My wife and I are finally going to remodel our disgusting bathroom. When we moved in about a year and a half ago, we knew we had to completely renovate the bathroom as soon as possible. It’s borderline unusable. Trust me, you don’t want any more description than that. It’s bad.
In July, we hired a contractor and we just started looking for the floor and wall tiles. After about a week of searching online and a few trips to Home Depot, we found something we liked. I emailed everything to our contractor and crossed that task off the list. On to the fixtures!
Not so fast, says my contractor. He explained to me that the wall tiles and the accent mosaic tiles we found were not the same thickness. If we use these tiles, then we’re going to make the job much harder (aka more expensive!)
Did you know that? I had no idea. I figured you just picked tiles that matched and called it a day. I didn’t know that selecting tiles of different thicknesses about a month from the renovation could have such a big impact on the quality and cost of the future work.
This little back and forth with my contractor reminded me a lot of how search engine optimization (SEO) works. There are a lot of little details that can be easily overlooked in the early stages of an SEO campaign, but they will have a major impact on your future success (and costs).
What You Don’t Know Can Cost You
I’ve never remodeled a bathroom so tile thickness is a foreign concept to me. Since I didn’t know about it, I could have easily gone down a path that would have hurt me later on with higher costs and possibly even a lower quality bathroom design.
Since I’ve been living and breathing digital marketing for over 8 years now, I don’t have this same problem with SEO. I already know about terms like keywords, Title tags, link profiles, and consistent NAP. But most business owners do not!
Unless you really study SEO, then chances are there is a LOT you don’t know about. And unfortunately, with SEO, what you don’t know can often cost you a lot in the future.
Let’s take a look at a few examples as they relate to your local search engine rankings.
When it comes to ranking high in the local search results, a consistent NAP is critical. NAP is simply an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone number. For example, our NAP is:
- Name = Main Street ROI
- Address = 116 W 23rd Street Suite #500, New York, NY 10011
- Phone = 646-470-3753
In order to rank high in the local results, we must use the exact same name, address, and phone number on every business directory or webpage. If we use a different variation of our name like “Mainstreet R.O.I.” or a different phone number, then that will hurt our rankings. Again, consistency is critical, and this is a very common mistake I see with clients.
I reviewed a business the other day that had multiple variations of their business name and two different phone numbers listed on various directories. Understandably, the business owner had no idea this was important, so it was never addressed until I brought it to his attention.
Duplicate Local Business Listings
This is another very common problem with local SEO.
Do you have two different Google+ Local listings? Maybe an old one with outdated info and a new one with your new address?
If you do, then it’s hurting your search engine rankings. There should be only one Google+ Local listing for each of your locations.
Wrong Keywords in Your Title Tags
First of all, you may be wondering, what’s a Title Tag? The Title Tag is basically the name of a webpage and it’s one of the major factors that Google uses to determine if your webpage is relevant for a particular keyword phrase. For example, if the Title Tag of one of your webpages says “New York City Contractor” then that tells Google that this particular page is relevant for searches like “New York City contractor.”
Now that you know the importance of your Title Tag, it should be fairly obvious that using the wrong keywords in your Title Tag will hurt your search engine rankings. The Title Tag is not an obvious SEO factor because it’s not plainly visible on the page. In most browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox, the Title Tag is the name of the browser tab, which you probably never (or very rarely) read. Improperly writing your Title Tags is another example of a small detail that could cause problems for you down the road.
Low Quality Link Profile
Finally, we come to low quality link profiles. Unfortunately, I review a lot of websites that have very low quality backlinks. That means the websites that are linking to their website are not high quality websites. This can range from completely irrelevant websites to spammy websites that only exist to provide links to other businesses. Ever since the Penguin update, Google has been penalizing websites left and right for low quality link profiles.
How does this happen? Usually this is the result of hiring an SEO company that was using spammy tactics. Or it’s from following the wrong advice about how to implement an SEO campaign.
The analogy here is hiring a bad contractor to remodel your bathroom. I’m sure there are plenty of contractors out there that would have turned a blind eye to the different thicknesses of the tiles I found, knowing that he’ll make more money later on.
Plus, there are of course contractors that will steer clients in the direction of certain designs and materials that lead to higher fees. This happens in every industry, not just SEO and bathroom remodeling.
Knowledge Is Power
I truly believe every business needs to have a basic understanding of how each marketing channel works. Especially when it comes to SEO. The examples I highlighted above are not complicated.
In fact, I’ve seen many businesses learn the basics about SEO and then go on to launch very successful campaigns on their own. I’ve also seen other businesses learn enough to then outsource the work to a legitimate SEO company. Both strategies can work very well.
It all starts by learning the basics, which is why I’d like to share with you my 7-step local SEO formula.
This is not for everyone so click here to see if you qualify.