The World Wide Web enables people to search for answers and find businesses anywhere in the world, quickly and easily; it has made the World a very small place. However, local search has become increasingly prevalent with Google reporting that over 50% of all search queries contain a location modifier, such as 'web design London' or 'seo consultant Bristol'. So despite the fact that a whole World of information is in easy reach, the majority of people now use search engines to find businesses that are local to them.
The Venice algorithm update which was rolled out by Google in February 2012, took local search a step further. Google already knew that a large % of searchers had a local intent and with the onset of Venice, Google started to trigger local results with a large number of generic search terms.
For instance, pre-Venice, local results would only be triggered for search terms with a local modifier. Post-Venice, when searching 'plumbers', for instance, Google now takes note of your location and offers results relevant to your locality, despite the fact that you have not specified a locality in your search query.
A search for 'plumbers' triggers Google Local search results and a location map showing me where plumbers in my locality are situated. Previously, these results would only be displayed if I searched 'plumbers Cardiff'.
Given the above statistics relating to local search, businesses of all sizes need to recognise that the Internet is not just for companies dealing on a national or international basis. It is perhaps even more relevant to businesses who wish to attract clients locally or regionally. So what strategies can businesses follow in order to take advantage of local search traffic online?
Here follows 7 tips to help you gain more local search traffic for your business:1. Register your business on 'Google Places'
Registering on Google Places (Google Maps) is a fundamental step in any local search campaign. It is relatively quick and easy to do, and is free. Make sure you complete your Google Places profile fully, as it is a fact that a fully completed profile is more likely to be listed prominently than a part completed one. Consider the keywords that you wish to target and optimise your profile in line with these keywords. Actively harvest reviews from happy customers to boost your profile; you can even ask family and friends to submit a positive review to help you get started. 2. Optimise your website for local search.
You can use the Google Keyword Tool to research the local search queries used by your potential customers and then optimise your website in line with the most optimal localised keyphrase you identify. It is often just a matter of adding a location modifier and ensuring that this is used in the meta title, description and body text of your site. It is also best practice to ensure that the address of your business is included on every page of your website, most commonly placed in the footer. Avoid using PO Box addresses, as these are not local search friendly. 3. Maintain consistency in all your online business listings.
Google looks for 'citations' (reassurances) to help verify your business in the location you have specified. You need to make sure you maintain total consistency when your business is referenced online. If you have an 0800 number, for instance, which sits over the top of a local number, make sure you use the same number consistently whenever and wherever your business is listed online. Switching between the two numbers creates inconsistency, which will be picked up by Google and will work against you. 4. Know your local search landscape.
You should list your business in the most popular online business directories and on any other relevant websites that are likely to be found and visited by your potential customers. A good way to go about finding the websites you should be listed on, is to simply search as if you were a potential customer of your business and make note of what you see. As you type in search terms that your potential customers are likely to use, simply work through the first 2 results pages presented by Google and note the websites that include listings of your local or regional online competitors. For instance, sites such as Yell.com may often hold a prominent position in Google search results, so registering your business on Yell is an obvious step to take if this is the case.
Conduct relevant searches, make a list, and then register your business on each of the sites you have identified, being sure to maintain consistency in your listings as covered in 3 above. 5. Discover where your top ranking competitors are listed online.
Further to 4 above, another technique you can use is to search in Google using the postcode and / or telephone number of your top online competitors. These strategic searches will display sites where your competitors are listed online and you can then make an assessment as to whether you should list your business there as well. 6. Gain positive reviews on 3rd party sites.
As well as gaining positive reviews directly on your Google Places profile, you should also look to gain positive reviews against your business profile on the sites you have listed your business on in steps 4 and 5 above. This helps to further establish the validity and quality of your business and gives Google more of a reason to ensure your business is prominently displayed in relevant search results. 7. Use Google Adwords, Pay Per Click.
