Most companies want (and need) to be found in Google and the best way to do this is with a little Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is a technique that helps search engines find your website and increasing the amount of visitors you have to your website.

SEO is a must for ALL local businesses, and the great news is it is really simple to rank for your local search terms (what people search for in Google).

Before you do any of this work you will need to set yourself up with a few SEO tools. Here is a list of my top SEO tools that you need to use to get started with SEO.

1. Google Webmaster Tools

The first step in working on your SEO will be setting up a Google Webmaster Tool account. To set up an account you will need to set up your very own Google Account (Webmaster will walk you through this process), you can use any email or gmail email you have already set up. Make sure to keep a record of your Google Account logins, you will need them for other SEO tools as well.

Google Webmaster will help you analyze your website data to help you have a search engine friendly website.

  • Check your site’s health for potential issues that Google has detected.
  • Understand your search traffic and learn how users are finding your site.
  • Make optimisations to help Google better understand and represent your site.

So sign up for your account today.

You will need to verify you own you website but this is a quick process and Google will walk you through this process as well. Of course let us know if you are not sure.

2. Google Keyword Tool (and Google Adwords)

Now you have set up your own Google Account in step one, the rest of the Google tools will be easy to use.

Google Keyword Tool is my top pick for doing research on your marketing and potential search terms people will look for to get to your website. Google Keywords is part of the Google Adwords tools which is advertising online.

All you need to do is create your own Google Adwords account, using your Google Account you created in step one. Simply sign up and then under Tools you can find the Keyword Tool where you can do research for your website.

I will cover Keyword Research in another blog post.

3. Google Places Listing

Google Places is a fantastic little tools for local businesses. If you have seen Google maps with a little marker on it when you search in Google, that means it is a Google Place listing.

This is perfect for local businesses who have a physical office as your office will be shown in the Google Map location.

Again with Google Places you can login using your Google Account and submit your listing. You can put in information about your business including address, phone, opening hours, parking information, categories, add video, add images and much more.

Best of all you will show up in the map listing when people search for a local business in your area.

4. XML-Sitemap

XML Sitemap are a must for every website and it is really easy to do.

What is a XML Sitemap I hear you ask? A sitemap is a way of organising a website, identifying the URLs and the data under each section. They allow the search engines to find the data faster and more efficiently.

All you need to do is visit the XML-Sitemap website (or if you use WordPress download the XML-Sitemap plugin) and create your very own sitemap. Once this is done submit your sitemap to Google (using the webmaster tool in step one).

Only do this step once you have finished your website and it is live. Your website will be put onto Google really quickly once the sitemap is submitted.

Don’t worry too much, this sounds confusing but the XML Sitemap talks you through exactly what you need to do. As do Google Webmaster Tools.

5. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a statistic tool that will show you how much traffic you have coming to your website.

Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back*.

This is definitely a must when doing SEO, you need to know if your hard work is paying off for you.

Using your Google Account simply create your new analytics account. Once in there you will need to put in your website domain that you wish to track (you may need to verify this domain if you haven’t before).

Once you have done this you will need to put in the Google Analytics tracking code (how Google actually tracks your website visitors) into your website. This is really easy and Google will show you where to put the code. If you aren’t sure just ask your website developer.

It will take around 24 hours for reporting to start so don’t worry if you don’t see any information yet.

* Source: Google Analytics

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