How can SEO be used for targeting Spokane?

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Over 5 billion searches are performed every day. 

Where is your site amongst the sea of results?

Are you doing what you can to be found right here in Spokane? If you are not sure you are, read through this page and see if there is anything you can do to improve your search results. 

Is your business local?

Google is putting more emphasis on local marketing these days. 

Why, you ask?

Because more and more people search for local businesses. 

I am willing to bet an espresso, that if you have a business website it’s for doing business where you live.

Sure, some of you are looking to be found outside of this area, but even then you are probably more interested in targeting a specific location than just the whole world. Right?

Especially if you have a brick and mortar location. 

Well, the way we target our location is through local SEO. Local SEO is really important these days. Google has put much more emphasis on local. Social media has also followed suit. Facebook has unleashed a new local search that will make it easier for people in the area to find you. If you are not using local SEO you might as well hide from your customers! 

To improve your search results in your local area we will need to cover a few topics: 

  • N.A.P.
  • Image SEO
  • Research
  • Inbound Links
  • Network
  • Social Media
  • Testimonials

Let’s get to it. 

The current state of people’s websites in Spokane is not all that great. 

There are lots of decent looking sites out there, but it seems few have put any real thought into their site’s SEO. I have searched for items in Spokane and have come to the simple conclusion that the majority of businesses in Spokane do not understand the value in Search Engine Optimization. They don’t know what they are missing. A great deal of them could improve their rank in the search results simply by having better titles written for their websites. 

When people are searching Google for something in Spokane they browse through listing after listing. Your listing could stand out much better than it does, don’t you think? 

Does your website have your business phone number somewhere visible? It should be very easy to find. How about a rating showing up in the search results?

“If you haven’t done anything with SEO in the last five years your website is out of date” — SEO Experts. 

Does your site have an online presence in social media? Does your social media contain posts and comments that are not related to your business? Everything you do online affects your bottom line. 

Everything from how quickly you respond to your client’s comments to what pictures you are using for your stock photography is important to your success. Your brand is more than just your logo. Your color scheme and font choices should be the same on all your social accounts whenever possible. These examples are just a few things you can do to improve your site’s rank.

Update your SEO!

Make sure all of your on-page SEO is up to snuff. Here is a short list of things you can check now. On-page SEO.

Pull. Don’t Push! Use your inbound marketing principles.

You can have what your competition lacks. SEO is not about pushing yourself on your market. This is the old way of thinking. It is not the best strategy to write content and then tell everyone why they need to read it. But this is exactly how the majority of Spokane SEO is approached. They do a push rather than pull style of marketing. You should be very wary of a marketing plan that insists on “going after” your clients. Your marketing plan should be looking for ways to solve your customer’s needs thus drawing them to you. Your marketing should be that cool glass of ice water on a hot summer day. Let them come to you.

The people that visit your site are not there because of you or your business. They are there to get something from you or your business. Be about the benefits and not about who you are. Serve your customer, don’t brag about how good you are at something. 

NAP and Google My Business

One of the first things you will want to do is make sure your NAP is available on your site, somewhere where it is easily visible. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number.  I like to add a map of the area I am doing business in as well. 

The next thing I like to do is make sure the client is on GMB. That’s Google My Business. You need to set up an account on GMB as soon as you can. This will give you a map of your location, a chance to be on the pack listing and a place for people to post reviews about your company and service. 

Image SEO

Image SEO is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of SEO I have seen. Images are important though. They account for a third of the searches out there. People want to see what you have to offer before they buy, or rent from you. 

Who would benefit from image SEO? Photographers? Yeah, that one you expected. But here are some others that you might not have thought of. 

House cleaning. Martial Artists. Car detailing. Wood working. Landscaping. Fence building. Painters. Masonry. Architects. Chefs. Wildlife preserves. To name just a few. 

Here are some things you can do to optimize your images:

  • Give them relevant files names. 
    • Apparently shorter filenames do better than super long ones. 
  • Use the ALT tag. 
  • Use a caption. 
    • The caption is not used all that often, but maybe it should be. I know I am using mine more often now that I know it helps rank the photos better. 
  • Make sure the surrounding text is relevant to the image. 
    • No matter amazing your photo is Google won’t do much with it if the text around it doesn’t apply to the photo at all. 
Keyword Research

I don’t know about you, but I hate looking up keywords. I start second guessing myself over which word phrase is the one I really should go with. If you are having trouble I have at least a couple of tips that should make it a little easier. 

Google what you think would be a good keyword and then at the bottom of the page see what Google suggests are good phrases to possibly search for as well. 

dentist search

Another thing you can check up on is whether or not there are some LSI words in the pack that might show up. 

“These are essentially keywords related to the keywords that you are searching for, and Google does this by using a system known as LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). In a nutshell, it is based on user search patterns and behavior, how one keyword search is usually linked to another keyword search.”

So in other words if you search for dentist you will see the word dental showing up in the pack. Some industries use the phrase service or company a lot. It all depends on the search. These are just obvious examples. 

dentist search results

Inbound links

It’s not just with local SEO That you would need inbound links. You need them for SEO in general. Inbound links from credible sources increase your site’s rank. It’s like a testimonial of sorts. The thing is it is very tough to go around asking for links. Why would someone link to your site? Chances are you are not approaching relevant links, and are, instead, approaching competitors. As a photographer, searching out other photographers for links to my site is a waste of time. 

As a photographer, I might actually approach a printing business, or a framing business and ask them for a link. The key is to think of relative businesses, not the same ones that you are in. 

Another thing you can try is to sponsor a local team, or support a charity. Both of those often would love to link back to your site for a small donation. 

How much does local SEO cost?

How much does it cost to have a company handle your business’s SEO?

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