data aggregators

What are data aggregators and what do they do?

Data aggregators have an extremely important role in our technological world.  More importantly, on the local search sphere. But what’s the role of data aggregators? Their job is to compile information to major search engines like Bing, which means that having a good business listing information on data aggregators will help it get right on Bing. Yellow page directories, utility records, phone directories, and various online information providers are massive business databases that have been built by these aggregators.

We can find four data providers:

1)   Factual

2)   Acxiom

3)   Infogroup

4)   Localeze

Their databases contain business info that search engines seek out in order to show it to their customers. All of the following information is the base where online citations come from. But what is a citation? Well, citations are every time the name of the business appears on the Internet, the more times the name appears, the better search rank will have.

The major data aggregators are the ones who provide information that helps businesses be found correctly on online resources such as:

·      Google Maps

·      Bing Local

·      Apple/Siri

·      Facebook

·      Yellow Pages

These online resources are just a few of the many sources that receive data aggregators. Clearly sites like Yellow Pages, Google Maps and Facebook are essential places to be listed for businesses that want to be found online. If businesses don’t want to take a risk on not to be found by potential consumers, they need to get their information correct, with all of these data providers.

Every business wants to have online visibility! Does your business want to generate as many business citations as possible? Do you want to master SEO with all of the major data aggregators?

What is a citation?

As previously mentioned, a citation is just every time a business is mentioned in the online sphere. Many people believe that citations are links to websites, but that is not necessarily true. They can contain links, but they don’t have to, in order to be considered a citation. These are the ways citations can appear online:

·      Company number (alone)

·      Phone number (alone)

·      Company name and phone number

·      Company name, phone number and address

·      Company name, phone number, address and link

Although all of the previous combinations are considered a citation, a citation is not considered to be complete unless it contains the company name, address and phone number (NAP). The more correct a business has their NAP data with the major data providers the better chance they have on seeing their information correctly across the web.

Citations can appear in an unstructured or a structured manner. How can you distinguish them?  

An unstructured citation can be seen on event listings, random websites, blogs, government records, social media mentions or job postings sites.  These are unstructured citations since they can be as simple as a company mention. They don’t tend to include a business NAP data.

A structured citation is the most common citation, and the most detailed when consumers are looking for business information. They can be found on business listing sites like TripAdvisor, Yellowpages or Yelp. In most cases, these citations contain the business NAP data.

No matter where a citation appears, in some way, it has an influence on the local search ranking for a particular business. Data aggregators play an important role in getting a business found or listed on many major websites.

How important can be to build citations?

Citations have a major influence on local search rankings. The more times a business is mentioned on the Internet, the better change your business has to rank near the top of local search.

According to Google’s search ranking algorithm, building citation is not the only thing a business has to do if they want to rank on search engines.  Some other factors that can influence the local search are: mobile compatibility, online reviews, keyword density and domain authority.

But this does not mean the citations don’t have an important role in local search ranking. In fact, David Mihm’s local search study says that citations are very important: they make up 25% of the top 20 factors the influence local search.

What do data aggregators do?

When conducting a local search, data aggregators provide a lot of the data to search engines. They own the space known as the local search ecosystem, a place where local searches get all of their information.

The four major data aggregators are Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, and Localeze. It is noticeable that many listings sites and major directories rely on these data providers for their info. Data aggregators are the foundation of what builds structured citations on major sites. In short, the main message is to get business data right with the major data aggregators.

Incorrect data on any of these aggregators means that your business information online can be inconsistent or wrong on many major listings sites and directories. The SEO can be hurt, by having inconsistent information online, so be sure to have your business correctly listed with all the major players.

Consumers don’t trust businesses with inconsistent information online -73% of consumers lose trust in brands due to inaccurate local business listings. Business citations rely on the power of data aggregator!

Get it right!

There is no secret; it is as simple as getting it right with the major data aggregators. Local search is very important for businesses but especially for small ones. They could force themselves into bankruptcy if their online visibility is non-existent.

Consumers rely on the Internet and search engines to interact with local businesses. According to Google, “4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find products, experiences or services nearby.” Local search is what drives consumers to a business’s front door, and drives top-line revenue for local business.

