Local SEO Checklist for New Sites – SEOMoz

Here’s today’s Whiteboard Friday SEO video from SEO Moz, explaining best practices for how to start ranking in local search. 1 in 5 searches done today have a local intent, and if you are the business down the street, you want to appear first in the search results!


How Search and SEO Have Changed Over Time

Here’s a really cool infographic from Search Engine Journal on the evolution of search engines and search engine optimization as a field/profession/pursuit. It’s amazing how much has happened in only 17 fast years and how quickly things continue to change.

A few things that really stood out for me:

  1. The Search Engine Marketing Industry is worth $19.3 Billion in the US alone, and has grown on average %26 year over year for over 7 years, according to the graph. That’s one good growth industry! This is no small growth, but a booming industry caused by a cultural change.
  2. Google has only totally dominated Search Engine Market Share since 2008. I’ve been using Google search almost exclusively since… as long as I can remember… 1998 maybe? I’m surprised to see that Google has only served over half of all online searches since 2006. Of course, Yahoo was using Google’s search technology from 2000 to 2004, so you could argue that Google has served over half of all search results for most of history, but just not through their own sites.
  3. Just how quickly things change! If your SEO skills are a few years out of date, you don’t have any SEO skills!

On the original post at Search Engine Journal, one of the commenters said:

“We all know that SEO is evolving but is it evolving towards more of a fusion of SEO and traditional marketing strategy? Meaning that because of Panda, “branding,” site aesthetics and consumer engagement combined with on and off page SEO are all needed to rank on the first page.”

SEO in a narrow sense is all about getting to the top of search results pages, but it’s really about getting found and converting website visitors into customers, members, fans, or whatever the purpose of your website is.

So in the proper sense, SEO is really an inseparable part of marketing.

In some ways SEO is evolving to become more like traditional marketing because traditional marketing has always been about converting people to customers. There’s also the fact that most purchases today start with online research, even purchases made in person at a store, “offline”.

So marketing is becoming more like SEO because more and more the online experience IS the marketing. People don’t want to get junk mail fliers, unsolicited email, telemarketing calls or knocks at the door during dinner time.

People just expect that you will be there online when they come looking for you.

The Evolution of Making Page 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]
Source: The Evolution of Making Page 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Where should I register my domain name?

Wondering where to register a domain name?

That’s a common question. There are 100s of domain name registrars to choose from, all with different pricing, services available and levels of customer service quality. Refer to the comparison of some of the best domain name registrars’ pricing and features.

How do you buy a website domain name?

You can register a domain name at any domain name registrar company. Most registrars also offer web hosting services, but you can host a website at any hosting company, even if it’s registered elsewhere.

Registering a domain name gives you full, exclusive rights to use that domain name for as long as you continue to renew the registration period. This means you have total control over what is hosted at that website address.

Technically, you never actually “own” a domain name, even though that’s often how people speak. You can transfer “ownership”, or registration, to or from other people or companies by “buying “or “selling” a domain name. So even if a domain name is already taken, it may be possible to buy it from the current registrant.

Ways to get a domain name for your website

  • Just sign up

If the domain name is currently not registered, all you need to do is visit a domain name registrar and register the domain. This will cost you anywhere from $5 to $75 depending on the top level domain (TLD). .coms and common TLDs usually cost around $10 per year, but can be cheaper if bought in bulk or with other promotional offers. Some hosting companies will give you a free domain for a year if you buy their website hosting service.

Some international domains like .de (Germany) can cost $75/year, but as with most Country-specific TLDs, you must have an office or residence in that country in order to register a domain name there.

  • Buy it from the current owner

If the domain name is already registered, or “owned”, by another person or company, you may be able to buy it from them, if they are willing to sell it. Depending on the domain, this could cost you any amount of money from $25 for a low-value domain to millions of dollars for a prominent domain name that is an important keyword for any number of reasons.

There are several domain buying services that can help you negotiate with the current owners.

  • Grab it when the current registrar fails to renew it

Sometimes a domain name owner will let a registration lapse, in which case you can simply register it yourself after a grace period that varies depending on the current registrar company, but usually is 30 to 60 days.

Check out the feature and price comparison for 5 of the most popular domain name registrars.

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