Local SEO is key for small businesses, these tips will help you optimize it
Local SEO or Search Engine Optimization can pave the way for smaller online businesses to grow at the expense of their larger competitors. An effective SEO strategy helps online businesses to create a strong online presence that keeps the profit pouring in. Even if a website has an appealing design, attention-grabbing titles, and offer quality products or services, it cannot remain afloat for long without an effective SEO strategy.
SEO is invaluable for online businesses to boost their online presence, attract maximum number of visitors, and accomplish sales levels that go right through the roof.
Here we will reveal 10 local SEO tips that every entrepreneur should follow in 2015 to take their online business to the next level.
1. Comply with Google Pigeon
Google Pigeon is a local search engine algorithm update that was rolled out in July 2014. It encourages website owners to provide a more relevant and useful user experience for local searchers. The algorithm update specifies a few strategies that can help in pushing a website to the top of the local search engine rankings.
Some of the local search engine ranking factors revealed by the Pigeon update include proper on-page optimization, domain authority (quality of links pointing to the website's domain), and business' physical address (the closer your business is located to the city downtown, the better the search engine ranking).
2. Create Local Listing Pages
Another effective SEO strategy is to build your local listing pages on popular listing directories such as Yahoo Local, Google+, Bing Local, foursquare, Yelp, and YP.com. You should create an online profile on the listing directory sites and verify your ownership of the website by entering a pin code or clicking on the email verification link. You must ensure that the business profile is accurate and consistent in all the listing directories. Listing your business website will greatly help in rising through the search engine ranking.
3. Sign-up for Google My Business Service
Signing up for Google My Business Service makes it more visible on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+. When you sign into the service you can enter and update your online business address, phone number, upcoming events and other important information. The online service gives access to the various Google online apps such as Google Reviews, Google+, Google Insights, Google Analytics, and Google Hangouts.
You can access the Google My Service page from your PC browser or through a smartphone app. The app will give you notification about activities within the Google services like someone publishing review about your website on Google+ Local and similar actions that help in improving online visibility of the website.
4. Maintain a Blog Page
Maintaining a blog page in your website will greatly help in improving visibility of your website. The more blog posts you publish on your website, the more visitors it will be able to attract to the site. Writing blog post content allows you to target local keywords and search terms related to your site. Blog posts will also help in keeping the online visitors glued to your site.
The more time online visitors spend on your site, the better the chance of converting them into customers. Moreover, it also helps in reducing the bounce rate, which is an important metric effecting search engine ranking of the site.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Optimizing the website for mobile devices is another important tip to improve the search engine rankings. With the rollout of a Google update in April this year dubbed as "Mobilegeddon", the importance of making the website mobile friendly has increased even more.
The update gives priority to sites that are optimized to display well on mobile devices. Mobile optimized websites rank higher in search results on mobile devices, though the update does not affect search results on desktop or laptop PCs.
6. Encourage Visitors to Write Positive Reviews
Search engines give importance to online reviews when ranking websites. A good online review builds credibility and trust of the website, which is important in the digital arena. That's why it's important that you focus on gathering positive online reviews from the clients. You can significantly increase the chance of getting positive reviews by sending an email to your customers listing all the review sites and telling them that you would love to have their input regarding your services or products. This will work wonders in improving the website rankings.
7. Focus on Creating Engaging Website Content
With the release of Google Hummingbird in 2013, the importance of having a great content increased in ranking high in the search results. Creating great website content is not that hard. You just need to create content that provides useful and valuable information to the online visitors and enriches their online experience.
8. Create Profile on Social Media Sites
Building a strong presence on popular social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest if you want your website to rank high in the search engine result page.
Having a social media presence can affect the website ranking in a not so direct way. When you increase your social media fan base, and promote online content with an embedded link of the website, it will direct greater number of online visitors towards your website. And search engines take cue about popularity of the website from the online search results. So, improved online traffic will boost search engine ranking as well.
9. Focus on Improved User Experience
You must focus on creating pleasant user experience by making your website easy to navigate with clear layout, appealing design, and visible contact address. Focusing user experience will ensure that users spend increased time browsing your website. This will help in improve conversion rates, reduce the bounce rate, and boost search engine rankings.
10. Constantly Update Website Content
Finally, in order to dominate the search engine rankings, you must constantly update the website content. This will provide help your website in two ways. Firstly, regularly updating the content will help keep customers coming back to visit the site. Secondly, the Google Caffeine algorithm update that was released way back in 2010 favors sites that update the content regularly.