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Universal Local SEO strategy for an architect / designer

posted Feb 14, 2015, 1:23 AM by Bogdan Lytvyn   [ updated Feb 14, 2015, 1:28 AM ]
Universal Local SEO strategy for architect - fingers crossed

Ok. This is my latest update on the Local SEO strategy. It’s partially based on what’s already known about Pigeon local Algo. As always, this blog post is inspired by client’s assignment. So, this time my clients are architects based in the suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

    

The brief:

Clients what to be ranked for a range of local search terms including architect Melbourne, home design Melbourne, etc. Importantly, the ranking options are: the ‘local pack’ and/or organic rank. 

 

Approach: 

The website is a small one and largely lacks content. There are only site’s 33 pages in Google index. We also acknowledge that the website does not really mention ‘Melbourne’ on its face, that’s why it would only rank in a local pack for ‘suburb’-specific searches. Also, it’s worth noting that the current pages’ titles are not relevant to users search intent. They are just a name of the city, for example, Projects > Residential > Suburb name – Company name. 

So, if you have the like situation I suggest that you update your website to increase a chance of ranking of the content that you already have. You would want to appeal to the local (town) and hyper local (suburb) search terms on your pages consistently and proportionally. 

You will need a proper content strategy to indentify your social audience and their interests in order to create a constant flow of local and occupation-specific content: blog posts and social messages to further promote them through a portfolio of social channels. Your social accounts will need to reflect your appeal to local / hyper local audience too. 

Since Google+ is critical when it comes to how Google will view your business, you would want to consolidate all your social accounts to G+ and take specific steps to engage with your audience there. To further increase Google understanding of your business, you would want to create Knowledge Graph on your company and the company persona (Wiki, Freebase entries). 

As a result, you’ll have signals from your social accounts (relevance, geo-appeal, and discussions) priced in your local search positions as well as organic search. Enhanced site’s validity and Google guidance’ conformity will also result in greater Organic Ranking and Click through Rate. Importantly, as a side-product of Content marketing through Social media (if implemented properly), you’ll be able to greatly increase number of incoming links to your website, which will also be priced in your Organic Ranking Position.   


Recommendations:


  1. A killer website -> enhance your landing pages, use video and semantic (schema.org) data, use sitemaps as well as better website architecture, etc.

  2. Local and hyper local -> mention geo-specific keywords (local vs. hyper local) in your site’s content. Use Google maps’ code (object) on your website too. For example, my client only used ‘Melbourne’ term on 4 pages vs. 33 pages for a suburb.  

  3. Create targeted content strategy -> identify your social audience and their interests; write content that covers those interests, your offerings, and the intersection thereof. 

  4. Traditional search engine signals -> out-grow the ‘small site’ concept through producing lots of relevant content, use a Blog. Also, exploit Social Media as a tool to get backlinks as they are important factors of [traditional] ranking. For example, my client had only 33 pages in Google index up to date. For comparison, his competitor ranked 1st for ‘Melbourne architects’ term has had 161 pages. 

  5. Social media send strong signals to search engines -> optimize social profiles to reflect occupation + specific location, for example, use tags. 

  6. Ensure you leverage Google+ effectively and fully -> use a Small businessguide to G+. Google+ is critical when it comes to how Google will view your business. 

  7. Knowledge graph -> to increase Google understanding of your business, you would want to create Knowledge Graph on your company and the company persona (Wiki, Freebase entries).  


Checkpoints


A killer website 


1.Create XML sitemap aw well as [traditional] HTML sitemap. Put the latter on the Footer menu. 

2.Make sure that the word count on prospective landing pages is adequate (>250 words). 

3.Optimize for user intent – make sure your page content includes occupation (subject) as well as adjectives and items geared toward the interest of your target audience. For example, for ‘home design’ search query, it’s also good to optimize for the following – see below.


4. Move video(s), links and other resources (presentations) to where it can augment the landing pages. It will increase a chance of ranking of the specific project page by creating more relevant and rich content that’s arguably beneficial to a users interested in a specific [geo+subject] search term. 

5.Include www.schema.org mark up to associate content with specific semantic entity, knowledge graph. 

6.Create a unique Meta description for every page. 

7.Supply a relevant ALT description to ALL your images to enhance your Google Image search position. 



Optimize for local and hyper local search algo


1. Update titles to the template: ‘Subject ?loc1, ?loc2 – Predicate’. For example, ‘Projects > Residential > Extension in Melbourne, Suburb – Company name’.

2. Conduct a Competitor content count research. In my example, I have advised to use ‘Melbourne’ term on at least 70 pages, ‘suburb’ < 60. Notably, overall page count should have been increased to at least 100 (33 up to date) through introducing Blog section – see below. 

3. Put your address [featuring town] on the Footer menu.

4. Use Google map code on your Contact page, like for example, here: http://cathicollaarchitects.com/contact/


Create targeted content strategy


1. Identify which content areas and content groups / target audiences are strategically important for your business. Hypothetically, those are:
  • Entrepreneurs, designers 
  • Lifestyle 
  • Travel 
2. Create overarching content strategy. Arguably, the aim is for your content to become the catalyst that spurs people into action- to change the game of entrepreneurship, lifestyle and travel for good.

3. Create editorial calendar for producing content and using different tools / media.


Traditional search engine signals


1. Start a blog - that's how you rank #1 in google :)); write a quick post every day. In my example the Goal was: create 60 blog posts by the end of 12 week period. Increase overall page count to 100 by the end of the period concerned; as suggested above, use ‘Melbourne’ term on at least 70 pages

2. Start an Instagram account; share your blog post + other people content every day. In my case the Goal was: >100 posts over 12 weeks.

3. Share your content across Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and via e-Newsletter. Why Instagram? Because all design-related websites like for example www.homedsgn.com take information from there. I set the Goal for > 40 linking root domains identified by MOZ.


Social media send strong signals to search engines


1. Create or re-use content and even tags to reflect occupation + specific location search terms. For example, #interiordesign. Goal: Social network posts > 100. Followers > 1000. Primary venue: Instagrem, supportive – Facebook and Twitter.

2. Use Buzz Bundle to engage in conversations about your search terms / tags.

3. Use Sniply to share content that’s not essentially yours but relates what you do


Ensure you leverage Google+ effectively and fully

1. Implement steps as provided for in The Small Business Guide to Google+ 


Also, claim local citations


1. Identify and claim local citations.

2. Add more reviews and cutomer experience in your local directories. 
 

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