Google Adwords, Pay Per Click, should not be ignored by any business serious about dominating their local online search market. Google Adwords paid listings are situated top and right on Google search results pages, and gain a significant % of overall click through. Using Google Adwords, you can select the keywords you wish your advert to display for and can even specify the exact location perimeter of searchers you are interested in. For instance, you may wish to focus on searchers within a 30 mile radius of your business. Google Adwords will allow you to do this. You only ever pay if someone clicks on your advert, so it is a highly controllable and measurable form of online advertising which can either be managed yourself or by a professional ppc management provider.
Follow these 7 tips above, and start to take advantage of the growing local search market relating to your business helping you to gain more local search customers in a cost effective manner. If you need help, why not Google a local online marketing business in your region and pay for an expert to help you whilst you focus on your core business.
Richard Best is a self confessed online marketing geek. As Managing Director of Mint Online Marketing, a growing online marketing agency in Cardiff, Wales, he gets plenty of opportunity to express his geeky side. Outside of work he is a happy husband and 'Daddy' of 5 wonderful kids.
Getting traffic to your website has never been more important and with this in mind it may be time to change your marketing strategy to maximise your viewing audience. Ad-words or PPC links (pay per click links) have been around for many years now however recently many businesses have created a plan of action due to PPC have the potential to substantially increase revenue.
You may ask what I mean when I say PPC link and Ad-words, the answer is simple Ad-words are particular phrases that when searched in Google produce results according to the phrase. Companies then pay to have links to their own website place in prime positions on the web-page, for instance these paid links on Google are located usually as the top 2 or 3 results (highlighted in yellow) and on the right hand side. Following these links will cost a company a set amount based on the search term used.
Ad-word searches and PPC links have become such a ludicrous investment that choosing the right phrase and wording of a search term can make or break the investment. The general rule of thumb is that longer phrases exceeding 3 or 4 words are less expensive however they generate less views owed to the term being more defined. The majority of expensive ad-word phrases are for companies offering a service typically in the public sector where people would only search for the term if they were looking to purchase a service.
As of 2012 the 4 most expensive pay per click links in America were all related to asbestos compensation claims with the most expensive term being mesothelioma settlement
clicking this link could cost the reciprocant up to $142.67 each time. The subject covers the illness such as asbestosis compensation
. It is widely known that asbestos related compensation claims can be highly profitable for both the attorney and the claimant so many legal companies will be happy to pay this amount for any turnovers they receive.
Annuity settlement has also become a rather costly phrase to use with each click costing between $90-$110 for each click. This is another hotly contested area so many companies are outbidding each other on a regular basis for these terms. Prices fall quite significantly after the initial 10 search terms and phrases such as 'RAID data recovery' will cost around $60 per click, 'VOIP for businesses' around $45 and 'Tax Attorneys' about $30. These figures rise and fall along with search volume and general popularity so if your in a competitive market you must be aware of any trends within your industry.
Companies such as Google offer services so that you can monitor your campaign to analyse its viability and make the necessary changes. One of the most important factors to look for when running a PPC/ Ad-word campaign is the turnover of purchases/ enquires in relation to the amount of clicks you receive. You should also find a balance between a price and a suitable search term. Try to find a phrase that is long enough to lower the cost but not so long that it becomes too niche.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a practice in which companies utilize Internet marketing techniques to increase traffic to a website in order to improve overall revenue. One of these Internet marketing techniques includes optimizing websites for targeted keywords, which in turn improves the rankings of said websites on leading search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!. However, it is essential that business owners interested in optimizing their sites for certain keywords seek out only those keywords that will truly benefit their website rankings.
How can a business owner determine which keywords are best for his website? For starters, website and business owners should focus on keywords related to the specific industry the business is in. For example, a company that sells bicycles would be unwise to spend time optimizing the website for gaming software. Instead, this website should solely focus on keywords that will benefit the website and its rankings for said keywords. This theoretical website would be more interested in optimizing for keywords like “bicycles for sale” so that the website will be appear higher in search engine result pages, also known as SERPs. When a website appears higher in SERPs, more visitors are likely to click on the page, which in turn increases traffic and improves revenue as well.
