The Complete SEO Guide to Ranking Local Business Websites In Google | Christine Maisel | Skillshare

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The Complete SEO Guide to Ranking Local Business Websites In Google

teacher avatar Christine Maisel, Designer, SEO & Founder of Portable Entrepreneur

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

92 Lessons (6h 16m)
    • 1. Why You Should Take This Course & What You'll Be Able To Do By The End

    • 2. Intro: Getting Organized Before Starting The Project

    • 3. Business information to collect, where to store it & Questions to ask

    • 4. An Introduction To The Site We'll Be Ranking, The Client's Goals & Site Health

    • 5. Knowing Your Target Audience & Website Goals

    • 6. Setting up Google Search Console (GWT) and Bing Webmaster Tools

    • 7. Local SEO Ranking Factors

    • 8. Intro: Understanding The Health of a Website & Maintaining Rankings

    • 9. How to keep current search engine rankings during redesign process

    • 10. Maintaining Current Rankings Continued...

    • 11. Knowing your back link profile, URL structure and using 301 redirect

    • 12. How to Monitor A Site After A Redesign To Watch For Any Problems

    • 13. Introduction to Competition Analysis

    • 14. How & Why To Find Your Top Online Competitors

    • 15. Intro: performing proper keyword research to ensure your SEO

    • 16. Using the 5-Step Keyword Research process

    • 17. Finding Keywords You Are Already Ranking For & Tools To Find More Local Keywords

    • 18. Researching Your Competitor's Keywords

    • 19. Selecting Final Keywords & How Much Traffic Do You Really Need?

    • 20. Determining how easily we can rank for specific keywords

    • 21. Intro: the importance of website content in your overall SEO

    • 22. Creating a content development plan & Content writing tools and reso

    • 23. What to write about

    • 24. Implementing An Internal Linking Structure

    • 25. Intro: Designing The Website While Keeping SEO In Mind

    • 26. Getting Design Inspiration. Do You Deserve To Be On Page 1?

    • 27. Using An Existing Theme Or Designing Your Own (And What I'll Be Doing)

    • 28. Setting up a demo site

    • 29. How to ask Google not to index your demo site while you work (in WP

    • 30. Creating Location Specific Pages (And Exactly What To Include)

    • 31. Creating initial pages using a good URL structure & where to use key

    • 32. Planning For Your SEO Audit & Auditing Your Competitors

    • 33. Geotagging Local Business Videos

    • 34. What Is Schema, Why You Should Use It & How To Test Your Site For It

    • 35. Geotagging Website Images

    • 36. How To Implement Schema On Your Local Website

    • 37. Additional Schema Markup To Use For Local Business Websites

    • 38. Setting a preferred URL

    • 39. The factors that impact your website speed, how to test for speed an

    • 40. Duplicate content & images

    • 41. XML Sitemaps

    • 42. Responsive / Mobile Friendly Website Test

    • 43. Website Launch, Update on Site Design & Client Feedback

    • 44. How to Track Your Website's Search Rankings

    • 45. How To Track The Impact of Your Website Redesign

    • 46. The Website Has Been Relaunched. Here Are The Very Next Steps

    • 47. The Benefits of Optimizing a Business Google My Business Page

    • 48. How to Determine If Your Business Is Already Listed

    • 49. Adding Your Business If It's Not Already Listed

    • 50. What We're Going to Cover

    • 51. The Google My Business Dashboard Overview

    • 52. How to Correctly Optimize Your Google My Business Page - Part 1

    • 53. How to Correctly Optimize Your Google My Business Page - Part 2

    • 54. How to Handle Businesses With Multiple Locations

    • 55. What We're Going to Cover

    • 56. Where You Will Rank in the Top 20 Listings

    • 57. The Importance of Citations

    • 58. Citations vs Links: Understanding The Difference

    • 59. How Many Citations Do You Need?

    • 60. Find Out Where Your Business Is Listed & If It's Listed Correctly

    • 61. Where to Find Citations

    • 62. How & Why To Track Your Citation Efforts

    • 63. Where to Find & Track More Citations Inexpensively

    • 64. Which Sites Should You Get Citations From First?

    • 65. The Importance of Site Structure

    • 66. How to Determine How Competitive a Niche Is

    • 67. What We're Going to Cover

    • 68. The Difference Reviews Can Make On Your Ranking Position

    • 69. How Many Reviews Do You Need?

    • 70. The Quickest and Easiest Way to Get Reviews

    • 71. How to Indirectly Ask Customers for Reviews

    • 72. Showing Off Your Reviews to Entice New Reviewers

    • 73. Rewarding Your Reviewers (Unexpectedly)

    • 74. Responding to Reviews

    • 75. What We're Going to Cover

    • 76. What to Do When Your Rankings Are Not Improving

    • 77. Common Mistakes When Ranking in the Local Pack

    • 78. How to Track Your Rankings

    • 79. How Long Should It Take to Rank in the Google Local Pack?

    • 80. What We're Going to Cover

    • 81. Options for Selling Google Local Pack Rankings

    • 82. The importance of back links and how to build the right, tracking

    • 83. Importance of Backlinks, Building the Right Ones and How To Track Them

    • 84. What Back Links Does Your Site Already Have? Where Should You Start Back Linking

    • 85. Using Coupons to Attract Links & Traffic

    • 86. Finding Industry Relevant Links

    • 87. Which pages to build back links to and how to do it correctly

    • 88. 5+ Ways to Gain New Back Links For Local Businesses

    • 89. Creative Trick For Acquiring Back Links From Similar Businesses

    • 90. The Testimonials Back Link Trick

    • 91. Two Types of Links That Are Often Overlooked

    • 92. Google Algorithm Changes That Affect Local Search (& How To Avoid Penalties)

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About This Class

If you want to rank your own local business website or provide local SEO services to clients, this course will walk you through the entire step-by-step process. 

In this course, watch along as I work to redesign and rank a real local business website both in the organic local pack rankings and in the organic search results of Google. 

Watch over my shoulder as I implement each step of the SEO campaign so you know exactly what steps to take on the website you're working on.

Together we'll learn

  • What information you should be gathering from your clients
  • How to give yourself the best possible chance of maintaining current rankings through the redesign process
  • What to watch for post-launch
  • How to check the website's current SEO health and exactly how to improve it

And I'm also going to give you the exact spreadsheet I use to track my work. Download this and use it as you work to rank any local business website. 

After gathering the information we need and determining the SEO health of the website, we'll continue our work by:

  • Researching the best (most profitable) keywords to target
  • How to find top online competitors and what you need to do to outrank them
  • Building local pages and where to put keywords for maximum benefit

We'll follow keyword research with more crucial steps, on-page optimization which will include:

  • The exact steps for using images to improve rankings
  • What schema is, why you should use it and how to add it to your site
  • How to make your website load faster

Next, we'll move on to off-site optimization which will give our SEO campaign the final boost. Inside these sections we'll discover:

  • The exact process for ranking websites in the Google local pack
  • How to use local business citations for maximum benefit
  • How to get more local business reviews
  • Where to get high quality back links
  • Where to outsource local pack rankings if you choose

I also include many resources in the course you can download and you'll find many extra bonus tips as well. 

This is a great time to provide local SEO services and increase your business' monthly recurring income. After taking this course you'll be ready to start ranking local sites and you can even do so right inside this course.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Christine Maisel

Designer, SEO & Founder of Portable Entrepreneur


Christine is the founder of the Portable Entrepreneur where she directly helps web design and SEO startups through education, coaching and services. 

Christine has been a web designer for nearly 15 years - 10 of which she has been self-employed. Her work has taken her from working for some start-up dot com companies in the early 2000's to working as a contractor for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense to her own home office.

In her time, she has built 100's of websites and blogs primarily on WordPress and Joomla. Christine has also provided training to individuals and businesses to help them manage their websites on their own with no knowledge of web coding.

