Search engine optimization changes. Constantly. And often dramatically. So, yesterday’s framework may already be outdated.
By Susan Saldibar
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Everyone knows that, right? But here’s the thing about SEO. It changes. Constantly. And often dramatically. So, yesterday’s framework may already be outdated. And once it’s outdated, forget it. Your website is sitting in the slow lane. But no one’s honking. They’re just passing you by.
By letting your SEO slide, you’re assuming everyone else is as well. Not.
I always enjoy talking with the folks at G5 (a Senior Housing Forum partner), because they are living and breathing this stuff every day. They divide the essential digital SEO components into two areas: On Page Foundation and Local Foundation. Both are important for different reasons.
On Page Foundation: The “basics” that don’t stand still.
Even basics need to be kept up to date. Don’t let them slide because you assume your competition is doing the same. They probably aren’t. Here are 5 focus areas to keep on top of:
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Internal Link Structure
Your SEO guy/gal may say they’ve “got you covered” on the “On Page” foundation. And they might. But you need to make sure you are asking them the right questions to keep your website’s SEO strategy on its A-game. In fact, I’d send this along to them and ask them to report on each of the above.
Local Foundation: Life in the fast lane.
According to G5, what has made webmastering (or is it “meistering”?) mission critical is the need to establish and maintain your “local foundation”. This is the red meat of your SEO strategy. Think of those cars passing you in the fast lane. Without a strong local foundation, you may not even be seen out there.
Here are 3 key areas that, if maintained properly, should help make your community the one passing everyone else by:
Accurate Google My Business (GMB) Information: GMB, as you are probably aware, allows owners to ensure basic information (name and address) matches what is listed on their website. But it is much more. The information you provide in your business listing powers both the Map Pack and the Knowledge Panel on a Search Engine Results Page. Make sure that your full listing is accurate from your business hours, to directions, and even to tracking your reviews and working to get a high-star rating. GMB has been continually upgraded and has become critically important to making sure people can find your organization. Recently it has also given more importance to “categories”. These categories tell search engines what your business does. You need to know how to use GMB to target and differentiate specific services offered by your community.
Consistency of the Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) across Tier 1 Citations (Yelp, Google My Business, Bing, Facebook): You need to make sure that the citation descriptions of your community are consistent and correct. Unless you are providing accurate data, listing sites will simply scrape the data off other sites. If you aren’t paying attention, you may be spreading inaccurate data across a variety of sources.
Location, Location, Location: Just as in real estate, your website’s location is critical. Trends such as “near me” searches, have made physical location a qualifier for SEO, especially in the storage website world. For example, when someone performs a local city search or a “near me” search, the business’s proximity becomes one of the foundational elements for search engines.
Maybe it’s time to have a talk with your webmaster.
Keeping up with SEO may not yet be a full-time job, but it’s probably pretty close to it. I’ve only covered some of what is in the G5 article. There is much more and you can read it, in full, here.
The question I’d be asking at this point is whether or not my webmaster is doing all this. I’d want to know if my community was just chugging along in the slow lane or taking its rightful place at the head of the pack. Wouldn’t you?
To learn more about local SEO, check out G5’s recent post on the subject.
To learn more about G5 visit their website:
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