Another way in which a website can find suitable keywords is by searching through Google Analytics. The team at Bergstrom-SEO.com emphasizes the importance of looking through a site’s Analytics account, as this often holds valuable information. Analytics will reveal which keywords are most commonly used to get to the website. Website and business owners will be able to determine which keywords they should continue to optimize for, which keywords they should begin optimizing for and which keywords they should avoid. Additionally, Google Analytics will provide other helpful data including the bounce rates of pages, the amount of new and returning visitors, conversion rates and monthly traffic numbers, among many other things. Google Analytics is also free to use. Interested individuals can simply sign up using their existing Google account or create a new account to begin using this invaluable feature.
It is imperative to note that SEO keywords should fit specific criteria beyond relation to the products or services of a website; these keywords should also have a reasonable amount of search traffic per month, as well as moderate competition. Keywords that are high in competition could be difficult to rank for and thus a waste of time. On the other hand, keywords with low competition and low search demand are equally as useless. It is best to find keywords that will be worthwhile to optimize for, as these keywords will improve the chances a website will reach the top ranks of a search engine.
For further information about the importance of analytics in search engine optimization, visit the website of Bergstrom SEO, Inc. at www.bergstrom-seo.com
. This firm is an innovative search engine optimization service provider with years of experience. Their articles will help website owners better understand the techniques and methods utilized in search engine optimization.
The major search engines are focusing on creating the best possible user experience, which means sites that offer relevant information stand to gain the most visibility. Investing in original, quality content creation is essential to SEO success in the current search climate, and the benefits of producing visitor-friendly content go far beyond ranking. This informative infographics shows why SEO needs quality content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a constantly changing field due to the amount of updates prominent search engines make to their secret algorithms. Questions often asked are things like, “Are backlinks still important?” and “What is Google’s Penguin update?” No matter how often search engines change, there are five mistakes you’ll always want to avoid:
Mistake No. 1: Not Doing Enough Research on Keywords
The only way your article will be found is if it has the proper keywords. Internet algorithms run primarily on keywords, and if you don’t have the right ones, your website will remain invisible.
If you write content based on a whim, instead of specific research, you’re likely killing great opportunities to find readers for your content. So, what is a keyword, then? It’s a word or phrase that someone types into a search engine. How do you research important keywords? Use Google’s free Adwords Keyword Research
to find out which words or phrases are best to write about.Mistake No. 2: Creating backlinks of little value
Yes, it’s true. Link building is a critical part of online marketing. But remember, don’t value quantity over quality. Backlinks of little value, including those from spam websites or sites built only to post links, will likely hurt your website’s SEO. This fact rings even more true now with the recent Google Penguin addition.
What is Google Penguin? It’s an update by Google that filters spam sites out of results. Google Penguin uses the quality of a site’s backlinks to determine if a certain site is spam or not. For this reasons, find links from high-traffic sites in your specific industry, rather than only going after low-value links.Mistake No. 3: Creating Sites that cannot be indexed
The links on the front pages of search engine listings are directly taken from a massive index of internet sites, which are all filtered by complex algorithms.
In order to be indexed, you must use a certain feature, so that the robot and spider programs of search engines can see your listing.
Indexing one’s site is often forgotten about my many blog owners. If the spiders and robots cannot index your website, then there won’t be any traffic driven to your link. The following issues will ensure your website is not indexed, so don’t do these: • Too many pictures:
Any text included in images will not be read by search engine robots. If important parts of your site, such as the site’s name or certain headlines, are in pictures, you data will not be indexed. • Flash Animations:
Code elements provide excellent functionality, but are impossible to index.To allow spiders to process your code, format the website’s robot.txt file to show a text-based adaptation to search engines.Mistake No. 4: No Regular Updates
If your website material is old and outdated, the value of your website will lead to less return viewers and therefore, fewer sales. Search engines also care about how new your content is. When new content is written on your site, a larger number of keywords and traffic will be generated. Recent postings also enable you website to be categorized under Google’s freshness update.