See full profile

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1. Why You Should Take This Course & What You'll Be Able To Do By The End: if you've been wanting to learn how to rank local business websites on the first page of Google, so you can provide local S E O services to clients and increase your monthly recurring income. This course will walk you step by step through exactly how to do that. Inside this course, I take you along as I work to redesign and rank a local business client of mine on the first page of Google in both the organic search results and in the Google local pack. I'm a firm believer, and the best way to learn eso is to actually do it. But at the same time, I understand it's helpful to see the process, so you know the exact steps to take with the local business website you'll be working on in this course. My goal is to simplify the process in tow, organized in a way that doesn't cause you to feel overwhelmed. So you know the exact steps to take This course is designed to help you dominate the first page of Google for your local business client and to show you really live examples that you can walk away with an apply to your own client websites to start off. We're gonna look at all that is involved in local S CEO and what is most important to Google, Then we'll go ahead and start the S e o process by speaking with the client to better understand what their goals are. Then we'll look at the websites health and how Google sees it. Then we'll turn our attention to keyword research to make sure that we're targeting the most profitable keywords for the business. Then we'll look at our competitors to see what they are doing and what they're not doing. So we know exactly what to do to outrank thumb that will turn our attention to the website and the content that it needs. And if you'll be going to redesign process like the local client website I'll be working with, then you'll learn how to maintain any current s your rankings that the website has that will turn our attention toe on page optimization, which is absolutely crucial for ranking a website. Lastly, we'll turn our attention to citation voting and link building. As you can see, we're going to cover every aspect of the local s e o process. I'm leaving absolutely nothing out here. I'm also available inside this course to answer any questions that you have as you begin applying these strategies and learning local s CEO. So by the end of this course, you will know the exact steps to take to rank any local business website on the first page of Google, both organically and in the Google local pack. I'm really excited to have you join me in this local S e o ranking process, so let's go ahead and get started. 2. Intro: Getting Organized Before Starting The Project: before you get started, it's very important to take just a little bit of time to get organized. Believe me, you'll thank yourself as you go through this process, because spending just a little bit of time now can save you hours down the road. Now, how you choose to organize this information is completely up to you. But for me, I like to keep all of the data within one easy, well organized spreadsheet in this section. I'm going to show you the exact spreadsheet that I use as well as what information I collect and track as I go. So let's have a look. 3. Business information to collect, where to store it & Questions to ask: before I get started, I want to start by gathering all the business data whether I find this information myself, or I get it from the actual business owner. This way I don't have to stop what I'm doing to go find information or toe wait for my client to get back to me. As I mentioned, I like to track all of this information and a well organized spreadsheet that I can keep handy as I work. This is also really great if you outsource all or some of the work, as your team can reference it or add to it. So let's have a look at this spreadsheet. As you can see here, we have several tabs across the bottom of this Excel spreadsheet, and this is where we are going to be collecting a lot of the information that we will need throughout this s e o process. And so we are going to be referring to this document as we go through the course as we're collecting information and referring back to it. So let's just take a look at some of the information that's here so you can get familiar with the spreadsheet. You'll notice that there are several tabs here across the bottom, and each refers to a different part of the course that will be going through in a different part of the S E o process. So at the very beginning of the spreadsheet, we start with the basic business information. And this is information you can start gathering really without the help of the client. You just want to get their basic nap information, which will talk about a little bit later. But now this simply name, address and phone number. And this is where you're gonna list all of the basic contact information here of the top. Also any other business information here If they have specific location landing pages, if they have a specific business hours, we will need all of this later on in the course. And this is going to be very important for ranking both in the Google local pack as well as organically later. If they're on social media, we want to go ahead and note that down here a swell because we're just trying to get an overall view here of the business. The moving on there is a list of questions here now some of these, you can answer yourself others. You're going to want to actually speak with the client and get this information from them. So we're going to start off by asking them who verify the name of their business, their address or phone number, just as we did on the first sheet. But we want to make sure that they haven't gone by any other names. They've had any different phone numbers and will use this more when we start talking about citations in just a bit. But we also want to look at the average value of their customers so we can get an idea of how much a new client is actually going to be worth to them. This will help us decide which keywords to go after as well talk about here shortly as well . So this goes on and looks at Sodom social proof type questions from what type of star vacations do they have or awards what customers do They have etcetera. They want to start talking about some specific website questions. I get an idea of what s your work has been done before. A little bit of history about their website and understanding what their goals are as well . Moving on. We are going to look at some account questions. We're going to be setting up some accounts for the client if they do not already have thes set up. So this will help us to know if they've already done that work and where they are in the process. So we couldn't finish that up for them now. We also have a few questions about their website related. Tosto. How maney back wings They have a domain authority trust flow. If those air not terms that are familiar to you at this point, don't worry, we will are going to cover that. That's not something the website owners likely going to know. But we'll talk about where to find that out and how that's gonna be helpful to you the next . How this is where we're going to start tracking are keywords that we find so we can figure out which ones are gonna be the best ones to go for and track them right here. A swell. Now, a competition analysis. This is going to compare the client website to their online competitors, and I actually like to start my competition analysis by analyzing the website that I am working on. So you'll see that there are several metrics that I look at over here and I want to know what those metrics are for my own website or my client's own website. And then that way, when I list all the competitors below in their metrics, I have an easy way to compare where they are and compared to the website I'm working with. Next, we're gonna look at on page optimization and this is a checklist of sorts and it walks you through everything that we're gonna do to fully optimize the website before we move on toe off site optimization and link building. So this will walk through each step from creating accounts two on page optimization techniques that will cover in detail on just even moving on to some off site factors as well. Next, we are going to look at local business citations and we're going to go into this in depth in a bit. But this is really how you're going to be able to rank a local business website in the Google local pack, and this is where we're going to track all of the information about citations so that we can track what we're doing and what has been done, what hasn't been done. On the next half, we're gonna be looking at back links, and this is also going to help us with ranking organically and search engines. But we want to keep track of the back link opportunities that we come across, which ones we have gone after, which ones that we will be going after next, and this could just help keep us organized. Lastly, we are going to keep track of any 301 redirects. And this is really if you will be creating new you RL's for a Web site and redirecting old pages to new pages that you'll create. Don't worry too much about that right now. That's yet another topic that we will go into in detail now. Several of these topics from back links and keywords and rankings in the Google local pack organically. A lot of these we're going to look out with tools will be able to track this information with some tools as well, so I will show you both and you'll be able to decide which works best for you so feel free to keep this spreadsheet handy and you can use it as we go through the course as you are working to rank your own client website. And also, if you want to pull in the use of some tools, you can use that as well and track the information any way that is best for you. 4. An Introduction To The Site We'll Be Ranking, The Client's Goals & Site Health: as I mentioned, I'm going to be using a riel client website of mine in order to walk you through the redesign process and also ranking a website from scratch. So I want to actually show you this company that we're going to be serving here. The company is called Live Long and Prosper Landscaping there, obviously a landscaping company. They provide primarily lawn mowing services, but also just general landscaping tasks as well. They are looking to increase the number of leads that they receive from their website primarily in the spring and summer months, as the area that they serve gets very cold during the winter and clients are not typically looking for services at that time of year. So before I really get in depth and speak with a client about their website and their business and about what they're looking for, I'd like to do a little background research myself just to get a general idea of what I'm working with. This helps me to better phrase the questions that I asked them when I speak with them and also just have a better idea of what I'm going to be dealing with moving forward so The first thing that I like to do is start out by looking at their website. So I like to just look at the overall design of the Web site. Is this something that is really going to stand out from the other sites that are on page one? I like to look for a call to action. Are they asking visitors to do anything when they arrive on the site? I see a get a fast free quote called Action here, but it's at the very bottom of this site. They do have a slide show here, links to their portfolio, so it's a great that they're showing examples of their work right up front. But it looks like they might be able to use this space a little bit better. Also notice right away that they're making a big mistake. I see a lot of businesses make that they talk about their own business right there on their home page, and that's something that we want to stay away from. But I'm gonna go more in depth into that and a little bit when we talk more about website content, which we should be, including also like to take a look and see what pages they have on their website. It looks like they don't have any drop down menus. So they just have a few pages here. A the top. And so I just want to get on. General, I d here. I don't see anything about their particular locations that are served, and it looks like all of their services are all on the same page, and they just have a very short description for each individual service. So I can go through each of their pages, see what I think about it in general, see what we could do to improve that way When I'm speaking with them, I already know what it is that they're referring to when they talk to you about specific pages on their site and I may be able to come with some suggestions about what we can do as well. I do notice that the site is loading very slowly that can absolutely have an impact on S E . O and general rankings, and we will look at how to know how quickly your website loads a little bit later in the course, and then how to make it load even faster if we need to, so that looks like something we're going to need to address. I also pulled this website up on a couple mobile devices and it is not mobile friendly, which is definitely not good for ranking. So that's something that I'm gonna need to talk to the client about as well. Another thing that I like to do is go to Google and just type in the business name, and I want to see what comes up. When I type the name in so immediately their website comes up. That's a good sign. I also see that they have a Facebook page. I see that on Yelp. They already have a few ratings, which is really great, especially since it shows that they have a five star rating. We have pictures coming up for them on the right hand side, it has their whole card here that also includes a couple of Google reviews and it looks like they're positive reviews. I see that they're in some directories as I go down, so it does look like there is a presence. There's a YouTube channel, so everything that I'm seeing so far on the first page does show that they have a positive presence so far. But I do want to click into any social media accounts that I see and take a look at what's going on here. I see The Last Post was two hours ago Onda then before that of several weeks ago, so it doesn't look like they're overly active right now. A lot of what I'm seeing here looks very self promotional, so we might be able to strategize about that a bit. It also looks like what's coming up when they actually type in their own website address doesn't really describe their business is probably not what they want to show on social media. So that's something to consider as well. So again, I could just go through some of these links, get a general idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are here. Another thing that I like to do is if I can, and I already have access. Sometimes you will. Sometimes you won't just to go into their Google Analytics account, and I want to take a look at the traffic. I want to see how much traffic I'm actually dealing with doesn't look like they get very much traffic at all. But what I want to look at is acquisition here. Search engine optimization. I can take a look at their top landing pages. What keywords are actually being used? I can see what traffic they're getting. I can see where that traffic is actually coming from so we can go and see if any of these sites air helpful. I can see that Yelp is referring quite a bit of traffic to them, but nothing else is really jumping out is overly helpful. So we're gonna have to see why these other sites are referring to them. Make sure that we're getting just quality traffic. We really want to focus on quality traffic and not just any traffic here. Also go to open side Explorer and I can throw in their Web address again, and here I can look for a couple of things. I want to look and see if they have any links that are pointing to their pages, says that they have not discovered any links, so there may not be any links pointing to them at this time, or there may be some very newly acquired links that they have not pulled up yet. I can see that they have a low spams score, which is good Domain authority and page authority is something that I want to look at as well domain authority. The higher the number, the better. This is very similar to pay. Drink domain authority is just updated. A lot more often is the higher the number the better. But for a new or say it's not indexed it all, uh, nine is not awful, but it would be good to improve it if we can. Page authority just refers to the specific page you typed in. So instead of the actual whole domain being considered, it's considering just the home page. So if you did live long and prosper dot com slash services or whatever the girl was, then it will rate the authority for that particular page to some. Maybe hire some, maybe lower. So the more we can increase this, the better, and we'll look a techniques for doing that later in the course. But I don't see a very, very low score there, so that's not too alarming. I can also go into majestic, and I can throw in the URL here, and this is going to show me if there's any back links. And typically what happens is when you put a domain in here, it's going to show you citation, trust, flow and citation flow. So let me type in another address here. I think this was the address of another competitors, and it's going to show the trust, flow and citation flow so you'll see here they have a two for trust flow in a citation Low of 11. Anything over 10. You're okay. If you're dealing with a number in trustful that's less than 10. You probably you're gonna be dealing with a little bit of spam back links. So if this is one of their competitors, which I believe it is for some of the key words will go back and look. That could be a really good sign for us that they may be doing something a little bit spammy, so we may be able to pass them relatively easily, but we'll look more into that when we get to ah, back linking later in the course. But if you put in your domain and this will give you a good idea of your trust, flow and citation flow again. If you're dealing with numbers over 10 that's good. If you're seeing something that's lower, we're gonna have to look into that a little bit more. You may be dealing with, Ah, some bad s CEO. That has been done, and this is important to know because you'll need to take the time to correct that. Lastly, I can throw the domain into SCM Rush, and this is going to give me a lot of different information. You can get just a free view here without having to pay for the whole service. This will show you the number of back links that there's any referring domains you can also see by scrolling down some of the top keywords that they might rank for. So if they rang for any keywords, it would show you that there, and you can click in for our full report as well, and it will give you a longer list, but they're not ranking for anything else, So obviously, here their positions are very, very low, so nothing is coming up for them. It looks like they're really not ranked it. Also, we got a bit of work to do, but it will also show you some of their competitors if they have any. But again, this site is just ranking so low it's not pulling up a lot of data. So that just tells us Ah, we really need to get them ranked. One last thing you could do is just check to make sure that the website is actually indexed in Google. When I did a search for their business name, it did come up. But I can do this by typing in sight semi colon and the domain name. And this is going to show you all of the pages that are indexed here. So this shows me that I have six results. That means they're six pages. So I do believe that I only have six pages on this particular site and it does look like Google has indexed them all. So that's good. If you do this search and you don't see the site come up, your site may have been blacklisted. There may have been something wrong, or the site is just so brand new that it has not been college it. So we just got to figure out what the issue is and take a look at that. But this just will give you a general idea of the website that you're dealing with. And then you can go ahead and speak with the client a little bit further and asked them more details about the site, and we'll talk about that here in just a moment. 