caveman75

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Hi everyone. My wife and I have a private/personal chef business. I built our website and wanted to learn more about local link building strategies. I reached out to an SEO and he said to concentrate on optimizing my site first, because the way it's site up now, links won't make a difference in local ranking.

Homepage title tag was just the name of our business. I changes this to read "Personal and Private chefs serving the CT tri state area". I feel that these will be the most searched KW's relating to our business.

My original homepage H1 read "dinner just got easier" I've since changed it to " Personal and private chef services" I'm trying to find advice or examples of how to optimize these important factors without going overboard or seeming too intentional or spammy.

As far as service pages I'm trying to figure out if I should make the service, for example "Meal Prep" the H1. So it would be the page title as H1 with the KW I want to rank for, or do I try and optimize the content or copy listed on the page itself, describing the service?

I guess I am looking for ways to optimize the internal pages on the website and how I will know when that is, so I can then start building local links

I am also using a free crawler page audit? and it says I have to 2 H1 occurrences on some of my pages. Is this conflicting? sorry to ramble, but there is so much nuance to this and sometimes it feels like a fools errand. Thank you, Jeff
 

djbaxter

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  1. Can you post the link to your site please? It will help to answer your questions if we can see them in the context of your site overall.
  2. Google doesn't care how many H1 tags you have or whether you have one at all.
See for starters:

 

djbaxter

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I just took a quick look. I'll come back later when I have more time.

First impressions/questions:

From a user experience perspective, your site is actually a fairly good example of optimizing for mobile instead of desktop/laptop. On my desktop, the fonts are huge and rather glaring but checking it on an iPhone it's very easy to read and navigate. That's a big plus with so many searches originating on smart phones these days. The site also loads quickly for me on both desktop and mobile, so good job on that as well.

1. You have two navigation links, Home and Services, which appear to be exactly the same page. Why is that? You might consider splitting the Home page into Home and Services instead of duplicating the links. If you do that, make sure you have a brief summary of services you offer on the Home page which links to more detailed information on ther Services page.

Homepage title tag was just the name of our business. I changes this to read "Personal and Private chefs serving the CT tri state area". I feel that these will be the most searched KW's relating to our business.
2. Are you guessing at what people will search for or have you researched this? If you haven't already done so, you should set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics so you can see what people are actually using as their search queries when they find your site/page. Do you have Google My Business set up yet? That would be recommended as well but make sure you specify it's a Service Area Business, not a restaurant or store front (I'm assuming here that there is no actual separate storefront business address). That should also allow you to add other information about your business as well as the link to your website.

Your home page title isn't actually as described. Currently, this is what is displayed:

Personal and Private Chef services CT

Personally, I would change this to include your business name for repeat customers and general branding, as well as to spell out locations served.

Try something like

Personal and Private Chef Services Connecticut and TriState | Set For Dinner

You might also consider defining in the content of your pages exactly what is your service area, i.e., which towns and cities do you actually provide services to. Connecticut and the TriState Area seems a little unrealistic but then I don't know how you actually run your business.

I would also recommend that you add a notice somewhere prominently, maybe even with a link from your navigation bar, about what precautions your business has implemented in the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since you are going into their homes to prepare food. That for many people is a significant concern these days.

I'll leave it at that for now. Our local search experts can probably add some advice when they log in tomorrow during their business hours. Most are not night owls like me. :)
 

caveman75

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Thank you so much.....I wish I had joined up sooner, because your reply has saved me days if not weeks of research.


-I'm glad to hear the site translates to mobile. It took me awhile to figure this out even using elementor. I will have friends/family report back in terms of desktop, since it looks fine on mine, but i feel the settings can be different depending on which device it's being viewed. Ugghhh!!!

I thought it would be better having an anchor text to our services from the nav menu just to make it clearer for the user as opposed to a page about our services and then individual pages describing each one, but it looks like I must of deleted anchor text while editing fonts. Now that you've brought this to my attention, I am going to remove the menu title from nav and put the individual services like meal prep and dinner parties to a drop down under services. Since the sample menus are on each service page my original set up would be redundant. Thank you!!

I have all the above mentioned. GMB, GSC, and GA. GSC and GA are still confusing for me at this point. Plus we don't have any volume to really show us any clear data. When I use Google trends and enter relevant search terms like CT, greenwich, private chefs, meal prep. there isn't enough search volume, which is odd. I do have to work on this aspect. especially if I want to start putting content on the site.