Make sure that your business gets it right. Start using data aggregators since it is the first step in mastering local SEO and in building accurate online citations.

To find out more about how we can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


listings

How to Rank Higher Online by Improving Your Business Listings

Factors for A High Ranking Listing

If you want to rank well on local search engines, you need consistent listings; NAP data (name, address, phone number), website, hours, and more across all major listing directories. This is a must in order to be validated as a credible local business. The more accurate and consistent your business’ information is, the more search engines will trust the validity of the business. The more the search engines trust the business, the higher you will rank in local Search Engine Results Page.

According to a study conducted by Moz, 13% of professionals say that having your business being mentioned online regularly (also called local citation) is one of the most important elements in Local Pack Ranking factor.

Business Listings

The information mentioned in business listings can vary but some key pieces of information hold true across them all.

NAP Data

The most determining data held in a business listing is the NAP data—name, address, and phone number information. It is critical for the online visibility of any business. Having accurate and up-to-date NAP data ensures that not only will consumers find your business online, but that they will also have the correct information on how to contact you.

In fact, 50% of mobile users are looking for business addresses.

NAP data is also important for search engines like Google to display your business in geo-targeted searches. If someone is searching for “good seafood” in the Boston area, the local Boston seafood places with correct NAP data will appear. Of course Google gives search ranking priority to business with correct NAP data—how else are they supposed to tell where you are, what you do, and if you’re even a legitimate business at all?

Despite the importance of accurate NAP data, studies show that quite a lot of businesses are failing even at this basic step into the world of listings. Here are some stats from a study by Localeze, 2015.

  • 86% of businesses have either missing or incorrect company name information listed across all listings sources
  • 72% of businesses have either missing or incorrect address information listed across all listings sources
  • 71% of businesses have either missing or incorrect phone number information listed across all listings sources

Hours of Operation

If you want to score some bonus points, don’t forget to include information like hours of operation. When a consumer is looking for a business or the service a business provides, they have a high purchase intent, and are probably searching for an immediate need. If the business is shown as “open”, they will most likely visit the business.

In fact, 73% of purchases that result from mobile searches happen within the same day, and most (63%) within a few hours.

If your business has no hours listed, the consumer would have to go out of their way to find out whether or not you’re open. 76% of consumers report that they expected hours of operation information when conducting a search and over 60% of consumers find that knowing the business hours helps them make their purchase decision! This is a big inconvenience for this customer, not only do they not know your business hours, but their time is being wasted.

Let the negative reviews commence!

If your competitor has their business hours listed, they will most probably capture that consumer. People just want their needs fulfilled—they’d be happy to spend their money at a business that has their hours correctly listed if they were coming in-store to make the purchase.

Website Link

Put that website link into your business listings. Consumers will often travel from Google search into a business website to get a feel for the business, and learn more about what they’re offering. So obviously, including a link to your website is important for their online presence.

Does your business have a central “hub” of information to direct users to online? Here is an interesting statistic: 93% of businesses have either missing or incorrect website information listed across all listings sources.

If a user can find your website, they’ll get a better impression of your business, and likely have a more positive experience. With nearly half of small businesses not having a website, you can make your business stand out on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) by including your website data in the listing information.

Some More Information To Consider

  • Payment methods
  • Services
  • Brands
  • Holiday hours
  • Images
  • Social profiles

Depending on your business vertical, there may be other pieces of information important for you to include in their online business listings. The more information you include, the easier it will be for consumers to find your business, purchase your products and/or services and leave a review!

Find out more about Review Management and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


audit

How to Perform a Local SEO Audit for Your Business

The harsh reality that we all need to accept is that business websites on the second page of the search engine results page might as well not exist.You know the drill—you want something so you get on your phone and search for it. Google presents its top 3 local options in the “Snack Pack” and 10 other organic results. If your business corresponds to the user’s needs, you want and need to appear on the first page for those target keywords. To do so, you will need to do a local SEO audit, a simple procedure for any website. Here’s how to get it done.

Step 1: Audit Keywords

A strong SEO audit starts with effective keywords.

Here is how to conduct a keyword audit: Start with ranking, how the keywords you're already using are ranked for and identify any opportunities you might be missing.