5. Knowing Your Target Audience & Website Goals: I like to ask clients what they wish their website could do for them. That way I can better understand their goals. But the gold typically comes down to more sales and make you more money. They are in business. After all. They could be looking for more product sales, more clients, more leads, more sign ups, more people clicking on ads and so on. Tohave an effective website. You need to know who the website is designed for in the first place, especially if you're designing the site from scratch or even doing a redesign. You want to make sure you're designing the site, keeping the target audience in mind. Even if you will not be redesigning the site, you need to know the right target audience so you can make sure the website is set up to convert targeted leaves, which will lead to more sales for the website owner. Ultimately, a website is about communication and you're communicating with a potential visitor From the moment they land on your website, they're coming to your website with a problem. They may need information they may need to order a product, or they may be looking to hire someone to help them solve a problem. They're having whatever their problem is when they land on the website, they immediately want to know if you can solve that problem. Otherwise they're going to go elsewhere. This is where you want to ask. What solutions does the company have? Then you need to make sure these solutions are obvious and then give visitors a quick way to take action. Whether that's by a product, fill out a contact form, call a phone number or something else altogether. This is what helps you to focus on the right design for a company versus just a fun or pretty design. This is important to keep in mind because if you put all this time and effort driving traffic to a website, but the website doesn't present a solution to their problem, you won't convert as many of those visitors, so you're gonna have to work a lot harder to drive a lot more traffic. Go ahead and take a few minutes to determine your target audience or speak with your client about it. That will revisit the target audience in the overall Web site goals when we begin redesigning the website 6. Setting up Google Search Console (GWT) and Bing Webmaster Tools: before getting started, especially if im working with an existing website. There are three accounts that I like to set up if they're not already set up. Those are Google Web master tools, which is actually now Google Search Consul. There is being Web master tools, which is the same thing as Google Search consulates, obviously just the being version and, lastly, Google analytics so that we can track what visitors are doing on the site. No, hopefully, Google analytics has already been set up. If you're working within existing site, this is particularly helpful because you can track changes before and after a design. If you've redesigned the site or if you're just going ahead and implement in your s yo campaign, you'll be able to see any improvement, conversion and see new traffic you bring in from your S E O efforts. That way you can have a before and after picture, and it's really helpful to compare. Of course, you just want to make sure that you are using the same tracking code to get this information. But if it's not set up already, though, definitely go ahead and set it up and add a new site to track the traffic. Now, when you log into Google Analytics, it's going to walk you through, actually adding a new site. It's very easy to do. You're just gonna pop in your URL, and then it's going to give you a tracking coat. Now, if you're using like a WORDPRESS website, for example, there are plenty of plug ins out there that will allow you to install the plug in and just insert your Google Analytics code so that you don't have to actually dig into the code. If you don't know how to, you don't want to etcetera. Otherwise, you can just go ahead and added in to the code directly. But within this Google Analytics Co, we're gonna be able to see how many sessions that we have. We're going to be able to see how long visitors actually staying on our site. What are balance rate is so that we know if we need to adjust that if we are not converting visitors as well, they're not getting the message right away. Also, we can see what page is that. They're actually looking at what keywords they're using to find our site. So this is ah lot of helpful information in this analytics program. There are some others. If you want to use other analytics programs, that's absolutely fine. Google analytics is just free, and it's easy to implement, so a lot of people go with that. But you also want to implement your Google search. Hansel, as I mentioned this is going to show you how Google actually sees your website, and it's going to alert you to any problems that your site may have now, or that it will have in the future if anything happens, that is going to allow you to take immediate action. So this is a great way to show Google that you're serious, that you're focused on your website and making sure that that you improve it. And but, for instance, here, once I'm signed and I can see that this existing site that we haven't started working on yet has some mobile usability issues. So I know that this website, for instance, does not have a mobile friendly version, which is not good if you're trying to rank your website, so that's obviously an issue that we can work on. But if I didn't know about that, Google is telling me that that's a problem. So if Google tell, is telling me that's a problem, obviously something you want to focus on. If I go to search traffic, I'm also going to be able to see my search analytics here. I can look through different queries that people are typing in. How many actual clicks I'm getting for my site. That's popping up for different search terms. I can look at which pages are going to be the most popular. I can see the position that my website appears in for different keywords. This isn't super accurate, I found. I prefer the Google Analytics version, but you can also see links to your site. You can see any internal links if there's been any manual actions. Now, if your website is not using English or you are in or let's say you are using a top level domain like dot com dot nad etcetera, then you can target visitors in a particular country, and you can let Google know which country your website is targeting. If you are using a country specific domain, then you don't need to do that as well. But this is just where you can help. You can really communicate with Google here again. If you're having any mobile issues that's going to alert you to that. Here is your website actually being indexed. I have six pages on the site and six of them are index, so I know that's good, but this is gonna help me know whether or not Google has already seen my website. It's going to tell me what keywords that Google finds within my content. So as you can see a new crawl, it's also going to let me know if there's any errors going on. I can submit a site map so there's a lot that you can do to communicate directly with Google in the search Consul. So there is going to be some overlap between the Google search consul on Google Analytics. But really, it's best to go ahead and implement both because they're gonna work very nicely hand in hand. But once you set up your account, you're gonna need to sign in, add the property and then verify it. It's going to give you a few ways to verify your website, and you want to make one of those is easiest for you and do that so you can get all of the data. They're gonna want to make sure you also go into your settings and go to search Consul Preferences. And here you're gonna want to make sure that you enable email notification. That way, if Google cause your site and they discover malware, or they discover a mobile usability issue like this site or any other issue that they see with ranking your website that they can instantly send you an email, you can let them know what issues you want to know about. And you can then select the email address you'd like to go to and click. Save that way, you don't have to worry about logging in all the time to your account. You'll be notified via email. Now what we'll do is once our new website is up, then we can go ahead and upload a new site map toe. Let Google know that they can go ahead and call the new site so we'll be visiting this again a little bit later as well. Now for being one master tools. If you don't already have an account, you can go ahead and register for an account fell out. The information here, you have to go to the same process as you do with the Google search. Consul, vent all your account information. You're gonna enter your website ends going to give you a few options for verifying your website as well as you're setting up your profile. You'll notice that there's a contact preference here that they can notify you about specific issues with your site. So you do want to go ahead and check that here as well. If you already have your account set up, you want to make sure that this is enabled in your settings as well. If I have side issues, I want to know immediately, not a week later, so that I can address that right away. And it's gonna let me know if there's any issues with crawl errors, site maps, index issues, malware. For me, it doesn't matter what the problem is. I want to know about it right away so I can take action. Now, this gives me a few options to verify the site. I can place a particular file here that I can actually just download this and upload this to the server. I can copy and paste this code into my meta tag. Or I can add a C name record to DNS. Usually I just like to add the file makes it quick and easy. And then I'm ready to go. So I pause this video, I went ahead and uploaded the XML file. Now I'm gonna click Verify. So no, I am out my dashboard. This is where I'm going to be able to upload my site map as well due later on, I can see the search keywords that are coming up in Google again. If I'm focusing on particular country, I can do that here. A swell under reports and data. One neat thing that they have is called S E O reports, and I can go in here and this is going to give me any S e o suggestions and let me know how urgent thes issues are and how I can go about fixing these what pages? They're on, etcetera. So, since this is a brand new site, being has to go ahead and scan the site before they're going to be able to give this information. But if I just give this little bit of time I can come back and see what issues being sees with my website. So I make sure that I can correct those right? A. Well, I think I'll be able to see my search keywords as well under diagnostics and tools. There is also an S E o analyzer, where I can go ahead and enter a URL, whether that's my home page or one of my service pages, for example, and it's going to let me know if my particular page is up to date with the best SDO practices. This is something that's kind of need about being one. Master tools gives us a little more insight into what we can dio. But again, just make sure that you go ahead and you set up your Google Analytics Google Search Consul in your being Webmaster tools. So you make sure you are getting up today. Information from the search engines themselves on how they view your website 7. Local SEO Ranking Factors: since we're going to be looking at how to rank local business websites, I think it is absolutely worthwhile to take some time to look at what are the top ranking factors that Google takes into consideration when they determine which sites they're going to rank higher than others. When we look at this information is gonna better help us know where we should be focusing our efforts and also if we have a website that is stuck, it's not moving its rankings. We can see which factors may be contributing to that website not moving in the rankings. So I want to spend some time looking at what the's ranking factors are so we can better understand them. And then as we go through this course, we are actually going to put these factors into action. You'll see these actually be implemented on the site that I'm going to be working on every year. MAS publishes their ranking factors and since Google does not give us the exact algorithm they use, it's left up to us to determine which are the most important factors. So every year MAS publishes this survey and they survey many different s you agencies and consultants and to help them bring their experience together to give us thes ranking factors. So these CEOs share with us what has been the most effective for them, what has been the least effective for them, and then mas ranks them. So for us, this gives us a little bit of a blueprint toe actually go by, based on others experience who have had a lot of success. So I want to take a look at these overall ranking factors you'll see here. MAS has this broken down, and there are several categories here now. The biggest category that seems to make the biggest difference is called on page signals. And if you're not familiar with this, this is really all about on page optimization, and we're going to get to this a little bit later so you'll see exactly what this means and how to implement this on your local business site. But on page signals are really your name, your address and your phone number that is listed on your website as it's going to match that information on other websites, which is going to show how legit this business really is. It's also going to look at what locations are served, what services or products are provided and how many of those location and service keywords are actually in the page. Titles. The headlines of the pages that you are l's the image tags, etcetera. It's also going to look at link signals, which is another one of the main categories that influence rankings. And this is really all about off page optimization or link building. And again, we're going to get to that a bit later so we can see exactly how to implement a good link building campaign for a local business. But they're gonna look at not just how many links a business has, but really the quality of those links. It's going to look at the quality of the links, the quality of the website that is actually linking to your business website and the text that is being used next. Google also is going to look at the businesses Google My Business page. This is the local business page, also known as Google Places. It's going toe look for the name, the address, the phone number again. It wants to see that consistency between your Google, my business account and the website. So later in this course, we're also going to go through setting up that Google my business page and how to make sure that that is set up properly in order to help boost the rankings as well. So we want to make sure that that is fully set up and that the category selected correctly . We got the keywords in there. We got all the correct business information. That is another huge ranking factor again. Google is just really wants to know that these businesses are religious. So the more that you do to show ghoul that this business is legit, the better chances you have of ranking higher. It's also gonna look at external location signals, So this is very closely related your Google my business page. This is referring to citations. Now. Citations are any time your nap information, which is an AP name, address and phone number, is on other websites like directory websites. But there's a lot of other places you can list your nap information as well. Again, we're going to cover all of that in a little bit so you can see that being done. This is not only going to help you rank organically. But this can also help you rank in the Google snack pack or the Google local pack as well. It's also gonna look at behavioral and mobile signals. This is friends how many impressions you get to how many