Search engine optimization and marketing are essential for all businesses nowadays. If you want to compete you cannot ignore this. It doesn’t matter if your business is a local, national or international one — if you’re not optimizing your business website then there’s a high chance that your competitors are.
As search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing become essential parts of doing business, it’s important for businesses to understand the value these can bring in terms of customer acquisition and revenue, but sometimes the value may not always be clear or illustrated .
As many of us know, the internet has changed the way we do business and communicate with one another. No longer are we forced to go to our local shops to buy a product or service, now we can simply use the internet to source whatever we may be looking for. But with so much competition out there, it’s important that you get noticed on the world wide web. This is where SEO and marketing comes in.
Introduction to SEO
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making your website more attractive to search engines. In other words, it’s the process of optimizing your site for search engines.
In simple terms, SEO helps customers find you on the web. And once they find you, SEO tempts them to click through to your website and stay there long enough to check out what you have to offer.
SEO also makes sure that your website loads quickly and shows content before ads or videos (in other words, quality content). This improves user experience and invites users back for another visit. For businesses with physical locations like stores and restaurants—or those who are dependent on a local market—it’ll help increase foot traffic by showing up in local searches too!
How SEO Works
What does it mean to “optimize” your website for Google? How does a search engine work, exactly?
The goal of search engines isn’t that different from the old Yellow Page directories. If you’re searching for the term ‘plumber,’ you probably want a plumber to come fix your plumbing problem. You don’t care about all the plumbers out there–you care about the one who can get to you fastest and do the best job at an affordable price. The Yellow Page is there to help you find that specific plumber. It doesn’t rank them in order of preference–it simply lists all of them in alphabetical order so that if you have time to look through every single one, eventually you’ll find what you’re looking for.
If we think of Internet search engines as a modern-day version of this system, then their ultimate goal is still relatively simple: they want to provide users with exactly what they are searching for when they type their keywords into the search bar. That’s where we get back into territory that seems much more complicated than simply putting together an alphabetical list of plumbers! How on earth do they decide which results will be most useful and relevant to any given user and their individual need?
Ranking for Your Products or Services
To start, you want to first optimize your site for keywords that are relevant to what you sell. Take a look at your Google Search Console and see what search terms have brought people to your site. Get an idea of which keywords are searched the most, then work these queries into everything you write on the blog section of your website and consider them when naming new products or services.
For example, if you sell shoes in Toronto, rank for ‘shoes’ AND ‘shoes Toronto’ by including both terms in your product descriptions and blog articles. Keep track of how often you use each keyword on-page so you can strike a good balance between the two. Too many instances and it could flag Google as spam content while too few could mean they’ll never rank well enough to be found.
Once you’ve optimized your website with all that good on-page SEO stuff (h1 tags, image alt text etc), it’s time to focus on off-page SEO methods that will help boost your ranking over time (and hopefully get those sweet top spots!). Off-page refers mainly to backlinks from other websites — the more links pointing back to yours from authority sites like .edu domains or popular news publications, the more powerful your overall domain authority becomes!
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the art of getting your website to rank for the things that matter to people in your area. It’s becoming more and more important than ever, especially as businesses compete for a limited number of high-quality links from authority sites. Sure, you can get millions of backlinks by paying off SEO firms, but that can easily be considered black-hat SEO and get you to the end of search results. What if you want to rank organically? That’s where Local SEO comes into play.
Local SEO is a way of using all sorts of tactics—blogging, tweeting, linking out—to turn people into fans or clients in your area. In a sense, it’s like driving the right traffic to your business: If you don’t see results quickly enough on your own website because Google doesn’t love what you’re doing, Local SEO will help you make sure that happens by making it easier for Google to find and rank your content.
The Benefits of Local SEO
SEO can help your business in a number of ways. Incorporating local search into your marketing strategy gives you another opportunity to be discovered by those who are already looking for businesses like yours. It lets you build on previous successes and helps you reach new customers that could benefit from what you offer.
A strong local SEO strategy will result in more business, more return customers and more brand awareness for your company. It can also drive traffic to your website, provide opportunities for backlinks and social shares, and even lead to press coverage if you’re lucky. In some cases it can be less expensive than other forms of marketing as well, making it an ideal method of promotion that still allows a healthy profit margin.
Ranking on the First Page with Local SEO
You can see the local map pack that pops up under the sponsored links.
If you want to be on that coveted first page of local search results, you need to get your business listed in the top 3 spots on that map pack by ranking at or near the top for relevant local queries (like “Italian restaurant Toronto” or “train tickets to Montreal”) and by making sure Google validates your information as accurate and up to date. Here are some things you should do:
- Make sure your business is registered with Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yelp! (All three have free listings.)
- Use a local phone number instead of an 800 number whenever possible.
- Include your address and phone number on every page of your website.
The Challenges of Local SEO
- Google is constantly changing its algorithm for ranking sites. You could spend four months testing and optimizing a particular page, only to see your rankings drop due to the next algorithm update from Google.
- The competition is fierce in local SEO. It is much more difficult to rank for a keyword in your city than it is to rank nationally, so you will have to work harder (and smarter) than your competition in order to get those coveted top positions on the search results pages.
- Results are not instant with local SEO, unlike pay-per-click ads which can drive traffic and leads right away, or social media posts that can go viral and generate huge amounts of traffic within hours or even minutes. It takes time and effort to improve rankings in the SERPs, especially when doing things the right way (e.g., by following best practices).
- It is difficult to keep up with all of these changes as they happen so quickly — one day there’s no penalty for using exact match keywords; then next week Google announces that there will be penalties starting later this year!
Strategies for Improving Your Local SEO Ranking
Here are some strategies to improve your local SEO:
- Put your address on every page. You might be sick of seeing your business address by now, but search engines and customers both need to see it as often as possible so they know where you’re located and can find and read reviews about you when they inevitably start looking for them online.
- Use Schema markup on your website. This helps search engines understand what kind of business you run, where you operate, how the public can contact you and other facts about your company—all very important information!
- Use Google My Business to manage your basic info across Google Search and Maps. You’d be surprised how many businesses forget or neglect this step—and all because they don’t think it’s important enough or don’t realize its true potential value! Again: You’d be surprised how many companies forget or neglect this step—and all because they don’t think it’s important enough or don’t realize its true potential value!
- Add a blog to your website. If there isn’t anything new on social media at least once every few days then people will stop following accounts altogether; that means no more leads coming from those channels either! Allowing yourself time off between posts can save money while still giving customers something interesting enough that they’ll actually click through without hesitation like most internet browsers do nowadays (over half according to studies). It also keeps things fresh so visitors aren’t bored too
To become a brand, your digital marketing needs to focus on search engine optimization and your ranking in the local search results.
One of the most important aspect of digital marketing is search engine optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial or natural results on search engines. SEO is not paid advertising; it’s an ongoing effort to improve your website and increase your ranking in the local search results.
Focusing on SEO will help you get found by people searching for your products or services online. For example, when someone searches in Google for “Indian cuisine near me,” they are presented with Indian restaurants that are closest to them in their area. This makes it easier for a business to be discovered using local search results instead of just relying on word-of-mouth advertisements.
Whether you’re trying to promote a local, physical business or a blog or any kind of product or service that you sell online, search engine optimization, or SEO, and marketing are absolutely essential. You must be able to get in front of the right people with your message if you want them to know who you are and what you do.
In short: there is simply no reason for any business to exist if it can’t be found on the internet. Without SEO or marketing you will never be found, and without customers, you won’t be in business for long. If your business isn’t online and available to your customers, then what are you doing?