Your website is an organized collection of separate pages. Once you publish them, they stay relatively unchanged. People visit them for information about your company. Most sites include pages like home, about, services and so on, and each page might be linked to subtopics. Part of East Texas content marketing is creating useful, helpful information that brings people to your site.
When you first created your business website, you probably either hired a web designer or built one from a template using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Shopify.
There are technical elements that your designer or CMS provided that make the whole thing work. On that framework you added everything else.
Information Architecture for the World Wide Web says, “We define content broadly as ‘the stuff in your Web site.’ This may include documents, data, applications, e-services, images, audio and video files, personal web pages, archived email messages, and more. And we include future stuff as well as present stuff.”
Text content is important to search engine placement.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing look at the text on each of your site’s pages to see what it’s about and use those words to figure out what to display when users type similar words into search. East Texas content marketing concentrates on making your text more effective.
Content is King, but it’s Not Everything
When web design firms say they specialize in SEO, one of the things they do to draw traffic to your site is focus on your page’s titles, headings, images and other features to get you the best results. There are additional technical aspects involved we won’t talk about in this article.
How fast your site loads is extremely important, and that has to do with factors like your server, your images and the other processes running in the background.
You can have the best content on the planet and most people still aren’t going to wait more than four seconds for it to load. Responsive web design and intuitive navigation are essential for the positive experience that will create regular traffic.
I can’t increase your site speed or write code, but I can refer you to some experts who are geniuses at it. Then once you have technical elements in place, use site content to draw traffic.
Mobile Search Results in Action
Mobile technology has evolved at blinding speed. You don’t have to be that old to remember bag phones, flip phones or when touch screens were cutting edge technology. Now 95 percent of Americans own cell phones and a third of all U.S. households have three or more smartphones.
They use those mobile devices as tools, with 26 percent saying they are online “almost constantly” and 77 percent stating they go online at least once a day.
When they search for information locally, they are very likely to take action. Check out these mind-boggling statistics from Google’s Mobile Movement Survey:
- When users search for a business on mobile, 77 percent contact that business.
- Of those, 61 percent made a phone call to one of the search engine results.
- 59 percent made an in-person visit to one of the businesses they found on SERPs.
- 44 percent of local searchers purchased. Of those, 22 percent bought online and 36 percent bought in store.
To get those buyers, your business needs to come up on page one of local search. That takes a lot of effort.
Factors that help include name, address, phone number (NAP) consistency, a quantity and diversity of positive reviews, social signals from channels like Facebook and Twitter and behavioral signals like a high click-through rate and frequent check-ins.
A lot of the local search engine ranking factors have to do with the content on each page. Google uses one set of percentages to assign pack ranking and another for organic ranking. Pack ranking is whether or not a business shows up on Google’s map.
When users search for keywords related to your business, search engines look for the best match and display the top three on a map. It looks like this.
Pack ranking includes your business website, information on whether you’re open or closed, directions, a link to your website and more. Getting in the three-pack is huge.
When you scroll past the map and panel with business information, you see organic results. They look like this.
As you can see, the results are slightly different depending on whether Google is calculating for pack or organic results ranking.
Some of the factors are related to your reviews, references from directory sites and social media engagement. Some of them you can’t control, but you have absolute authority over what goes on your website.
Check out how many local ranking factors are related to content:
- My Business Signals– Proximity, category designation, the keywords in your business title etc. (Seven to 19 percent of your local ranking score)
- On-Page Signals– Whether or not you list NAP, the keywords in your titles and headings, image ALT text etc. (This makes up 24 percent of your organic ranking score and 14 percent of pack ranking)
- Behavioral Signals– When people click on your intriguing title and compelling meta description, then stay to consume your content, it makes up 10 percent of pack and 11 percent of organic ranking.
- Social Signals– Engaged users on social media provide 4 percent of both your organic and pack ranking. Share all that “stuff” on your site to keep them engaged. Add social media sharing buttons to content to make sharing easy.
- Personalization– Search engines tailor results based on location. Personal search history also factors in. (Nine to 10 percent of local ranking).
- Citation Signals– If external and internal references to your name, address and phone number are consistent, that builds trust with people and search engines. This is 13 percent of your pack ranking and eight percent of organic.
- Link Signals– Hyperlinks from third party websites count for 17 percent of pack ranking and a whopping 29 percent of organic ranking. Use great content to get those links.
- Reviews– 13 percent of pack and seven percent of organic ranking is based on business reviews.
What Does Optimized Local Content Really Mean?
Search engine spiders or bots crawl all over pages looking for specific things to decide what they’re about. Being optimized for local means you leave location signals everywhere search engines look. Then when people nearby are looking for you, they find you.
Once I worked for weeks for a large plumbing company with locations all over the United States. They wanted content for each of their services for all their locations around the Houston area. Each page had to be written separately with content was that was unique.
Their location became a keyword. Scroll through this page and count how many times you see the word “Beaumont.”
They purchased similar content for each service and each location. Right now if you Google, “Emergency Plumbing Beaumont Texas,” guess who comes up in the number one spot?
Use your location keyword in the following places:
- Title tags, headings, alt tags and meta descriptions. Yep, I mean just add your city or region name to all of them where appropriate.
- URL – Leave your home page web address alone, but create pages with location specific URLs. For example, http://contentbymissy.com/east-texas-content-marketing-bus/.
- Within page content – Use your location where it seems natural. Reference landmarks or geological features locals would know.
- Google Maps – Embed your Google Plus Local Listing.
- Images – If you use images of your local office, write that location in image alt text. For example, if you use a photo of the receptionist at your Tyler office, make your image alt text something like, “Smiling Tyler Receptionist.”
- Blogging – If you serve multiple locations, your blog is a great place to offer location-specific content. If you provide services throughout East Texas, write posts that are unique for people in Whitehouse, Chandler and Lindale because each population has distinct characteristics.
What Not to Do
Some East Texas businesses get that content is good, so they find posts they like, copy them and provide them on their own website. I’ve also seen several local insurance agencies, chiropractors and retailers who subscribe to a service where they receive syndicated content that relates to their industry.
They pay for the content and use it with permission. There’s nothing wrong with posting it on their site, but it doesn’t help them as far as search engine optimization, and it really doesn’t help much for relationship building.
Your target audience is unique. Your business doesn’t just provide products and services, you have values and community involvement that matter. If your content isn’t written about you and for them, it won’t connect. No one will read it.
Search engines look at content and if they find it more than one place on the web, it’s marked as duplicate. The more copies there are, the more diluted that piece of content’s effectiveness and the lower it ranks. It’s not that there’s a penalty, but search engines get confused.
Never post just to have something out there. If you don’t have time to create something original and compelling, get in touch. Let’s start making connections today.