actual clicks that a business gets . So if your website is appearing in search results, but it's not being clicked on, that's not a good sign. So you want to get, of course, more as many click throughs as you possibly can. And also, if it's appearing a mobile devices, Are people actually calling the business no review? Signals are another big thing. How many reviews of business has review scores? Of course, Google is going to look for a legit businesses, too. Legit businesses, for the most part, are going to have, ah, high number of stars. So they're gonna be looking for four or five stars that represent a good quality business. Of course, if you have one or two, let's say bad reviews. You're certainly not gonna lose rankings there. But of course, you you definitely want form or good reviews than you have bad reviews. But also you, of course, want to have some Google reviews. But are you getting reviews on Facebook? Are you getting reviews on Yelp? Are you getting reviews on other websites as well? So are looking for a little bit of diversity. Google wants to see diversity in this entire plan, and Google's eyes of everything looks very unnatural. All your links air coming from one place or all your reviews air coming from one place that is not very natural. So that is why Google likes to see some diversity and how your website is being promoted, whose linking to your website, where your reviews are and someone Google also looks for social signals. This does not make as big of a difference. But if you have a Google plus page, if you have a Facebook page Twitter page, these pages have a little bit of activity on them. They're actually getting like there's actually information on them. They're fully completed, profiles and they're being and they're very similar to your website. All of this can contribute to an overall ranking, So as you can see, there's a lot of different factors that will go into these local search rankings. But this can help you see where you need to place the most emphasis. So obviously if you are not working on link signals too much, but you're spending a lot more time on social signals. That tells you may want to flip your workload there, but you may want to focus more on building better link signals and a little bit less time on social media, because that may not make as big of an impact. Another thing that is helpful in this local search ranking factors survey is they also have the top 50 localized organic factors and the top 50 factors for ranking in the local staff or the snack pack. Those local Rankin's at the top of Google so you can see as you look at these. These are very different. You will see the same information for the most part in both categories, but for instance, if you want to rank in the local pack, you first need to have your physical address. In the City of Search, you need to have consistency in your citations again. Remember, that's anywhere where your name, address and phone number is listed. And when you look over at the organic factors, that physical address is number eight instead of one, so it's not as important there. Consistency of structures is down at number 11. So, depending on where your focus is, if you are working with a client to rank in the snap pack or just in the organic search results, your list is going to be a little bit different for where you need to focus your efforts. Now, of course, you can also looked through this list. You can see what some of your competitors are doing or not doing, how you can take a little bit advantage of what they are not doing by doing some of these even smaller factors, because these absolutely do make a difference. They're just not the biggest ones now. Also down below. These are two very helpful columns as well negative ranking factors. You have a business that is coming to and it is not ranking, and the business owner is struggling. You can look at some of these issues that may cause the website to not rank, So if they have an incorrect business category, for instance, on their Google, my business page right there, that is a huge issue. If Google believes they have used a bad address. Let's say they used a P O box, which is not allowed on. A Google mind is in this page that can cause them not to rank. If they have now, we're on their site and they just don't realize that which absolutely can happen. That can cause their website to be flagged on Google. They could blacklist it. They could not rank it definitely ways to check for that and resolve that issue. So a lot of these issues make a big, big difference for not ranking in Google. And most of them are pretty easy to fix and you can fix them and you can get the business to start ranking. So if you're finding a business that's in this situation, this is a great list to consult now. Also, for those of you that will be working with businesses and very competitive markets are very competitive locations. This is a good list to see where you should start to focus more of your efforts because it can make a big difference if you are in a area that has a lot less competition or if you're an area that has ah lot higher competition as well. So there's some additional information as you go by. And there's also just some general information from different S CEOs on what has been working for them or what has not been working for them. Some you'll see people agree and other people don't agree, so it's just interesting t get an idea. But these charts can be very, very helpful when understanding where you should focus your efforts and understanding the ranking factors that Google really takes into consideration when choosing which sites they're going to rank the highest. 8. Intro: Understanding The Health of a Website & Maintaining Rankings: if you'll be redesigning a website or making a lot of content changes, you want to make sure that you don't unintentionally lose previous S CEO work rankings or traffic that a website may have had simply by making design changes to a website. I've seen companies lose as much as 70% of the organic traffic just because the designer didn't know or take Seo into consideration when making changes. And believe me, this is not going to go over well with the company as this can cost them a lot of money. The good news is you don't have to stick with a website that looks like it was built in the nineties. There are certain preventative measures that you can take to make sure that you are able to maintain your rankings in your traffic through a redesign process, and that is exactly what we're going to cover in this section. 9. How to keep current search engine rankings during redesign process: So just how do we maintain current rankings in traffic? Let's go ahead and jump right into it. We want to know the website that will be working with really well and then we can create an implement and plan to protect our current rankings in traffic. So let's start with how we can know the website that we're working with really well. So just how do we maintain current rankings in traffic? Well, let's jump right into it. We want to know the website well that we're working with and then create and implement a plan to save our rankings in traffic. So let's start with knowing the site that we're working with. The first thing that's very important to realize is that one of the biggest changes that happens during the redesign process is changing the your l's and when they change, I could be one of the biggest causes of a website to lose its rankings. Now there are some good reasons to change you or else and there are ways to do so while protecting your rankings as well. Talk about, but otherwise if you can keep them the same if there's really no reason to change them. But taking a second to look at the website that I'm working with here live long and prosper dot com, you'll notice that if I click on their services age, their link is live long and prosper dot com forward slash services Dash dash dash pricing dot html That is an awful your l That is not something that I want to keep for obvious reasons. One, it is not optimized at all. And secondly, we have three dashes for some strange reason. So that is something that I will be changing, and we're gonna look at how I can change that with the redesign process. But I also have portfolio dot html testimonials dot html now. These are not necessarily bad names for pages contact at HTML, but since this website is going to be built on WordPress now, there will no longer be the dot html extension At the end. This means that you are a will still be changing, even if I keep the words contact testimonials portfolio. So we'll look at that again in a bit now. The first thing that I want to do is crawl the Web site because this is going to give me a lot of good information about the website and where it is right now. You can do this yourself manually or you can do this using paid tools. If you have a small site like live long and Prosper, it's pretty straightforward. You pretty much want to get an idea of how many pages air on the website. But even with the small website, I still like to crawl the Web site so I can make sure that there are no other hidden pages that I don't know about where I'm not expecting. You never know if a hidden page could have back Ling's that you don't know about, and you really want to preserve any back links or any SDO juice that you have. So it's always good to double check, but especially if you have a larger site. This is something that you definitely want to dio Look at how we can manually crawl the Web site. There's actually a free tool called Xeno Link Sleuth, and this tool will allow you to crawl. The Web site is gonna show you how many pages it's going to show you. If there's any errors, it can also show you any inbound or it can also show you any internal or external links metadata and mawr information, so it's pretty helpful. So here we can go to file check euro. We can insert the URL and click OK, and it's going to generate a list of everything on the website. I consort by type here and you can see that it is going to put all the JavaScript files, pulls all the images here. We have gift images, JPEG, PNG, etcetera. We have all our CSS files and then it pulls down to our HTML files so we can see we have one too. Although these two are the same page search engines, maybe viewing them as two pages, so off to look at that. So it's 12345 pages that we have. But it also shows that the website has a few external links here, so that's pretty much exactly what I expected. If there was any hidden pages, it would also pull those up there a swell. Now, if you have submitted a site map to your Google search console account, then that will also tell you how many pages were submitted and so that's a quick way to know your number of pages as well. Another thing that you can do a simply go to Google and type in sight semi colon and the Web address. And this is gonna pull up all of your pages as well Here. Now notice here. I'm gonna look. It says that I have six results, so I want to double check with those are of the home page testimonials, Contact Portfolio services. And then here I have a page that I don't know about. And this is ads and specials again. Here we have those three dashes. For some reason, I can click through and see what this is. So this just looks like a large add, but that's a page that I don't know about. And that might be something that we want to keep. That might be something that we want to do something else with. But it's good to know that that page exists, and the last tool that you can use this is actually a paid tool is called Screaming frog. So this is a tool that's going allow you to crawl the Web site, and it's going to give you an s e o audit and really show you what on Page Seo optimization has been done just like, was he? No. This will show you the title of any pages. You can quickly see those. You can also scroll over here. You can see how maney ah links. It's going that particular page receives. And you can also see what the description is on that particular page as well. So you'll be able to get ah, lot of that information. That's while plus some additional information like Seo recommendations from this screaming frog tool. Now, the next thing that one look for inbound links meaning back links, because these are very important for site, and we're gonna talk about this more later in the course. But in the beginning, we want to see what the back wing profile is for this particular website. Before we start the redesign, this is going to help us determine which pages are most important and which pages are receiving the most back wings. So there's a couple good sites for this. We can use open site explorer by mas. We can throw in the URL here. It's gonna pull up how maney links there are here. It's saying zero and then below. If there are links, it will show you here How many actual links the website has and where those lengths are actually coming from. Another tool that you can use is majestic. You can throw that in here. Majestic is going to give you the trust, flow and citation flow. If you don't understand that yet, don't worry. We'll get to that little bit later. But this is also gonna tell you how maney back links that has from how maney domains and then scrolling down. It's going to give you ah, better breakdown of what those links are. As you can see, this is showing one link here, and this is from a directory. So it's something that we're definitely gonna have to come back and look at to see if that's something we want to keep. What we're gonna want to do is create a 301 redirect plan. This 301 redirect plan is how you will be able to change the Urals on your site if you need to. But as I mentioned before you get into a 301 redirect plan, the best thing you can do is to keep the same your house structure. But, for instance, with the particular Web page that I showed you, if we do not want to keep that particular you are l. A 301 redirect plan is what we're going to need to implement. So if you can keep your you URLs, it's so much easier and you don't need to take this step. But if you do change the euro structure, this step is essential. This is the biggest step that is going to have the biggest impact on maintaining your rankings. So a 31 redirect will make sure that your old your l points to the new euro, and it also is going to pass the page rank from the old page to the new page. So you really want to pay special attention to this. Now, if you start looking at redirects, you'll notice in different numbers, like there's the 301 that I mentioned. There's also 302 You want to make sure that you are using 301 Onley. That means this is a permanent Redirect this. This is what is going to help pass. That s yo juice that link juice from your old page to your new page. If you use a 30 to redirect, that means this is a temporary change and search engines are not going to pass that value from your old link to your newlink. Now, also, when you redesign a website, you may be tempted to delete pages. Now, that's really the last thing that we want to do. You really want to keep the pages if possible. And if you don't like the page for whatever reason, another idea is to rework the page a bit. You can add new content. You can change it up a bit so it is more helpful, provides more value. Or you can simply point that page to a new page using a 301 redirect. Now we're gonna look at how to actually implement a 301 redirect in a bit, and it's not as overwhelming as it might sound right now. So don't worry. And moving on, we're going to want to do an S e o audit. Now. What s CEO audit is This basically helps you identify what the websites current strengths and weaknesses are and this is gonna help you see what you should keep or what you should remove. And most importantly, it's gonna help you create a plan for the redesign process so that you can incorporate any S e o elements that were into the new site moving forward and anything that was not previously implemented you can implement with the new site. So with an S u audit, we look for different things. Like how slowly does the website load doesn't have a mobile version? Are the images optimize? Really? We're just looking for opportunities here. We're looking for what is working with the site and what is not working on the site now going off of the S E o audit, we want to take note of our on page optimization. Now we want to keep all of the pages that are currently optimized. We don't only want to focus on the core pages, but can happen is the core pages will continue to be optimized with the new site and any of the other pages that aren't considered the core site pages. They may have been optimized before, but we don't worry about those so much when we do the redesign and we don't very over that optimization, and that can certainly cause you to lose ranking, so something to pay. Very close attention, Teoh. So if I go to the live long and prosper website, I can take a look at the your L. I can take a look at the content. I can take a look at the headers and see what has been done Now on this site. Really, nothing has been done, so I know that I have a lot of work to do, and there's really not a lot to carry over here Now. You can use different tools like Ma's Bar, for example, and Mas Bar will show you different on page optimization that has been done. So what I can do is if I have the MAS Bar implemented, which is a free browser tool, I can click on this page analysis. It's going to show me what the U. R. L is the page title. The meta description. If there's any keywords included, it will also tell me if there's a header tag here. It shows me the H One tag says that does not exist so that presents an opportunity for me again. I can look at H two. I can see if there's any formatting. All these things will show me the strengths and weaknesses for each particular page. I can also look at the general attributes. I can see how long the page took to load. I could look at the link metrics. I can see the page authority and several other link metrics here is Well, now, if you will be using a new domain in this particular instance, we're going to be keeping the same domain. But if you will be using the