in the very first month.
However really important to remember that organic and local SEO is a long-term process, that’s the say some businesses do say they can bring about results in a very short timeframe, however with that said if the work is not high quality and the business will incur a penalty.
The more respected SEO agencies in Bristol will often offer you more honest advice as to how long it will take to get your business onto the first page. Sometimes it can take many months and for some businesses it can take many years.
Some business owners will understand why it takes so long, and that’s because you need to be the standard that your competitors are setting.
For example, let’s say that you run a construction business, to get onto the first page your businesses SEO must beat the other 10 businesses that are already on the first page.
Now you might be up against businesses that have been investing in organic SCO for sale the last nine years.
Therefore your business must be realistic as to how quickly can catch up with the competition.
For example, let’s imagine that you are setting up an employment law practice in Bath.
And you want to get your business onto the first page for employment law by, yes you might be against 10 other businesses that have been investing for the last four years in SEO.
This means that they will have invested in building high-quality backlinks, and also improving the businesses on-site SCO.
So the business will have optimise their meta titles, meta descriptions and content marketing
this means that your business might have a lot of catching up to do, that is why when a business says we can get you want the first page in a short amount of time sometimes this is not realistic.
Instead what is often needed is a lot of SEO work in order to catch up with your competitors.
The more honest and respected marketing agencies will provide a rough idea of how long this could take.
However, in more competitive industries, such as running a solicitor’s practice, it can sometimes take up to a year to get business onto the first page.
There will be some companies which say we can do this in a few months, yet if they use low quality SEO then the business could incur an algorithmic or a manual penalty.
Therefore, all of the Seo work must be “white hat”, here are some of the ranking factors which should be optimised:
· Meta title
· Meta description
· Alt text
· Evergreen content marketing
· Content marketing
· Internal backlinks
· Anchor text
· High-quality backlinks
· White hat
· Business citations
All of these should be optimised in a white hat way.
Therefore if you are looking to invest in SEO, you should not think of it as a short-term process, instead often you have to partner with a marketing agency for a very long time.
Therefore, if you are looking to get quick results, in terms of increasing sales in a short amount of time often this form of advertising would not be suited to your business.
Instead in order to improve your businesses marketing, a marketing agency will often have to work with you on a long-term basis.
So, for example let’s say that you run an e-commerce website, and your business sells running trainers, if you want to improve your sales using organic SEO, then this is a long-term process.
That’s the say often you are the highly work with them many months.
Often right at the start sales will not increase, that’s because often there is so much work to do that the SEO agency cannot often show improvements in a very short amount of time.
Sometimes you will have to work with an agency for a long period of time for them to show an improvement in organic customers.