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A Guide to SEO for Houston Small Businesses

Written by: Leonard Parker | Local Search Marketing | 25th May

guide to SEO Following a guide to SEO techniques is one of the most reliable ways to get a Houston company indexed appropriately in Google and other search engines. The reason web content producers cannot ignore popular search engines is that they account for a high percentage of web traffic. Here are SEO strategies that Houston businesses can use to increase chances of search engine visibility.

Search Engine Basics

The art and science of conquering SEO for Houston businesses begins with understanding what Google's search engine is meant for, which is to connect users with the type of content they seek. A small business has certain advantages if it serves a unique niche with little or no competition. One of the keys to successful local SEO is getting listed in as many relevant local search directories as possible. Primary elements that should be submitted to local directories are business description and location.

Adding Tools to Enhance Content and Search

One of the SEO tools for making sure your small business is appropriately indexed in search engines is Google Search Console, which helps measure a site's search traffic and performance. This tool along with similar apps such as Screaming Frog can be used to fix technical issues such as broken links. Leaving errors on your site can draw penalties from search bots. Google Search Console will also help you analyze which queries attract the most users to your site.

Sitemaps and Blogs

You can increase the odds of better search results by submitting a sitemap and individual page URLs for Google to crawl your site. Sitemaps, which provide a list of web pages on a site, can be made for users or search engines to learn your site. While a sitemap for users is written in HTML, a sitemap for search engines uses XML. Another essential key to achieving local SEO success is to use your neighborhood as a keyword combined with your type of business. Starting an authoritative blog that demonstrates expertise is another essential component of attracting target visitors to your content. The blog should contain a compelling headline with easy-to-read subheadings that summarize the content. It should also be interactive by allowing followers to post comments.

Waiting for Search Listings

The turnaround time for search engines to index your site can be several months, so it's important to be patient and to work on organic search techniques in the meantime. Organic search is an ideal that connects users with your content without the help of paid advertising. Simply writing strong content full of valuable information can lead to high search rankings, especially if you business is all alone in its niche. You can learn about top search queries from Google Trends and decide the best keywords to focus on for building content that's in demand but with limited competition. Remember that web content is built on keywords but you also don't want to overuse keywords, which search engines might regard as spam.

Adding Services to Your Arsenal

Two important vehicles for achieving success with search engines are pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services and social media marketing services. These two services open the door to increased interaction and exposure. PPC has proven to be the fastest path to generating web traffic while social media helps direct traffic to specific destinations.

Measuring Web Performance

There are various ways to measure web performance, depending on your business goals. One way is to look at how your site ranks in traffic compared with other sites. SEMRush is an excellent analytics site that provides a wealth of information about any given website's traffic and rankings. An important factor to getting high search rankings that every web producer must recognize is that the content must be unique and cannot be duplicated from another site. Copyscape is a useful application for instantly finding out if text for a blog or article is copied from another site. Page titles and meta data are very important for successful indexing. You can use Screaming Frog to find out if web pages are titled appropriately. This tool can help you identify titles that are too short or too long. You will also need to correct duplicated titles. Another problem that can affect search results is improper coding of aHREFs and other HTML elements. All it takes for aHREFs to malfunction is a missing character in the URL. Using SEMRush, Google Trends and Copyscape, you can get a good idea of how well your content serves your target audience. From there conquering SEO for a Houston company is a matter of creating useful content that people crave. While there is no universal guide to SEO since search engines do not publish all the factors that play into search results, it's possible to develop SEO strategies based on studying analytics.

Aiming to Attract Users

Every content producer must keep in mind that search engines know the difference between robotic content written for bots and more fluid content written for humans. The goal is to attract both robots and humans to your site but you need to prioritize humans over bots in the big picture. Blogging is a way to showcase both personality and knowledge, as one without the other can hinder its development and appeal. A blog is meant to tell a story that gives readers a sense of your brand's depth and experience. An effective way to gain attention for your blog is to learn to avoid common beginning blogger mistakes. That means steering clear of jargon that your audience may not understand and emphasizing clear communication rather than trying to be too stylistic. Blogging should be similar to a conversational tone with an intense focus on making solid arguments. The more you can demonstrate that you have deep knowledge about your craft that can't be found elsewhere online, the more search engines will likely view your content as authoritative and original. Every blog should provide specific information that sets it apart from similar blogs that make broader statements.

Final Thoughts

Building relevant unique content will help align your site with search guidelines. The more quality web pages you create, which all serve as advertisements for your brand, the more likely search engines will view your site as useful to users. It's important to remember that no agency can promise specific results due to the secretive formula of search guidelines. You can, however, implement the best digital marketing industry practices to increase the odds of high search rankings. Use marketing tools and industry mentors to accelerate your campaigns. Consider us, a Houston based digital marketing consultancy, and take the next step for your company's online visibility. Learn more here.