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Successful Local SEO for Fargo, ND Businesses in 2019

Successful Local SEO for Fargo, ND Businesses in 2019

What do you think of when you hear the terms SEO or Search Engine Optimization? Do you think keywords, Google ranking, or Google ads? You should. They have all been a part of SEO strategies for a long time.

What many people don’t realize is that SEO has been in a constant state of evolution. The SEO strategies that were used 5 or 10 years ago are no longer relevant. Search engines have changed and the way people use them has changed.

Here are some examples of how things have changed in the world of SEO for businesses trying to be seen by potential customers online.

SEO Then

SEO Now

Lots of keywords on a page

Minimal keywords on a page

Readability of content doesn’t matter

Better content, better page ranking

Searches performed on desktop computers

Searches on multiple devices

Simple keywords in search

More complex search requests

Searches entered by keyboard

Voice search

Very few paid Google ads per page

The first results in a search are paid ads

Search performed in browsers

Search performed via maps

These are just some of the changes that have happened in the SEO landscape over the last decade, and the evolution is continuing. As a Search Engine Optimization Service in Fargo, ND, we are proactive in updating our customer’s Local SEO strategies to current trends.

Local SEO Rises to the Top

Two words have become increasingly common in both typed searches and voice search – “near me.” This is what makes location based SEO strategies so important. Local SEO is all about making sure your business is found quickly when someone “near you” searches for your type of establishment or the types of services you offer.

Local SEO is all about reaching the right people at the right time.

 

Think about it. If you lock yourself out of your car, you’re going to type or speak into your phone “locksmith near me.” Within seconds you get a map or list that shows you all the locksmiths close to your current location. If someone is doing a search, chances are they are ready to buy. That’s always the best time to capture their attention.

Let’s look at what current statistics tell us about Local Search.

  • Close to 50% of Google searches are for local businesses or services.
  • Over 50% of those who use “near me” in their search visit a location found in that search.
  • 86% of people surveyed said they use Google Maps to find business locations.
  • 70% of customers make the decision to visit a business based on the online information related to that business.

3 Key Ingredients to Effective Local SEO for Fargo Businesses

In order to make sure your business shows up when someone is searching, you need to have several key pieces in place. Optimizing your website for local search is number one, but that is just the starting place. The primary ingredients for effective Local SEO involve your:

  1. Website
  2. Business Listings
  3. Social Media

 

The Recipe for a Website Optimized for Local Search

In any recipe, there are essential ingredients and there are those that further enhance the final product to make it the best it can be. Flour and eggs are essential to making cookies; chocolate chips, however, aren’t essential, but they sure increase the appeal. The same is true in optimizing your website for Local SEO. Here is our recommended recipe for a winning website.

Step 1: Include location-based keywords in url, title tag, and H1 of home page.

Step 2: Add location-based landing pages for target communities.

Step 3: Sprinkle content lightly with related keywords.

Step 4: Use location keywords in enticing meta descriptions for each page.

Step 5: Continue to add new content to your site regularly. A blog is a great way to do that.

Option 1:  Include a Google map on your site, showing your location.

Option 2: Add Schema Markup code to your website.

Your website is now ready to start drawing in those looking to “taste” what you have to offer.

Are You Bob, Rob or Robert? Why Consistency Is Critical in Business Listings

Google and the other search engines want to know as much about your business as possible. They will search through all the data looking for information that is connected to your business:

  • reviews
  • business listings
  • links to your website
  • social media accounts

This can be very beneficial to a business, so you want to make it easy for them to distinguish you from other businesses similar to you. Consistency in all your business information is the key:

  • business name
  • address
  • phone number
  • website link
  • business type or category

If your business had a different address, phone number, or website url in the past, updating your information across the web is particularly critical. But even small discrepancies should be corrected. If LLC is part of your legal company name, make sure your business name has the LLC included in each listing. If your address is listed as Road in one place and Rd. in another, decide on one or the other and keep it the same in each place you find it.

Reviewing and updating your listings across the web is one of the Fargo SEO services we offer and recommend to all our clients.

Start with Google My Business and Expand from There

If you haven’t set up a Google My Business profile – uh, why not?

This is where you introduce yourself to Google. Of all your networking buddies, Google should be number one. They should know who you are, what you do, where you’re located and the best ways and times for people to connect with your business. When people find you on Google Maps, it is this Google listing that will tell them what you offer and make sure you show up in a local search for your keywords on Google search. Make sure it is always up to date and keywords related to your business are included in the description.