I have been adding posts to GMB with photos of our service in action and updates such as "we're now offering gift cards" and a covid protocol post, which I will also mention on our site. Thanks again. When someone contacts us I always ask how they found us, and all of them say something to the effect of google search personal chefs in CT.

I removed our physical address, since it is not a store front. I also changed our name in GMB to read "set for dinner personal and private chef services CT, and it ranked immediately, but I was then told I could get dinged for that, so I changed it back to just set for dinner. I did actually change our name on DBA to Set for dinner yadda yadda yadda, and I'm wondering since I've change the site title to the one you suggested, will I be able to go back to a more specific name on GMB listing?

regarding site title. I changed it to your suggestion. How are you able to see this to know what it had said? can you post a screen shot of what we like on SERP? Since our business name is so generic it's nearly impossible to rank for the words "set for dinner" so you may try personal chef services CT, Any help regarding this would b great!! I'm hoping you will see our GMB listing as well

BTW what is that vertical hyphen between tri state and set is that am "integral extension"? and is it found under symbols and emoji's?

Also any suggestions on how to to have our nav menu also show up under site name in SERP

Again thank so much for this help so far and look forward to any other comments. I hope to able to contribute back in some significant way as well. Best, Jeff
 

djbaxter

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regarding site title. I changed it to your suggestion. How are you able to see this to know what it had said? can you post a screen shot of what we like on SERP? Since our business name is so generic it's nearly impossible to rank for the words "set for dinner" so you may try personal chef services CT, Any help regarding this would b great!! I'm hoping you will see our GMB listing as well

BTW what is that vertical hyphen between tri state and set is that am "integral extension"? and is it found under symbols and emoji's?
I use Firefox as my default browser and it shows me the page title at the very top of the browser (desktop only plus I have customized Firefox a fair bit to suit my needs though; I don't recall if this is visible in Firefox by default). The | character is just an ASCII character used as a separator. You could just as easily use any other ASCII character such as - or > or whatever you prefer.

Regarding specific search terms to target, try
  1. do some Google searches for variuous combinations of words as search queries
  2. look at what comes in Google's search results and check out competitor's sites to see how they have optimized their page titles and on-page content and then incororate that into your own content
For example, Personal and Private Chef Services Connecticut and Tri State - Google Search

Also any suggestions on how to to have our nav menu also show up under site name in SERP
That's probably best left for one of our local search experts to answer. Part of the answer may have to do with how you have GMB set up.

I suggest you start a new thread with specific questions on how to do that in the Google My Business & Google Maps forum or the Service Area Businesses subforum. That will bring new eyes and knowledge to your post.
 

Cherie Dickey

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Hi there!

I have a few thoughts, haha

First things first, I would recommend a few tools that will help you view your title tags (TT), metas, etc. The Moz bar will be your friend, I think. There is a free version that will show you basic stuff like the above, and there is a 30 day free trial to Moz pro that you can take advantage of to do your keyword research, and get suggestions of page optimization. That should be enough time to get your site structured, and then you can choose to continue to pay for it or not.

Moz and Whitespark are both a wealth of information as far as explaining what these elements are, and how they should be used as well.

I work with healthcare websites on a hyper local level, but in my experience folks in CT do seem to search with the state quite a bit, which is challenging because it makes the keywords so much more competitive. I would echo @djbaxter's question about how far you are willing to travel for these services, and optimize for that specifically. I've not done the research for your industry, but I would not optimize one of my sites for tri-state - especially since that's not how people search.

Keep in mind that you want your main optimization to be for your PRIMARY service area, and ideally the one that has the most search volume. I tend to stick with the major one in the TT, and H1/H2, and then mention the others in the content and H3.

Speaking of content, on the HP, I would add an opening paragraph describing exactly what it is that you do, and why folks should choose you. Explain HOW you make dinner easier under your "Dinner Just Got Easier" heading, just above your meal prep section. I would add your primary service area, and a couple of other locations to this statement. Include things that set you apart such as your experience - "With over 20 years combined experience at some of the finest restaurants in CT and the Tri-State Area (or wherever you are targeting), the chefs at Set For Dinner will bring that fine dining experience directly to you so that you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home." Or something like that. Don't forget your call to action.

I'd also add a map at the bottom of the page showing your service area as well, and maybe some more content detailing the areas you serve above the map. This is for the user as well as SEO because everything on your site should be helpful information for the reader - and that's one of the questions they are going to have.