same domain in your Google search console, you want to let Google? No. And this is the same for being. When Webmaster Tools, you want to let them know that you will be using a new domain. That way they can pass all of your link. Choose from one site to the new domain. To do this, you'll want to go into your account. Turn off MAS bar here. Now. What you want to do is you want to go to your settings icon here and you want to click on change of address, and here it's going to allow you to add your new domain and go through the process to verify it. And it will point your original domain to your new domain. So go ahead and take a few minutes now and do a manual crawl of your website. Take a look at how Maney links you have coming in to your website. Look at the Urals in particular to see which ones you think you're going to want to change so that you can note those down for when we actually start getting into how to do a 301 Redirect and do, Ah, quick s CEO audit. Look for the strengths and weaknesses. No down what you're going to need to carry over into the new site. No, down what has not been done that would present an opportunity in the new site as well. And then we're gonna look at a few more things that you're gonna wanna pay attention to so that you can maintain your rankings 10. Maintaining Current Rankings Continued...: Okay, Now that you have some good information on your website, let's continue looking at a few other factors that will contribute to you maintaining the rankings during the redesign process. One thing that is very important to look at is the current website analytics, because you want to see what your top content is, what your top landing pages are, who is actually referring visitors to your sites. All of this information you can use to figure out which are going to be the very first page is that you start with. If you have a smaller site like the one that I'm working with, it could be the main pages that will focus on. However, if you have a larger site, this is a great way to really narrow it down. You can see what is already working for the website, which pages are the most popular, and you can start there and then you can work your way out to some of the other less popular pages. So what I like to look at is acquisition, and I want to look at the traffic here and I can look at the channels and this is going to show me where the traffic is coming from. I have a lot of referral traffic, only a little bit of direct and organic traffic. I can go into each one and see which sites are actually referring traffic, which keywords searchers are using to find the site and so on. I also like to look in the acquisition and search engine optimization. More specifically, I like to look under queries to see what people are actually looking for. This will give me an idea of what keywords Already working for the site. I also like to look at landing pages because this is going to tell me what my top landing pages are. I can see how many people are actually going to the home page and then what the next most popular pages are again. This is going to help me narrow down where I actually start. But this is also important to look at because you can use this information after the redesign process and see how things change now during the redesign process. As with the website that I'm working on right now, it is not built on a content management system. However, we have decided to use WordPress instead of HTML to build the site. Now, when you are considering what content management system to use, you don't want to just use any CMS out there. You really want to think about the impact that the CMS is going toe have when it comes to S E O. So if this is a lesser known CMS that I'm not saying, don't use it, but make sure that you do your research to see how it is going. Toe perform S E o wise. It's definitely something to consider, and that's something that a lot of designers just don't even think about. Now when you create the new site and when you actually go and launch it, you're going to want to create a new site map both an XML site map for the search engines to be able to read, and that you can submit to your Google Search Consul as well as an HTML site map that you could include on your Web site. The's site maps are going to help search engines find and discover new pages and update you or else, so there are tools that you can use to help you create thes site maps if you don't know how to do them manually and we're gonna look at that a little bit later in the course once we go ahead and lunge. But if you're not redesigning the site S e o wise, you still want to make sure that you have up to date site maps up site map should be updated on a regular basis, especially as you're adding new content. You want to be submitting that to your Google search consul on your being Webmaster tools, accounts and also updating the one on your site now going back to your Google analytics or whatever analytics program you decide to use. You also just want to make sure that you're tracking is set up. If you want to do specific tracking for specific landing pages or you want to track specific goals that happen on the site, this is a good time to set that up because there's no better way to know if what you're doing is working than if you're actually tracking that in some way using some sort of analytics software. So make sure that all the tracking for all of the landing pages that you are setting up is created so that you can compare your before and after results. Now, lastly, once you actually go to launch your Web site, you want to double check that all your on page optimization tasks have been completed. You want a double check through each of your pages that they're all optimized. You also want to check for the other on site or on page optimization, things that we talked about page speed. You also want to make sure that you update your robots, that txt file and that you are allowing search engines to now index the site. That's a big mistake. When S CEOs are wondering about what happened? Hod rankings and and I launched the new site. I followed all the steps to make sure I maintain the rankings, and what happened was they simply forgot to remove the one line that told search engines not to index the new site. So make sure that you go back and do that as well. I also want to look and see if there's anything slowing down the site. So again, just all of those on page optimization factors, but we will come back to that when we actually go toe, launch this new website. You also find an S e o checklist for maintaining your rankings that you can download and that you can use while you're going through a redesign process so that you know what to look for and that you also make sure that you follow all of the steps to keeping your rankings as you go. 11. Knowing your back link profile, URL structure and using 301 redirect: If you make a lot of changes to your overall site architecture, it's common to lose some traffic because search engines have to crawl the new site, discover the new pages and then note the changes. But as long as you do this correctly, this loss should be minimal, and you should be able to regain, if not improve on your old traffic numbers. So if you plan to integrate a new euro structure and rewrite all of your content, it's best to do it one at a time so you can reduce any loss of traffic. And if there are any issues, you will know what the cause of the issue is, and you can repair it. Otherwise, it's gonna be a lot harder to figure it out. So if you re right all your your L's, you change all your content, you're not going to know what which was the cause of the problem if something were to happen. So just do one or the other, and after time you'll be able to make additional changes. And that way you can continue to monitor your traffic and to make sure that there are no issues with the site with that being said, I want to take a look at how you can actually go about finding the pages that you're going to start working with, which has to do with you the back ling's that you have. And then I want to look at how we will actually go about implementing a 301 redirect. So the first thing that I like to do is find out how Maney back Ling's the site has and which pages are receiving these back Ling's, because we want to make sure that we pay special attention to these pages in particular. So there are many tools out there both free and paid that you can use to find your back links. I actually like to use a handful of them when looking for back links because I find some back. Ling's appear on some tools and I'll find different back Ling's that appear on others, and it's just a matter of what they have found. One of those sites is open side Explorer by Mas, and I can go in here and I can see if there's any back links here supporting that I have no back links, but they would appear here if I did. I can also go into ECM Rush. And I could do the same thing throwing in my girl here and I'll be able to see here. It says I have no back links. I can actually click through into back links. I'll be able to see all the back links that I have, where they're coming from. What pages? They're actually going. Teoh Aiken, See my anchor text here. So that's very helpful. I can also go into majestic and throw in my girl and see this is telling me I just of one back link. I can go down and see what that is. And this is pointing to this directory dash free website not looking like the best back link there, so we want to look into that little bit more. But the last place that I like to look is actually the first place I like to look is the Google search console. Because this will actually show me what links Google sees. So I can go to search traffic and links to your site, and this is gonna give me a full list. So see, now here it's tell May have 260 links, but it shows that 229 of them are appearing on Yellow Pages, so obviously have a lot less than 260 links in reality. But I can look here and I can see how many different back Ling's actually have here. Google is reporting that I have 16 so obviously much different than the other sites. I can see which site is pointing to which pages here it says So, for instance, I can click into, Let's say, hot frog. It says I have three lengths and is linking toe one page and it's gonna show me all three of the links are going to the home page again. I could do the same thing here, Google says It's linking to two pages, so this will also give me a good idea of the back links that I have now. When I go into Google, it shows me that it is providing me with two back. Ling's one is going to the home page and the other is going to the services page. So as I go through these links that looks like the majority of the back Ling's that I'm receiving are going to my home page. And so obviously we're gonna want to maintain what's going on on the homepage there. If I saw that my services page was appearing a lot or a particular article that the client had written for the website and that's very popular, that's receiving a lot of links. I want to make sure that I maintained that page. So now that I know what back links I have, I want to actually go to the site and I want to take a look at the girl structure that I have. And I want to note this down. So again we can look at the services page. We can see that this is the your L ah, we can see the portfolio and we want to note down all of these links. If I was using an HTML site, I couldn't use the same neural structure here If this was already onward. President did not have the dot HTM ologists was ford slash portfolio. I could continue to use that as well, but in this particular instance, I'm going to have to use a 301 redirect a point that portfolio dot html page to a new portfolio page. So let's take a look at how to do that. Now, as I mentioned, I want you to beware that when moving a page from one world to another, the search engines are going to take time to discover that 301 redirect to recognize it and then also to credit the new page with the rankings of the old page. So it's not immediately gonna have that same trust. It's not immediately going to have that same ranking. That is why you may see some fluctuation. So again, just monitor the results and give it a little bit of time to take effect as well. Now let's take a look at how to do these three. A. One redirects. If this is something that you don't feel comfortable with after we go through it, you can always bring in someone, help you do this or monitor what you're doing just to make sure it's done right, because this is absolutely crucial. But I'm gonna give you a few options for how to do this. Another thing I want to point out is that there is a website called Redirect check dot com , and you can actually throw in your You're all here. And you can just make sure that if you have put in any redirect code that is actually redirecting correctly that way, you know you have done it right, so there are a few options for doing a 301 redirect. The 1st 1 is you can place the redirect code in the header of your site. If you have a PHP site, for example, I'll show you some code. The second option is if you're using WordPress, for example, you can use a plug in to help you redirect the pages. And then, lastly, what you conduce is you can add the redirects directly to your dot h T access file. So let's look at these three options and how to actually do this. So here's the 1st 1 If you have a page and you want to redirected to a new page, this is the code that you will place between the header tags of your particular Web page. You will include this first line here, and then you will replace. Obviously this new dash oral with your actual domain name and Ford Slash of its Ah, particular page. You can add the remainder of the year all there, so that's pretty straightforward. Your second option is you can use a plug in. So, for example, let's look at this plug in here. This is called Redirection, and this is a free WordPress Plug in, and all you simply do is you paste in the old. You're also, if I was doing that services page that we talked about think it was three dashes and pricing dot html, I could throw that in here, and then I can put in my new target. You're all here. Let's just say we're gonna call it services and then I can click, add redirection and that's it. I'm done and then I can go in and the next page in. So this makes it very, very simple. This is basically a way to add this code to your dot h T access files were about to look at without actually having to go into that, that actual file and you can just use this plug in. So this is if you don't feels comfortable using these other options. This is a good option to use now. Lastly, what we can do is we can add the redirect code to our HD access file. Now, before you make any changes to the dye HD access file, you want to make sure that you have a copy of this so you can download this from your C panel or you can go in through FTP and just create a copy of it. And that way, if you make any changes, it messes anything up, then you have one that you can replace it with. But this is pretty straightforward that the code that you see here, this is what is on a default dot HD access file. So when you goto added the redirects, what you'll want to do is you want to add in some code that looks like this, you'll start by adding this open and closed hag here showing that everything in between is what you, as the user, have added as 301 redirects and then you can add a redirect you simply we're gonna put redirect three a one, Then you put forward slash and then the remainder your URL of the site. So, for instance, if this was a live long and prosper dot com site. Instead of putting Live Lan and prosper dot com, fourth last Testament testimonials that hte email, I simply put forward slash testimonials dot html a space and then the new page. So I would then put http semi colon forward slash ford slash live long and prosper dot com forward slash testimonials that that's the new page. I would then move on to the next line, put the old page right here, and then go ahead and put the new You're all right here. Now. One thing that is very important to know is I am on Lee putting one to read one redirect per line in this file. That's very, very important to make sure that it works. Now there's also plug in called yos that is very popular and it washed. They allow you to edit your dot H t access file directly from the plug in in WordPress. I still think doing it be FTP. Is it better because you're gonna be able to create a backup. So, like I said, if anything goes wrong, you still have that copy to Dio. So as you can see, you have a few options for doing a 301 Direct. It's really not that hard to do. It's really not that scary. And depending on your level of experience and your level of comfort, you can pick the option that works best for you in your sight. 