SEO tactics and strategies come and go.
Changes brought about by search engines, including algorithm changes, can render some of these SEO tactics and strategies irrelevant or downright harmful to your website.
This is why it is critical to keep abreast with changes in search engine optimization — or better yet, hire specialists who are familiar with what currently works.
SEO Tactics and Strategies for Small Businesses
If you are a small business owner, one strategy that you might want consider using is local SEO.
In the past, mom-and-pop shops thought of SEO as a luxury that they can forgo — a luxury reserved only for bigger and more established industry players.
A few years ago, that idea might have been correct. But with the introduction of smart devices, that has changed. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets meant that the internet has become more accessible.
Furthermore, searches done via smart devices had more of a local intent.
What role does local SEO have to play in all of these?
Think of local search as something akin to finding businesses on a phone book.
Today, when consumers look for products or services, they often add a geographical location to the keywords they are using. For example, if you are searching for a plumber in your area, you will probably use “plumber + Hollister.”
What makes local search critical for business owners is the purchase intent. Quite simply, the users who add a geographical location to the keywords they are using are keen on buying products or services.
If you are keen on using this SEO strategy, here’s a brief look at the basics that you should implement.
On-page optimization is critical for both national and local SEO. The key difference between the two is that you add location along with the keywords you are targeting.
That means using the keywords plus the location on your titles, h1 tags, URL, description and content.
Google My Business
Apart from organic ranking, you should also pay attention to how your website looks like on the SERP. If you establish a local presence by optimizing your Google local profile, you can make serious headway over your competitors.
The first thing that you need to do is to claim your listing on Google My Business, a listing and profile page for businesses and organizations. Or, if you do not have a listing, you need to create one.
After that, you can then add relevant information about your business, including its operating hours, location, and category.
There is no doubt that when it comes to search, Google is the king of the hill. But when it comes to local search, you should not focus your attention solely on Google. Consider getting listed on other search engines and apps like Mapquest, Bing, Yelp and Apple Maps.
In order to get listed on these sites, you will need citations, which essentially means having another website mention your company’s name, address and phone number or NAP. In local search, these citations are the equivalent of backlinks.
One important thing that you should remember about NAP: You need to be consistent across all your online assets.
How can you get citations?
Start with your local chamber of commerce. Getting cited by this type of organization helps bolster the legitimacy and trustworthiness of your business. Alternatively, you can consider getting listed by websites and organizations relevant to your industry.
Invest in mobile
Mobile websites do not directly affect your rankings on regular search. However, if your website is not mobile friendly, search engines can downgrade your rankings on mobile search.
That’s a big deal, considering the fact that more and more people are relying on their mobile devices.
What can you do?
There are two options that you can consider. First, you can opt for a responsive web design that automatically configures your website to suit the device where it is viewed. Second, you can create a parallel or duplicate mobile website.
Which one is better? In terms of SEO, both can work. However, you need to be aware of a few important things. For one, if you have a parallel mobile website, you may need to update two websites.
Also, search engines may view the content on your parallel website as mobile content.
With a responsive website, you may have to pay more for its development. Additionally, that means that you will be creating a new website from scratch.
Get your business to thrive by using the right SEO tactics and strategies. To learn how you can start using and benefitting from local SEO click here or call 831-801-7185 today!