For searches with a time interval factor, such as current sport scores, the search engines highly value the most recent postings due to their updated information. Without new updates, your website will lose out on visitors and revenue. Mistake No. 5: Not Focusing on Visitors, only Search Engines
Although SEO is necessary, your sites customers are the most important. Your SEO actions should not weaken your content quality to where visitors have no reason to interact with your blog. Make visitor satisfaction your number one priority, and you’ll be rewarded with many gifts of money.
Post by Kate Pirs. Marketing manager in a team, who developed mSpy - cell spy app, which helps tracking children smartphone activity and finding stolen or lost phones.
So much time (and often money) is spent on building the perfect website for your business. Questions considered include; how many pages should I include? Should I include links to my social media platforms? Should I include a contact form? While all of these questions are important, of course, it’s also important to consider if potentially a one-page website is enough for your business.
Having only one page as your whole website might seem crazy, but if done correctly, a one page website can be an effective way for your business to include only pertinent information and market itself.
A one-page website does not mean you cannot scroll – you absolutely can. You can scroll vertically and horizontally, in order to obtain more information than only what you see as soon as you arrive at the website.
Here are just some of the benefits to having a one page website:
Your visitors should have hardly any problems navigating your website, since there’s only one page. They should be able to find everything that they’re looking for with ease, and not have to bother searching around for anything additional. About us? It’s right there. How to get in touch? It’s there too. No need for searching around.
Since there’s only one page to think about, you can really take the time to streamline the design and make sure that the website is designed perfectly and everything is clearly and concisely laid out. Since websites are often 10 to 20 pages, it is often difficult to focus on making sure the design is always perfect and consistent throughout (although, of course you should try), however, with one page, that’s a lot easier. You can really pay attention to the whole layout and make sure the experience is an easy one for your visitors, which often means they’ll come back time and time again, and recommend you to their friends and family.
Easy to Update
When you have a multiple page website, it may take time to update all of the pages and make sure that they’re all updated in the same way and in the same time period. With a one page website, you can easily update your website and make sure that you’re always staying on top of the latest design trends and techniques, as it’s only one page that needs updating, so it’s a lot more simple.
Since one page websites aren’t very common, your one page website, if designed well, will stand out from the crowd and create a favorable impression with your visitors. Anything that is original usually gets attention, so if it’s done well, that attention should be really positive.
Quick Load Times
One page websites load far faster than multiple page websites, so your visitors will not have to sit around waiting for your website to load. If your visitor has to wait, they may give up and take off to seek out your competitors. Quicker load time, means less drop off from your visitors.
If you’re outsourcing your website design, designing and programming a one page website is a lot less expensive that doing the same for a multiple page website. So if your website is just one page, you’re really cutting down on your costs that you can then relocate elsewhere.
Because one page websites usually only include pertinent information, it’s easier to turn visitors into clients, as they don’t need to search around for the information to get in touch. If you ask them quite simply to call or email for more information, then they’re more likely to, as they wont have to dig around for the information but rather, it is right in front of them.
Rank Higher on Search Engines
With a one page website, there is a higher likelihood that you will rank higher on search engines, because your website only has one page for the search engines to worry about. Since one page websites are usually more simple, it’s easier for search engines to quickly scan your one page website. This means, that your business will be far easier for visitors to stumble upon, which translates to more business for you.
Whether you decide on a one page website for your business or decide to go with the more conventional multi-page website, take your time and weigh the pros and cons. Your website is often the first impression people have of your business, so make it count.
Beluga Labs is a New York City web design company
. We are a group of experienced designers, programmers and SEO experts with a proven track record and a diverse portfolio.
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