12. How to Monitor A Site After A Redesign To Watch For Any Problems: you can expect your traffic to fluctuate a bit after a redesign. It happens to everyone, so do not panic. What you need to do is just monitor to make sure that everything is happening as it's supposed to. Like I said, you're going to see some fluctuations, but we just want to make sure that there is nothing alarming going on. If you're follow the steps that we have already talked about here, you will be able to have maintained your rankings. And if you're redesign is good, then hopefully you should be experience an increase in traffic. A swell. But what are the things that you should look for after redesign? I like to keep an eye on both my Google analytics as well as my Google search consul, or what master tools, accounts and what I like to look for first in my guru analytics is I just like to watch the website traffic. I want to make sure that my numbers are looking consistent and I want to make sure that they're not dropping dramatically again. You might see the fluctuations in traffic, and that's okay, but just make sure it is staying about what it was, and hopefully after a little bit of time, it's going to start growing as well. The next thing that I like to look for is in the Google search consul account. I like to look under Google Index and index status. Now here I want to Cuban I on how many of my pages air actually indexed. So if I am seeing a drop off on my pages and suddenly many my pages aren't index, that is a problem, and that's something that I want to keep an eye on. Otherwise we should be good to go. The second thing I like to look for in the search console is also my crawl errors, which you can find under crawl and crawl errors. And if Google was having any trouble at all, they're going to notify you on this page. So here, for example, they're telling me that I have one error, and when I scroll down, it's telling me that it's giving me a 404 which is a page not found error for this particular page. So now I know that that's something that I need to work on now. If you have set up your account to notify you via email of any new crawl error. What you can do here under the Settings icon and Search Consul Preferences, you can go ahead and select the email address that you would like to be notified about, and you can put if you want to notice about critical issues or all issues here. And you'll immediately be notified if there's any issue, which is definitely something that I recommend so you can get right in there and take care of it. But that's gonna let you know if Google is finding any errors. And if there's anything alarming going on, said that you can take any corrective action that may be necessary. 13. Introduction to Competition Analysis: before we dive into the SDO process, it's important to take a step back and find out who our competitors are. After all, if we don't know who our competitors are, how can we determine what it is that we need to do? Tout, rank them in this section watches I find out who my clients competitors are, and see the tools that I used to find out exactly what the competitors are doing. S CEO Wise. 14. How & Why To Find Your Top Online Competitors: So if you haven't already go ahead and pull up the spreadsheet that we talked about earlier in the course where we will be tracking all of the business information at the bottom, you'll notice a competition analysis tab. So go ahead and click on that tab. And here you'll see. I've already started pulling together some of the data for the business that I'm working with. This is where we're going to start inserting our competitors and all of their information. This way, we're going to be able to easily compare our metrics with theirs, to see what we need to do to outright Hm. So the first thing that we want to do is we want to do a search for our competitors. Now there's a couple of ways you can do this. The 1st 1 is simply going into Google and doing a manual search for your keywords. So let's say I'm going to be using landscaping. Centreville, Virginia. As one of my main keywords. I can do a search for that and scroll down. Now, What I'm looking for in the organic searches is other local businesses. I'm not looking for any of the larger non competitors. Sites like Amazon, Wikipedia yelp, those type of sites we're gonna want to rule out. So looking at thes organic rankings, I'm gonna want to go through and copy any of these girls here that are also local businesses. If you're not sure if there the larger sites or if their local businesses you go ahead and click through. But this is a competitors, so I can go in and pop in their information here in the spreadsheet. I can go back. I'm gonna skip Yelp Home Advisor. Ah, prosperity lawn and landscape looks like another competitors. So I'll put that your Elena's well, same with J and M landscaping. It's another company. Now I'm going to skip Angie's list. That's not a competitive er. I'm gonna look at rule escapes on the skip yellow pages and thumbtack as well down here in Position 10 and I will copy Lorenzo lawn care. Now I'm mostly going to focus on the first page of Google as that is where I want to be. So I want to look at the competition on the first page. So then I can go onto another one of my top main keywords, so I'll use lawn mowing in Centerville, Virginia. As an example, I can go down and again. I'm gonna do the same thing when a rule out Yelp Lawn Starter Home Advisor here we have a new competitor, though. S and S Lawn Services all copy that and paste that in same thing here by on the lawn care We have Angie's list thumbtacks, Super pages and Brian's lawn mowing And then again, yellow pages. So this gives me a good list to start with. I like to pull together about 10 competitors, or so this waken go in. I can look at their website what they have, what they don't have is in terms of design and features. And then we can also look at some of these other metrics here that will be listing to the right if you have other tools. Like, for instance, if you have market samurai, you can actually go ahead and insert a new key word. Here I have landscaping. Centreville, Virginia, I can use there s CEO competition tool. And here it's gonna show me all of the top sites in Google for that search term. So you'll see I have all the same ones that I've copied. And then it's gonna have these other metrics here to the right so we can use this to see how easy it will be able to rank for this specific keyword which will get into here in a moment. But this also will give us a little bit of information that would be helpful, such as how Maney back Link particular page has. And that way we can track that information as well. So once we have these top keywords so once we have these top competitors here, we want to find out what their top keywords are. This is going to tell us what they're actually going after S E o wise and it will give us some ideas for other keywords that may work for us. A swell. So to do that, there is a couple of tools we can use. We can use five fu or we can use SCM rush. So I'm gonna do is I'm gonna copy the URL from my first competitors. I'll pop him in here. This tells me, has 18 keywords in the top 50 results, and so I can go down and I can see what those top keywords are, and I can click through for more information. I like to sort by rank so I can see what they are ranking for. Ah, highly. However, if you don't have a paid version, of course it's gonna limit what you can see. But this gives me some other ideas. So landscaping Northern Virginia landscaping companies in northern Virginia. So this will give me some ideas of other keywords I could go after. But this also tells me that they don't concentrate specifically in Centerville. They're also looking at areas in a larger geographical area, so I can say, OK, landscaping. Northern Virginia is, ah, top keyword, and I can add in the additional keywords. So, for instance, I can go to ECM Russia, and I can put in their domain. Here is Well, let me copy that domain again, and this is going to give me similar information. This is also going to tell me how Maney organic search results that they have. It shows that there appearing for 68 keywords and you'll notice from tool to tool that it's going to be a little bit different, Which is why I like to look at a couple different tools to get a better idea. So here I can see what their top keywords are, and I can go look for a full report. So taking a look at the full list here, I can see what they are ranking for. I like to sort by. The position here is well, that way I can see what they're ranking for highly and Google he Oh, they're looking at us superior landscaping their names. So that's not impressive. But here we also have landscaping Incentive. Oh, Virginia, there, appearing on the first page for so I can add that in. But I can also see what other services they provide. Some of these this business doesn't provide or these air areas that we don't serve in this spreadsheet here. We're also going to be looking at the total number of back ling set a website has and the total number of root domain back links. So what that means is a website may have, let's say, 20 back Ling's, but that may only be coming from five different sources, so five websites are contributing in 20 different links to them, so that's important to know. So ECM rush will give me this information that says I have a total of 29 back links for this website coming from 21 different domains so I can go ahead and enter that in now. I also want to look for domain authority on a site that we can use to do that is open side Explorer by mas. So I'm gonna put the competitor website in here and we'll see what information we get. It shows they have a domain authority of 14 which I want to enter in here, and you'll notice that they will also give you the back links here says they have a total of 35 back links from five different domains. So, as you can see, that's conflicting information. This is why I like to look at different tools. And that way I can really evaluate what links they have, what links they may be missing out on. It gives me a list of some of the links that they do have below. Now, I also want to look at what citations they have, since they are local business. And if you are serving a U. S or u K business, you can use mas local, and what you can do is you can insert the business name. I'm not sure what they're zip code. Isn't they served different areas will see if they have it listed here anywhere. Yeah, I don't see it listed it anywhere here. So I will just use general Zip code to see if they come up and they do. This is them, so I can click on them. And here, this is going to give me a score of 63. So now when I go back and insert the score, I can see the I have a score 52. So I have some work to dio. Also be able to take a look at what profiles that they have, what information they're lacking. So I can see how I can outdo them with the citations as well, but that we will get into in another section. Now if you are not working with the U. S or U K. Business, there are other services like bright local, which is a really great service for working with citations for building your citations and also white spark. These companies work with other countries as well and can help you track rankings, find different citations and also be able to compare your competitors. So those are very helpful services. You also want to know the number of Google reviews. So in mas local, you can scroll down, and it will usually tell you how many reviews they have down here. Here, I'm seeing just one. But to be sure, I can type in their name into Google, and I can see what comes up here. And yes, it shows here that they also only have one Google review, so that's good for us. We have three as of right now. Now, to get an idea of monthly traffic, you can also use ECM Rush and you'll be able to get an idea of what their traffic is. So here you can go and you can see okay. In May, they had 277 and stayed pretty consistent Looks like through the end of the year, so that will tell you about how much traffic they get every month. You can also use tools like similar Web, and you can put in your competitors information in here. You can also use compete and you'll be able to compare different websites as well, and this will give you some different metrics. So if you're looking for some other tools, this will give you a well rounded picture as well. No one. Last thing you can do is we talked about crawling your site that you're working on. But you can also take the same steps that you took for your client website with the competitors website so you can do the manual crawl. You can use the tools that we talked about. And I include a list of those as well. And this is going to give you an idea of how many pages that this competitors actually has , what pages air actually set up. And this will again just give you an idea of what they have done compared to what you have done. So you can see why Google, maybe ranking them over you and what you'll need to do tell rank them 15. Intro: performing proper keyword research to ensure your SEO: It's a pretty straightforward process for finding keywords that drive traffic to a local business website. But that doesn't necessarily mean that those air the best Q words to go after we want the right traffic qualified traffic that is actually going to convert. There isn't all in one seo keyword research tool, so we'll look at a handful of options that will give you some good data to go off of, and that will help you make your final selection. I encourage you to do your keyword research along with me so that by the end of this section you will have a list of qualified keywords to target. So let's go grab those keywords now. 16. Using the 5-Step Keyword Research process: keyword research is a process, and we're going to follow this process step by step before we dive into the juicy part of the course. I want to give you an idea of what this process looks like, and I break it down into five steps. So we're going to start with generating a list of keywords, and we're going to start by generating a long list that we can narrow down at each step of the process. So by the end, we will have our final set of key words that were going to target. The second step is we're going to determine what the search volume is for those keywords and then narrow down from there with those keywords that we've narrowed down, were then going to move on to checking the ranking data in the competition for those keywords so that we can then further narrow down our list by determining which ones we will be most likely to rank for next. We're going to organize our final list of keywords so that we can determine how we're going to move forward and begin ranking for those keywords. And finally we will start putting our keyword research into action. And this is really where your Aseel campaign is going to begin because you have completed the keyword research process and you now know which keywords are going to be the most profitable for you and which ones you are going to be most likely to rain for. 17. Finding Keywords You Are Already Ranking For & Tools To Find More Local Keywords: all right. Now that you have your initial keywords ready, let's expand on that list. Using a few tools you can absolutely do this research for free and whether or not you wish use of premium tools or upgrade to the paid versions of the different software is completely up to you. Some of the paid versions will do more for you, and we'll give you more information for free tools and still get the job done. I generally recommend that if you're just going through the process for one or two sites, just go ahead and stick with the free versions. Otherwise, if you're going to be doing this in a more frequent basis, then at that time you may want to upgrade to a premium tool that will help you with your research process, plus a whole lot more of the things that we're gonna talk about later in this course. Okay, so let's see how we can go ahead and expand our list now. If you haven't existing website, you definitely want to take a look at what keywords visitors air using to find your website . Currently, if the website is already ranking for certain key words, We want to take advantage of that, and we can give them a little boost if we need to to increase their ranking. Let's say if they're on the third page and we just need to do a little extra work to give them the boost that they need to get to the first page Now, if the website already has Ghoul analytics set up, you can find the keywords by going to acquisition all traffic and channels now scrolling down, you'll be able to see where the traffic is coming from. And if the website does have organic traffic, you can click on organic search Now. This website isn't getting a lot of traffic so far, but it is getting 29 searches, it says in the past month, so we can click into here and we can see a list of keywords below. Now you'll notice there's only two keywords, so that isn't telling us much. But the 1st 1 says not provided, and the 2nd 1 says that there's three searches for this really long odds keyword. Obviously, that one is resulting in 100% bounce, right? It's not doing anything for us. It seems completely unrelated. However, Google is not providing us with the other 26 terms. So that's almost 90% of the traffic here Google is hiding from. So it's not allowing us to take advantage of what we're already ranking for. So there's a little trick to get around this. Also under acquisition, you can go to search engine optimization and you'll notice that there's three options queries, landing pages and geographical summary clicking on any of those. You'll see that it's going to ask you to go ahead and connect to your Google Search consul account, and this is one of the reasons we want to go ahead and get this set up from the beginning. So by enabling this, we're going to be able to see some of the key words that we are actually ranking for. You'll see here. It says that we can identify the landing pages on our site, have a good click through rate but have poor average positions in search results. So this could be the pages that we want to concentrate on that we want to give a boost in rankings to and on the flip side we can see which keywords are size ranking for the people aren't clicking through, so we may need to adjust the wording and our titles or descriptions, for example. Okay, now we're going to get to the screen. That says, for the search console settings that we are going to be able to associate are two accounts . It will be able to display more data in the rewards for us now. We talked about verifying your Google Webmaster tools or Google Search Consul account earlier. You need to have a verified website in order to connect the two. So here we can click at. It's gonna take us to our search consul account, and we can go ahead and link thes two properties. So now we've gone ahead and done that and we can return to Google Analytics reports. We can go back down to queries, and now we have this information. So now you'll see here we have a list where it says now you'll notice Google still hiding quite a bit of information here, however, it giving us a lot more than what we already had. It shows us, for instance, prosper landscaping contractors. We have had 54 options for that that resulted in zero klicks to the website with average position and Google of 32. That's not