My Talk At Wordcamp Lancaster – “21 Tips For Local Business SEO”


The following is my presentation focused on Local SEO for businesses

Thanks to George Stephanis for organizing the event.

The focus is “You want to be found when customers search for your “product or service + city, state.”

On March 1, 2014 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at Wordcamp Lancaster 2014.wordcamp-lancaster-2014

The following are the slides I used for the presentation.  I also added a a few more links and comments along the way.

1. Do keyword research using Google Keyword Planner


  • Use “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”

  • Download the list

  • Duplicate the list and Add the town and cities you want to be found for

  • For a quick list of geographic areas

  • Put the list back in Adword “Get search volume for a list of keywords”

  • Export the list and evaluate what people are really searching for.

    • “Auto Repair Lancaster PA” may have search volume

    • But “Auto Technicians Lancaster PA” may not warrant the effort


  • I like to put all of my keywords on the left and then start sorting them to categories on the right



  • Then use the keyword or phrase to write content for that page
    • The list below was for an actual client so I prefer it be blurry – But when we wrote the content for the specific page we used some of the keywords in the content. It helps tell the writer what to focus on




2. Install an SEO plugin on your website such as Yoast.


3. Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

  • Title Tag -

    • Unique To Each Page

    • Include Key Word

    • Use Break – Between thoughts      |

    • Length – 66-70 characters

  • Meta description

    • 150 – 160 characters

    • Use keywords

    • Write for the user,  Write for what they may be searching for

  • Both the title tag and the meta description show in the search results

  • If your website Title or Meta matches the users search the words will be bolded



4. Include the Robots.txt file

  • Do not block search engines from crawling your site

  • List your site map


5. Set up google authorship and test


6. Install social sharing icons on your website.

***Do me a favor if you get some value from this Post share it***Thanks***



7. Don’t just focus on SEO – Go where your potential customers are and interact with them.

  • Craft a description of the ideal client for the business you are working for

  • Identify what that client’s end-goals wants and needs are.

  • Figure out where they spend time online and/or offline

  • Focus on marketing to those areas

  • And focus your marketing message to those customers

8. Properly name your images.

  • Within the media manager

  • alt text

  • tiltle

  • description

  • Go so far as to edit the properties of the image with more description, before you upload the file

  • You should want your images to be indexed by Google and you could use the keyword you want to focus on when you name the images


9. Use unique images.

  • Don’t get upset if someone steals your images, but ask them for a link in exchange

  • Time permitting drop your images in Google Image Search

  • And if someone takes and image contact them and ask for a link in exchange

  • I do this in reverse if I find small sites that have an image I want to use.  I take, make an “thank you for the image page on the site” and give them a link and send them an email l letting them know I took their image, that I gave them a link and to let me know if  it is a problem.


10. Make a page for product or service plus area you offer your product or service.

11. Write unique content – don’t just change the name of the city on the page.



12. Create an XML sitemap.



13. Submit your website to Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and set the www version of your website

The following is logged into your Google Webmaster Tools account.


14. Install Google Analytics


  • Analyze the data.

    • Look for trends

    • Areas for improvement

    • Opportunities

  • Analyze the data in Webmaster tools

  • Remember there is a 1-3 day delay in the data in Webmaster Tools

  • Analytics is in real time

  • The average page position is a 4.2, the clicks I think are 7.


15. Use proper page names and use – (dashes) not _ underscores


16. Use heading tags to tell Google what your site is about

  • Use the H1 tag and H2 tags tell the search engines what the page is about

17. Be concerned about site speed.


18. Check for page errors within Webmaster tools.



19. Install markup – Local Business Micro Data


20. Set up your Google Places for business listing, Bing Places and Yahoo Local listing


Bonus # Link your Website & YouTube To Your “Google My Business” Listing


21. Create Relevant Content For The Website

  • Keep it fresh and write for the user.

  • Use keywords in your blog posts to link back to the pages that you want to rank for.

  • Share the content on social channels.

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