405.605.8218
Why Mobile Search Matters for your Website

Why Mobile Search Matters for your Website

Two-thirds of Americans now own and regularly use smartphones, and nearly three-quarters of those adults search for local information on their phones before visiting local businesses. This data points to a major shift in the way consumers get online and make choices about where to take their business. If you want to be seen online, you must start taking advantage of the opportunities mobile offers.

Are You Mobile Use Friendly?

Unfortunately, many websites aren’t doing just that. If you own or operate a website that doesn’t display properly on mobile. You might actually be penalized in search engine results. Google announced in June of 2014 that it would start adjusting search result rankings based on how well a website handles mobile visitors. For instance, 404 pages, videos that won’t play, improperly-sized images, and hard-to-read text could all negatively affect a site’s rankings.

Have You Thought About Your Icon?

Another telling move is the addition of “not-mobile-friendly” icons to some mobile search results. The icon, showing a smartphone with a slash through it, could potentially discourage mobile searchers from visiting a site. These decisions clearly show Google’s philosophy on the matter of mobile search: If your website can’t handle mobile visitors, Google isn’t going to send them to you.

That means it’s vital for your site to start handling mobile well. If you aren’t set up for mobile yet, how do you get started?

Two Ways to Handle Mobile

Website owners have two real ways to handle mobile visitors: responsive websites, and dedicated mobile sites. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. So you’ll need to decide which one is right for you depending on your goals and preferences. We’ll take a look at each type of site to help you make the choice.

Option 1: Responsive Web Design

Many business owners today are solving the mobile question with responsive websites. These sites handle mobile in an interesting way. Rather than directing users to a separate site, they simply resize the entire website to fit the display of the device the visitor is using. That means that a visitor to your site using a laptop would see a “full-size” version of the site. While a mobile visitor would see a version that is optimized to fit their smaller screen.

With a responsive website, the overall design of your website stays the same, but individual elements (such as images, text, and menu bars) change to suit the device. This has a number of advantages over other solutions, but it can also pose some technical challenges.

Advantages of Responsive Web Design:

  • Only One Site – The biggest advantage of a responsive website is that it allows you to keep the same site across all devices. This makes it easier to make changes to your site, keep track of all your content and pages, and ensure a consistent experience for your visitors.
  • Only One URL – Your site’s web address is important for both search engine rankings and for online name recognition. Using a responsive design allows you to keep the same URL across all devices, making it easier for visitors to know where they are online.
  • Protection from Bounces – In web design speak, a page’s “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors who come to one page on the site and then leave without going anywhere else. Mobile sites often have a high bounce rate, since they offer a “stripped-down” experience with less design and content. A responsive website avoids that problem by offering all users the same content, regardless of platform.
  • Lower Costs – Because you only have to operate a single website, you keep your costs down. One website is cheaper to run than two.

Disadvantages of Responsive Web Design:

  • Responsive Design Doesn’t Always Respond – While the idea of responsive design is to offer a unified, easy-to-use experience for all users, sometimes your site may actually pose challenges you didn’t intend. Sites that are improperly optimized for mobile can drive off mobile users who want a simple, clean experience.
  • Mobile Has Different Needs – Smaller screen sizes and touch-based interfaces mean you may have to put emphasis on different parts of the same page to achieve conversions from both desktop and mobile. This can be complicated unless you’re an experienced web designer.
  • Technical Difficulties – Older computers or browsers may not always render responsive sites correctly. Plus, new phones or browser apps may also have challenges with a mobile site that hasn’t been updated regularly.

Option 2: Dedicated Mobile Site

Responsive web design isn’t for everyone. Many site owners prefer the relative safety of a dedicated mobile site. While there are some difficulties to operating a mobile site alongside a desktop version, mobile sites also offer a number of advantages that site owners appreciate.

The chief draw of mobile sites is that they are designed from the beginning for display on a mobile screen. This ensures the content, interface, and design are consistent and optimized for mobile visitors. Mobile sites also handle slower internet connections better than responsive sites, offering quick load times to visitors on cellular connections. This is important for visitors. Google actually uses load times as a factor in its search engine rankings.

