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SEO FAQs With A Cumbria Twist

Local Audit

Find out your your local visibility.

Many business owners still don’t make best use of the techniques, tactics and broader strategies of Search Engine Optimisation to promote the visibility of their businesses when people search for their offering online in search engines. To many people, SEO is some kind of dodgy black art – as it once could be 6 -10 years ago. To others it’s just a jargon filled nightmare that fails to deliver when done on the cheap. The reality is very different. Our series of SEO FAQs will clear the fog. Optimising your website for the right searches is an effective marketing strategy that delivers far better results than some dodgy politician’s promises about the green fields of an “oven ready” Brexit deal. SEO is the digital marketing equivalent of tuning your TV in to the right station!

The Quiz

What Digital Channels Do You Know?

What is SEO… What does SEO Stand For?
A lot of business owners in Cumbria wonder. “What does SEO mean?” SEO is the acronym for search engine optimisation. In plain English is a set of strategies that attempt to tune your website content and digital presence to what your potential customers want. Many people regard it as something of a dark art or something nasty that you shouldn’t talk about in polite company, but that I’m afraid… is cobblers!

There are several components to this digital marketing discipline. Understanding what your customers are searching for online, requires keyword research. With that knowledge you are better able to tune your written and visual content in: to what they want. Then there’s the technical part. Making sure that the page is set up properly so a visitor has a decent experience and finally promoting that content so it is seen by a wider audience, which may involve posting to social media, dropping some digital PR to alert people or persuading other websites to link to your content.

What is Local SEO?
There are huge numbers of SMEs and microbusinesses which operate in a fairly small area, be that a town or a particular corner of Cumbria or the Borders. Local SEO is tuning the business’ website content in just to searches looking for their service or products in that small area.

Effectively you are signalling to Google and the other search engines that you are the business to look for when someone searches for crime scene cleaners near Carlisle for example. One of our clients has a strong presence for just this specialism in Cumbria and the Borders. His content is explicit about the areas he serves with this highly specialised cleaning discipline. This is also reflected in the text used in the page’s title tag and meta description.

What are Keywords and What Are Search Terms?
These two entities are the same. Keywords are the phrases that people type in to search engine software or speak into voice assistants. Sometimes they are obvious and used regularly. The phrase “plastic surgery” is used at least 22,200 and “mole removal” is typed in perhaps 18,100 times per month in Google’s UK database. However, these are quite hard to rank on the top of the first page for, because everybody is trying to show up for them. Both have a Keyword Difficulty rating of over 75/100.

However, a local variation of the keywords such as “mole removal Carlisle” is only searched for 50 times a month. This is a keyword that is useful for a local clinic to show up for because it is much more likely that someone will call them if the clinic ranks for it.

What Is Ranking In SEO?
Ranking in SERPS LPA Guidance CumbriaWhen SEO professionals and search marketers talk to business owners about “ranking”, they are talking about the position of the business’ website in search results. Most businesses are familiar with the notion that they want to be at number 1 in the results. Here’s part of a typical search result page for “LPA guidance Cumbria”.

This isn’t as frequently used a phrase as some and it refers to a general area. This produces a fairly simple SERP with no ads, mostly simple organic listings and  a “People Also Ask” box.

For most businesses it’s important to “rank” on the first page of the search results in order to attract some of the clicks to your website. Ideally, your business will rank for many search terms rather than blindly trying to focus on just one single high volume phrase.

What is the Local Pack In Google’s Search Results Page?
Teeth whitening Carlisle local pack in search resultsThe local pack is the set of 3 (usually) results with a map listing which mostly appears at the top of a SERP where local intent is clear.

Here – the searcher wants teeth whitening… and they want it in Carlisle. So Google serves up this map result with locations that offer this and usually picks the three nearest to the searcher, particularly if the search is done on a phone.

Notice also that Google has been forced to display links to other search providers which is another reason for getting local citations up to date. At the bottom of the Local Pack the arrowed link takes you through to an extended set of Google Maps results known as the Local Finder. Below that, come one normal organic search link and then a People Also Ask section. So the Local Pack is an integral part of the SERPs.


What are SERPs in SEO?
The SERPs are simply the Search Engine Results Pages and nowadays they come in a bewildering array of formats.
Is SEO Dead?
No… and it’s unlikely to disappear for many more years yet!
What Is SEO Marketing?
SEO in digital marketing is really the foundation of anything you do online to sell more services and products through your business. Marketing, despite its evolution through many technological revolutions, remains the art of positioning your “unique” offering in front of the right people, making it attractive enough to attract their attention and then arouse them sufficiently that they buy into your particular product or service.

Digital marketing simply takes this online to media like websites, social platforms and digital assistants. SEO marketing is simply building a sound basis to allow search engines to match your content with the people searching for what you offer.

What’s Your Question?

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