For example, if you’re ranking well for ‘Philadelphia Bankruptcy Attorney’ but are nowhere to be found for ‘Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer’, you’ve identified an area to improve.

Make a list of services, products, or a page you’d like to drive traffic to and then put together a list of high volume local target keywords (you can use tools like Keyword Finder).

Step 2: Audit Your Competition

Your local SEO audit should include a snooping session to determine your competitor’s SEO status and tactics. It is essential  that you determine what you’re up against, especially if you’re located in a highly competitive area where top businesses are excelling.

Here is a tool that helps you learn why your competitors rank so high what you need to do to outrank them: Ahrefs.

You don’t need to do a full diagnostic on each competitor, but you can simply take a look at these factors, find out what the website is built with, and compare that data against yours, helping you develop a logical hypothesis:

  • GMB ranking for top keywords
  • Organic rankings for top keywords
  • Review quantity and quality
  • Number of links
  • Site Speed
  • Social Stats

Step 3: Audit Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps and your business absolutely requires it.

It has been ranked as the biggest driver of local SEO success, according to the 2017 edition of Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey.

The GMB results are often referred to as the ‘three pack’, as Google picks out the three best or most relevant local listings for these searches and If you want to appear in Google’s three pack, your GMB listing should be well-optimised.

According to Google, 46% of all Google searches are local, while the GMB ‘three pack’ of results appear in 93% of all local searches.

Here are some things to look for, these elements make up a strong GMB listing:

  • Do you have a GMB listing? If so, is it claimed and verified?
  • Is all business information present and correct?
  • Do you have multiple reviews and a high cumulative rating? Are you responding to reviews?
  • Do you have appropriate business categories listed?
  • Do you have images of the business?
  • Have you created any GMB posts?
  • Are you participating in the Questions & Answers section?

Step 4: Audit Reviews

Reviews play a big role in both the local ranking and reputation building areas. They are an authentic measure of a local business’s popularity and viability. Potential customers trust reviews as an accurate gauge for that business’s quality level.

Getting an abundance of positive, glowing and wordy reviews across multiple review platforms like GMB, Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor helps you win on many levels.

In fact, Local SEO Guide notes that Google does pick up on the keywords people use in their reviews: “At a high level, having a keyword you are trying to rank for, and a mention of a city you are working to rank in, in reviews has a high correlation with high ranking Google My Business results.”

And don’t forget to respond to these reviews, whether they are positive or negative because 89% of consumers read businesses' responses to reviews!
A helpful tool you can use is KiyOh, a tool to help you invite your customers to rate and review your company.

Step 5: Audit Links

Links are the bread and butter of Google’s ranking algorithm.

Darren Shaw of WhiteSpark notes that “Google is still leaning heavily on links as a primary measure of a business’ authority and prominence, and the local search practitioners that invest time and resources to secure quality links for their clients are reaping the ranking rewards.”

A link audit would be having a diverse array of quality links and evaluate the links pointing at your website to find potential problems or opportunities.

To evaluate your links, you should consider looking for links with:

  • Local content
  • Industry or vertical topic clusters
  • High domain authority

Remember, link quality will always win over quantity, and quality plus quantity will help you dominate the search rankings in your market. On the flip side, if you see a high volume of spammy, off-topic links, that is an immediate red flag that may be damaging your ability to rank well. Open Site Explorer is a highly accurate link tool that lets you check the backlink profile of your site.

Step 6: Audit Site for Structured Data

Structured Data is code that goes on a website to help the search engines return more detailed, informative results for users. It tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.

This is the perfect way to tell search engines exactly what a given website is about, which will help them serve it up on the search engine results page for the correct search queries.

One way to check to ensure that your site is using schema markup is to enter your URL in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. You’ll be able to check to see if all the correct info about your business has been included.
There are many different types of structured data but when it comes to structured data for SEO, a particular 'vocabulary' is used, called Schema.org in order to have a standardised list of attributes that all search engines support and understand.

Step 7: Audit Local Citations

A local citation is a mention of your business online, whether it’s a name, an address or a phone number. It’s important to look into both structured and unstructured citations. For structured citations, you’ll audit your business listings across the web, looking at social platforms and directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Superpages, and MapQuest.