Advantages of Dedicated Mobile Sites:

  • Better User Interface – By offering a site designed specifically for mobile users, you ensure that the interface and design of the site handles mobile well. This is a big advantage over many responsive sites that try to shoehorn a desktop experience onto mobile.
  • Speed – Mobile websites often have less elements (pictures, videos, advertisements) that take time to load over cellular connections. This will make your site load faster on mobile devices, and it will also save your visitors from using all of their data allotment on loading your site.

Disadvantages of Dedicated Mobile Sites:

  • Cost – Since you have to design, implement, and manage two websites, it’s understandable that a dedicated site costs more than a responsive one. However, dedicated sites don’t cost as much as you’d think to develop. So this isn’t a huge negative.
  • Technical Challenges – If users on mobile devices try to visit your desktop page, you’ll need to automatically redirect them to the mobile site. This can present some challenges. Especially if you have a large or complicated site structure.
  • Two Sites to Run – With a responsive website, any change you make is automatically applied to the entire site. Dedicated mobile sites are separate from their desktop counterparts. Meaning any change you make to one, you’ll have to make to the other too.
  • Two URLs – Mobile sites have a different URL than desktop sites. This can make your site a little harder to market. Though with automatic redirects its not as challenging as it used to be.

What About Apps?

Many companies have turned to a third solution to the mobile problem: mobile apps that take the place of the mobile website entirely. Often you’ll be prompted to download and install the mobile app when you visit one of these sites. It’s easy to see why owners and designers like apps. They’re not hard to design. They ensure a consistent mobile experience. They can also collect and send back more customer data than a website can. However, apps aren’t a true mobile site solution.

Is Creating An App The Cure All?

When you create an app for mobile users, the app doesn’t take the place of your website. Mobile users that don’t want to download an app will still use your site, and if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re back to square one. Plus, Google and other search engines don’t look at apps when deciding search engine rankings. They aren’t going to rank content that can only be found in an app. You could design the best app in the world put the best content on it, and you’d still lose out on rankings because your actual website doesn’t handle mobile visitors well.

Do Apps Work On All Devices?

Unfortunately apps don’t all work on all devices. You’ll need to develop separate apps for Apple, Android, and Windows Phone devices – a costly proposition. When you consider the costs of maintaining and updating apps across all platforms and devices (each one with its own software update schedule and conflicting requirements), you can see that apps are not a great solution for the vast majority of business owners.

Will You Be Left Behind?

The Internet is only going to become more and more mobile-centric in the coming years. If you want to perform well online and get business out of your website, you need to take advantage of the mobile space. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.

To learn more about generating conversions and leads from your website, contact us today at (405) 605-8218. We’re a local Oklahoma City Internet marketing firm. We can help you on the path to online success.

Why Links are Important on Your Website

Why Links are Important on Your Website

Part of our Oklahoma City SEO work involves staying aware of the latest trends and best practices in search engine optimization. One of the biggest changes in the last year has been the increased focus on cleaning up negative or low-quality links coming to your website. If you’re a small business owner who wants to rank higher, or if you’ve worked with other SEO companies in the past, you should be aware of the links that are pointing to your site. A toxic link profile could be responsible for huge drops in search engine rankings and traffic.

Why Links Matter: Understanding Penguin

To understand why the links coming to your website (or inbound links) are important, you need to know a bit about the way Google ranks web sites in its search results.

In the past, Google and other search engines used the number of inbound links a website or page had as a measure of that site’s quality. The more websites that linked to a given page, the “better” Google assumed that page must be, and as a result the pages with lots of links tended to rank higher in search results.

Once webmasters and website owners found out how this ranking strategy worked, they quickly took advantage of it. Paid directories and link compilation websites became common, and websites ended up with tens of thousands of bought or unnatural links pointing back to them.

Will Google’s Penguin Penalize You?