Regarding your service page... currently you have the duplication of the HP, which has been mentioned is an issue. Your services are under the Menu heading, which isn't serving you either. I wonder if it would be too crowded on the page to just eliminate the Services tab and the menu tab, and replace them with links to the services themselves? Something like this is what I"m seeing in my head, haha:

Home | About-Us | Meal Prep | Dinner Parties | Cooking Classes | FAQ | Contact

About-Us - Add a "Meet the Chefs" link in the drop down that goes to an expanded bio for both. People want to know who they are inviting into their home.
Cooking Classes - I haven't done research, but there is likely volume for this specific topic, so I would create a page of content just for that as its own service.
Meal Prep - I would add the "Special Diets" under this tab.
Contact-Us - I would again add the GBL on this page that shows your service area.

I like how the service pages are currently structured for the most part. Your content is engaging and informative. Maybe break up the About Us with some headings or photos to make it easier to read. Your TTs should all be unique to that page, so those should be updated. For example: "Meal Prep in CT | Set For Dinner"

I hope this helps!
Cherie
 

Cherie Dickey

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I almost forgot...

Also any suggestions on how to to have our nav menu also show up under site name in SERP

This sounds like your asking about sitelinks. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot that can be done to influence these. The only thing I personally know to do is to consistently follow best practices as far as site structure and on page SEO. Things like schema, internal linking, site structure, appropriate anchor text, well optimized engaging content - the things we should be doing anyway. Doing that better than the rest of the competition in that search should increase your chances.

Here's a help article form Google: Sitelinks - Search Console Help
 

caveman75

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Hi there!

I have a few thoughts, haha

First things first, I would recommend a few tools that will help you view your title tags (TT), metas, etc. The Moz bar will be your friend, I think. There is a free version that will show you basic stuff like the above, and there is a 30 day free trial to Moz pro that you can take advantage of to do your keyword research, and get suggestions of page optimization. That should be enough time to get your site structured, and then you can choose to continue to pay for it or not.

Moz and Whitespark are both a wealth of information as far as explaining what these elements are, and how they should be used as well.

I work with healthcare websites on a hyper local level, but in my experience folks in CT do seem to search with the state quite a bit, which is challenging because it makes the keywords so much more competitive. I would echo @djbaxter's question about how far you are willing to travel for these services, and optimize for that specifically. I've not done the research for your industry, but I would not optimize one of my sites for tri-state - especially since that's not how people search.

Keep in mind that you want your main optimization to be for your PRIMARY service area, and ideally the one that has the most search volume. I tend to stick with the major one in the TT, and H1/H2, and then mention the others in the content and H3.

Speaking of content, on the HP, I would add an opening paragraph describing exactly what it is that you do, and why folks should choose you. Explain HOW you make dinner easier under your "Dinner Just Got Easier" heading, just above your meal prep section. I would add your primary service area, and a couple of other locations to this statement. Include things that set you apart such as your experience - "With over 20 years combined experience at some of the finest restaurants in CT and the Tri-State Area (or wherever you are targeting), the chefs at Set For Dinner will bring that fine dining experience directly to you so that you can enjoy it from the comfort of your home." Or something like that. Don't forget your call to action.

I'd also add a map at the bottom of the page showing your service area as well, and maybe some more content detailing the areas you serve above the map. This is for the user as well as SEO because everything on your site should be helpful information for the reader - and that's one of the questions they are going to have.

Regarding your service page... currently you have the duplication of the HP, which has been mentioned is an issue. Your services are under the Menu heading, which isn't serving you either. I wonder if it would be too crowded on the page to just eliminate the Services tab and the menu tab, and replace them with links to the services themselves? Something like this is what I"m seeing in my head, haha:

Home | About-Us | Meal Prep | Dinner Parties | Cooking Classes | FAQ | Contact

About-Us - Add a "Meet the Chefs" link in the drop down that goes to an expanded bio for both. People want to know who they are inviting into their home.
Cooking Classes - I haven't done research, but there is likely volume for this specific topic, so I would create a page of content just for that as its own service.
Meal Prep - I would add the "Special Diets" under this tab.
Contact-Us - I would again add the GBL on this page that shows your service area.

