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As a small business owner in Edmonton you know one of the things you need to have going for you is a great looking website that will wow your potential customers - but what if your site doesn’t get any visitors because nobody knows it exists?
If your business isn’t showing up towards the top of the local search results you are going to be missing out on a lot of sales, visits to your business, sales and revenue.
Consider these local search statistics:
4 out of 5 people use search engines to seek out local information.
50% of people who do a search for a local business on their smartphone then visited that store within 24 hours.
51% of consumers search for local businesses while they are on-the-go.
98% of searchers choose a business that is on page 1 of the search results they get.
It would be impossible to cover all the actionable local SEO tips in this short blog post, so I am going to focus on five tips that I believe every small business in Edmonton can benefit from if they implement them.
1. Make sure your site is a great for visitors to use (and also mobile friendly)
You need to ensure that your website is optimized before bringing traffic to it. You want visitors to your site to have a great user experience no matter what device they are using.
Now more than ever you need a responsive website design if you don’t have one already. A responsive website will adjust automatically to fit the screen size of any device which means that every visitors to your site has a satisfying user experience.
You want both desktop users and people on mobile devices to have the same chance to buy your products, contact you about services or sign up for your email list. If you make these things hard, then potential customers will look for other websites that make it easier.
Remember, we are all busy, time is short, you need to make these things simple for people.
So use the KISS principle when it comes to your website. Have navigation menus that are easy to use on all devices so visitors can find what they want quickly. Make it simple for them to reach you, meaning your business's contact information should be easy to find on all your webpages.
These steps will mean lower site bounce rates and higher conversion rates which are both important SEO metrics currently.
Look at your website with fresh eyes and ask yourself if it really is intuitive to use for visitors. Ask family and friends to look at your website and tell you what they like and don’t like. Listen to their feedback, if it seems reasonable, implement changes.
2. Make sure you are writing descriptions and titles to achieve good click through rates
I have often come across websites that have very spammy looking title and description tags, that are just packed full of keywords. Clearly, they have been created with the search engines in mind instead of potential visitors. You have to remember that when your site appears in the search engine listings it's these tags that entice people to visit your website.
You could be number one on the search engines but if your title and description tags are full of random spammy words a potential visitors will likely click on the result below that captures their interest with a captivating title and description and meets their needs better.
You ideally need to find a balance between including your keywords in the title and description and having them speak to potential visitors who will see them when they are performing searches. Are you giving them a solution to their need or question? if so, let them know that in your tags.
3. Make sure you are using buyer intent keywords
This is something I see a lot of small business owners do when they are doing keyword research. They get focused on the volume of traffic a keyword can send to their site instead of the intent behind them.
For instance, you own a store selling selling men's shoes. You may think it would be the best thing in the world to show up number one under the keywords ‘men's shoes,’ and while getting a great rank for those keywords would certainly bring you a large volume of traffic much of it wouldn’t convert to a sale.
The traffic coming in from these general keywords is very general. Maybe they were really looking for yellow men's shoes or rainbow colored men's shoes and you don’t sell them so the visitor goes elsewhere.
These high volume keywords also have a lot more competition and you will be competing with big brands and large marketing budgets. You could spend a lot of money and time trying to play in that sandbox with little to show for it.
Instead, you need to identify keywords that signal a purchase or intent to contact you and cut out the keywords that can have multiple meanings. For instance the keywords men's shoes could be just people looking for pictures or videos or men's shoes or information about men's shoes in general. Instead, terms like ‘men's dress shoes in Edmonton’ would be showing a higher buyer intent.
4. You need to create new content around your sites theme
You business should make a habit of blogging and publishing new content on a regular basis. It could be weekly, daily or even multiple times a day if you have enough good, engaging content to put out there.
Posting new content gives your visitors something new to interact with every time they come to your website, plus it gives you the chance to rank for long tail search terms in the organic search results.
By blogging consistently it is very possible to see more targeted long tail traffic coming to your site over time than it would be if all you ever did was focus on one or two high volume general keywords but never took the time to update your website.
Remember though, that you should always create new blog content with your reader in mind first and the search engines a distant second. Make sure you are providing, useful, engaging content instead of something that appears like an extended advert for your business.
5. Focus on quality of quantity when it comes to links
If you have been in business for any amount of time you have probably been contacted by a company who is located abroad promising you inexpensive local SEO services. They promise to send lots of links to your website and get you a great organic search ranking.
In theory this sounds great, it seems logical that the more the links aimed at your site the better, and there was a time when that process actually did work to build good search engine rankings. However, these days, by pointing thousands of low quality links towards your site you run the very real risk of having your site penalized which can be a long process to fix resulting in a great deal of lost revenue.
A local SEO strategy should be more measured and focus more on the local community to build quality, relevant links. Local organizations, sponsorships, businesses and directories all offer great link acquisition opportunities. One high quality link is more beneficial for your website than hundreds of low quality links.
This is one benefit of hiring a local SEO agency such as Mediashaker - we know the right kind of high quality links that are going to boost your local SEO visibility without risking the organic rankings of your website.
Local SEO can see complicated and almost magical to many small business owners, but by using these 5 tips you can help to improve your sites visibility on the search engines and boost visitor numbers. There is a lot more to it than the points I have covered here but it makes for a great starting point.
If you would like to know more about how Mediashaker can help your business with local search engine marketing services please give us a call today or fill in the form below.