For unstructured citations, mentions of your business will be found on random websites, blogs, event listings, job posting sites or social media mentions. These are unstructured because they could be as simple as a company mention. Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder is a great free tool to find and analyse both your structured and unstructured citations.

Step 8: Audit Website’s Main Pages

An audit of the main website pages is probably the most important step of your entire audit. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you have the proper tools though.

Screaming Frog is one of many excellent tools that’ll deliver a comprehensive look at your on-page SEO. It’s a free tool that crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key elements to analyse and audit technical and onsite SEO.

With your list of target keywords in hand, you’ll want to run through each page on your spreadsheet looking at the keywords. You should be mainly looking at:

  • Page title
  • Title tags
  • Sub-headings
  • Word count
  • Meta description

You are now well-equipped to analyse how well your pages are optimised for local SEO and determine improvements and content gaps that might be missing. Once you’ve evaluated and recorded the weaknesses in your local SEO, you can make use of a host of top-tier SEO plugins to help you do your work.

Step 9: Audit Images

Firstly, don’t dismiss the power of images; when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later!

There are two main components to image optimisation: image keyword usage and how it affects page load speed.

You can in this case also use ScreamingFrog’s free SEO tool to evaluate both.

Auditing image keywords comes down to evaluating each image’s filename and alt text.

Since Google can’t tell what visual content an image contains, site crawlers rely on things like the image’s filename and alt text to determine what’s being displayed. This is why you need to use the right and optimised keywords.

You can get some big improvements in page load speed when images are optimised to reduce their file size without impacting their visual quality.

Using ScreamingFrog, you can take an inventory of all the images on your site and highlight the images that are slowing things down.

Step 10: Check Website Speed

Having a site that loads rapidly is crucial in today’s online business environment.

Edwin Toonen of Yoast notes that “Google’s latest research shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1s to 3s. 1s to 5s increases the chance to 90% and if your site takes up to 10s to load, the chance of a bounce increases to 123%. That’s incredible. For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with a higher ranking.”

Google PageSpeed Insights Tool performs an instant audit of a given URL, which will give you a quick way to tell if improvements are needed, and a list of actions to take to improve your website speed. Pingdom’s Website Speed Test and GTmetrix are also helpful website speed test tools.

Step 11: Audit Customer Experience

What visitors do when they discover your business online affects your rankings. In fact, David Mihm argues that “Engagement is simply a much more accurate signal of the quality of local businesses than the traditional ranking factors of links, directory citations, and even reviews.”

Factors such as search click-through rate (CTR), dwell time, bounce rate, and conversion rate are all ranking factors. To examine customer experience and engagement, you can use Google Analytics to and then compare them to industry benchmarks.

Step 12: Audit Social Engagement

There’s no doubt that a strong social media presence can significantly boost local SEO efforts even though we’re not sure to what extent social signals are baked into Google’s ranking algorithm.

“The bigger your brand is and the more consumers trust you, the more likely you are to receive a larger share of clicks in Google. Social media can be a great and efficient way to help you build your brand and get in front of people who wouldn’t have otherwise found you.”

Therefore, evaluating your social platforms is an essential part of your local SEO audit:

  • Number of people that like your Facebook page + Facebook shares
  • Number of Twitter followers + tweets mentioning your brand name
  • Number of LinkedIn company followers and Linkedin Shares

To go a step further, you can analyse what content performs best for any topic or competitor using the free tool BuzzSumo.

Final Thoughts

Performing a comprehensive local SEO audit using these 12 steps is crucial, as is recording your progress to ensure you’re not missing any vital pieces to the local SEO puzzle.

Want to skip all this work and let the experts handle your local SEO? Contact us today!

To understand how Local SEO can help your business, book a consultation now.


listings

What are Listings and Why Do They Matter?

Listings are an online entries for your business. Their role is to help customers find you online and in real life. They contain 4 simple pieces of information that provide the basic information potential customers need to have: NAP+W

NAP+W is the acronym that explains it all.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website

If you want to score some bonus points, don’t forget to include information like hours of operation — it’s what consumers are most interested in!