a cure we want to go for. That's not a big deal, but we can continue to go down the list and see if anything else is coming up. Now it's home. L landscape, Prosper Prosper Lawn service. So this may be the name of our company that the visitors air searching for or this could be for another company. We'd have to go in and see what else is coming up there Now here it says, landscaping. Centreville, Virginia. It says that we've had five impression zero klicks in. We have an average position of 11. Now, keep in mind, this is an average position. So you may go into Google right now for this particular keyword, and you might not see the website anywhere, or you might find it on page five. You might find it higher. This is just an average of the past 30 days, So if your rankings are fluctuating, you'll notice the difference between this report and where the site is currently ranking now. But this will give you an idea of where Google is actually ranking the website and you'll be able to see which ones they're getting click throughs. Which ones need some work? So here I'm seeing that we are actually getting some decent rankings. But I'm gonna go ahead and check this one. For example, Lawn care service, Centreville, Virginia, says an average of 7.5 as the ranking. So see, I don't even see it coming up on the first page, not seeing it so far in the second page. No, I see you two video popping up on the third page, but I don't know website actually popping up anywhere for that. So this is resulting in a 0% click through rate. This could be that the website is not ranked at all, and it was able to pop up to that higher position for a very limited number of time. But when it was in that position wasn't resulting in any clicks. So we'll need to go to our top landing pages as well, and see what's going on here will be able to see which pages people are actually clicking on. So here we have our home page. Most people are clicking through on our home page out of 300 impressions, almost rolling, getting 12 clicks. So if we look out our landing page title, our landing page description, keywords, etcetera and what is actually going to appear in the Google search results? Obviously only 4% of people are actually clicking through that. That means it probably needs a little bit of work. Same for the contact page testimonials. It looks like when services and pricing were actually displayed, the person the one person actually did click through to it. So that may or may not need adjustments. Obviously, one person is not quite enough to go off of. And then if you are serving different countries, you're going to be able to see where they're coming from. So if we are obviously only serving one area in the United States that the rest of these visits are not going to pertain to us. But this is how you can really get summary information in your Google Analytics accounts to do, make sure that you are connecting with your Google Search Council. Now, if you're not set up with your Google search consul, what you want to do is go to SCM Rush, which you can do anyway and you want to type in your website. You can select the country if it is for a different country, and you can use a free version here to do this. But you'll be able to go down and you'll be able to see which keywords the website is appearing for. You can get a full report so again this one isn't really coming up for much of anything. We have a lot of work to do, but this is worth checking because your website maybe appearing for key words that you don't even realize now the next thing we can do is we can go to a tool called uber suggest , and we can type in one of our main keywords. And you can do this without adding in a location key and you can go down and you can get some in general keyword ideas here. So we have lawn mowing, lawn mowing services, and then we can always add the geo modifier to the ants. We can say lawn mowing services, Centreville, Virginia or Centerville here it's already added in locations. Obviously, we'll skip those lawn mowing business Centerville so we can just go through here and we can see if anything jumps out at us and we can add that to our keyword list now. The next thing you can do is you can go into the Google keyword planner, which you can use for free as well. And what will want to do is we'll want to search for new keywords now. What we can do is go down toe all locations. We can type in the actual location where the business is located or serves, and we can click add, and if we're going to be serving some surrounding areas, we can also click nearby. Now, what this is going to do is this is going to pop up a map, and this is going to allow us to expand our area as well. So this will give you all the nearby locations, and you can quickly add those to your list and you'll be able to select them like this. And then when you're done selecting any surrounding areas that you want, then you can click done. I'm gonna go ahead, remove Chantilly just because they're not serving there. I can say that as the location and I can click on get ideas. Gonna notice that there's two tabs here. Add group ideas and keyword ideas in keyword ideas. I can go down and I can look at the specific ideas that are coming up that are related to the tar mice I entered. So we have lawn mowing, service, lawn mowing, tips on going services. Now keep in mind the search volume that is displaying is also specifically for the Centerville area. What I like to do is I also like to remove the geo modifier and look for these general keyword terms like lawn mowing services, lawn care, lawn care companies, keywords like that and see which of those keywords have the highest search volume. Because Google keyword planner isn't gonna give you the exact monthly searches, this is just going to give you a general number. I often find that even though, for example, do you say 10 that I can actually get quite a bit more search volume from these keywords when I rank for them. So do you keep that in mind so I can grab some of these that actually have a little bit of search value? And if I go back into ad group ideas I could look to see if there's anything that kind of jumps out at me for what I'm serving. I can see if there's any keywords actually jump out at me that will be related to my business. So let's see, we have lawn mowing services, cheap lawn mowing, services, mowing services, moment service. So any of these ideas I can copy and paste into my overall list now one thing that I want you to pay attention. Teoh is not the competition column because this is the competition within Google. AdWords for people who are actually paying for ads were not doing that's We don't want to pay attention to that column. Rather hear the suggested bid column is what I want you to pay attention. Teoh. So we see we have the lawn service for 77 cents, Ah, Long Care service for $8.22 and see if there's anything else not in this particular list. But, for instance, here I have lawn care service for $8 in 22 cents, so that's a pretty decent amount to pay per click, especially in this small of an area. So if somebody is paying about much money to be ranked on the first page. To me, that means they are making money from that keyword, or they would not continue to pay for it. So if it's already up to that high of a bid, there's a pretty good chance that these people are making money. And that that is going to be a key word weren't worth ranking for. That means they're able to convert their visitors into customers. So this number 10 here, I'm a little doubtful on that. I think that's going to be a little bit higher. You can also scroll up to the top here if we go back and you can see the search volume over time for thes different keywords so you can see a lot of these put together. So all of these lawn mowing and lamone service for lady keywords, you can see how many total monthly searches air adding up to now you'll notice that it goes up and down, but that is very expect with this particular location, because here we're getting into the winter months. It's cold. Nobody is hiring a landscaper or anyone to mow their lawn. This is where lawns really start to grow. The grass is growing. People are starting to hire, so this is to be expected now. You can also just go into Google, and you can type in lawn mowing. Let's say, and you can see what drops up below. Know what I like to do is search in Google in an incognito window, and I can search for Let's say, lawn care and I can see what else comes up. So long care services. I can type in mowing so you can get some different ideas of areas or other keywords that might pop up. Now if I actually search for their particular keyword, I can also scroll to the bottom of the site, and I can see what related searches people are typing in when they also are looking for the lawn mowing keyword. So online rates, prices, tips, techniques, jobs, patterns, online, blah, blah, blah, etcetera. So this might give me some general ideas to. So I like to take all my main keywords, typed them into Google and see what related searches come up for those as well. Throw those onto my keyword list. You can also just look at the search results here. What has come up? You can see what other people are writing, you know, best lawn care services. Best gains along services. We could do a best Centerville loan services. Ah, long care in a specific location. Lawn millions service so we can see what people are actually putting in their titles. Now, you don't always have to stick with page one. You go to page 567 10. It doesn't matter. This is just going to generate some keyword ideas just because somebody is ranking on page 10. That may mean they just haven't optimized their website. They're not attempting to write for these particular keywords for one reason or another, so this might give you some more ideas. Now we can also go back to the Google keyword planner, and we can throw in our your l here. And then we can do a search there that's going to give us some ideas for keywords based on our website, as it is already. So here again is going to go into keyword ideas. These are the best keywords based on what we already have. So landscape edging people already paying for that. Although it's not as high of a key of a suggested bid, but this has given us new keywords. We can also go back Teoh, add group ideas and looked through the different ideas here. A swell. Now, in addition to just my website, I like to go in and I like to look at some competitor websites that came up on the first page as well. And see if I can get some different keyword ideas from them and I can try this with many different sites. So this is giving me a few different options here. Looks like people wanting to buy lawnmowers, so this might not be right in line, but some competitors air going to give you better ideas than others. So you just have to pop in a few of them and see what might come up for you. Now, once I have my full list, I'm gonna go back and copy my list, and I'm gonna go back to the Google keyword planner and I am go to get search volume. I'm gonna go ahead and paste in my full list here. Can I can add the geo modifier here for any of the areas that I'm looking for and it gets search for you here. It looks like I have a suggested bit of 8 79 So lawn care, Centreville, Virginia. That looks like that might be a good keyword to actually go for. Ah, I definitely think that I would be able to generate more than 20 monthly searches per month . Uh, and this looks like a keyword that's actually going to convert due to the high price right there. So I see a lot of these or 10. We have lawn care services, lawn maintenance. So I'm gonna grab a couple of these even though that they say 10 and I'm gonna check out the competition and see what else is going on with that. We have a 23 4 landscaping. So land escaping Centerville it also has 20 searches again. I think there's probably going to be more, especially if people are bidding at 8 23 That's another one that I'm gonna grab. So looks like those were the biggest ones. I'm gonna add those to my list, and then we're going to go ahead and check out the competition to see what's going on to make sure that we can to see how easy it's going to be to actually rank for those particular keywords. Once we do that, we'll start integrating these keywords into the site when we look at on page optimization here shortly. 18. Researching Your Competitor's Keywords: we looked at how to find our competitors keywords, and this is helpful so that it can help generate some additional keyword ideas for the website we're working with. But it can also show us just how hard they're working to running for those keywords. So we know how hard we're going to need toe work to outrank them. So again, you're gonna want to visit ECM Rush. Or you can visit spy food dot com and you can look for your competitors website. You can see what keywords there actually ranking for, so you can grab your competitors. You are out and you can throw it into these tools and you can see what keywords actually come up for them. Another thing that you can do is you can go into the Google keyword planner and you can search for new keywords using a phrase website or category. And what you can do is you can insert your competitors landing page. So, for instance, I could put in the home page, But I could also click on one of their services page grab that you are l and throw that into this landing page category here. I can take off this targeting here. They may have a wider area, so I'm gonna widen that just a bit. And then we can see what keywords actually come up for their particular landing page. So here we have lawn care business, starting a long business lawn care prices on care, service prices, lawn care companies. So, as you can see, we can click into each one of these and we can see what this potential search volume is, and also just an idea of some new keywords. So this is a great way to get some new keyword ideas from your competitors. So as you do these things for your own website, don't be afraid to grab your competitors. You are always and even grab several of them and throw them into these tools and see what keyword you confined using these tools. Another thing you can do is you can also visit their website and you can look for keywords there. For instance, with this one, I'm gonna look at their services page. I can see their headers are lawn mowing, service, lawn care program, spring cleanup, bed maintenance, fall cleanup and so one. So these air some keywords that I actually did not put on my keyword list that I can go and add to my cured list, and I can do a bit of keyword research and see if those are ones that are actually worth targeting. Now. I can also look if they have different sections. This is a very minimal website. However, if there is a website that has much larger sections, you can go through those, see what the main sections are called. Likewise, if they have a blawg, you can see what categories they use that can help generate some ideas for you the same looking out products or services depending on the type of business that you're working with . What is it that is listed on your competitors website? So again, don't just do this. For one. You can go through five or 10 of your competitors and see what ideas you can come up with. So those are a few ideas for increasing the number of key words you can potentially target by looking at your competitors. Websites 19. Selecting Final Keywords & How Much Traffic Do You Really Need?: when you are selecting your final key words, there are a few things you want to look for. We want to look at relevancy, intent and search volume. As I mentioned earlier on, we don't want to just drive any old traffic to the website. While that looks great on your analytic work, that doesn't always look is great on the revenue Albert. And for most business owners, if you tell them their revenue report numbers will be higher. But they're analytics numbers take as big a jump. They're probably going to be okay with that. My point here is that a common mistake is when doing keyword research is to select a keyword solely based on the traffic volume. Even if this isn't the most targeted keyword with local keywords, especially if you're trying to build trust with a client and get some quick wins, it's often better to start with the easiest to rank low competition, low search but highly targeted here. It's Think back to when you were talking to your client. How much is a client worth to them? Let's say each client is worth $1000 to them, and they want to make $10,000 in additional revenue each month. That means you only need to send them 10 highly targeted visitors. Now, of course, we have to factor in the conversion rate, so we'll need more than 10. But again, my point here is that you don't need thousands of visitors to this local website each month to achieve the website owners goals when figuring out how much their client is worth. Keep in mind the lifetime value of a customer. If a client makes a $30 purchase initially, they may go on to purchase more with the company over time. So this needs to be taken into consideration as well. If the lifetime value is only $30 let's say the client wants to make $1000 per month, then they will need approximately 33 new sales factor in the conversion rate, and again, you'll see you still don't need to go after the keywords with high competition and tens of thousands of searches per month. Of course, this is going to vary by niche client worth an overall industry competition, but I think you get the idea here. You can also use this calculator here to get an idea. You can go ahead and adjust the numbers you can put in a keywords. Example. Search volume. You can put in a price per sale that your client would get in a conversion rate that they typically see. You can always keep the conversion rate low. So if it ends up being higher, of course, Hannah with more revenue, that's even better. And this is going to give you an idea of depending on where you rank how much money that particular keyword is going to generate for your client every month. The overall idea here is that businesses ultimately want to see financial