Are you running a local business in the beautiful city of Melbourne? Are you spending time trying to come up with ideas and tricks that can help your business better stand out? Are you looking for ways through which you can easily get your website listed in the top 5 suggestions returned by different search engines?
If the answer to all of the above questions is a ‘yes’, ‘maybe’, ‘hmm’ or a loud grunt, then you have stumbled upon the right place. Every user is connected to the internet in one way or the other nowadays. To reach out to your customers, showing up on local search results has become an absolute necessity. There is no denying the fact that local website traffic usually has a higher conversion rate because people prefer to buy locally. Local businesses are often seen as more trustworthy and credible. Therefore, it’s important to retain your local customers. And how can you do that? By just checking off the following items from your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) checklist:
To be among the top suggestions returned by the Google, what should you do? Create a Google Plus profile of your business. Creating a Google Plus profile comes with tonnes of perks, especially when it comes to getting indexed or ranked by Google. Your chances of getting highly targeted visitors from Google’s organic search results increase by many folds if you have a Google Plus account for your business.
Of course, the chances increase more if you have an active account, rather than a dead one. Just like Facebook uses “likes” and other emojis to record people’s interactions with the content, Google makes use of “votes”. Profiles with engaging content and more “votes” on Google Plus have a higher chance of appearing in the top ranking search results. These numbers let Google know that whatever it is that you are posting from your account is being interacted with in the form of votes and shares. So, what are you waiting? Create a profile on Google Plus NOW!!!
Google My Business Page Claim
Gone are the days when Google’s only service was in providing us with a search box. Now, Google comes with Google Search, Google Maps, Google Places and tonnes of other Google properties. To be recognised and found in all of these places, it’s essential to create a Google My Business listing and manage how your business information appears in all of these locations.
It is highly important for local businesses to have a presence on Google My Business because 69% of the searches involve a particular area. What another way can be more helpful in appearing in Google’s search results than to be having an account on Google My Business, that too, an active one? Just like Google Plus, it is important to have an active presence on Google My Business. Ask your customers to leave positive, helpful feedback on your account. Google search algorithm takes customer reviews into account while returning search results. The number of positive reviews your business receives from customers, the better is your company’s SEO ranking and therefore, the more visibility your business gains.
Before we jump into the discussion of how important schema markup is in SEO, let’s first understand what schema markup is! In simple words, the Schema is nothing but a code snippet that can be added to your HTML files. This code snippet helps search engines in deciding what the individual paragraph or page is all about. It’s getting essential now because three of the biggest search engines of the world; Google, Yahoo and Bing, are taking this scenario one step forward and are using this to enhance the artificial intelligence of their search engines.
Using schema markup helps in feeding more structured data to the search engines which directly affects how search engines respond and display results when a user queries for something. On returning results back to the users, search engines churn out the structured data they have gathered from websites containing schema markup and display them in the form of rich snippets along with those sites in the search results. These increases click through rates because users can now see relevant information shown in the search results.
In addition to increasing click through rates, schema also affects SEO through direct ranking increase. A lot is said and discussed over this, and the general claim is that when structured data is fed to the search engines, the search engines understand the web pages quickly resulting in increasing the ranking of those pages.
When a business is mentioned somewhere on the internet, with or without a link, it is known as the local citation. There are various ways of citing companies on the web:
→ using company’s name only
→ using company’s name and its phone number
→ using company’s name, its phone number and address
→ using company’s name, its phone number, address and link, etc
Citations play a vital role in Google and Bing’s ranking algorithms. Keeping all other factors constant, businesses with more number of citations will rank higher than businesses with a fewer number of citations. They help in building the credibility of the companies and also validate that businesses are actually who they claim to be.
Citations are particularly useful and relevant in less – competitive niches, like electrical, plumbing or carpentering, etc. The reason is, a majority of the service providers belonging to these fields don’t have proper websites or actively running social pages of their businesses. In such cases, search engines rely heavily on whatever information they can get and from wherever they can get it. Getting cited on websites that already have a lot of user traffic and a good ranking can dramatically improve your local search engine ranking!