Search Engine Optimisation – Love it or hate it, it’s a necessity for getting your website found amongst the other thousands of sites like yours on the internet. There are many businesses that simply don’t need to be found on the other side of the planet. How many of you rely on local customers within a limited area? Why waste money so your local plumbing / building / electrician company can be found in America when your trade will not travel more than 50 miles from your London base?
Google and the other search engines recognise that people are looking for local businesses and have altered their algorithms accordingly. If you want to give your business an advantage in the local marketplace, then follow these tips, or just get in touch with the doncharisma.com team:
1. Highlight Your Local Area With Geo-Specific Keywords
Adding a location to your keywords helps Google to identify the areas that you do business in. It is a subtle change in the keywords, but makes all the difference to local SEO. If a customer is looking for web designers, but wants a local, London based business, they will probably look for “Web Design London” or “Web Designers London” rather than just “web design”. Similarly for a trade business, customers would look for “Plumbers Enfield”, “Builder Enfield”, “Roofer Enfield”.
Adding Location-specific keywords to your site will encourage Google to list you for exactly the location you want to be found for.
2. Add Your Business To Local Listings
Each of the search engines provide a business listing service which can improve your SEO. Google+ Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Places – they are all business directories, and will help get your business listed locally by the search engines. As always, there are paid options to make the management easier, but it is essential to add your contact details to these local listings. When customers search for your business, the results from local listings may appear closer to the top of the searches. Maps and opening hours will let your customer know how to reach you.
3. Good Keyword Placement
Keywords are the key to SEO, but they cannot be placed randomly throughout your text. This makes it unreadable for your visitors, but also unfriendly to SEO robots. Make the keywords more obvious to the search engines by adding them to the page title and headings. If you use WordPress, the keywords can appear in the URL automatically if you have added them to the title and have changed the default URL settings. To highlight your keywords to both visitors and search engines, you should try to include them at the start and end of your text.
4. Use Online Reviews To Help SEO
Search engines love reviews. If they are written in the right place for search engines to rank the review, then they can be a great source of traffic. Your customers could add a review of your services on local business directories, or on your own listing on the search engines business listing services. You can direct your customers to your online reviews by providing links from your website.
5. Create Unique Content
Content is King as the saying goes. It is definitely true if you want to improve your ranking on the search engines. For example, providing How-to guides could encourage visitors to your site, and hopefully spend time examining your guide before moving on to the next thing. Sharing content via Facebook and Twitter can also help reach a wider audience. If you find a niche article that gets shared amongst social media users, you will find your SEO rankings going through the roof.
6. Optimise Website Performance
As well as Creating Mobile Responsive Websites, your website performance needs to be optimised. Search engines check how long your website loads, and those that respond quickly are more likely to be ranked highly. Visitors will quickly look elsewhere if your website takes too long to load – and just a second or two can make all the difference. There are a number of web techniques that can improve page load times that your web professional would be able to help with.
7. Create Mobile Responsive Websites
Table and smartphone use is outgrowing all other ways to access the internet – and your site. This means your website needs to be Responsive – automatically changing the layout for different screen sizes and orientations. How many times have you clicked a link from Google only to be put off by how slow it loads on your mobile, or because the site is unreadable? If your site doesn’t perform or display correctly on these devices, then you could be losing sales.
8. Contact Information Should Be Consistent
Possibly the most important information you have – how to Contact Your Business. Unfortunately the more places you have your contact information, the more places your need to update if anything changes. Your website, local listings, business directories – they all need to have consistent contact information. The location needs to be clearly identified for you to be listed locally.
9. Stay Up To Date
Search engines are constantly tweaking their engines to help people find the information they want. Optimising your website is just the start of keeping your site highly ranked. If you find your site slipping down, Google or one of the other search engines may have made some changes to their algorithms. To combat this, you need your SEO professional to keep you informed, or even monitor your site on a regular basis.
Afterall, you should be getting on with running your business, and let the doncharisma.com team get on with keeping you on top of the search engines. Please contact us for further information.