To combat the rise of unnatural link profiles, Google introduced a number of updates to its search engine ranking algorithms. The largest of these is the Penguin algorithm. Google’s Penguin algorithm filters out and penalizes websites with link profiles that it deems to be unnatural or spammy. Google’s goal with the Penguin algorithm is only to have sites rank highly when they have “earned” the high ranking by accumulating links naturally over time.

The problem with the Penguin algorithm is that, even if your link profile is natural, Google can still see it as spammy or unearned and penalize your site accordingly. That means it’s vitally important for website owners and managers to pay attention to the sites that link back to them online. Once you get penalized, you have to wait for the next Penguin update to refresh your site’s rankings, and that can be months of waiting.

All of this raises the question: How do you keep yourself from getting penalized? The key to avoiding penalties and staying on Google’s good side is to regularly check and clean up your backlink profile for your website.

Webmaster Tools

There are a number of ways to check who is linking to your website online. Some users prefer tools like those offered by Majestic or AHRefs – high-powered suites with lots of options and extensions. However, for most website owners, the best tool is the simplest. In this case, that tool is Google’s Webmaster Tools.

Webmaster Tools is Google’s website data reporting utility. With Webmaster Tools, you can learn more about your website’s visibility and traffic, generate reports based on your site’s data, and also explore how your site is connected to other sites on the web.

To set up Webmaster Tools, you’ll first need a Google account. (Already have Webmaster Tools set up? Feel free to skip the next few paragraphs.) If you have a gmail address, this step is already done. If you don’t, you can go to accounts.google.com and click “Create a New Account” at the bottom of the page to get started.

After that, you’ll need to get your site authorized with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Analytics is the easier of the two to start with, so we’ll begin there. To add your site to Google Analytics, follow these instructions from Google. The process isn’t very complicated, but you should be familiar with getting to your website’s code before you start.

Once you have the Analytics tracking code in place, you’ll also need to activate Webmaster Tools. Fortunately you can use Analytics to make this step easier. First, go to www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ and sign in to your Google account. Then, you’ll need to add your website to Webmaster Tools, using the red button in the upper right corner that says “Add a Site.” Finally, you’ll need to verify that the site is yours. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest way is using Google Analytics. Under the “Verify” page, go to the “Alternative Methods” tab and click the bubble next to “Google Analytics.” Then follow the steps to verify your ownership, and you should be good to go.

Checking Your Links

Once Webmaster Tools is up and running, you should be ready to check and clean up your links. To do this, you’ll need to download some of the most current links to your website so you can see what they look like.

Using Webmaster Tools, you’ll want to go to the “Search Traffic” tab, then choose “Links to your site.” From there, you’ll want to click on the option labeled “Who Links the Most,” then choose the “More>>” option.

Finally, under “Who Links the Most,” find and choose the option that says “Download Latest Links.” A spreadsheet file should download to your computer containing many of the latest links to your website. You’ll want to look through this list to find anything that looks suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary. Suspicious or low-quality links might include:

  • Lots of links all coming from the same site;
  • Coming from a page or site that seems unrelated to your business;
  • Coming from foreign domains like .ru, .cz, or .za;
  • From sites that appear to be spam or low-quality sites (this will require you to visit the site and decide its quality for yourself);
  • Coming from outside of the page’s main content (such as the comment section or the website footer)

If you notice any of these problems in your links, you’ll want to try to get those links removed. In most cases, the only way to remove a link is to contact the webmaster of the website linking to yours and ask them to take the link down. Most webmasters will be happy to comply.

It’s helpful to keep track of the sites you email so you can check back after a few days to see if the link has been removed. A good rule of thumb is to try to contact a webmaster. Try this at least twice before moving to the next step in the link removal process. If you can’t get in touch after two attempts, it’s likely that the webmaster doesn’t respond to link removal requests.

Disavow Tool

When you have links that you can’t get removed directly, you need to go to the next step. The link disavow tool. Using this system, you can remove any connection between your site and a toxic link. However, using the disavow tool too much or too loosely can have its own negative effects. So only do it when you’re sure you can’t remove a bad link any other way. Most website owners shouldn’t ever have to go this far. Only do this if you’re sure these links are causing issues for your site.

