If you own a business that relies on local customers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital tactic to help visitors in the area find you online via Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). In fact, a study done by BrightEdge claims that over 40 percent of revenue to business websites is captured by organic traffic. Now, that stat doesn’t mean much if your website doesn’t show up in search results. So in this blog I’ll review four trending SEO tips and tricks for local businesses to keep in mind when planning a digital marketing strategy.
Local SEO has Risen in Importance
As a business owner and marketer you need to let Google know where you are located and what you offer so that your chances of showing up in front of a relevant audience increases. Did you know that local searches lead 50 percent of mobile visitors to visit stores within a day?
It is a must to list your business name, address and contact information with Google, Yahoo and Bing. This will increase your consumer engagement and ranking with SERPs. Check out the example below. I googled “Dentist + Vail Colorado.” You’ll notice that in the local search results, the dentist with the most reviews ranks highest.
Google also loves to provide individualized results to a user. So if you’re logged into a Google account, expect that your search history and geographic location will play into your search results. The algorithm will only become more sophisticated as users start demanding even more individualized results, so the importance of local optimization is expected to continue to grow.
Mobile-Friendly is No Longer Optional
Each year the percentage of online searches performed on mobile devices has grown definitively. Mobile-friendly website design is no longer optional. In fact, Google’s algorithm update ensured that mobile-friendly websites get a search ranking boost on mobile searches. Your audience has dispersed to all sorts of devices such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, and even wearable devices like the Apple Watch. According to SocialMediaToday.com, over 70 percent of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. So your first move for improved SEO strategy should be to create the best possible mobile experience for your customers.
Voice Search is Here to Stay
These days people are using voice search because it’s simple and safer to do when driving or multitasking. Companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple have launched their own versions of digital voice assistants — think Cortana, Google Now and Siri. More and more people are using this feature to find directions and locate businesses, products and services they need.
This trend means businesses have to optimize their websites using long-tail keywords, which are more likely to be spoken than conventional keywords. Voice search is most used to ask for directions, accordingly to a Google Study. Check out some other popular voice search usage stats below in the infographic courtesy of Marketing Land.
Social Content Will Be Ranking Higher
You’ll begin to see more social posts from Facebook and Twitter in Google SERPs. In 2016, social media content will begin to be indexed on Google, Bing and Yahoo. This will change the game for marketers as social media and web content begin to work together instead of compete against one another. I’d recommend full optimization of each social media business page you own for maximum visibility. You’ll notice when searching a brand name that a social media profile like Facebook and Twitter appear in the top of most search results. Test it yourself!
Effective SEO strategy is constantly changing. It’s therefore essential to identify current trends and stay on top of easy optimization to enhance your brand name in Google search results. These four SEO tips for local businesses are easy to implement and beginner friendly.
What other trends are you taking advantage of that could be added to my list? Comment below and let me know!