Making sure your listings pay off

Having an up-to-date and accurate listing is important for your SEO performance. They are available through many sources, including search engines, online directories and maps, or social sites, and the more you are present on these sources, the better. This will create multiple avenues for consumers to find your business.

And remember, presence only pays off if the listings are accurate! Listings are accurate if the information is correct and consistent across all potential sources.

The importance of listings

With good presence and accuracy, they will undoubtedly pay off for your business. Here’s how:

No more hiding

Correct, consistent and readily available listings will help guide consumers right to your business’s door steps. If a business’s listing is incorrect or missing, the majority of consumers will feel less confident about the brand, leading them to choose a competitor’s product or service.

Here’s the sad reality: 75 percent of searchers will not go past page one if they don’t see what they’re looking for.

The availability of accurate listings ensures customers are actually able to find your business’ locations while it’s still open for business.

This means money in the business’ pocket and, just as importantly, it means the business can be reviewed.

The importance of online reviews

Reviews, whether positive or negative, are an essential tool for developing a business’ online reputation and promoting brand loyalty and they should be managed correctly. They allow customers to communicate their experience with a business to potential buyers, but if consumers can’t find a business listed online, their opinion of it won’t be well-informed.

In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and almost 95% of shoppers read reviews before making a purchase decision!

Accurate listings create the opportunity for transparency between businesses and consumers in the form of reviews, and the availability of these accurate listings will help increase a business’s visibility.

Boosting a business’ SEO

Consistent, accurate and readily available listings, as well as customer reviews, will directly benefit a business’s visibility by boosting its ranking in local search engine results. Optimising your website for SEO should go hand-in-hand with building an effective website. But Search Engine Optimisation is quite a complex tool, so why not take advantage of it by simply ensuring your business’ listings are done accurately!

Get started today!

This listings low-down provides basic definitions and descriptions of the benefits of business listings. Creating listings on sites worth lots of points improves your listings score and we have ranked all of them for you by importance using a lot of key factors—how many sites reference them, traffic, demographics and more. Implementing the tactics mentioned above will give you a head start on your competition!

To find out more about listings and how they can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


Website SEO Must-Dos for a Higher Search Ranking

If you’re looking to create the best user experience possible, search engines are the way to go. Users rely on search engines because they provide the most relevant, clear and useful information based on the user’s search terms. The users also feel in control. According to Pew Search Centre, at any given day, 56% of internet users use search engines. And 87% of them say they have successful search experiences. In fact, the better user experience you create, the better the chances that that search engine will reveal your pages and your search ranking is higher. By practicing good search engine optimisation (SEO) habits, you can gradually work to increase your Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) position.


Here are our top SEO practices to ensure SERP success.

1. Relevant Keywords or Key phrases:
Pick the most relevant words that best describe your business or services. To save time, you can use a Keyword Research Tool that can help you determine which words will help attract the most visitors based on popular search terms. These tools will give you lots of different keyword ideas you can choose from.

2. Catchy Title Tags:
Title tags are displayed on the search engine results pages. Their role is to describe what your website is all about, so they should be accurate and concise. If you want to be displayed well on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you should limit the title tag description to 55 characters. Keep title tags descriptive yet short to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page. They are what the user first sees and what attracts their attention, pushing them to click, or not, through to your pages.

3. Keywords at the beginning of title tags:
Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.

4. A Killer Meta Description:
The meta description appears under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a chance to briefly learn about your company before clicking into your site. It is the search snippet that convinces users to click. Your meta description should be descriptive and appealing but not too long, aim for a meta-description length of 150-160 characters.

5. Good Quality Sitemap:
In short, sitemaps are used to simplify the navigation of a website. They are composed of the website’s structure, with the links to all the important sections and subsections. Make sure your website’s structure is up-to-date and easy to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier search engine crawlers can find and index pages. Aim for a three-click rule : customers should find what they need on your site in three clicks. As always, in this digital age, you can use a sitemap creator to generate a map in a few minutes.

6. SEO-friendly URL Structure:
URLs, or web addresses, are one of the most basic but important elements of both SEO and User Experience. They help search engine bots but also human users figure out page topic and relevancy.

