Local Search - Topic 5: Competitive Factors for Local Search

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Competitive Factors for Local Search

Today, I am going to talk about competitive factors. These are the factors that make your ranking in local search come up higher than that of your competition. Take, for example, two businesses. These two are in the same street and offer the same service. What makes one come up higher in the local search ranking than the other?

There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account, here are the nine most important.

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Local Search - Topic 3: Local Organic Search Factors

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Local Organic Search Factors

Today I am going to talk about the factors that affect your local organic search. Organic search is simply when someone puts a search term into a search engine and the results come up. It is not paid advertising nor the local pack (the top 3 that appear directly under the search bar), but the general results.

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Local Search - Topic 1: Overall Local Search Factors

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Overall Local Search Factors

Welcome to the first video in this series on the topic of Local Search. In today’s video, I will describe the eight factors that SEO experts agree are the most important when optimising for organic local search. When ‘deciding’ which results to display, search engines receive ‘signals’ about your business from wherever your business is mentioned on the internet.

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SEO Coach

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Do you need a SEO Coach?

You have a great idea. You have setup your social media pages and a website. And now what? 

Currently there are millions of websites live on the internet. To achieve any ranking with the search engines relevant to your industry you need to ensure that the website and your social media pages are designed and developed within industry standards.

In a way that the search engines will know

  • what you offer
  • where you offer it 
  • how you offer your business services and products

Knowledge is the foundation to good results

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Website Redesign. Doesn't need to be too hard.

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Are you on your second or third website, and still not happy?

You are not alone. It is estimated that most business have 3 – 4 websites before they are comfortable with their web presence. This is often because of a number of reasons, including

  • not have a high perceived value of their website when getting started
  • not initially understanding their target market
  • not initially being able to define their product and service
  • building a cheap DIY templated website thinking something is better than nothing

Redesigning your website does not need to be as stressful as you think? You just need ask yourself a few questions before getting started on your website redesign project.

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Other people's business cards? Optimise your Networking Dollar

Written by Margaret Shakibaie
You go to many networking events, and collect lots of business cards. But what happens then? They sit on your desk in a pile and grow and grow.

Eventually you forget where you met the person, what they look like and value you could add to each other persons business. A few specific people stand out but the rest just gather dust on your desk. And that valuable networking dollar is wasted.

Here are some tips to help you get the best bang for the buck from your networking dollar.

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Community Organisations Websites - What can it DO?

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

There is no doubt in today’s digital world that any community based organisation requires a website. A website is now much more than an online brochure giving the general public information about your organisation. Your website can build community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your website can answer questions about who you are and what you do from people who are too afraid to ask. A silent teacher and educator.

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Email Marketing. Do it right!

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Email marketing is a a very powerful marketing medium, but are you DOING IT RIGHT?

An existing relationship is the key.

Email marketing works, particularly if you have an existing relationship with the members of your mailing list. They may be an existing client, a network connection, someone that you met socially that has passed on their business card, or even someone that sent a simple enquiry through your contact form on your website. But the key to email marketing is that you need to have that existing relationship. Not just to ensure your email isn't deleted without being opened or doesn't go into their spam box, but also to make sure you are conforming to Australian Spamming laws.

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Content is King - but what sort of content?

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

In the words of Bill Gates in 1996, Content is King?

But the question you need to think about is "what type of content".

There are a number of different types of content that you can include in your website to get your message across.

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2015 - Is your website up to it?

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

2015 is just about here. But are you ready for it. Or should we say. Is your website ready for it?

You should view your website as an organic process, growing and changing as your business grows and changes. As your business moves into the middle of the second decade of the century, embracing new technology and the needs of your target market is imperative and this should be represented through your website.

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Website Content - To Use Stock Photos or Not?

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Use real people in your website content.

Including photos in your website content is considered good practice.

A good visual website design has a balance of photos and text. It is considered to be good practice to have a photograph of a person in your website content. This is supposed to build trust with the viewer, specifically if you can see their eyes.

But the photos should be real people. Not stock photos.

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Video Testimonials on your Website

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Do you work with amazing clients -  share their throughts about you.

A video testimonial is often the missing link connecting your satisfied clients and your prospective clients people researching about your business.

With the advent of Web 2 the marketing direction has changed from you telling your clients how great you are to other people promoting your products and services through various online mediums. 

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At what stage is your Website?

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

A website is an organic process, growing and developing as your business grows and develops.

I have written a short story to illustrate this.

Once upon a time there was a small business owner called Mary. Mary had created a range of cookware products. She decided she needed a website, but as her business was only starting up she wasn't exactly sure what she wanted for a website.

She contacted Margaret from The ICT Shak for a web strategy planning session. Margaret discussed with her the business plans and ideas and together they created a big vision, but planned for baby steps.

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4 Simple Ways to Leverage your Business Web Presence

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

If you have been in business for a while there is a strong possibility that your business has an existing web presence, even if you aren't aware of it.

You need to take ownership and leverage this web presence to increase your business's web profile.

Just Google your business name, and see what comes up. If you have a website, then hopefully it will come up first. But what else?

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Is your Blog written for easy reading?

Written by Margaret Shakibaie

Writing for the web – Readability statistics

We have heard it all before. We are encouraged to blog, blog and blog some more. How easy is your blog to read?

But have you thought about the readability of your content. A simple tool to use to measure the readability of your content is available through Microsoft Word.

In your proofing options, select "show readability and statistics". The readability statics are displayed after you complete a full spell check.

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