You know that having a website is key to any business. This is your virtual “store front” that connects you with millions of people around the world. For local businesses, your audience may not very large, however you can capitalize on the many business opportunities business using Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You also know that there are many ways to improve your website’s organic rankings. SEO is a big pie with many, many pieces all cut up. Which piece(s) you take can impact your results.
Here are some bite-size tips that can help you improve your visibility, ranking and leads.
Tip #1 - Optimize the content on your website
Simply having a website will not get customers knocking at your door. However, there are some simple steps that you can take to help improve the number of leads you generate from your website.
- Make sure your NAP info (name, address and phone number) is present and easily accessible on all of the pages of your website. Google uses this information across the internet to help verify your business. The more places Google see’s consistent NAP information, the better.
- Using local references on your pages like city names, communities in your meta page description and meta page title will help users and search engines understand that you are a local business.
- In conjunction with local references, it is important to also reference your business name in your meta titles (ie. “Window Washer Katy, TX - Window Washers XYZ Company).
Tip #2 - Local Directories
We all know of the popular directories like Yelp and Google My Business, but did you know that there are literally thousands of other free directories that you can list your business in? Not only that, but there are also industry specific directories that will help your businesses visibility even more!
Google My Business is an often overlooked directory for local businesses. It is free to create your listing and they must be verified meaning that all of these listings are legitimate businesses. In your GMB profile you can include info about your company, hours of operation, pictures and even get reviews from your customers!
The more times search engines see your business details around the web, the better!
Tip #3 - Mobilize your business (website)
April 21st, 2015 marked the Google update when mobile “responsiveness” would affect search rankings. In other words, Google was looking for websites to be accessible on any device without interfering with the user's ability to use the website. As our internet population buys more and more mobile devices, the likelihood that your website will be seen using smartphone, is pretty high. There are some that the only way they can access the internet is a mobile device.
Search for your website and make sure that it says “Mobile Friendly” beside the name.
Tip #4 - Your website’s speed
So part of the reason why Google wants your website to be mobile friendly, is speed. As we all gobble up bandwidth on our ever increasing wifi climate, speed has become a big deal. But the bigger our wifi access gets, the bigger the photos, the bigger the video. But those take time to download. I am pretty sure the most annoying thing about some websites is the time it might take to load. We don’t want to ‘give a ‘second!’
So try to shoot for 3-4 seconds. 5-6 seconds maximum. Not sure if your website loads fast? Try http://tools.pingdom.com to check how fast your website is. You might need a good web developer to help you fix it though as it can pretty technical.
Tip #5 - Make it clickable
Congrats, you made it to the top! You are celebrating. You are thinking now that it’ll all start happening now. The leads are rolling in. But wait, you gaze at your Analytics, and nothing. You can see the impressions (the number of times eyeballs saw your web page), but zero click.
This is where that meta Title and Description are so important. You need to make these compelling enough so that people will click to your website.
That’s the balance. That’s what makes a difference.
Finally… a bonus!
Tip #6. Good SEO means Amazing Customer Service and Experience
While you can do all you can to drive more traffic to your website and get leads for your business, the ultimate deciding factor will be your customer’s experience with your business. The number of interactions with clients have declined with the increasing ability for potential customers to find information about your business online. Make sure you are going above and beyond for your customers, always.
There are a lot of aspects to consider when you are optimizing and working with local SEO strategies for your website. It can be overwhelming, but there are people out there that are willing to help.
Thanks to Grant at http://www.grantkantsios.com/ for his help and guidance in writing this post.