You Need Both
You’ve just started a business so attracting visitors to your website and storefront is vital. Or your organization is well-established and you’ve always relied on local customers who know who you are, where you are, and what you do.
Are you missing out if your website stinks?
In order for potential customers to find you online and to attract traffic to your website, you must incorporate SEO or Search Engine Optimization into your website.
Essentially, SEO is a digital marketing strategy that increases your online visibility. SEO is the strategic use of keywords, content and technology to increase a website’s rank in search engine results – preferably into one of the top three-to-five spots. The higher your ranking, the more visitors you’re likely to get.
There are two types of SEO that your business needs to utilize. Local and National/Global SEO.
If your business has a physical storefront in a specific location, or if you provide services that are ‘consumed’ locally (plumber, daycare, retail) it is necessary to implement local SEO. This helps put your business on the top of search pages of specific locations and drives local business. According to a Reviewtrackers study, 35% of all search traffic is local and if you aren’t doing local SEO, you are leaving this 35% of traffic for your competition.
- The first thing to do when trying to attract a local audience is set up your “Google My Business” page. It is free; it establishes your presence in the community; and puts your business on Google maps for everyone to see.
- The next thing to do is optimize your site for mobile devices. People are on their phones doing research for what they want. They using their phones to search for things near them while out and about. If you make your website quicker, make it easy to read, and don’t crowd the page with extraneous or irrelevant information, you will attract more mobile traffic. This is an audience you want because, according to a study done by Acquisio, 75% of local searches produce offline visits within the day.
- The last thing you need to do is make sure that you make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are listed, and listed correctly and identically, across multiple local directories. These directories include Yelp, Yellowpages, and Foursquare. This will give your brand more recognition.
While having local SEO is necessary, it is also essential to have brand awareness on a much broader – national or global – level. Making it easier for search engines to determine what your website is all about can make a huge difference in your rank.
You can do this two different ways, onsite/onpage and offsite/off-page.
Onsite SEO is when you are optimizing your own website’s content and functionality. A good way to do this is to implement keywords into your website. Do research on what keywords what will attract the most traffic for your industry. A way you can do this is by finding what your competition is getting a lot of traffic from and try to beat them at their own game. You can also see what keywords are used for your industry. Be sure to rank high in keywords that have good potential to bring traffic. If you are the number one website for a keyword that doesn’t get any traffic, it will mean nothing.
It is also important to look at the technicalities of the website. Making your website easier to navigate will likely help lengthen visits on your site. A solid site design using best SEO practices will inform search engines what your most relevant information is. With a well-designed website, you can attract more customers and give them a positive experience that they may recommend to others.
Offsite SEO (also known as “off-page” SEO) is the way you can gain recognition for your business off of your website, but still on the internet. This involves driving organic traffic to your site. It could mean increasing inbound links (links from other sites to your site), building social media influence, and increasing site credibility. It can also include reviews on Yelp and Google. Your aim here is to improve and enhance the reputation of your business. A creative and innovative social promotion (on Facebook or other social media platforms) can also engage many potential customers, as friends and colleagues will want to share it with their friends and colleagues.
By following Google’s guidelines to implementing thorough local and national search engine optimization, you can put yourself on the top rankings of search engines. This will help you reach more people and gain more traffic for your business and website. Go ahead and start optimizing!