It can be tough for small businesses to compete online when their small website is going up against major brands. However, there are a few things small business owners can do to optimize their website so it gets the most visibility on search engines. Here are a few local SEO tricks and trends for small businesses as we move into the New Year.
More than half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device, yet only nine percent of small businesses have mobile responsive websites. Those other 91 percent are truly at a disadvantage, especially when you consider these statistics from Google/Nielsen and Smart Insights:
- More than 20 percent of Google searches are performed on a mobile device
- Mobile searches will surpass desktop searches by more than 27 billion queries per year by 2016
- In the United States, 25 percent of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device
- 59 percent of consumers visit a business’ website when they conduct a mobile search
- 61 percent of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience
- 25 percent of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10 percent are opened on tablets
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you will lose your search ranking on mobile devices. As a result, you may also lose organic traffic coming from mobile devices and miss out on sales. After all, if your website can’t be found in mobile search results, it can’t be found by your customers either. It is no longer an option to make your website mobile-friendly if you want to grow your business online. If you want to see the value of a mobile responsive website, use this simple step-by-step tool to calculate how mobile search drives sales. You can also use Google’s mobile testing tool to see whether your website is responsive.
#2. Conversational Search Queries with Intent
The Google Hummingbird update was all about understanding search intent. Search engines want to provide the most relevant information to the user. Who are your prospective customers? Where are they? How do they search for information? The answers to these questions will provide the starting point of your website SEO. To tailor your content and branding to capture the most leads, you have to get inside the head of the people most likely to purchase your product. As we head into 2016, search queries will become more conversational as people rely on Google Now, Cortana, Siri, and other virtual personal assistants to provide the information they need. Long-tailed keywords will become extremely important as you optimize your website to meet the needs of the user.
Citations are defined as mentions of your business name and address online. Examples of these would be Yelp business listings, Yellow Pages listings, Google Local listings, and so on. Accurate business listings across the web are good for SEO because they indicate to search engines that your business is legitimate. They also allow your business to show up in local search results.
#4. Niche keywords
While everyone wants to rank for broad, generic keywords, those top spots in the search rankings are usually filled by massive competitors that make it hard for small businesses to gain exposure. When you have your company’s website designed for the first time, or redesigned to keep up with the times, you will need to pay close attention to the specific terms your audience will use when searching for you.
#5. Incentive to Convert
Why should your website visitors make a purchase or fill out the contact form on your website? Chances are, if you don’t know, neither do they. Whether you want visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter or get a free consultation, your content should direct them to complete that action. The entirety of your website’s appearance and copy should be devoted to answering this question for your visitors: â€œWhat’s in it for me?â€ If you don’t currently offer an incentive for visitors to do business with you, this is something you will need to address.
An offer does not have to be a piece of content. It can entail anything from a special discount or free sample to free trials, memberships, eBook downloads, white papers, or sales promotions. When an offer is scarce, exclusive, or in high demand, it naturally becomes more desirable. Whatever type of offer you want to promote, make sure that it is both relevant to the target audience you are trying to reach and their current position in the buyer’s journey, as well as worth their information in exchange.
Finally, remember the purpose behind search engine optimization. SEO is not a magical technique that will bring you leads simply because your website is higher in search rankings. SEO is all about getting your website to rank, attracting new visitors to your website through compelling title tags and meta descriptions that are relevant to their search, and then keeping them on the site with informative content. To get more leads to convert once they visit your website, read our tips on getting more sales from your website.
Are you looking to boost your online presence with internet marketing? CyberMark International can help you! Please call 623-889-3380 today, or fill out our contact form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.