SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it involves helping both search engines and users easily understand what your website is about. The goal of SEO is to get relevant traffic to your website from the unpaid search results on search engine pages. These are also called the “organic”, “natural”, or “free” listings. It is any spot on the search engine result page that does not indicate paid advertisement, often with the small word “Ad” somewhere in the listing.
Since you don’t pay for these spots, how do you get there? You must work for them. Imagine you are trying to develop a friendship with Google (or any other search engine). Much like developing a friendship, showing up in these unpaid spots takes time and effort. It is not done overnight, and it is not accomplished by doing just one thing. Showing up in the natural listings involves a combination of factors.
Perhaps you’re thinking that this is starting to sound like a lot of work. Wouldn’t it be easier to just pay for an advertisement, and show up where you want online? Although paid advertisement may have a place in an overall online marketing plan, showing up in the unpaid listings is of utmost importance. Why?
A recent study uncovered some interesting information regarding user behavior online. It shows quite a distinction between the number of times people click on paid ads versus the unpaid listings. Notice these figures:
Of distinct search queries done in Google, only 3.4% resulted in a click on an AdWords (paid) ad
On both mobile and desktop devices, SEO traffic has 20x more traffic opportunity than the Pay-Per-Click advertisements
So, if you are really interested in driving on point traffic to your business, it should be obvious that paying attention to appearing in the organic listings is well worth the effort.
As shown here in the Google search engine results page, unpaid listings include the map listings (also called Local Pack) and the organic listings below that.
As mentioned at the beginning, it’s as much about what search engines see on the back end as it is about what users see on the front end. This means effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a combination of technical, back-end optimizations and front-end design to enhance the user experience for your visitors.
Many of these factors involve your business website. It involves both how your site appears to real people, and how it is coded on the back-end for search engines. These elements are often called On-Page SEO.
We help you with on-page optimization by paying attention to items such as:
Other factors include your overall online presence and are often called Off-Page SEO. We can help you with off-page optimization by paying attention to areas such as:
Businesses that are trying to attract customers in a certain geographic area need Local SEO. Local SEO is more about location. Many of our services focus specifically on Local SEO.
Whereas the concept of general SEO and Local SEO are the same, there are additional ways we can help your business and website appear to consumers searching locally.
We'll pay special attention to:
Citations, or listings of your business name, address, phone number and website in online directories, plays an important role in showing up to local customers. A study done in 2017 (by Moz) showed what industry leaders considered to be the top factors affecting local searches. They put citations in the top five most influential factors.
It is important that these citations all include the same name, address and phone number listed on your website and that’s listed in your Google My Business page. The more accurate listings there are across the web, the more legitimate that information seems to search engines.
It serves as a verification of your location and will help search engines build trust in your business.
It also builds trust with consumers searching for your business. A 2018 study on local citations and consumer trust showed that many consumers have seen incorrect details online when searching for businesses.
How did this affect their consumer choices? These statistics are worth noting:
Obviously paying attention to your directory listings around the internet is important. We can perform a complete audit of your online citations and find any inconsistencies or identify areas for improvement. If necessary, we’ll work with you to develop a plan to build accurate citations online, and therefore increase the trust put in your business by both consumers and search engines.
93% of respondents said they get frustrated by incorrect information in online directories
80% of the consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online
68% of consumers said they would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories
Local Search Engine Optimization is an investment in your business, and just like any good investment, it takes time to develop and grow. It may generate some quick wins, but to ensure your spot at the top, you’ll need to pay ongoing attention to it. Why?
We all know time brings change. Change can come fast in the online world. Some of the changing factors may include:
If you’re prepared to stay on top of, and even benefit from, these changes then you have no need to worry. We can help you with a customized monthly SEO Plan fit to your business size and needs.