Category Archives: website seo

highway with traffic just like website traffic from visitors

10 BIG Ways to Increase Your LOCAL Website Traffic (With Checklist)

Increasing website traffic should be a top goal for almost every business. The simple truth is that a website that isn’t visited isn’t going to get customers. The complex truth is that there’s more to increasing website traffic than that—especially for local businesses.

For local businesses, website visits are just visits—unless those visitors are local with an interest in the products and services. A visitor thousands of miles away isn’t going to contact a business for a remodeling quote or to purchase flooring. Targeted traffic, on the other hand, is a valuable tool that results in more local visitors searching for the business’ products or services. These visitors are more likely to buy because they are looking to buy.  

While these tactics are listed individually, the most effective way to increase local website traffic is to coordinate these tactics into a strategic marketing campaign. The campaign can be steered by a creating a marketing plan and performing regular evaluations (executed by business staff or local marketing professionals). These regular evaluations allow businesses to adjust future marketing efforts and utilize past efforts that have yielded customer engagement and sales. While the big picture can be incredibly technological, this checklist for increasing website traffic breaks down the effort into actionable, effective marketing tactics.      

Checklist for Increasing Website Traffic

Establish and maintain free social media profiles.

___Choose social media sites with demographics that match business’ target audience (use these social media stats).

___Regularly share relevant information.

___Add social media posts with website URL.

___Respond to customers’ messages and provide excellent customer service.

Produce blog content with researched keywords.

___Add quality content produced with keywords that match search intent of target audience to website.

___Include internal links to website in content.

Leverage the power of landing pages.

___Research keywords searched by target audience for on-page SEO.

___Produce optimized landing pages focused around research keywords.

___Include quality images and videos that increase conversions.

Verify and optimize a Google My Business listing.

___Verify Google My Business (GMB) listing.

____Completely fill in information on the GMB listing.

___Add photos of business location and products, which increases engagement.

___Include website URL in GMB listing.

Establish listings on online directories.

___Select online directories relevant to the industry.

___Completely fill out the listing with the website URL and exact same name and address.

Advertise on social media.

___Choose the social media site with demographics that fit the business’ target audience.

___Create a targeted ad with quality images and catchy text.

___Specify settings so the ad is targeted to local visitors and audience demographics.

Build an email marketing list.

___Ask customers for their email in-person and online (use these ideas for building a solid email list).

___Review standard procedures for opportunities to ask for customers’ emails.

___Include the ask for emails to training materials for new employees.

Include the website URL with YouTube videos.

___Include the website URL in the video.

___Add the URL to the YouTube profile.

Add the website to printed promotional materials.

___Include the website on every printed material (either with the URL).

___Pass out materials with the website URL at events.

___Distribute the printed materials in bags or on receipts.

Optimize the website.

*This effort does not drive traffic, but does ensure that the website is easy to navigate by search engines and website visitors.

___Establish an easy-to-navigate website for visitors.

___Make the page mobile-friendly.

___Structure the site for smooth indexing by search engines.

Website Optimization: Why SEO Matters (and What Works!)

women looking at optimized websites on tabletWebsites are one of the MOST powerful online marketing tools; they serve as the only platform online where a business can truly tell its story. This is not an overstatement. With ever-changing algorithms that continually cut audience reach, not even social media sites can say the same. While social media is an effective way to increase website traffic and customer interactions, the foundation of a solid online marketing plan is still the website.

Modern business websites need to be optimized for the target audience and search engines, making the website planning and building process with carefully planned website SEO more crucial than ever.

Importance of Website Speed

Waiting is become incredibly unpopular in almost every aspect of life—especially online. The winding circle while waiting for an app or a website to load can be maddening; it also costs business owners valuable inquiries and, eventually sales.

The statistics back it up. 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%.

A fast website is not a luxury anymore; it’s a requirement for every business website. The Search Engine Journal recently published shocking statistics from an Unbounce study. Almost seventy percent of consumers reported that slow page loading speed plays a role in their buying decision. Forty-six percent of online users put “waiting for a website page to load” on their mobile devices at the top of their dislike list, according to Google.

Other Website Features that Count

A fast website is only a part of a stellar online customer experience that leads to more inquiries and customer conversions. That fact is why, according to Search Engine Journal, a website’s excellent customer experience is an integral part of high rankings on Google.

With over a billion websites online, the competition for the top of search engine rankings is fierce. In addition to website speed, modern websites need to built with an optimized structure. A secure HTTPS website is now a top priority for any business looking to improve their search engine ranking. That’s just the start of the list; websites also need to be mobile-friendly (also not an option for websites any more). More than half of all searches are done on a mobile device.