To use the disavow tool, you need to upload a text file of the links you want to remove to Google’s Disavow Links tool page in Webmaster Tools. The text file should be nothing but one link per line; you can view more about the format here. Here’s an example of what the file should look like:

# Comments Start with the # symbol then give a description about what action you took
# example.com removed most links, but missed these
http://spam.example.com/stuff/comments.html
http://spam.example.com/stuff/paid-links.html
# Contacted owner of shadyseo.com on 9/4/2014 and 9/27/2014 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
domain:shadyseo.com

Don’t Forget

Keep in mind that you can only have one disavow list active at a time – if you upload more links to the tool later on, you should also keep the original links in the list to make sure Google still keeps them disavowed.

Fresh Links

Keeping your link profile clean and up-to-date is an important part of website maintenance. With a good link profile, you should be able to rank higher and get more visitors to your site than you would otherwise. It’s not always a fun job to clean up your links, but it’s definitely good for your business.

RankMonsters Is Here For You

Want to learn more about getting ranked higher in Google and other search engines? Contact us today at RankMonsters! We’re Oklahoma City’s top SEO and digital marketing firm, and we help dozens of businesses around the state with their online visibility and advertising. Call today (405) 605-8218 to learn more about our services and what our monsters can do for you.

Google Changes Algorithms Again, Your Site May Be Affected

Google Changes Algorithms Again, Your Site May Be Affected

Though it seems like only yesterday that Google rolled out the last round of updates to its ranking algorithms, a new update has just arrived. Over the last few days, Google updated its Panda algorithm and its Spam algorithm. There is also speculation that another update to the Penguin algorithm could soon follow. These updates mean significant ranking and traffic change for many websites.

Google

Google has officially denied that they have any plans to update Penguin, but some people in the SEO industry suspect that they might just be saying that to avoid public outcry before the algorithm takes full effect.

Feeling Confused?

Confused about what these vicious penguins and giant pandas want to do to your website? We totally understand. It can be tough for people who don’t keep up with SEO news to keep track of every Google algorithm. That’s why we thought it might be useful to provide a brief overview of Google’s ranking algorithms and how they affect you.

Google Panda

Google’s Panda algorithm finds and filters low-quality content from search engine results. This ensures that only the most relevant, truly engaging websites make it onto the first page of results. The current update, known as Panda 4.0, marks the fourth major change to Panda. However, Google also updates Panda with rolling monthly updates in an effort to stay ahead of each new scheme to drive up rankings for low-quality content.

Panda affects a large portion of the searches done through Google. In fact, Google’s SEO expert Matt Cutts says that Panda 4.0 affects the results for about 7.5% of all English language searches. This has caused dramatic changes to the rankings and traffic of some websites.

Google Spam Algorithm

Also known as Google’s “Payday Loan Algorithm”, the Spam Algorithm specifically targets spammy websites that use terms you might see in your email’s junk folder, such as “payday loans”, “viagra”, “life insurance”, “LASIK” and “free coupons”. The Spam Algorithm mostly affected foreign websites and pages containing large numbers of spammy or extremely low-quality links and keywords. Most legitimate websites were not hurt.

Google Penguin

Penguin may be Google’s biggest and baddest algorithm update. While Panda targets low-quality content and the Payday Loans Algorithm fights spammers. Penguin punishes poor SEO tactics. Sites that were SEO-ed with practices that worked in the past but are frowned upon today are going to feel the brunt of this algorithm change. This is because Penguin doesn’t differentiate between recent work and optimization done years ago. When guidelines were different. In fact, it’s extremely harsh on any problems that it finds.

Penguins Hunt

Penguin focuses primarily on finding and filtering out sites it believes to have unnatural or highly optimized link profiles. In other words, it looks at all the websites on the Internet that link to your site and decides whether or not you “earned” those links (by providing high-quality content and services that people want to share or listing yourself on high-quality curated directories) or you “paid” for them (by hiring an unscrupulous SEO company or spamming links out across the Internet indiscriminately). If Google’s Penguin decides that your links weren’t “earned”, it will drastically reduce your site’s ranking positions and traffic.