results, not just a Page one ranking. Now that you have your keyword search volume soared the list by user intent. Which keywords mean they are ready to take action or a very close to taking action? We want to stay away from the keywords that are more informational in nature. We're looking for people ready to buy, and then let's check out the competition on the first age for the top keywords you want to aim for. This is gonna tell us how hard it will be to actually rank for those keywords 20. Determining how easily we can rank for specific keywords: Now that we have our list of keywords before we get too excited and we start optimizing our site, we want to make sure that we take some time to check out our competition To see how difficult it would actually be to rank for these specific keywords. This is going to be our last step in determining which keywords we will go after in which we will not or which we may save for down the road. They're two tools that I like to use. Thes are browser extensions. The first is called mas bar, and you can install this and the 2nd 1 is S E o quake. Once you have installed these, you can go to Google and you can enable both of them. And when you put in your keyword into Google will use landscaping. Centreville, Virginia. As an example of one of my key words when I scrolled down I should see both the S e o Quake and the MAS Bar. So now you see below each organic search the mas bar followed by the S e o Quake bar and this gives us a bit of information. First we can see page authority which is P a, followed by the number of back links the website has followed by the domain authority. Now, both domain in page authority are based on a scale of 100. So obviously the higher the number, the better Theo authority. However, when you're dealing with some smaller business site, you're not gonna typically have high domain authority. So, for instance, the first business here, superior Landscaping has a domain authority of 14. Not bad. Really want anything that is above 10. If you have a domain authority that's lower than 10 sometimes that can indicate it is this family site. But also, if you are dealing with a brand new site, you're not going to start off with a higher domain authority. Next, you can see Yelp has a domain authority of 93. Home Advisor has a domain authority of 78. These air huge, huge, well respected sites, especially in the eyes of Google. So they have a much higher domain authority. Also, if you see like YouTube, for example, they have a domain authority of 100. Obviously they're owned by Google Yellow Pages 86. But when I'm looking at some of the business domain authorities. I see 14 going down a prosperity. I see 11 down, some more. I see another 11. We haven't 18 here. Lorenzo has seven, so you can see they're relatively low domain authorities now Page authority is similar to domain authority, except that is specific to each page on the website. So every page on your website is going to have its own page authority again, based on a scale of 100 the higher number being the better. So if we are looking to outrank this specific page, this happens to be the home page. It has a pay drink of 26. No. Any time you start to get over about 40 that's when your competition really starts to be a bit more tough to beat. Not saying that it's not possible. But it can just help you organize your keywords to figure out which ones you want to go after first. So this is a 26. This is a one. So although they have a high domain authority, this particular page on Lee has a page authority of one and has zero back links, which is another thing we want to look at going down. We have a 34 20 of 14 36 so here we don't have very high page authority sites, which is a good sign. But we also want to take a look at the number of back Ling's. This website has 35 back Ling's here we have zero back Ling's. This one has 169. That's getting up there. 21 back links one Bakley. So overall there's a relatively low number of Back Ling's, which is also a good sign. The more back links that you have to get to outrank your competition, the harder it's going to be. But you don't Onley just want to look at the number of back links if we think that this is something we could still rank for. This website says they have 35 back links, so what I want to do is I want to grab this u R l and I'm gonna go into open site Explorer . This is going to show me some of the back links they have now. This shows that they do have 35 back Ling's, but those back links air Onley coming from five different websites So that is going to be easier for us. Tout rank than if they have 35 back links from 35 different sources, assuming they're all of high quality. So in looking at the first handful, it looks like a lot of these here are all for a sports agency, so they must be a sponsor of some source, so that's not super relevant. That's not going to do a tremendous amount for them. They also have some student awards, a link from H Away, the H away maybe, ah, more valuable to them. But it also shows the spam score so I can see if they're doing anything. That's kind of spammy. Another tool that you can use is called majestic now majestic here. I can also throw in the URL, and I'll be able to see the trust flow in Citation flow. This is again the higher number, the better. Really, you want both of these numbers to be over 10 and you want them to be relatively the same, especially for your site. If you see that the trust flow, for example, is maybe a seven, that maybe a good sign to you that you may be able tow, outrank them even easier. But a 2024 that doesn't look like anything that I can't outrank. So here, showing me some of the back links here. And I can also click through to see if they'll show me any back links that I wasn't able to see an open side Explorer. But it's just giving me these couple, so there's really no exact science here. There are several different factors, as you can see, that you need to take into consideration when determining which ones you can rank for. And you just use these to give yourself a good gauge of whether or not you'll be able to work with these keywords. So from looking at this particular keyword to me, this looks like a key word that I would go after and I would be able to be relatively easily. So. I also take a look at another one of their key words, which is lawn mowing. Centerville on more in Centerville, Virginia, and we'll scroll down to the organic searches and I'll take a look again here. Yelp Page Authority of only one was zero back links. Of course, Yelp is gonna have a higher domain authority. We have 25 paid authority of 25 16 back links 27 5 Now again, these air from some bigger sites. But the page authority of back wings aren't alarming to me right now. Still seems like it could be relatively easy as you'll notice some of these smaller businesses SNS Lawn and by On a Lawn Care, which have a page authority of 19 9 links Page authority of one was zero links have outranked. Angie's list was, which has a page authority of 37 7 links and a domain authority of 85. So, as you can see, it's not always ranked in that exact order based on page authority links Exeter, because there are so many factors that Google takes into consideration. So when just a bit will get into on page optimization and we'll look at how well these sites are actually optimized in Google and this will really tell you why Google maybe ranking these sites higher. So what? This information? We can now finalize our keyword list and we can move on to creating our website content and starting to optimize our website as well 21. Intro: the importance of website content in your overall SEO: the content of website has is very important to its overall ranking. You need to use quality content to give your websites an overall boost. But it can be hard to know what content actually start with and this section will explore what content you should be, including on your website and where to get some ideas. If you get stuck, I'm also going to have you join me as I develop an internal linking structure for the website and create my first sight pages while setting them up correctly using my newly selected keywords and also begin setting up your own pages and integrating your keywords that you just researched as well. 22. Creating a content development plan & Content writing tools and reso: one common problem is coming up with what to say on different location and service pages. When a business has multiple locations or they want to serve multiple areas, it can be difficult to not just basically clone pages and swap out the city names because it's just hard to come up with new content for every single one. But it is at the same time, very important to do that. Each page does need to be unique because we want to avoid Google penalties. But we also do not want to turn off any of our site visitors as well. So let me give you an example of this. This business has created a page for lawn mowing in Centerville, Virginia. You can see here that there you are. L has lawn mowing in Centerville, Va. As part of their you Earl. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see here in the Footer that they have several service areas listed lawn mowing, Alexandria lawn mowing in Annandale, lawn mowing and Burke in Centerville. She Antillean so on. There are many, many different pages in areas here, So if I click on Alexandria I will see it has the same image, it says. Beloved by their clients. NB service group level blah. We sharpen the blades for mowers each day. Our crew is highly trained and certified. Now let me go back to the Centerville page here for a second again, same image beloved by their clients and be service group blah, blah, blah. Furthermore, we keep the blades are more sharp. That doesn't even make sense. Ah, each member of our team is highly trained and certified, so as you can see, it looks like they are slightly rewriting each page. But that's just a couple of the pages. Let's see here, let's look at another one. Lawn mowing and Burke again. Same image NB Service Group is a premier lawn mowing solution in Burke. To make sure that your grass receives the best care possible, we sharpen our lawn mowing blades every day. Each member of our team is highly trained and certified, so as you can see, these are the same pages for each and every city. This is an exact example of what you do not want to dio. Honestly, I'm surprised that Google hasn't penalize them for this yet. But just because you see this doesn't mean that this is a tactic that works. This may be that they just have not been penalized yet. Remember, just because you're seeing this here, there are a lot of examples that you are not going to see because they are already penalised and they've been removed from Google. So don't take after something like this just because you see it. This also isn't very visitor friendly for them either. So this is really just something you want to stay away from. We want to create unique pages, and the way that we can do this is both using on page optimization as well get to hear shortly and also through the content that you write on each page. But that could be a little bit easier said than done. So let me give you some examples for on page. Optimization will get into the specifics here, as I mentioned in another section, but on page factors can include your title tags. Your description tags the actual name of your page. If you create header tags using the H one or H two headers, for example, you see this text here is much larger. This may be included in an H one tag that gives Google an idea of what the pages about. That's where you can change up some of your keywords and what you say. You can also take a look at the links that are included in each page. This one here doesn't have any links going in or out. You can include links that point out to other pages on your site as they were late to this particular city. You can also consider who you link out to. So if you are talking about, let's just say this particular page here is lawn mowing in Burke. If they're targeting Burke, what they could do is linked to government website or a charity that's within Ah Burke that they support. Or if there is another blogged that talks about services in in bark or something that is relevant to work in general or to their services in general, they can link out to that also helps build some authority. So that's one way that you can switch it up between different cities as well. So all of those are on page optimization now for the content we can, of course, right about the services or the products that we have. So if you're serving in particular area, you write about the service. That's great. But what about switching it up and putting in a case study about your specific city about the target city you're working with? This can keep the visitor more engaged, and it can still end with them contacting the business. You can also write about why the business toes to serve this particular location or why they like serving this particular location for the live long and prosper business that I'm working with. Right now. They're on Lee serving the Centerville area so they can talk about why they only serve that area. They actually reside within Centerville, so it's very important to them. And that's definitely something that they could talk about, and it can also drive traffic to their site. But if they were with Centerville, they could talk about how that's their hometown. They want to keep it looking nice and so on. And then if they chose to branch out to the next neighboring city, Chantilly, for example, they could switch up the context because that's not their home so they wouldn't write the same information. Now, photos and videos are also something that you can include, and they could be different for each page. You can optimize them differently as well. Talk about in the upcoming section, but you can also use this to tie into your area. Whether this is photos and videos of your actual work or photos and videos of other things that are going on in town that you can highlight and tie into your service. You'll also be able to include testimonials or reviews or some sort of social proof. If you are working with customers in specific areas at just having testimonials from that particular area can help build a lot of trust a swell and help keep it unique. If you do other things like you want to do, Ah, give away or you want to do a raffle. You can also include that information for that specific target area. Andi even it when we looked at our contacting where we include our address and we include a map, you can include the unique contact information for that particular location as well. If it's something different or you can always just include a map. So these are just a handful of ideas. You certainly don't have to use all of these ideas for each page, but this gives you an idea of how you can switch it up and not resort to using one of these more spammy tactics that this website is currently using. 23. What to write about: One of Google's ranking factors is the freshness of a website, meaning how often the website is actually updated. You'll notice sometimes that lower authority websites actually outrank higher authority websites, and if you take a closer look, you may notice that those websites are actually updated more frequently, so that is something that is strongly worth considering. But developing a content development plan or content creation plan can be a bit overwhelming for local business, so it can be helpful for you to either provide the service to them, let them know where they can have the work done, or if they want to do it in house for you to be able to provide topics for them that will help them ring and will help add overall value to their website. But how frequently should the business actually add content? Now this really depends. If you are dealing with low competition keywords and the competitors don't have a blawg, they don't have a lot of posts going on. There's not really a lot of content. You may be able to get away with not doing this or to do it very limited. I still think it's a good idea because you're gonna be adding value to the visitor, and you're also going to be establishing the business as an expert, which can increase their conversion. So whether or not the competitors are doing it, I still think it's a good idea. But how often? If the business feels overwhelmed, I say just do what they can. I would rather see it done consistently and produce more high quality post than to do it more frequently. And then we start sacrificing quality and value. So if maybe we can start with just once a month, start with posting once a month, a high quality post if they can, or once they get in the rhythm of once a month and they think they could do it twice a month, then go ahead. But let's form the habit first of creating the high quality content and posting on a regular schedule, then just doing sporadic post here and there that may or may not be of high quality. These days, content is very, very important. Google really wants to provide their visitors with valuable search results. You'll see a lot of top posts have 2000 words or more so again, I would focus more on the quality and value that you can deliver and not do it as often if that's what needs to happen but also when you are writing some of these longer post, even if you're just writing the 1000 words, there are more opportunities for you to include your keywords that you want to rank for. And you also end up ranking for other keywords that are within that post or other relevant keywords. So the more content that you continue to add to the site, the more keywords that you're going to end up ranking for. But what do you write about outside of your service and your location pages? What do you talk about? There's really all types of content you could do a interview with the owner or any industry experts. Or if you can't interview the actual owner, this could just be from one of the staff members. So, for instance, with the this landscaping business, they could put together an article that interviews the actual owner, asking him why he started the busin