How To Improve Your Local Business’s SEO Ranking
Small Businesses in London, Ontario need to keep on top of their SEO and digital marketing efforts almost as much as their larger counterparts. Small businesses tend to want to show up in searches for competitive keywords, so it stands to reason that they need a stellar website, and they have to have engaging and informative content.Why do more than simply using keywords?
The June Core Update & Local Business SEOBecause part of the June Core Update of 2019—and many algorithm updates in the past—was simply to increase the value of results for the end user. Google always wants to give clients the best results, so they don’t take their business elsewhere—just like London’s small business owners!
There are many ways to drive traffic to your site and we explore the difference between SEO vs SEM in another post, SEO being organic search results, and SEM being ads. But if you want to rank in Google, you need to plan a Search Engine Optimization strategy that will actually work. So how does a small company keep up with the demands of local business SEO?
In short, the answer is to have a great website. But that’s not always that simple. Now, more than ever, SmartWebPros is encouraging clients with older websites to ensure they are updated for several reasons:
1. Users Will Bounce If You Don’t Have A Modern Website Design
Because users these days are expecting to see modern graphic design elements and web design techniques, they may leave a website that looks old, even if it functions well. A modern-looking website instills trust in the user. It is often also easier for them to navigate because modern design tends to be more intuitive.
2. Users won’t know where to go
Design trends change as quickly as your user does. If you use old navigation techniques, users won’t know where to look for the information they need. They might find your menu tedious, or they might have trouble getting to your contact page. If that’s the case, you’ll miss out on a lot of leads.
3. Your site will load too slowly on mobile
Mobile technology is getting more and more advanced. Unfortunately for old websites, this means that they no longer tend to be up to today’s standards. Even though smartphones are getting better, they still can’t process things as quickly as a proper computer, so if images are too large, or the browser has to load a lot of scripts, your site might load too slowly, causing the user to leave.
4. Old content is unappealing
If you haven’t updated your content in years, it’s can be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, or they will read it and be unsure why you’re referencing your business’s birthday from 2013.
It’s the difference between the first site, which only works on desktop…versus the second site which is mobile responsive and easy to navigate.
But how important is mobile for your business?
But how important is mobile for your local business’s search ranking?
Realistically, most people are browsing on their mobile phones. Local businesses should get a lot of traffic on mobile because people are searching for them while they’re on the go. You want to appear on mobile particularly if you have a location people can visit you at. If you’ve ever been about to leave work and searched for “Restaurants near me” then you probably know what I mean—you’ve clicked through the map to find something that you like close by because you’re hungry. It’s about immediacy and accessibility. If a customer can’t access you in the local search results, whether it’s because your website is too slow to load on mobile, or because you’re not there, your SEO isn’t performing. There are other aspects of mobile you should be aware of, too:
Voice Search SEO For Small Businesses
Accurate voice recognition is a relatively new concept, but now most people own or at least have had experience with a voice recognition device that will return results when asked a question conversationally. Most mobile devices have a built-in voice recognition assistant, like Siri or the Google Assistant. What do many of the queries that come through voice search have in common? They’re regarding local businesses!
Say you’re hungry, but you’re already driving home from work. You just say, “Okay Google,” and without touching your phone, Google begins to listen. “What restaurants are near me?”
Voice search is a great thing for local businesses to target when they’re working on SEO because it is often used for local search. It’s a good idea to have the kind of conversational phrases people search in order to rank for these, but Google is now pretty good at determining topics of searches and search results; you don’t have to target exact phrase match keywords all the time, because Google already knows what your site is about.
So what do you need to do to improve your small business’s SEO?
Do some keyword research to understand both where you are ranking and how high search volumes are for your keywords.
Update your website so that it fits modern standards, making it attractive for both users and Google.
Make sure you have content that is up to date and informative and works with the keywords you’ve researched.
Ensure metadata is added, like schema, alt tags and page titles, and that your site is set up to communicate with Google in the most efficient way possible. Make sure pages that you don’t want Google to see are not indexed, and that others appear in your site map submitted to Google.
Work on your offsite SEO, like Google My Business and other listings, and make sure information is consistent across all citations and your website. Look at ways of building reviews and improving your rating and of getting more websites to link to your site.
Local SEO Tactics For Small Businesses
Ranking your local business’s site on Google in a competitive market is not an easy process but using the tools and insights we can provide will help you through the process. Taking advantage of new techniques and technologies, like mobile responsive web design and voice search is a great way to begin on your journey to ranking in Google.