Don’t stop with Google My Business. Other search engines have business listings, too. The three most popular are:

  • Yahoo!
  • Bing Places
  • Apple Maps

Other Business Listings to Increase Your Local SEO

So, what other business listings should you have and keep up to date? Consider some of these sites that are frequently used to find specific types of local businesses:

  • Motels and Restaurants – TripAdvisor
  • Service Providers – Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor
  • Attorneys – FindLaw
  • Medical Providers – HealthGrades

There are also local Fargo-Moorhead sites where your business can be listed, and general business listings by state or business type. Here are some of those:

Be Where the People Are – Social Media

To neglect social media is a big mistake when talking about Local SEO. Your social media accounts will (or should) provide links back to your website. Those are valuable for improving your SEO by themselves, but that’s just the beginning.

The best way to get new customers hasn’t changed in thousands of years – personal referrals. In 2019, social media has become the place where those referral conversations take place. Do you need to have a profile on all the major social media platforms? Not necessarily. Some platforms work better for some businesses than others. The top five are currently:

  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Just like your website, it isn’t enough to create social media profiles; there needs to be ongoing activity if you want search engines and customers to take notice.

We Can Help You Rank on Google Page 1 Local Search

If all this seems a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. Very few businesses can afford the time and effort required for effective Local SEO. Fargo, ND, businesses who truly want to compete for Google page 1 local search make the investment in a professional search engine optimization service.

Why invest in local SEO marketing? This is why:

  • 62% of people in a 2016 HubSpot survey said they’d prefer to find their answer via search compared to 29% who would prefer talking to a salesman. Those in the first category have been increasing, not declining.
  • Of people who search for a local business online, 92% will select a business listed on the FIRST page of search results. Your business doesn’t get there without the right local SEO.
  • Search Engine Marketing is rated the most effective tactic by 85% of retailers.

Local SEO marketing by a team of local professionals will prove itself in the ROI (return on investment). Contact us to learn what sets us apart.

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Team Members

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see a few team members leave, we’re also excited to announce this year’s new hires. Since they come from a wide range of backgrounds, each new member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded. From photography to office management, meet our new team members.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Devin Joubert | Design & Living Magazine Assistant Editor” main_heading_color=”#969696″ main_heading_font_size=”25″][/ultimate_heading][ultimate_spacer height=”5″][vc_separator style=”shadow”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Devin Joubert

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Devin Joubert is originally from rural Minnesota (Twin Valley). She attended college at MSUM and graduated with a double degree in English/mass communications and a certificate in publishing. For as long as she can remember, Joubert has loved working with words and strives to create stories that’ll touch her readers. Before working at Spotlight Media, she was a digital content editor at two children magazines in Las Vegas. When her Scandinavian blood couldn’t handle the heat any longer, Joubert became a blog editor at a local startup.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“Outside of work my hobbies include writing fiction, capturing moments with a camera and spending time with my husband. I love adventures.”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“In 2010, I studied abroad on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia and met my future husband there. We were in a long-distance relationship for 5.5 years and are finally in the same place. Also, my husband and I started an online magazine called Wolfland (wolflandmagazine.com) which is for couples who are in long-distance relationships. We share tips and tricks to help make our audience’s long-distance relationships thrive.”

What drew you to Spotlight Media originally?
“I’ve always loved magazine publishing. When I saw the open position as the Assistant Editor to Design & Living, I couldn’t resist.”

What’s your favorite part about your new position?
“I really enjoy the variety that this job offers. It’s never boring as there is always something to be done, whether it’s edits, writing or getting up out of the desk to go on interviews/shoots. I enjoy meeting the people we write about.”

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Spotlight Media for a day, whose job would you want? Why?
“Probably one of the photographers. It’s fun to take pictures and organize people for shoots to bring out their personalities.”

Last question, most important, if Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Why?
“I love this question. Oh man, it’s a difficult question. I’d have to say that if Hollywood made a movie about my life I’d like to see me cast as me. No one can act like me, better than myself. haha… well, if I had to pick an actress to play me I’d probably pick Emma Stone.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Luke Albers | Sales Associate” main_heading_color=”#969696″ main_heading_font_size=”25″][/ultimate_heading][ultimate_spacer height=”5″][vc_separator style=”shadow”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Luke Albers was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin. He traveled to North Dakota after high school to earn a degree in fishery and wildlife management at NDSU and play football as a tight end for the Bison. Though he said goodbye to his Bison teammates after graduation last December, he still holds onto his five national championship rings with pride and is excited to cheer them on when they win their sixth. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Luke Albers[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“If I’m not in the office, you can find me on the lake, in the tree stand, in the weight room or on the hardwood (the gym).”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I’m the youngest of four children, my older siblings all being the female gender of the human species.”