These are the main rules to creating the best URLs for maximum SEO :

  • Top Level Domain : using “.com” instead of “.biz” or “.pro”
  • Keep your URLs short (3 to 5 words) and include your keyword in it
  • Seperate the words in your URL using “-” instead of “_”
  • Use static (lowercase letter) words rather than numbers
  • HTTPS! Online security is a big deal nowadays

7. Outbound Links Improve Your Blog’s Ranking :
Outbound links are links on your site that redirect you onto another website. Most, if not all, websites have outbound links. In SEO, understanding and using outbound links is one step forward for your on-site optimisation. Regularly referencing and linking reputable and reliable sources shows that you’re a helpful internet information steward who is willing to share pagerank. On the internet, helpful sharing is caring.

8. Speed Up Your Website:
Search engines do not like slow pages as they know that users will not wait long for a website to load. 47% of visitors expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of visitors will leave your website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds. To help you analyse your website's load speed, you can conduct a free website loading test. This test can help you make your site faster by identifying what about your webpage is fast, slow or too big.

9. Social Media:
Try to be as active as possible on all relevant social media platforms. Social media marketing plays a big role when trying to manage your online reputation. Strive to get the most likes, shares and links.

10. Video:
Users can find your business more easily if you share relevant and helpful videos on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, DailyMotion etc.

11. Link Outreach and Get Backlinks:
Earn backlinks (incoming links to your webpage) by conducting PR content to get others to read your pages and link to you. The more quality backlinks your web page has, the more authority it has, and the more search engines will deem the page as relevant and useful.

12. Forums and FAQs:
Answering questions in forums, communities and FAQs, if done properly, can help to build your reputation as an industry expert. It relieves some of the burden on customer service, improves SEO and site navigation. It can also a possible opportunity to include your website or blog link if it is relevant to the answer.

Afterwards, it is crucial to perform a local SEO audit for your business. Find out more about Local SEO and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


mistakes

Common Local SEO Mistakes That Are Negatively Affecting Your Business

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, improves your website’s ranking and by doing so can increase traffic to your site. Optimising your SEO strategy is an extremely important part of your web content and any business or digital marketer needs to know the common mistakes and tactics to go around them.

If you want your business to have a good online reputation and your website to create a lot of new leads, attention needs to be given to SEO. And it is especially important for small local businesses to optimise for SEO! Unfortunately, a local SEO strategy isn’t simply creating a website and hoping clients can find it. It isn’t that complicated, but it is quite a time commitment, and you need to know what you’re doing.

Certainly, it is important to know the ways to enhance your SEO but it is just as important to be aware of all the most common mistakes that are made in order to avoid them. A bad SEO strategy could strongly damage your ranking and your business’s presence in search engines.

Here are a few common mistakes:

1. Forgetting your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps and your business absolutely requires it. When people Google generic businesses like ‘clothing store’ or ‘bakery’ near them, the results that appear at the top of the page in list and map format come from Google My Business. If you want yours to be on the list, you need to set up this profile.

This strategy is a quick and easy win that you can do today. When you set up your Google My Business page, it’s important to fill it out with as much information as possible, and don’t forget to verify your listing; having a great GMB listing represents a significant opportunity for local businesses.

2. Inaccurate Or Missing Listings

NAP, which means Name, Address, and Phone number, is crucial to get right online.

On every source that your business is listed on, the NAP information needs to be the exact same everywhere. Consistency is key. If it’s not listed, you should consider adding it as soon as possible, and if it’s incorrect or outdated, it should be updated right away because potential customers may attempt to reach out to your business, and if they can’t reach you due to wrong information listed, you’ve lost a client.

3. Low Quality Content

If you want to have a good SEO strategy, it’s essential to have original, high-quality content that is consistently reviewed and updated. A weak, repetitive or out-of-date content will have a negative impact on your SEO.

Here is a list of tools to help you better your content:

  • Study demic - Make sure to get copywriting guides so you can improve your writing
  • Academised – Use online editing tool that will improve the quality of your content and allow you to post more regularly.
  • Grammarly – Check your grammar and make sure no mistakes or typos are sneaking in there.
  • Paper Fellows – Use online proofreading tools, to help you create and edit documents.
  • Via writing – Get help coming up with original content ideas, generating keywords, SEO-friendly titles, descriptions and more.
  • Big Assignments – Use formatting tools.

