Category Archives: online marketing seo

google search engine with magnifying glass user looking for optimized websites

How to Start Optimizing a Website

Optimizing a website is the first step in increasing website traffic and conversions—especially when executed as part of a local search engine optimization strategy. While it may be the first step, website optimization is a multi-step process that caters to the latest visitor search trends and updated algorithms initiated by search engines.

The whole effort can be overwhelming, but that shouldn’t push “optimizing a website” to the bottom of the to-do list. To the contrary, the latest estimates put the number of Google searches at approximately two trillion searches a year. A study published by Search Engine Land found that more than three-quarter of all local searches end in a sale. The statistics behind search engine optimization are undeniably persuasive, which is why it’s time for every business to dive into optimizing their website and make it a top priority.

Consider search intent.

The first step of optimizing a website is to consider the intent behind the users searching for the website. Simply, what keywords would they use to find the website? This is an important step in the process, because being ranked for the wrong keywords results in a high website page bounce rate. Put simply, searchers aren’t going to browse through the website and buy if the site doesn’t have the information they were searching for.

A key factor in keyword research should be the rise in voice searches. According to a study done by Adobe, almost half (48%) of all searches are initiated by voice. The increase in voice searches are leading to the rise of “near me” and “how to” search phrases, which should be included in website content. (Keyword research can be completed by a company in-house or outsourced to search professionals.)

When keyword research is complete, the keywords should be strategically included in all website content. An effective website page should include optimized titles, website text, meta data, and content.

Worry about website speed.

According to Google, when the time for a website page to load goes from one to three seconds, the chance of an online user leaving the website increases by 32%. That number almost triples, to 90%, when page loading speed goes from one to five seconds. The number increases to 106% when loading from one to six seconds. From one to 10 seconds, the chances of a bounce are a whopping 123%.

These SEO statistics lead to the next consideration: website speed. Slow websites repel visitors, and search engines have noticed. Search engines are now placing an emphasis on website loading times, and businesses should take note and use Moz best practices for page speed.

A secondary consideration of this process is evaluating the overall website navigation. Every website should be classified as easy-to-find, with visitors able to find information quickly and minimal page redirects. The latter also can increase website page speed and reduce the website bounce rate.

Make it mobile-friendly.

This aspect of optimizing a website has long-term roots, as reflected in the 2012 Google article that stated that more than half of all users were less likely to utilize a company because of a bad mobile experience. According to Google, more than half of all searches are done on a mobile device. According to Pew Research Center, 8 out of 10 Americans own a smartphone.

These SEO statistics point to the importance—no, the necessity—of having a mobile-friendly website. Mobile-friendly sites rank higher in search engines, making it an essential part of an optimized website. Google has even published guidance on mobile-friendly websites. Put simply, every page should be easy-to-use on a desktop or mobile device. This should include all forms, including contact forms, which are a key step in converting visitors into online customers.

What is Local SEO?

local seo map with map pointsSearch engine optimization is one of the most valuable tools in any business’ online marketing tool chest.  Ironically, the businesses that need it the most often aren’t using it, thanks to common SEO myths.  To be fair, SEO and local brick-and-mortar business is not a connection most business owners make, probably because SEO is often thought of as an online marketing tool only large e-commerce companies use.  The truth is that search engine optimization, especially local SEO, is a match made in heaven for businesses that rely on local customers—and local website traffic.

The ‘What’ of Local SEO

To start, here’s a clear definition of SEO: search engine optimization is the process of creating a website optimal for search engines. SEO is always evolving with technology and user behavior, but right now there are three general basics of optimizing your website (find other ways here):

  • Creating regular, quality, user-friendly content users want to read.
  • Using search engine optimization tactics on your website such as writing strong, accurate headlines and excellent content on each page.
  • Optimizing your website with content focused around keyword phrases your customers search for—-and with information they want to read.

Those are the generalizations of basic SEO (you can find more information about SEO terminology here).  Generally, think of local SEO with this scenario: your pipe has burst.  Water is flooding your house, and you need a local plumber NOW.  So you go to the modern phone book, a search engine.  And what do you expect? A list of local plumbers that can fix your pipe so your house isn’t flooded, right?  Local SEO optimizes a plumber’s website so his or her business website is at the top of the listings.

The ‘Why’ of Local SEO

Believe it or not, a beautiful, mobile, and user-friendly website is not enough. “There,” you think, “I’ve invested in this website. Customers come and find me!” Unfortunately that’s not how it works—though there are ways to drive traffic to and optimize your website naturally. Customers have a ton of online options, and studies have shown that they make more than 60% of their purchasing decision online.  That’s where local SEO comes in.  Local SEO can get you at the top of search engine listings in towns and cities within a 10, 20, or 50 mile radius. Even if you don’t sell products online, or have any interest in e-commerce, integrating search engine optimization is a smart marketing strategy because online is where people today are looking for products, services and information (and don’t get us started on the effect of mobile devices on search traffic). Statistics back this trend up:

More and more, American consumers are looking to the internet to find local solutions and information. If you’re not online, you’re not on their radar. With more than 90% of users turning to search engines for information, local SEO technology—like KD Interactive’s (shameless self promotion here)—can get your business website in organic search engine listings using keywords your audience searches for.

The ‘Proof’ of Local SEO

SEO Computer Key In BlueSearch engine optimization technology is one of the most effective online marketing tools for businesses looking to attract local customers. One of our clients, a local print company, was positioned at the top of search engines just a week after utilizing our SEO technology. Their results were localized, with their company showing up in cities and towns search results within 30 miles of their location, including a major metropolitan area. They also invested in content marketing to keep their site content updated and give their customers value, yielding long-term results; their printing firm has remained at the top of the major search engines since launch. Better search engine results have meant more digital exposure for their business, and stronger opportunity for online conversions.

Another client, a flooring company, saw their website traffic double in just four months because of search engine optimization. In 30 days, their unique visits increased 122% and hit an impressive increase of 200%. Website traffic is just a number unless you can convert those visits to customer interest. The flooring company receives form submissions every week from potential customers, with 60% of those visits stemming from their search engine optimization package. If you want to tap into that same local search engine technology to get results for your company, read our blog post about SEO terminology or see it in action.

How to choose a reliable local SEO provider

We’re not going to lie to you:  there are a lot of SEO providers who make promises they can’t back up.  Choose a quality local SEO provider that meet these criteria:

  • Years of experience in technology.  A good SEO company keeps up-to-date with information about search engine ranking signals, such as page loading speed, links, etc.  SEO is always evolving, and a quality company isn’t stuck in yesterday’s technology.
  • Doesn’t use seedy SEO tactics.  If you hear words like, “cloaking” or “keyword stuffing,” alarm bells should go off in your head.  Black hat SEO tactics can get your website penalized so stay away from any company that even suggests it.
  • Can back their promises up.  Because search engines are always striving to personalize search results, you can’t just go to your computer and see the results of your SEO efforts.  Choose a company that can give you reports detailing your local SEO results.
  • Make online marketing recommendations beyond your website.  A good SEO company can make online marketing recommendations beyond your website, such as content marketing and social media marketing.

If you need any more information about local SEO, don’t be afraid to contact us.  Local SEO is our focus, and we can answer any questions you might have.