Even the savviest of marketing teams have trouble keeping up with our ever-evolving technology environment, so where does that leave mid-sized business owners? Mostly, they are getting left behind in the dust. Large businesses may have dedicated Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Marketing teams helping to keep their website at the top of the list, but what can small to midsized businesses do to compete? You see, Google and other search engines are constantly updating their search algorithms (Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird—just to name a few). Bloomberg recently reported that Google, one of the biggest corporate sponsors in the development of Artificial Intelligence, is using its newly-developed AI, “RankBrain” to process a “very large fraction” of its search queries. With all the advances in search technology being made, you may wonder what you can be doing to improve your own search engine ranking—or even why your search engine ranking is important at all . . .
Local Search Factors
Why is Search Engine Optimization so important? Well, if you’ve ever found yourself looking for a particular service, then the chances are good that you’ve used a search engine to do so. Studies have found that your page ranking on a Google search directly influences the amount of traffic your website receives. A poorly-ranked site will hardly get any traffic at all. To get the traffic your website deserves—not to mention the traffic your business needs to thrive, it is more important now than ever to make sure that your website is highly ranked and widely available to your potential customers. Every year through Moz.com, the top SEO minds across the world get together to discuss the most important positive and negative ranking factors in local search marketing. Here are some of the top local search ranking factors that every small business marketer should be aware of to get your company’s website noticed by Google’s evolving search algorithms.
Domain Authority of Website
- What Google thinks of your site has a lot to do with the history of your domain
- Unless your domain is SEO-friendly, you may never achieve a good ranking
- It is advisable to contact a professional service to find out how your site measures up
Google My Business (GMB)
- To be relevant in Google local search you need to have a properly verified account for best results
- Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent with all other web properties and local listings
- Property product/services categorization- choose the fewest possible categories to describe your core business specialization
- Structured citations are facilitated through online directories such as the Yellow Pages, Super Media, and Yelp, where the business listing uses a consistent format
- There are specific directories for national, local, social media, review, as well as industry-specific categories. Make sure that you choose carefully those that best describe your business.
- Business name, address and phone number should be consistent across all listings as well as with your GMB page
- For greater continuity and conversion opportunity, add your logo, website, a business description, and any relevant photos
As you can see, there are a myriad of factors involved in Search Engine Optimization. The factors listed above barely scratch the surface of influential aspects that determine your website’s rank. Every day that passes could be a missed opportunity to for your online business to grow and flourish.