In the world of search engine optimisation, local SEO is the task of optimising web properties for specific geographic locations. An example of such would be something like “seo company johannesburg”.
Why would I want or need local SEO for my website?
Local SEO works very well for companies looking to drive more targeted visitors to their sites. For example, if you were a dentist in Johannesburg, how many more customers do you think you could acquire if you were in the top five positions in Google for the search terms “johannesburg dentist”, “dentists in johannesburg”, and “best dentist johannesburg”. These are all very competitive search terms, and fetch a very heavy price tag when it comes to paid advertising. It’s important to look at search engine optimisation services for the long term. SEO doesn’t happen happen overnight, and is a “big picture” business marketing model.
How much detail can my local SEO efforts go into?
Almost no limit. You could for example appear for search terms such as “kingfisher road fourways johannesburg dentist”, but the search volume might not necessarily warrant paying for SEO efforts. It is better to aim high, but go for the low hanging fruit first, so to speak. An example of this would be if you were looking to improve your search engine optimisation for your dental practice in Fourways Johannesburg. First prize would be showing up in the top five positions for the term “johannesburg dentist”, followed by “johannesburg fourways dentist”, followed by “dentist in fourways johannesburg”, etc. As you can see, it is important to optimise for a wide range of keyword search terms in order to properly optimise for the search engines.
Many SEO companies will dive straight in and attempt to rank your website well for one keyword. This leads to Google penalising your site and making the next search engine optimiser’s life a living hell. It is very difficult to fix SEO blunders, so keep this in mind when you are selecting your preferred SEO company.
Can I expand my existing local search engine optimisation for a bigger audience?
Yes, you absolutely can. As long as all search engine work is done with Google’s guidelines in mind your site will continue to grow and grow. There isn’t really a limit to just how many terms a website can rank in the search engines for, but the bigger you get, the bigger your website needs to be. It is important to maintain a certain velocity of website expansion if you are wanting to expand into other keyword areas. An example of this would be if your Johannesburg based search engine optimisation company opened a Cape Town branch.
Instead of trying to optimise your website for “seo company johhanesburg” only, you would now expand your search engine optimisation efforts to include “seo company cape town”, or any other area you were wanting to do business in. There are also other ways of expanding that don’t need to be related to your primary business model. Expanding into other areas of the same business requires you to generate new content aimed at optimising for each respective area. For example, “dentistry” vs “orthodontics” etc.
How much should I expect to spend on local SEO services in Johannesburg?
It is best to allow your search engine optimisation company time to research this for you. Many established industries are loaded with SEO’d sites that have been around for ages. This doesn’t mean getting your site ranking well is impossible, not at all, but it does mean that you should prepare yourself for a longer period of your website moving up the ranks and onto the first page. We would recommend that if you are in a competitive industry that you contact us and arrange a meeting. While it is sometimes very difficult to achieve first page rankings for very competitive industries, there are many ways of getting excellent SEO results without going for the “big” keywords first.
Enter long chain keywords
Keywords come in all sorts of sizes. From one word keywords like “SEO” to full sentences such as “where to find the best seo company in johannesburg”. While Google will strip out common words such as the, and and or, it is important to remember that you are attempting to optimise for humans searching for information, not machines. Long chain keywords also generally mean that the visitor has a higher buying temperature, meaning they are more likely to convert into a lead or paying customer.
Think for example if you were searching for an SEO agency or company to handle your optimisation requirements. You could search for “seo company”, but you would ultimately land up on an optimised website built to convert you into a lead. Perhaps this is what you are looking for, or perhaps you are just doing research on how SEO is done. As you move down the long chain ladder, you will see that there is a defined sweet spot for ranking for specific long chaing keywords.
Someone may very well convert into a lead for something short like “seo company”, but they are more likely to convert for a longer, more qualified phrase such as “best seo company in johannesburg”. By optimising for longer, sentence based keywords and phrases you allow the customer time to qualify themselves to your business. They do some of the work themselves before they have even realised it.
A good example is that if you found this page by searching for something long chain like “search engine company in johannesburg”, then you have already performed this qualifying step. We typically don’t target “big” keywords for clients because it is either impossible given the client’s timeframes, or it isn’t worth the effort from a cost per conversion standpoint down the road. For highly competitive keywords and search terms, we recommend paid advertising.
How to get started with local SEO for my business?
The best place to start is for you to think about how people would search for your business. Do they look for you by name? Do they search for something generic and broad? Do they search for specific search terms?
All of these factors come in to play when doing proper SEO. We always try to get as best an understanding of our client’s websites and their business before we even lift a finger. Something that is important to note about all SEO practices is that search engine optimisation is always a best effort activity. The name “search engine optimiser” on it’s own could be synonymous with “loophole cracker” in many ways, as Google doesn’t really encourage actively pursuing improving your search engine positions.
Before you leave in a huff, that doesn’t mean that SEO is bad, naughty or illegal in Google’s eyes. We, as search engine optimisers just need to be careful, work smart and always build quality solutions for clients. Some cheap SEO products promise “Google dominating” results for ridiculously cheap prices. These sometimes work, but if they do it is a temporary solution to achieving better search engine rankings. All solid results take time to achieve, and working hard simply isn’t enough anymore. Spammy, cheap SEO operations nuked themselves out of the business because while they did deliver their client’s results, they weren’t temporary and made Google angry.
Good SEO equals long term planning, execution and maintenance. Three things which many people don’t appreciate or even appear to think about.
Getting started with local search engine optimisation is really as simple as using the contact form on our site, presuming of course that you would like to enlist our services. We only produce top quality, long lasting and client-focused work which aims at getting your site in front of people who actually matter, not just hits, visits or sessions in a reporting program. You can have all the visitors in the world landing on your site, but if you aren’t optimised for the right keywords for your business niche then honestly you are wasting your time.
It is estimated that as little as 10% of all keywords produce 90% of the profits, and our data and research supports this completely. If you are in it to win it with search engine optimisation, you have to focus on the big picture, the right keywords and deliver consistent, high quality content to the people you want as customers. It’s really that simple, but rarely that straightforward.