What Worked Then, Wont Work Now

Unfortunately, the Penguin algorithm can’t tell when or how links were created. This means that people who used SEO companies several years ago are getting penalized for these poor links today. Even though the work these companies did wasn’t frowned upon at the time. Google is punishing these people for doing things it decided were wrong long after they did them. Penguin also makes it easy for competitors, spammers, and malcontents to sabotage your website by sending spammy links to negatively affect your rankings.

What You Can Do

All of this may sound very scary to you. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect your website. The best way to avoid any trouble is by following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines very closely and making sure your SEO company does the same. The Webmaster Guidelines are Google’s own list of tactics that will and won’t get you penalized by their current algorithms. Following these guidelines ensures that your website will keep attracting the same high traffic unimpeded.

The Guidelines 

While following the guidelines is the safest path, it doesn’t get you much movement. Even if you follow Google’s guidelines to a T without additional work you may not achieve the success you desire. Fortunately, there are still a few SEO techniques that will help boost your rankings and your website traffic without attracting any penalties from the Google algorithms. These tactics include:

  • Keeping Your Site Updated – Regular updates to the content on your website, whether it is on your homepage, in a blog, in your testimonials, or in your service page, helps Google’s ranking algorithm index your site and will send ranking signals that show your page is relevant for certain keywords. You earn more notice from Google and make it easier to gain rank by updating your website regularly with high-quality content.

  • Using Social Media – Using social media sites, such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, to link back to your site performs several actions that help to raise your rankings. Firstly, you make it possible for people to see and share your content. Secondly, you build a connection between your social profiles and your website. Thirdly, you show Google that you’re an authority in your field who works hard to share your knowledge with others. All of these signals can make your site stronger and more likely to rank higher.

  • Building a Quality Site – Sites that buy higher rankings will get punished. Sites that earn higher rankings don’t. You need to earn higher rankings for your website by putting in some old-fashioned elbow grease and providing high-quality resources for the people who want your product or service. Well-written and original content, clean and easy-to-understand design, and helpful information tells Google that you’ are an upstanding and trustworthy member of the online community.

What RankMonsters Can Do For You

RankMonsters can answer any questions you may have about your website, your rankings and anything else related to Google algorithms and search engines. We live and breathe SEO and always stay on top of the latest algorithm changes. Call us today and find out how we can deliver you more traffic, deeper customer engagement, and higher sales.

Read more about Google updates here and here.

 

All Hail King Content: How To Produce Content That Succeeds Online

All Hail King Content: How To Produce Content That Succeeds Online

One of the thing you’ll hear the most from Google and SEO professionals is that content Is king. Content creation is what will really jump-shoot your online presence. The way they make it sound; if you don’t have fresh and engaging content on your website that draws people in and makes them want to link back, share, and explore the rest of your site. Then you might as well shut your website down now and go back to listing yourself in phone books. Let’s learn how to produce content that succeeds online!

content

The Elephant In The Room

But most of us aren’t prize-winning journalists or Nobel Laureate authors, and content creation is a big, scary elephant in the room. You know that you need to do something with it, but what? Well, fear not. We’ve been in exactly the same place, and we know how hard it can be to get started making and sharing your content online. Trust us. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll never look back.

Think About What You Want To Achieve

Remember back in middle school, when you had to write a book report about the book you’d read as a class? Your teacher probably said that the most important thing every book report and essay needs is a thesis. Your paper must have a main idea, a point, a reason for existing. If you were a good student you remembered that rule, and you gave your writing a strong main idea. If you were like us, though, you dutifully nodded your head and then went home to play Nintendo and forgot all about it.

What Is Your Intent?

Well, here we are again. The first thing you need to do when creating a piece of content is decide on a thesis. In other words, what’s the point of this piece? What are you trying to say or do? Do you want people to learn something from you, or simply be entertained? Once you have figured out your purpose in creating the content, it will be much easier to create a framework for how your content should look and feel.

Determine What You Can Offer

People read, watch, and listen to content because they either want to learn something new or find something entertaining. Like we said before, you need to decide whether your goal is to entertain or inform. After that, you need to figure out how.

