This month we welcome guest blogger Matt Rider of Mongoose Web to bring you the best information on how to improve your local search results. In his two-part series, Matt pulls the covers back to explain how search engine optimization works and how you can improve your local listings on Google to bring in more business.
While most business owners have heard of search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, few have even a basic understanding of the processes and factors included in SEO. Read on to demystify SEO by providing an overview of the basic processes and arming you with an understanding of the fundamentals.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, on a basic level, is the process of increasing a website’s visibility in search engines such as Google. Specifically, SEO targets what is known as the “unpaid” or “organic” results.
Generally speaking, the higher the ranking a website receives in a search engine, the more traffic will be sent to that site. Since Google is currently the dominant player in search engines, most SEO strategies focus on increasing rankings in Google. The other search engines tend to follow Google’s lead, so usually what works for SEO in Google will also be effective across Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engines.
How do I build a site that Google likes?
The ins and outs of building a fully optimized for SEO website are complex; in fact, they could be a whole series of articles in and of themselves. Thankfully, the basic concepts are fairly simple:
Why is SEO important for locally owned businesses?
Search engine optimization is of growing concern and importance for local business owners. A few quick stats:
As the above stats reveal, increasing your business’ visibility in the search results of Google (and consequently the other search engines) can have a positive, measurable impact on your business.
Consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet and their smartphones to make purchase decisions for products and services. While traditional marketing and advertising strategies can still be effective, it is of increasing importance to employ online and digital marketing to attract clients and customers so let’s take a look at the three types of local search results in Google.
Types of Local Search Results
Whenever somebody performs a local search in Google (a local search being one that Google recognizes as someone looking for products or services in their city or local area), Google presents the user with three types of results:
The AdWords paid advertisements are businesses that pay Google money to advertise in that space. Google’s AdWords program can be a highly effective form of advertising, but it is not the focus of this article.
The “Local Snack Pack” showcases a few businesses near to the user, and the organic listings show other websites that Google believes deserve to be shown in the results.
It is important to note that the businesses in the snack pack and the organic results don’t pay Google any money to show up there, unlike the businesses using AdWords. They’ve set up their websites and online content in a way which helps them rank highly. As a business owner, you can do the same and cash in on that “organic” traffic to improve the number of customers coming to your website and using your business. Our next article will cover those steps, so stay tuned and keep reading!
Mongoose Web Marketing
Trends Mobile and Web Solutions connects businesses with customers, and customers with the businesses they love through mobile websites, mobile apps and social media services. Our focus is small business – be seen, be connected, be profitable.