With 95% of Americans using the internet daily, it is more important than ever for small businesses to have an online presence. While there are many avenues to increase your company’s digital visibility, the most fundamental way is through organic search.
Organic search refers to results that populate naturally and not because a company paid for it to show up. These results are based on the relevance to the user’s search query and equate to 53% of all web traffic. Google, for example, determines which search results will rank on the first page organically based on a variety of factors such as content quality, length, freshness, and more.
So how do you make sure your company’s website will show up organically when there are millions of other sites out there? That is where SEO comes in.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the method of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. The goal is to make sure your site is seen not only by more people but people who are actually looking for what you have to offer.
Basic SEO Checklist
While there are many aspects to search engine optimization, here are three tips to get you started:
- Keywords are Key
Utilize keywords within the page titles, section headers, navigation, and throughout the page text. Remember, it’s not just about volume. It needs to read and flow naturally.
- Fix Broken Links
Utilize tools such as Google’s Search Console to look for errors and broken links on your site.
63% of Google’s organic search traffic was on mobile devices. Ensure your site works well on small screens by using a responsive design.
For businesses that service a specific geographical area, they can take SEO a step further and optimize their site for local visibility.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of taking search engine optimization tactics to help brick-and-motor or service-based businesses’ websites rank better for their local audience.
Many of the overall SEO best practices will help a website rank better locally. However, there are a few specific tactics that will increase your local visibility.
Local SEO Checklist
- Google My Business
Create or claim your Google My Business listing. Then optimize it by adding/editing the business details, verify your listing, and adding photos.
- Online Directories
It is vital to ensure your business information is consistent and accurate across all online directories. Variations even as subtle as using St vs. Street can make a difference. Utilize services such as Vivial’s Directory Optimization to change them all at once and monitor for new ones.
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Incorporate NAP in your webpage footers and on the homepage. Make sure you follow NAP format to increase readability for search engine crawlers.
Street Number & Street Name
City, State Zip Code
Phone Number XXX-XXX-XXXX
Why is Local SEO Important?
It is simple. You want your business found. As your customers are doing their online research, you want your website to pop up on the first page of their search results so they can quickly find your location or give you a call. Local SEO is the first step to making sure that visibility is there.
Local Search Statistics
- 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information.
- 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results.
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within 5 miles.
- 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
The truth is in the numbers. If you aren’t optimizing your online presence for local search, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to reach potential customers. Want to know where your website stands from an SEO perspective? Run Vivial’s free SEO audit today!