Entertain

Writing an entertainment piece is, from a business perspective, a risky venture. Your content could go viral. Such as those Old Spice commercials. It’s just as possible you’ll come across as cheesy, dated, or over-eager. Remember that Internet consumers have literally billions of hours of video at their fingertips, and more pages of text to read than have ever been printed. If you don’t think you can stand out from that. Then perhaps entertainment isn’t your venue.

Inform

Writing a strong information piece, though, is much more feasible. A good place to start is with your own business, and what you might know about it that the average person doesn’t. If you can give useful inside knowledge to people that they can apply in their own lives (or at least that they feel like they’ve learned from). Then they’ll be far more likely to share that content and remember it later on.

Presentation Is Everything

Once you’ve written a shining example of great content, you need to get people to see it. But before you start blasting it out to the Internet, you need to consider how it will look. If you’re writing a blog post, for instance, you need to think about the headline you’ll put at the top, the format of the post, and the images you’ll include. The Internet is a very visual place. It’s easy to lose people’s interest. Make sure your content is set up to grab attention and keep it. Lists are a good way to keep people engaged, as are eye-catching images, charts, and info-graphics.

Share The Content That You Produce

You’ve written your blog post or put together your killer slideshow or video. Now you need to get people to see it. According to Google, once you create quality content you’ll automatically get inbound links and shares. Content is what makes the Internet go ‘round. If you don’t want to wait around to be discovered by the Internet naturally, you need to put your content somewhere that online users like to congregate.

Social Platforms For Your Content

With plenty of options when it comes to sharing content, this can be just as daunting as the actual creation phase. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular places to share new content, but if you don’t already have a strong follower base then what you’ve made isn’t likely to go very far.

Just Starting out?

If you’re just starting out, it’s better to share on public sites with a niche interest that corresponds to your content. So, if you’re a landscaping company that just made an awesome list article of landscaping projects, you can share that on Facebook and other social media groups dedicated to landscaping, outdoor living, home design, and so on. Meanwhile, a tech company with a new product might try sharing on relevant technology websites and social media groups. Focus on your specialty and on finding people who are already interested in what you have to say.

Time To Start Producing Content!

Now that we have discussed how to produce content that succeeds online. You will find yourself feeling more comfortable with the idea of content creation. Once you’ve begun designing and sharing content on a regular basis, you’ll find that your audience increases, and people start to engage more. Bear in mind that this is not a simple, one-time process. You will only get from your content what you put into it, and you need to keep up the hard work in order to build your rank and your online presence. So get to work on your fresh online content – the web is waiting. If you want to learn how to blog then this is the perfect site for you just click here.

 

 

 

Google’s Link Schemes Update Means More SEO Changes

Google’s Link Schemes Update Means More SEO Changes

In an interesting update to Google’s Webmaster help pages document, Google has revised and expanded some of their warnings about link schemes. Warnings which will almost certainly apply to the SEO tactics of many websites. Just like with the Panda update last month. It seems as though Google is pushing webmasters and SEO practitioners away from straight link building. Encouraging them to delve into and update their link profiles. So lets find out why Google’s link schemes update means more SEO changes.

 

Google’s Link Schemes Update

There are a few changes worth noting in the new link scheme guidelines. The biggest change is that Google appears to be downplaying the importance of links to your search engine ranking entirely, since they removed the original first paragraph of the guide.

That paragraph originally opened with, “Your site’s ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to you. The quantity, quality, and relevance of links influences your ranking.” By removing this paragraph, it could indicate that Google wants to lessen the importance of inbound links entirely, and to have webmasters and business owners focus on curating content rather than building links.

Other Changes That Have Come With Google’s Link Schemes Update

Other interesting changes come in the forms of additions to the page’s descriptions of unnatural link schemes. In other words, links that will get your site punished by Google. Among the familiar descriptions of paid links and automated link building come these new criteria:

  • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links. Such as Skyscraper Blogs.
  • Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank.
  • Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.

What Does All This Mean?