The first thing your potential customer will see on your website is your landing page. If it’s out of date, full of mistakes or irrelevant information, then you’ll not only lose a customer but the quick bounce will negatively affect your rating.

Little tip: Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%!

4. Irrelevant or Missing Backlinks

A very common mistake is forgetting or disregarding backlinks. This can negatively affect your site and business.

Backlinks are links on another website that direct back to your site and having real and secure backlinks is an important step for SEO because a lot of search engines will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks. These backlinks can be quite hard to line up for some businesses.

To make it easier, it is worth investing the time and making connections with other businesses that can help. Don’t forget to look for local business listings that work with your area of expertise, or local sites in your region that would accept a guest posting as a trade for a backlink. You can also speak to your suppliers and distributors for a backlink on their websites, and reach out to local media to be used as a source for their stories.

5. Insufficient Local Reviews

Don’t dismiss the importance of reviews on your website. The more good quality reviews you have, the higher your site will rank on searches. Consider developing a system to make sure that you receive a constant stream of reviews that you can publish.

According to Todd Wallace, a well-known digital marketer: “contact customers you’ve had in the past and clients and ask if they can leave a review, send an email to your current client base requesting the same, or post on social media asking for feedback. You should also ask customers to review your business immediately after a visit as a regular follow up.”

In fact, 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars!

6. Low-Quality Website

The quality and usefulness of your website is one of the factors that Google considers when defining high quality SEO. It’s simple, if a site is of low quality, it won’t get ranked by Google.

They have built-in indicators of poor quality sites like high bounce rates, low conversions, bad design, irrelevant landing pages. Customers who have a good experience on your site will spend longer on it and this will rank your business higher in search engines. And don’t forget mobile optimisation to ensure that visitors who access your website from their phones have an experience optimised for the device. Your focus as a business owner or manager should be growing and improving your business, and not wasting your time optimizing for SEO! With the assistance of SEO experts, develop a good SEO strategy so you don’t need to worry about it as much and focus on what matters.

By avoiding these common mistakes you’ll be able to see your SEO strategy pay off.

Find out more about Local SEO and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


listings

Why your local business listings need to be accurate

As a business, how likely is it that potential customers will come through your door? The whole point of online local business listings is to entice customers into your store, your leasing office or your showroom so you can convert them to paying customers rather than just browsers online.

1. Missing hours of operation information can be a dealbreaker

There are many things that people look for in local business listings, whether they are looking at that search engine on a PC or on a mobile device. The top piece of information that most people look for is the hours of operation since their search is likely for a business that they frequent quite often.

2.You can’t spell NAP data (and score a citation) without an A(ddress)

While most people would assume that the number one reason people do a search online is for the address or location of a business, the address is actually behind hours of operation as the second most desired information. But, of course, the whole point of being in business is to make money doing what you love or selling what you love. And that happens by attracting foot traffic and increasing customer base.

It bears repeating that if a business address is incorrect on listing sites such as Google or Bing, then customers will not be crossing the threshold.

3. Local searchers are mobile creatures

According to Localeze, mobile-phone-based searches drive in-store purchases with more than 75% of searches ending in a purchase—if a business has their listing details correct. Now if half of the people searching for a business listing on a local search engine, such as Google Local/Maps, can’t find the store’s business listing details, then the business is going to lose 100% of their business.

For ease of use for potential customers, some of those details need to be as readily available as possible in a mobile-friendly manner. This can be accomplished with a responsive website that supports cellphone and tablet-specific versions.

4. Updated, accurate websites still serve as a first impression

At the same time, more than 60% of searches on PC platforms such as website portals, Internet Yellow Page directories and local sites have a similar chance of ending in a purchase. While mobile searches are becoming more of a standard in where a customer searches, a business owner should not discount the power of a fulsome, consistent and accurate listing that is reflective of the business website.

Local business listings should be linked to the business’s website and feature the exact same information, but more of it. While a website should be enough to entice a customer to visit or buy, if those inconsistencies exist, then trust issues may arise in a business’s practices before a customer ever crosses their threshold.