I like how the service pages are currently structured for the most part. Your content is engaging and informative. Maybe break up the About Us with some headings or photos to make it easier to read. Your TTs should all be unique to that page, so those should be updated. For example: "Meal Prep in CT | Set For Dinner"

I hope this helps!
Cherie
Hi.....I've been backed up with work and haven't had a chance to say thank you for this. I just add MOZ extension and plan on diving into this tonight and tomorrow. This is so helpful.....I have heard of schema and assumed it was better suited for blogs and blog posts, but could this also be applied to basic on site content? if so I'lll have to look more into it. Thanks so much again, Jeff
 

Cherie Dickey

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Hi Jeff,

You're very welcome!

I have heard of schema and assumed it was better suited for blogs and blog posts, but could this also be applied to basic on site content?

Yes, definitely. Your business type, service area, services, same as (which you would use to say that your website is the same business that's in your GBL, Facebook page, Twitter, YP, Yelp, etc), NAP - these are all things that should be included in your schema. There are probably more, but those are the basics.

@Colan Nielsen has some good advice for schema in a SAB in this thread: What kind of schema json markup for a Service Area Business?

Happy editing!
Cherie
 

caveman75

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Hello....I
Thank you, Cherie!!!
Hello I made some changes that you recommended. I'm still struggling with meta descriptions and how to add them to the site using elementor. Is there a plug in that I need for this? If so is there one you recommend or should I just go with Yoast? Thank you
 

caveman75

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Hello....I

Hello I made some changes that you recommended. I'm still struggling with meta descriptions and how to add them to the site using elementor. Is there a plug in that I need for this? If so is there one you recommend or should I just go with Yoast? Thank you
Thank you..I just added yoast and for the life of me I can't get a meta description for my home page all the others are showing the same meta description.

I want to get these phrases to show underneath our title on SERP:

Looking for a personal or private chef near you?​

Set for dinner caters to all of CT, including Greenwich, Fairfield County, New Haven, and the CT Shoreline.​

here is what it's showing now: here's what it looks like when I crawl with screaming frog tool

is there a certain setting I need to replace the current meta description under our business name

Also just wondering what that little arrow means next. to our name and can that be optimized. Thank you, Jeff

Screen Shot 2020-12-17 at 11.07.12 AM.png


Screen Shot 2020-12-17 at 11.04.52 AM.png
 

djbaxter

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1. It will likely take time for the new description to be picked up by search engines and bots.

2. Are you using a caching plugin? If so, you can clear that to try to speed things up.

3. What little arrow and where are you seeing that? Do you mean the little down arrow?
 

caveman75

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1. I figured this. I'm just not sure why it's not showing on screaming frog crawl. That's why I think it's something I'm not getting

2. just just yoast. I don't want too many PI's but I could install for sake of speeding up process and then remove?

3. Yes that arrow next to setfordinner.com what is taht > and what's it for?

Thank you, Jeff
1. It will likely take time for the new description to be picked up by search engines and bots.

2. Are you using a caching plugin? If so, you can clear that to try to speed things up.

3. What little arrow and where are you seeing that? Do you mean the little down arrow?
 

caveman75

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Hi Jeff,

You're very welcome!



Yes, definitely. Your business type, service area, services, same as (which you would use to say that your website is the same business that's in your GBL, Facebook page, Twitter, YP, Yelp, etc), NAP - these are all things that should be included in your schema. There are probably more, but those are the basics.

@Colan Nielsen has some good advice for schema in a SAB in this thread: What kind of schema json markup for a Service Area Business?

Happy editing!
Cherie
Hi Cherie..just trying to wrap my head around this whole schema markup thing and how to apply this effectively to my site. I have yoast plugin and I was wondering if this plugin takes care of all my schema needs? Especially with location and services? From what I've researched I shouldn't need to enter any code? The more I research this stuff it seems, the farther I get from understanding it. Jeff
 

dynasty

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I'd suggest limiting your use of CT in your content and opting for a few uses of Connecticut. The abbreviations are really jarrying and are quite obviously an SEO thing. You have to keep people who actually read your content in mind as well. How often do you use CT in typical conversation? I don't usually say, "I live in MI."

Also, don't forget to add a favicon! It helps people associate their browser tab with you.

I did find a small grammatical error. The corrected version should read: "Whether it’s a special occasion, a long overdue date night, or a get-together with some friends[...]"

As page speed is becoming a larger factor, I'd run the site through Page Speed Insights (Inspect > Audits > Lighthouse). It says there are a few full sized images in there.

SPECIAL DIETS | Personal and Private Chefs CT | Set For Dinner - I'd really add some pictures to this page. It's very much a text wall. I'd also add small text boxes explaining your philosophy around each diet or something to that effect.
 

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