What drew you to Spotlight Media originally?
“The opportunity to begin a successful career with a company whose employees are a mixed bag of fun.”

What’s your favorite part about your new position?
“People person, meet someone new and/or build a new relationship everyday essentially.”

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Spotlight Media for a day, whose job would you want? Why?
“I’m content with my current role.”

Last question, most important, if Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Why?
“Not specifically Brad Pitt or Leo Decap the actors but more so a character combination of Tyler Durden from Fight Club and Jordan Belfort from Wolf of Wall Street. Why? They get sh*t done.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Brady Dukart | E-Commerce Associate” main_heading_color=”#969696″ main_heading_font_size=”25″][/ultimate_heading][ultimate_spacer height=”5″][vc_separator style=”shadow”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Brady Dukart[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][ultimate_spacer height=”5″][vc_column_text]Brady Dukart grew up in a small, eight house town just north of Fargo, ironically called Prosper. After graduating last August from MSUM with a degree in marketing, Dukart realized he had another passion: website design. He then decided to further his education and attend M State this fall with majors in web design, graphic design, and computer programming. Before he joined the Spotlight Media team, Dukart interned at three other businesses in Downtown Fargo, so he doesn’t plan on leaving the area anytime soon.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I’m a huge music and movie nerd. I’ve been in many different bands since I was 14. I’ve been able to tour the country many times with them as well. I really enjoy computer programming and building websites as well.”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute!”

What drew you to Spotlight Media originally?
“What drew me to Spotlight, specifically One Herd, was the ability to work in many different aspects of e-commerce.”

What’s your favorite part about your new position?
“My favorite part of my new position is the experience I’m getting and being mentored by a great leadership team.”

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Spotlight Media for a day, whose job would you want? Why?
“If I could switch my job with someone else, I’d switch with Mike. I plan on being in a position like his someday. The experience would be awesome!”

Last question, most important, if Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Why?
“If someone were to be cast as me, I’d like to think it’d be Joseph Gordon Levitt, but (if I’m being honest with myself) it’d probably be Steve Buscemi.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_heading main_heading=”Ethan Mickleson | Bison Illustrated Intern” main_heading_color=”#969696″ main_heading_font_size=”25″][/ultimate_heading][ultimate_spacer height=”5″][vc_separator style=”shadow”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][ultimate_spacer height=”5″][vc_column_text]Ethan Mickelson grew up on a farm just outside of Rolla, North Dakota, and is currently a junior at NDSU majoring in strategic communications. The start of his journalism career was writing for his hometown newspaper, the Turtle Mountain Star. When he isn’t working in the office, Michelson is enjoying the leisure life, as he loves the outdoors and camping.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Ethan Mickelson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I love amateur art like coloring books, water paints, that sort of thing. I’m fond of anything that allows me to unplug and relax, like camping or traveling.”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I was an Eagle in the Boy Scouts.”

What drew you to Spotlight Media originally?
“Every time I’ve picked up Bison Illustrated on campus, I was impressed with how well the spirit of the Bison Herd was captured and I really wanted to be a part of that.”

What’s your favorite part about your new position?
“Seeing the inner-workings of a publishing company and learning how everyone’s work comes together has been awesome.”

If you could switch your job with anyone else within Spotlight Media for a day, whose job would you want? Why?
“Fargo Monthly Editor Erica Rapp, because she gets to eat free food all the time.”

Last question, most important, if Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you? Why?
“Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would play me, because of our comparable musculature, and narrated by Morgan Freeman.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Spotlight Media To Release Special “Fargo Insider’s Guide”

Spotlight Media, the parent company of Fargo Monthly, Bison Illustrated, Fargo INC! and Design and Living Magazine, is excited to announce that, in January 2017, a special guide dubbed The Fargo Insider’s Guide will be mailed, at no cost, to approximately 93,000 households in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. The mission of this yearlong guide is to ensure that every household in the FM area will receive a copy and be exposed to all of the wonderful things happening in the community.

How to Design a Powerful Landing Page

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