5. Local searchers mix it up across multiple devices, situations and times

People who search for listings are doing it in many more ways than when the Internet first coalesced into existence about two decades ago. In that time, we went from working on desktops to laptops to PDAs to Blackberries to Apples to tablets—and in each iteration, the methods of search have changed.

However, that has slowed over the last five years or so as web developers realize that they need to be smarter. Rather than designing three different sites for three different platforms, they have created websites that are scalable to the search device. And that has been helped along by the proliferation of types of devices in use every day.

The most important part of those mobile searches is accuracy. If someone cannot find your business in a local search or find inaccurate results whilst out and about, then your business has lost the chance for that browser to become a customer. So having those listings correct in all of the device formats is a must as we, and our technology, continue to evolve in the way we interact with local businesses.

6. Local search results are trusted sources of information

Last but certainly not least is the fact that local search results are considered the most trustworthy. 73% of consumers stated that they lose trust in a brand when the online listing shows incorrect information (Placeable, 2014).

Think about it, would you rather find a local store where you can get that latest purse in town right now? Or you can wait a week for delivery, which is four days past the event that you want it for! Local searches lend themselves to instant gratification and that interaction between browser and salesperson will convert that browser from someone who might get just the minimum to a loyal customer who feels like a million having spent a little more, but getting what they consider to be gold!

Those interactions are what lead people to local searches and the absolute necessity of getting your listings correct. Trust leads to loyalty, which leads to more business, which leads to happy customers and business owners.

And it all starts with that correct listing in that customer’s local search.

We can help you figure all of it out, book a consultation now.


Keyword Research

SEO tips to improve keyword research

If you want higher Google Rankings and more traffic, you'll love this quick guide. The backbone of your SEO strategy is keyword research. Investing time in the research phase will inevitably produce better results in the long term, making the success of your search engine optimisation dependant on your choice of keywords. Key strategies to improve keyword research and your SEO ranking; also helping you get found online more easily, are the implementation of keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URL. However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental.

Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it.

Do Your Own Keyword Research

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of discovering words and phrases that people use in search engines with the ultimate goal of optimizing content around those terms.

Keywords are like a compass for your SEO campaigns: they tell you where to go and whether or not you’re making progress. As a bonus, researching keywords help you figure out the thoughts, fears, and desires of your target market. That’s because keywords research gives you tremendous insight into what potential customers searching for and the exact words and phrases that they use. Keyword research impacts every other SEO task that you perform, including finding content topics, on-page SEO, and outreach and promotion. This process should never be a one-time commitment, but rather an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business and your industry. This on-going process can take time and research, but the results will be worth it.

Although we want to increase our customer base, we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.

Using the Right Keywords

Picking the right keywords and keyword phrases is one of the most important steps in successful search engine optimization. These next five steps will allow you to do so:

Think like a customer - Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself, 'If I wanted to find one of these products or services, what would I type into Google?'

Study the competition -  Looking at your competitor's keywords will not only help you see what you could be forgetting but also help broaden your list of ideas.

Understand the short and long tail keywords - Short tail keywords are search phrases with only one word. Their length makes them less specific than searches with more words. On the contrary, long tail keywords are a combination of three or more words or phrases. While long tail keywords tend to boast lower search volumes, in most cases they attract more relevant traffic, are typically less competitive, and easier to rank well on. Choose long tail keywords that help to specify your product or service. ‘Egg’ is an example of a short tail keyword, whereas ‘make scrambled eggs fluffy’ is a long tail keyword. Additionally, location-based keywords are also useful. They are directly related to your business’s physical location. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town who may or may not ever make it to your location.

Use the keyword research tool - Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool to research your potential target keywords. With these tools, you can gather data on keyword volume and trends, keyword competition, similar keywords and more.

Analyse the results - After choosing your keywords don't forget to monitor them and analyze the results. Don't forget to utilize your keywords wherever possible! The more you use keywords within your content, the easier it will be for your target audience to find you.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Speaking of misleading customers that may not find value in your business, adding practically any keyword under the sun is referred to as keyword stuffing and is largely considered a taboo in the digital marketing world. Like with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, less is more and quality will always conquer quantity. Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way. However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content with keywords. Even if they’re good keywords, it’s still too much.

To find out more about SEO and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.