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Keyword Placement

Keywords aren’t totally dead in the water — after all, Google still needs some kind of text to figure out what it is your company actually does.

In that sense, you could say that keywords are simply informational tidbits for Google’s analysis, rather than having a quantifiable relationship and impact on your actual rankings.

To this end, the placement of your keywords matters far more than their frequency.

Posting “auto repair shop” once in the title tag of your site and once in the header matters far more than stuffing it five times into the body copy.

Google breaks your site down into key areas, with meta information and headers taking top priority, body copy taking secondary priority, and side bars and footers taking the last priority.

It’s important to have some description for your company in those high-priority areas — the meta data and header — but you shouldn’t necessarily hone in on one specific keyword phrase. Otherwise, your site could grow repetitive, and earn a penalty instead of a high ranking.

Google looks for meaning

This feature perfectly illustrates why keyword specificity is dying. When Google scans your site for information, it no longer pulls out the keyword phrases it thinks are relevant and pairs them to user queries.

Instead, there’s an intermediary step. Google interprets the data on your website, and begins to form its own conclusions about what your site and your business really deliver. If that seems a little spooky to you, you aren’t alone — Google is becoming exceptionally sophisticated.

As an example, according to Google’s own research, deriving meaning from the synonyms of keywords accounts for up to 70 percent of searches.

That means it doesn’t matter that you used the phrase “auto repair shop” exactly several times throughout your website. You could use “auto repair shop,” “car repair specialists,” and “vehicle repair facility” on different pages, and Google could theoretically put you in the exact same category.

Therefore, it’s far more important to optimize your site for a specific meaning rather than a specific phrase, and you can likely forget about keywords altogether in an effort to post relevant content and naturally build yourself as an authority in a given space.

Title tags and meta descriptions still work

Title tags and meta descriptions are on-site HTML elements which reflect the content of your page, and are shown in SERPs and browser tabs as text.

With Google increasing the width of the SERP to 600px, the length of title tags falls between 40 and 50 characters (best practices) while meta descriptions should be a maximum of 160 characters.

Titles display what your page is about to both visitors and search engine crawlers, while meta descriptions summarize the content of your page. Your title tags and meta descriptions must include the keywords you are trying to rank for, for example, “cheap hotels in Las Vegas” (title tag includes a keyword and locality).

Titles and meta descriptions must be unique, compelling and descriptive, as this can affect click-through rates from search results to your page.

Using the length guidelines above, ensure your title and descriptions are displaying in full on the SERP. Use tools like Yoast’s SEO plugin, SERP preview tool, and SEOmofo to emulate how your title tags and meta description will look in search results.

Keyword Research

Keyword research represents the very foundation of your SEO campaign and when done properly, keywords can drive traffic and rankings for your web pages. Keywords represent terms and phrases people type as search queries to find local businesses.

Keyword research for local SEO involves optimizing your web pages for keywords with geo-modifiers – i.e. place names and locations. For a furniture making business, a generic, non-local keyword might be “furniture makers” but for businesses optimizing for local SEO, an acceptable key phrase would be “furniture makers Stellenbosch” or “furniture makers Stellenbosch Western Cape”.

To optimize your keyword research for local SEO, brainstorm keywords or phrases with a geo-modifier that customers might use when searching for a business like yours. Run generated phrases or words through Google Keyword Planner or Keyword.io to get keyword ideas together with monthly search traffic stats.

Clever keyword research will help to put your website and or blog onto the map. You will enable users to find your services or products that much easier promoting increased traffic from prominent search engines. The key elements when looking for the right keywords is that they need to have the potential to generate a substantial amount traffic, be profitable and keep you one step ahead of your competition.

Keyword research can be time-consuming, but rewarding when done properly.

How To Do Keyword Researching For Your Local SEO

Step 1: Identify your industry and location.

In order for you to rank high in Google local search results, first of all bring your buyer persona into the picture, then think about what are some of the most common phrases or terms that people would use to look for when searching for your business. Write it all down in an Excel spreadsheet as you may want to refer, add, or delete in future.

Step 2: Spy on your competitors.

Well, spying on your competitors may sounds a little unethical to some, but that’s just how the way the business world works! So, below are some of the essential things that you might want to see how your competitors are doing. Analyze it and see how you can make it even better.

Give your web page a boost

Web surfers hate to wait for slow loading web pages. If your web pages don’t load fast enough, many web surfers will go away without taking a look at them.

No matter how great your product is: if your website is not fast enough, web surfers won’t see it. Fast loading web pages are crucial if you want to sell something on the Internet.

There are several things you can do to speed up your site. Of course, you should make sure that your web host provides fast and reliable servers. In addition to hosting your website on a fast server, you can do the following to improve the loading time of your web pages:

Reduce the number of graphics

A large number of graphics on your web pages can considerably slow down your page. For each graphic on your web page, the web browser has to make another connection to your server.

If you cannot reduce the number of graphics on your web page, then try to combine several graphics to a single bigger one. Use the same graphics on your other web pages so that web browsers can load the graphics from the browser cache.

Specify the dimensions of your graphics

Always make sure to include the height and width dimensions of your graphics in your HTML code. This means that every IMG tag should have the WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes specified.

If web browsers don’t have to figure out the dimensions of your graphics, they can already display placeholders and start displaying the text of your web page before loading the graphics from the server.

Make the top of your page interesting

If a web page takes a long time to load, make sure that the top of the page contains something interesting because visitors will see that part first.

Use CSS or divide your tables

Web pages that use a single large layout table take a long time to render in web browsers. If you don’t use CSS (cascading style sheets) to design your web page, break up huge tables into several smaller ones.

Specify the dimensions of your tables

If you specify the WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes for your tables, then web browsers don’t have to load the complete table code to calculate the dimensions of the table.

Double check cell widths

Take a moment to check the individual widths of each table cell. If the total is more than the specified table width, then web browsers will have problems displaying your table.

It’s important to know the download times of your web pages. In general, your home page should load in 20 seconds on a dial-up connection and the top of your page should be displayed within 5-8 seconds.

If your web pages are displayed and rendered as quickly as possible, people will have more time to read the actual content of your web pages and eventually they’ll buy something on your page.

Now that people can see your web page content, it’s important to keep them on your site.

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