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5 SIMPLE STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SEARCH RANKINGS:

How to Improve SEO:original

The fact is, if yours is a local business you enjoy a great many advantages where search optimization is concerned and by making a few fairly simple changes to your website you can significantly improve your rankings. 

1.jpgAdd Your City/State To Your Title Tag – The title tag is part of the metadata set located in the <head> section of your source code and is one of your most important on-site SEO assets. 

Adding your city/state to the title tag, along with your primary keywords, helps to inform the search engines that yours is a local business. It may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be suprised how many local businesses get this wrong. 

If you offer swimming pool maintenance services in Port Charlotte Florida, that is exactly what your title tag should say – “Swimming Pool Maintenance Services Port Charlotte Florida”.

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Include Your City/State In The <H1> Tag On Your Home Page – Like your title tag, every page on your website should have a unique header or <H1> tag. Including geographic information in the header (like your city name) alongside a primary keyword tells the search engines that this location is important to your business. Sticking with the swimming pool maintenance example a possible heading might read: “Port Charlotte’s Pool Service of Choice”.

3.pngInclude Your City/State In Your Copy – Are you sensing a theme here? Including location information in your textual copy helps reinforce the relevance this location has with regard to your business. You do not need to mention it in excess, just a single reference is plenty; preferably in the first sentence following your <H1> tag as noted above.

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Embed A Google Map On Your Contact Page –Research suggests that embedding a Google map along with your physical address to your contact page improves rankings in local search.

5.pngWrap Your NAP In Schema Markup – NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone and as a local business it is one of your most valuable assets. If you haven’t already you should establish a format for your NAP and use it consistently whenever sharing this information online.

 

For instance, if your business name is ABC WIDGETS LLC and your business address is 123 Main Street, Anytown, USA, you need to decide how you will format this information. Will you always spell out the word ‘Street’, or will you abbreviate? Are you going to include the ‘LLC’ designation, or eliminate it? Will you include a leading ‘1’ on your phone number, or just start with the area code? The point is, you need to establish a format and stick with it.

Once you have established a format for your NAP add it to the footer section on every page of your website and wrap it in Local Business Schema, like this:

COMPANY NAME

ADDRESS LINE 1

CITY,

REGION

POSTCODE/ZIP

PHONE NUMBER

The real take away here is that as a local business you should be treating your city/state much like you would a keyword. Like your other keywords, your city/state should be included in your title tag, your textual headers, your copy, and even your meta description if you like.

In addition, using Local Business Schema and embedding a Google Map on your contact page will help to ensure that Google and other search engines recognize the relevance of your geographic location.

Related:

Top 5 Things Search Engines Look For When Ranking Sites

SEO Tricks of the Trade

7 SEO Challenges Faced by Start up businesses

 

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Transparency in a Startup

David Cummings on Startups

One of the items entrepreneurs frequently debate is the level of transparency to provide within their startup. How much information does a team member need to know? When does not enough information cause problems? While there’s no perfect answer, I’ve found that it’s better to err on the side of providing more information than expected.

Here are a few areas worth considering as part of the transparency question in a startup:

  • How much cash is in the bank?
  • What’s the monthly burn rate?
  • What are the key metrics for the business and where do things stand?
  • What are the key metrics for each department and where do things stand?
  • What goals need to be hit to raise the next round of financing (if applicable)?
  • What are the top three challenges in the business (some issues, like those that are personnel related, can’t be discussed company-wide)?
  • What’s on the Simplified One Page Strategic Plan

View original post 34 more words

Notes from the EndoChoice S-1 IPO Filing

David Cummings on Startups

EndoChoice went public today on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:GI) raising $95 million. This is notable because it’s the first entrepreneur-lead company in Atlanta to go public in many years. Founded in 2008, EndoChoice is a medtech company focused on technologies and products for gastrointestinal conditions with their main innovation being an endoscopic imaging system.

Here are a few notes from the EndoChoice S-1 IPO filing:

  • Serves over 2,500 GI departments (pg. 1)
  • Fuse® system enables GI specialists to see more than twice the anatomy at any one time compared to standard, forward-viewing colonoscopes and has been clinically demonstrated to detect 69% more pre-cancerous polyps than standard colonoscopes. (pg. 1)
  • 15 million colonoscopies per year in the United States (pg. 1)
  • Revenues (pg. 2)
    2012 – $34.2 million
    2013 – $50.9 million
    2014 – $61.4 million
  • Net losses (pg. 2)
    2012 – $1.2 million
    2013 – $23.9…

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More At-Bats for B2C Startups in the Community

David Cummings on Startups

An entrepreneur recently asked me why we don’t have more B2C startups in town. Consumer startups, as opposed to business ones, have a lower success rate. Much like the movie business, even experts have a hard time telling what’s going to do well financially and what isn’t — it’s a “hits” business. With the continued success of Yik Yak here, there’s a renewed interest, and hope, in more B2C startups locally. What’s the solution? More at bats. More swings. More strikeouts. More hits.

Here are a few thoughts on more at-bats for B2C startups:

  • Incubators like Switchyards are working on developing institutional knowledge around what does, and doesn’t work, while catalyzing the community
  • More local success will result in more local hires that get exposed to consumer startups, and in turn they’ll start their own companies (success breeds success but there’s a chicken and egg problem to get it going)
  • More meetups, experience…

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Most Entrepreneurs Should Not Incorporate.

Hustle Creative

There are great reasons to incorporate: to define the terms of a partnership, and to protect your assets.  If you are going into business yourself, then you should assess the risks of the business you are entering, and whether or not your have assets worth protecting.  Most people just starting their business likely do not have assets to protect yet.  Incorporating your business does nothing to make it more “real” or “legitimate”, and there are absolutely no tax benefits until you are making $250k or more.  I ultimately decided to hold off on incorporating; this video helped make the decision:

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Entrepreneurs Drawn to Starting Incubators

David Cummings on Startups

Last week I was reading an article about a successful entrepreneur that had started an incubator to work on multiple startups simultaneously. Incubators, now called studios or labs, were popularized during the dot com boom, and most failed to work, leaving a negative connotation for many people. Now, the cost to start is 10x cheaper and there are millions of people with mobile broadband connections, making for a different dynamic compared to 15 years ago. While it is still expensive to scale, getting started is easy.

Here are a few ideas why entrepreneurs are drawn to incubators:

  • Timing a market is terribly difficult, so having multiple startups running simultaneously increases the chance of finding a fit
  • For many (most?) entrepreneurs, the starting part is more fun than the scaling part
  • Small, dedicated teams without a legacy customer base can innovate fast, making it more fun to see rapid progress
  • When…

View original post 81 more words