Search Engine Land, a fantastic search engine optimization (SEO) resource, recently released an article noting that search trumps social for local business information. While I’ve focused this blog almost entirely on social media, I wanted to take an opportunity to address the significance of SEO, as it is equally important, and there are also many overlapping factors between search and social.
Search Engine Land’s survey notes that of people who search online, most get information about restaurants, bars and clubs from search engines, while third party sites (such as Yelp) and social media linger behind. It makes complete sense, when you think about it: It’s become second nature to jump on the internet to access any information you’re seeking, and usually, the first thing you do when looking for something, is Google (or Bing) it.
With this in mind, while SEO has many layers (metatag composition, adwords, paid advertising and more), understanding some general starting points is extremely important.
Search engine optimization is basically the practice of optimizing your website for search engines; so that, when people Google a term related your offerings, your website comes up as predominantly as possible.
A good place to start is to check your website analytics to see what kind of search terms are being used to land people on your site. A search term is any term someone Googled that produced your link as a result. By checking your analytics, you can either maximize terms that are already working or assess ones that should be there, but aren’t.
A great tool to use is the Google keyword tool. Here, you can plug in a variety of keywords related to your brand, and the tool will spit back any and all related terms, and often they’re being for.
For the sake of example, let’s say you’re one of the only nightclubs in Charleston. There is no reason you shouldn’t be on the first page of Google’s results when someone’s looking for a club in Charleston, since there isn’t much competition. To really enforce your “relevance,” though, for lots of search terms, create a list of phrases that you would hope to rank for. Think of the variety of things one might put into Google.
So, stuff like: clubs in Charleston, clubs in Charleston SC, nightclubs in Charleston, Charleston clubs, Charleston SC clubs, Charleston nightlife, best nightlife in Charleston, etc.
Once you’ve identified your targeted keywords, there are two things you should do: insert them into your metatags, and sprinkle them naturally into your website’s content.
When Google surmises that you’re clearly a prime target for “clubs in Charleston,” it’ll deem you authoritative in that space and thus when people search for that term, you’ll rank higher.
This is obviously a very basic touching upon the surface, but even tying these in should help increase you site exposure, even if only a little bit to start.
How social ties in: search engines look at your social pages as well. So if you your club has a blog on your site where you’re constantly talking about topics related to Charleston nightlife, that then produces more opportunities for you to place content. More content = more keywords (often, without realizing it, too).