A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

SEO is a common buzzword when it comes to online businesses and website marketing. You have probably heard it many times and you may even know what it means. But if you aren’t sure, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process by which websites are optimized with significant content, designs, keywords, phrases, and local tagging to improve their rankings on Google and other search engines. Better rankings mean more exposure, which usually translates to more sales – so SEO really is one of the most important marketing considerations for any modern business.

These days, more and more business owners are realizing that they can effectively market their goods and services through high quality websites. At the same time, however, these business owners must be cognizant of the fact that making these websites highly visible is the key to increased conversion rates. To accomplish this objective, business owners can employ a variety of proven search engine optimization (SEO) tips.

Here are some simple steps to optimize your business website for improved rankings, greater traffic and, eventually, more customers and more sales:

1. Create High Quality, Original Content

Providing high quality, original content on your website is very important to successful SEO. Many businesses make the mistake of simply updating their website with ‘key word stuffed’ articles that do not really offer anything original or relevant to readers.

Your goal should be to provide content, blog posts, or articles that are both original and relevant to visitors to your website. The appropriate keywords will then fall naturally into your text and readers will both find information they want, and find your business at the same time. By producing content which is well-written, original, and useful, you’ll help set yourself apart from any competitors who are using “spammy” link building tactics.

To some, this SEO tip may seem obvious and therefore not worth mentioning. However, the abundance of mediocre or even poor web content proves that many people are not implementing the aforementioned strategy. As many SEO experts know, the creation of great web content is an art, and some of the components that go into it include ensuring that one’s work is free of grammatical errors. It is also important to know the language of your target market and stitch language from that unique word bank into your content. And, of course, be sure to make your content interesting-you don’t want to drive bored readers away from your product pages with stuffy, dull articles and blog posts. Flashy videos or behind-the-scenes documentaries are another piece of content that often become “viral” and become heavily shared on social media sites.

2. Regularly Update Your Website

This step falls hand in hand with providing high-quality content. In order for the content to make a difference to your Google rankings, you will need to regularly add new material and functionality to your website. How often is “regularly”? This really depends on how much time you have, how big your marketing war chest is, and how competitive your industry happens to be. You can update your website as often as you want to and the more that you do, the more likely your business will appear in the first few pages of a user’s search results – especially if the content is top-notch.

Optimize For Mobile Sites

At this historical moment, sales for mobile devices exceeds those for PCs. With that idea in mind, business owners interested in catching and keeping the attention of as many people as possible should know that making their websites accessible and functional through mobile devices is a great idea. This process is referred to as mobile optimization, and use of this strategy will help ensure that you don’t lose customers as a result of the fact that they can’t read or navigate through your web pages while on their mobile devices.

Make It Interactive

If you’re serious about increasing your conversion rates through internet marketing, you should know that making your website more interactive can help you accomplish this objective. There are several ways you can make your website more interactive, including through the use of a blog that permits readers to respond to your posts. Another effective way to make your website more interactive includes the use of Share Buttons, which permit your visitors to forward blog posts or web articles they find interesting to other individuals within their social network.

Increase Functionality

Increasing the functionality of your website is a great way to drive more traffic to your pages. Some of the things you can do to improve the functionality of your website include using an easily readable font size, incorporating back buttons on each page of the site, and ensuring that any and all ads are strategically placed to be visible but not distracting to your readers. You could also create on-page apps that relate to whatever industry you’re in, such as tax calculators if you’re an accountant.

3. Use Appropriate Keywords in Your Content

Again, these keywords should fall naturally into the text of your blog posts or articles. You don’t have to only write about the products you sell or the services you offer, but the content you share should at least be related to your industry in some way. Don’t be tempted to flood your pages with irrelevant content simply for the sake of finding new ways to incorporate keywords; this will only discourage users from looking further for what they really want.

You should also be sure to incorporate local keywords so that customers and clients within your geographical area can find your business more readily. This is especially essential for online businesses that also own brick-and-mortar shops or run local offices.

4. Employ Link Building Strategies

Link building is another effective SEO tip that business owners seeking online success can employ. Link building includes the use of internal and external links. Internal links are those that lead your viewers from one of your website pages to another. External links, on the other hand, take the viewer from other websites to your website. As many internet marketing experts can attest, the effective use of link building strategies has helped many business people take their websites to the top of the search engine results pages.

Link to Your Social Media Accounts

Linking your website to your social media accounts (and vice-versa), such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, is another great way to both improve your search engine rankings and to provide improved interaction with your customer base. The more your business name appears around the Web, the more it will turn up in search results. If you share top-quality content on social media, your followers can then share it and show it to their own friends. If you’re lucky, some of your content will go “viral” and be shared throughout the web – which can yield huge dividends for your standing in the search engines.

Remember: search engine algorithms are changing all the time, so always follow the latest developments and don’t be afraid to make changes to your game plan if necessary.

READ ALSO: Which types of social media best suit my small business?

Conclusion: Start with These 5 Easy SEO Tips For Your Company Website

If you are a business owner who wants to ensure that you can drive record numbers of traffic to your web pages, you should note that doing so is contingent upon your consistent use of proven SEO strategies. By utilizing some or all of the search engine optimization techniques and tips outlined above, you can increase the likelihood that your website gains high visibility by earning a page one ranking in the search engine results pages of major engines like Google and Bing. Once this happens, you will likely experience the increased conversion rates that your company desires.

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