Most business owners are constantly confronted with the question of how to improve Google search ranking, and of adopting an SEO strategic plan that will bring in more customers so that your business can gain more widespread notice. There are a number of components of SEO, as well as a whole slew of SEO tips and tricks which can be made use of in order to accomplish that goal. Here are some recommendations which you might consider incorporating into your SEO strategy for 2019, which could become valuable factors in how to rank higher on Google, and to drive more business to your website and to your physical location.
Google My Business listings
Probably the single greatest factor in achieving local SEO success is your Google my business listing, which means it should definitely be part of your strategic SEO plan. When you want your local business to achieve a high ranking in organic search results in Google, as well as on Google Maps, you simply must make use of Google My Business listings.
When you’re filling out the information for your listing, make sure that you verify your location, that you ensure your hours of operation are always accurate, that you include photos of your business, that you promptly respond to good and bad reviews, and that you fill out the complete information on your company name, address, phone number, and business hours.
Ensure consistency of business data
You’d be surprised how important it can be to keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent across all channels which you use for marketing and advertising. That makes it critical that you ensure accuracy of all that information in any channel being used. Not only will inaccurate information be a deterrent to having customers find you, but inconsistencies are generally penalized by search engines, and that can achieve the opposite effect of what you intended.
Establish local citations
Local citations are all those references to your business which appear anywhere on the Internet. There might be mentions of your company on Angie’s list, the Yellow Pages, the Better Business Bureau, Yelp!, and a whole host of other trusted sites which list your business. You should encourage all these listings because they have the potential to reach a very wide audience, but at the same time, you need to be sure that all information listed is accurate and up-to-date. It’s local strategic SEO. Having a number of these local citations is very favorable in terms of achieving higher search rankings, so you should do whatever is possible to encourage them.
Optimize local keywords
If you want your business to be found by all those individuals searching for a specific product or service, you need to include important search terms such as the city you’re located in. For example, someone looking for a good taco restaurant in Philadelphia would not enter a search phrase such as ‘taco restaurant’, but would flesh it out with the more specific ‘taco restaurant in Philadelphia’.
That’s exactly why you need to include your city name in your website’s meta-description, title tag, H1 tag, site content, URL structure, and on relevant images, the alt text as well. You should also make sure that your website is setup on HTTPS, and is equipped with an SSL certificate. This will be an indicator to all those people searching for something that your site is secure, and that all data is encrypted during exchanges. Search engines are now beginning to penalize websites which are not using SSL technology, so that’s an added incentive to get it done.
Encourage online user reviews
Another of the best search engine optimization strategies is to contact as many of your most loyal fans as possible, and ask them to prepare reviews of your business. The more positive reviews which appear on your company, the greater is the social proof you’ll have to provide search engines with, and that might be the most important thing to getting your business results listed on the first page of rankings. A word of caution in this area – don’t even think about posting fake reviews, because the penalties for that are very severe.
When you do get negative reviews, you should not ignore them, but should instead reach out to those individuals and find out exactly what caused them to be dissatisfied. There may be a legitimate complaint which you need to address, to make your business or your service even better. You will also look much more professional by calmly addressing negative reviews, and showing the general public that you do listen, and you’re willing to respond to their complaints. You can also make use of reviews which appear on some of the major platforms, like Facebook, Yelp!, and Trip Advisor.
Encourage quality backlinks
You can get a huge boost in your search rankings by obtaining high-quality backlinks from recognized authoritative sites in your field. Not only will your traffic increase, but it can provide a big boost to your reputation with Google. Make the right strategic SEO plan. When your site is referenced by other businesses, it’s a signal to Google that your business is more credible, and that your services are appreciated by other individuals.
In order to encourage such backlinks, you’ll have to be of bit more involved with public relations, and try to garner media attention on the local news scene and through local publications. You might also want to sponsor an event, or partner up with other local businesses which will link back to your website as part of their business relationship with you.
Digital assistants and voice search
Currently, voice searches are all the rage, and digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Siri are getting tons of attention, simply because it’s easier than typing in search information. Most people throughout the country have become very comfortable with conducting searches via their smart devices and their mobile phones, and the convenience of it could hardly be improved upon.
Given that this is the case, you should include as much content on your website as possible which matches keywords and phrases which voice searches are likely to generate. Rather than simply stuffing keywords throughout your site’s content, try to imagine what the conversational version of those keywords would be because that’s probably what will be used by the majority of searchers. This is one of the more advanced SEO strategies since it involves some considerable thought.
The importance of optimizing your business for mobile device searches can hardly be overstated. By now, you’ve probably heard all the statistics about the prevalence of mobile devices and how frequently they’re used in searches. All that information is true, and mobile devices really are becoming the most-used equipment for conducting searches of any kind.
This means you need to ensure that your website is as mobile-friendly as possible, and if you’re not sure where you stand, you can try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check it out. While you’re at it, make sure that the load speed of your website is up to snuff, because that’s another factor which can cause you to be penalized. If necessary, make use of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, in order to speed up loading and improve the user experience.
With the tips listed above, you may not have learned how to rank #1 on Google, but if you implement these in your strategic SEO plan, you’ll at the very least, be on your way to achieving a higher ranking with the search engines.
AWS can help you increase your site’s usability and give you a bigger ROI. Contact Us today to apply strategic SEO efforts to your site