10 Steps a Local Business Can Take Today to Improve Search Engine Ranking
These days, it’s easy to create a website for a relatively low cost. That means all businesses, from startups to well-established organizations, are up against an ever-increasing amount of competitors when selling products and services online.
This crowded marketplace combined with search engines pushing organic search results farther down the page makes it tough for businesses to get noticed online without paying for it. So what would a local Internet marketing company suggest for how to get traffic to your website? A lot! Here’s the skinny on the 10 easy steps you can take right now to improve your search engine ranking—and your bottom line.
Increase Website Traffic in 10 Steps
Choose your keywords wisely.
What’s the key to improving search engine ranking? Keywords! Think about your target audience and build an understanding of the words they might use to look for a business like yours. Then, be sure to pepper them throughout the copy on your website or blog. An Internet marketing company would say the optimum keyword density should be 1 to 3 percent. Using a keyword more than that could be considered search spam. So for a page of about 550 words, your key phrases of four words would be repeated two to four times. Try not to jam your keywords and phrases into the copy in an unnatural way. And remember that search engines evaluate all text on your pages, so be sure to include your keywords in headers, footers, meta data, advertisements, and content. This will greatly improve your search engine ranking and increase website traffic.
Develop more content.
One of the simplest things to do when considering how to get traffic to your website is to create fresh content for your website or blog regularly. Doing this will attract more visitors and give you the chance to utilize your keywords more frequently. Most search engines pay more attention to sites that are rich in content and updated consistently.
Speaking of consistency, the search engines don’t like inconsistent business listings. That means you must be consistent when you list your business details. Your business name, your physical address, your phone number—every letter and number should appear exactly the same across all websites. Use the same details on your website, blog, social media profiles, local directories and review sites, and you’ll have a better chance to increase website traffic.
Everyone’s on social media these days, and that includes businesses. Not only is it a great way to connect with your consumers, but as any local Internet marketing company will tell you, having profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can help you attract new ones. Real-time communication helps make happy customers, which in turn builds brands. It helps establish your business’ personality and give your brand a human voice that people can relate to. You can also answer questions promptly, manage or build your reputation and positively influence sales. Make sure your profile is listed as a local business.
Everyone knows that mobile communication is here to stay. And when it comes to local Internet marketing, your business has to be there when your customers are on the move. You also have to provide the right information when they’re looking for you on their devices. The best way to do this is to make your website is responsive—so that your customers have the right viewing experience no matter what device they’re on. Pay even closer attention to important sections like your contact page, your product or services page, or your restaurant menu appear on mobile devices. Be careful about technologies like PDFs or Flash, which can complicate the process.
Link to other sites.
Your search engine ranking will vastly improve when you expand your presence through linking. Do some research. Find similar blogs or industry websites that post quality content. Check the page for information on linking or contact the owner. Linking helps to these sites will draw visitors that are already interested in your topic, so they’ll be apt to read your content.Check out Open Site Explorer or Google Webmaster Tools to see who is linking to you now and to find new places to grow your exposure. You can even use Open Site Explorer to “spy” on your competitors and see who’s linking to them and potentially link to same websites!
Reviews can go a long way for your reputation—and your search engine ranking. The best way to encourage your customers to write you good reviews is to engage them from the start through email, be responsive to their feedback and stay on top of comments on social media. This will give the impression that you’re worthy of praise, and that consumers stand behind your product or service. It’s really about being visible at all times.
Get your business on Google Local
Have you heard of Google Places for Business or Local Google+ pages? If not, it’s time to get up to speed. Google Places for Business helps control what information is displayed in a Google Search and on Google Maps so people can easily find you. Local Google+ pages add social interaction to your listing so there’s two-way communication with your customers. You can respond to reviews and post updates. When it comes to local Internet marketing, utilizing these two tools is a cheap and easy way to gain exposure.
Create local listings.
Any Internet marketing company would advise you to create listings on local directories or review websites. Why? Each listing represents a “citation” or mention of your business—a crucial element used in the search engine ranking algorithm, not only for Google, but also for Bing, Yahoo Local, and others. Visit GetListed.org and search for your business. You’ll see your existing citations and which listings you may be missing.
Track and analyze.
To make the most of your local Internet marketing and SEO efforts, do yourself a favor and set up tools to track and analyze results. Start simply by monitoring your keywords. Online tools like AWR Cloud or Moz Analytics make it easy to track keyword rankings from mobile search results. Check out Google Webmaster Tools weekly to keep tabs on the impressions and clicks on your keywords. Use Google Analytics to analyze the organic traffic and see if it’s improving. Chances are you’ll see a traffic increase within a few weeks. While you don’t have much control of these numbers, monitoring the trends can keep you moving in the right direction.
What are you waiting for? Now that you know how to get traffic to your website, you can start today! It might look like a huge task now, but you don’t have to get it done in one sitting. Schedule some time each day, or even each week, to focus on your search engine ranking, and you’ll increase website traffic in no time!