2011 Must Have #3 and #4 – Off Site Optimization & Local Search

Posted by Melissa in Business Tips, SEO on January 10, 2011

Many businesses are starting to understand that their websites need to be optimized. They understand that things must be done to their actual website for them to be optimized. What they often don’t understand is that things need to be done off the website (off-site) to support the on-site optimization strategy(ies).

Link building is a crucial part of any SEO strategy. It takes research, competitive intelligence, planning, monitoring and skill. It is a necessary part of optimization and something your business should be thinking about investing in. You need to be careful who you hire because they need to know how to link build the right way.

Local Search

I consider other off-site techniques as off-site optimization and one of the most important is Local Search. Local Search has become such a crucial part of an effective web marketing campaign. More importantly, it has be come especially significant to Google. In November of 2010 they restructured their search results to display their local business results in a much more visible way.

If you look at the picture below you will see the results I received for a query. Google has displayed 2 sites that give local results (Yelp.com was actually #1) and these are essentially local directories.  Then they display Google Places (previously Google Local Business Center) information  and they include contact info, address and reviews. Google has taken local to an all new level by enhancing the amount of info you instantly receive about local businesses.. Making sure a business shows up (and looks good) in local search results is a crucial part of optimization and is obviously part of off-site optimization.

A few things…

I must say is that hiring inept people to do any form of off-site optimization can be disastrous for you. If they do not understand the consequences of certain actions you could be hurt in the search engines. Also, Google has strategies in place to prevent review spam and false reviews. They also have strategies in place to display real reviews; if your SEO company or consultant cannot explain the hows and whys of this you may want to find someone that can. Blindly paying someone to create reviews for your business could end up hurting you in a big way.

2011 Must Haves

  1. 2011 Must Have #1 – An Attractive Website w/CMS
  2. 2011 Must Have #2 – An Optimized Website
  3. 2011 Must Have #5 – A social Media Plan

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