For businesses keeping track, the list of website features that get a website in front of potential customers is fast website loading speed, a secure protocol, and mobile-friendly design. Also high on the list is top-quality content.

Importance of Content

Optimized content valuable to online users, both on a website and blog, increases the amount of time online users spend on a page. This makes content an important search engine ranking signal—and should make it a high priority for businesses (either produced in-house or outsourced to professionals).

Basically, content should be written and developed for online users and search engines—-and keep being written and published on a regular basis. Websites with regular and relevant content continue to be ranked higher on search engines (and subsequently, in front of more potential customers). The content should be written for the target audience (potential customers) and optimized with keywords relevant to the online viewers and business. (Note: this does not mean packed with keywords, which is actually detrimental to content performance.)

In addition to well-written content, images and video should be included on the page for an optimal customer experience. (These content marketing do’s and don’ts can also contribute to a successful content plan.) Regularly published content should be promoted regularly to increase website traffic and reach marketing goals.

Value of Off-Site Local SEO

An optimized website is only part of the search engine optimization process. Off-site search engine optimization is also a factor when trying to gain valuable rankings, especially for local brick-and-mortar businesses. There are several aspects to local SEO: an optimized Google My Business listing, complete listings on review sites and online directories, and a process for brand reputation management. (This local SEO checklist breaks the process down into manageable steps.)

The process starts with claiming a business Google My Business listing and filling it out completely (this step-by-step guide for Google My Business is helpful). In addition to Google My Business, businesses should also strategically choose and add listings to online directories and review sites that are relevant to the business. Every listing should be filled out consistently with the exact same business name and address (i.e. Street versus St., Ste. Versus Suite).

Search engines list these review sites and directories (with the specific business listing) in relevant search engine results, such as in the “restaurants near me” or “flooring stores near me” searches. For that reason, businesses should concentrate on eliciting positive reviews and using positive customer service to communicate with customers leaving negative reviews.

(Easy) Ways to Improve your Website’s Local SEO Like a Pro

Victorious corporate man celebrating with his arms lifted in the air because he improved website SEOSearch engine optimization was an entirely different concept when we set up shop 20 years ago. Today, SEO is more of an umbrella term covering all the different tactics that influence the hundreds of signals search engines use to compile search engine result pages. Though SEO has evolved, the value of excellent SEO has not; good SEO is still an important part of reaching (and converting!) local users into loyal customers. Here’s how you can (easily) gain valuable SEO points for your website—and towards your bottom line.

Improve your ranking

Optimizing your website may seem like an abstract concept, but the formula is very real. Use keywords and strong headlines in your website content, use a solid website structure during the designing process, and make sure your website loads quickly to gain favor with search engines and your customers.

Make it easier: Do your research. Contact a SEO provider with a proven track record, affordable local SEO services that have proven results, and the expertise to make it work for your business.

Start blogging (well!)

A website with updated, quality content helpful for online users is a precious commodity to your target audience—and therefore valuable to search engines. Note the adjective: quality. Poorly written advertisements just won’t cut it. Instead, invest your time in writing blog posts on topics relevant to your target audience with information they want to know. As you write, include relevant topics and keywords so the search engines find and put your post at the top of the list.

Make it easier: Supplement your content marketing with outsourced blog posts. Make sure each post is in line with your online marketing plan so the voice and topics are consistent.

Use social media

The relationship between social media and SEO is a complicated one, as outlined in this article by Social Media Today.  While having a solid social media presence doesn’t overtly or directly improve your website’s ranking, it does give you an outlet to push your content out.  The resulting clicks and links that stem from writing excellent content generate signals that the search engines need to move up in the rankings.

Make it easier: Make an online marketing plan that you can stick to and flexible enough that you can improvise with your social media posts (for current trends, interesting content, etc.)

Take an interest in reviews

If you’re like almost every other customer, online reviews matter: 88% factor online reviews into their purchasing decision (Source: Search Engine Land). Fact is, all the online reviews about your company—both positive and negative—matter, and can make a major impact on your bottom line. To make sure there is more positive than negative, establish a solid presence on all major review sites and monitor the reviews that are posted. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to showcase your company’s excellent customer service skills (tips on how to do so here).

Make it easier: Use a reputation management tool that can monitor and alert you to new reviews. To make the process even easier, contact a marketing company that has a quality reputation management tool ready (and that they can assist you with).