In short, Google is attempting to move away from allowing sites to rank themselves using keyword-rich content posted on other sites. Such as press releases, guest blog posts, and advertorials. These link building methods used to be solid strategies for improving SEO, but now could end up hurting your overall website rank if you rely on them as your core link building strategy.

What Should I Do Next?

So what to do? Well, at the bottom of the page, Google still encourages website owners to get links the old-fashioned way. Create interesting, engaging, and useful content that other websites will want to link to. 

A New Age Of Content

For now, the best strategy for many businesses and local sites is going to be moving away from keyword-rich guest posts and press releases, and instead working towards a more natural style of content posted mostly on your own website or blog. Don’t be too concerned with keyword optimizing. Instead, genuinely try to make your work read naturally and informatively.

Using Google’s Resources

Also, make sure you’re taking advantage of other avenues toward SEO success. Local citations, social media, and Google’s network of resources (Google My Business) are all great ways to give your website’s ranking a boost, and they aren’t subject to any link scheming Google might object to down the line.

You can view Google’s entire webmaster help page about link schemes here. If you have any other questions reach out to us today by visiting our site or calling us at 405.605.8218

Taking Control of Your Local SEO Presence Online

Taking Control of Your Local SEO Presence Online

When most businesses think about search engine optimization, their thinking revolves around big concepts: link building, page structure, content with strong keywords. And of course, these areas of focus can lead to big gains in organic search engine rankings. But unless you’re a huge business with a national client base, organic search results shouldn’t be your only concern. You also need to think about your local SEO presence – getting noticed within your city or local area. So lets dive into learn how you can take control of your local SEO presence online.

 

Local SEO

So what does it mean to take control of your local SEO presence? Local SEO is similar in many ways to SEO as a whole. A good bit of it revolves around creating strong content, having a well-organized page, and getting good links from other respectable websites. But beyond that, local SEO adds several additional criteria that will get you more attention within your specific city.

A few of the most important pieces of taking control of your local SEO presence, beyond content creation and link building, are given below.

Creating a Business Listing

If your business isn’t visible on Google Maps or Bing Maps, Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, or other sites with a location-based component. You’re never going to get more visibility within your target market. Lucky for you, every business with a physical address is able to claim a free listing on Google Maps, and from there it’s a simple matter of building profiles and making sure your business information – address, phone number, website – matches across sites. This is one of the biggest and easiest step in taking control of your local SEO presence.

Get Local Citations

Once you have your business listed, you need to get it cited. A citation is kind of like a mention; it doesn’t have to be a link back to your site. Instead, it just has to include information like your business’s name and address, phone number, or other identifying details. If you can get your business listed on local directory sites like YellowPages.com or a local chamber of commerce website, those listings will count as citations that increase your overall local visibility.

Reviews, Shares, and Online Buzz

Another way you can take advantage of your Google My Business page, Yelp listing, or Bing Places for Business page is by having satisfied customers post reviews to your pages. If your customers seem reasonably happy, ask them to write a review for you when you’re near to finishing your work with them. Or for restaurants and services, place your website addresses prominently in your location, so people can log on with their phones or tablets and write a quick review as they sip their coffee.

Double-Check Your Data

Unbeknownst to many website operators, Google and other search engines actually penalize your local listing if the information on your website doesn’t match that on your local listing pages. Make sure your website has your address, phone number, city and state, and any other identifying information listed in the same format across every page (and as text, not an image file). Then, make sure that the information there is the same as it is on Google or Bing. If it doesn’t match, your rank will go down.

Post!

One of the best ways to make your local listing more visible is by actually using it. Post links to your blogs or photos, publish updates, and generally stay active with your Google My Business page and social media accounts. If you routinely post quality content, search engines will take notice and boost your rank accordingly. To learn more about Google My Business is you can click here.

How RankMonsters Can Help With Your Local SEO Presence

There are other ways to achieve local SEO success, but these methods are some of the most tested and trustworthy ways to gain exposure and take control of your local SEO presence. Of course, if you need more help getting your business noticed online, you can always talk to us at RankMonsters for advice Just give us a call at 405.605.8218.