The Importance of Local SEO for Your Small Business

The Importance of Local SEO for Your Small Business

Today, just about everyone owns a SmartPhone, and reaching these consumers through local SEO can significantly improve your customer base. There was a time when small businesses would simply advertise in local publications, newspapers or even through television or radio spots; however, with the growing trend in SmartPhone use, finding new customers has taken a twist. Mobile users are a large segment of current customers and making sure they are finding your business is an important part of capturing these leads. For example, many people turn to their SmartPhone to help them find a great restaurant, movie, dry cleaner or other service provider in their area. This means that making sure your business is optimized for local search traffic is extremely important. There are some simple strategies business owners can use to help ensure their business shows up at the top of local search engine results. Positive online reviews are critical for higher local search ranking, mainly because these customer reviews are so important to local consumers and can have a huge impact on their buying decisions. Of course, the more positive reviews your business has, the more traffic you’re going to see coming through the door. This translates into more profit. Including important local ranking factors in your online content can help improve your search rankings. For example, NAP or name, address and phone number are important local factors that can work together with reviews, Google+ and Yelp to help your business become more prominent in local search results. While many businesses use online marketing as a way to help them rank higher with the search engines, local...
Competitive Analysis – Know your enemies.

Competitive Analysis – Know your enemies.

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” – That is the heart of competitive analysis. There are many ambitious business owners in the world, but many of them make the mistake of putting on blinders when it comes to their competition. Don’t be a narcissist – take time to take a look at the other team You must not be so invested in your own metrics that you fail to give adequate attention to the competition. All of the qualities of your brand will always be measured in relation to the ways that the competition operates and is perceived. Becoming intimately familiar with the competition will make you far more adept at coming out on top then anyone who fails to do the same. Conducting an in-depth investigation of your competitor is one of most essential elements of developing an effective campaign. If you have ever read The Art of War by Sun Tzu, then you understand that a savvy general never mobilizes their forces without surveying the terrain closely. All of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors in your niche form the terrain of the market, and analyzing this terrain down to the very last molecule is the secret to winning the battle before it begins. Every business that has any kind of product that can be considered similar to your own product within the same range of availability should be considered a competitor. When you have identified a competitor, you have identified a subject of study. Instead of considering the competitor to be an obstacle, you may also consider them to be a potential asset...
What Is an SSL, and Why Do I Need It?

What Is an SSL, and Why Do I Need It?

Whether you are considering starting an e-commerce website, or any other site that requires sensitive customer information, or you have an existing website that utilizes customer transactions, it is important to ensure that your site is secure in order to protect valuable customer information. An SSL certificate guarantees the safety of your site by protecting information gathered during customer transactions such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, password logins and more, so your customers can interact with your site with confidence. What does it mean? SSL, short for Secure Lockets Layer, helps ensure that private information remains secure as it travels across the internet by encrypting the data as it moves across the web. Why You Need SSL When customers send private information to a website, it may go through dozens of other servers before it finally reaches its destination, which means at any point your customers information can be intercepted from any server unless it is secure. Therefore, as a website owner, you want to protect any information that could lead to financial loss, or even legal consequences, if customer information is stolen. How SSL Protects Customers In addition to encrypting important information during online transactions so it remains private, an SSL certificate helps increase trust in your website by identifying the certificate owner before the certificate is issued so that your customers know that you are who you say you are, which helps build site credibility. Some sensitive information SSL protects includes: Financial information Stored or transferred data such as birth dates, social security numbers and ID’s etc. Medical information Confidential data such as contracts, legal...
Google Panda and Penguin

Google Panda and Penguin

Panda and Penguin used to be two animals people didn’t associate with the Internet unless they were looking at funny videos. Of course, that was before Google’s search algorithm took a bite out of everyone’s business. An algorithm is a mathematical formula consisting of about 200 variables that we know of. These variables determine the rank of each website in Google’s search engine. How the algorithms determine search rankings is top secret. What we do know is the algorithms are named Panda and Penguin. Google has a core mission. It wants to deliver the best search results regardless of the topic searched. It doesn’t want to rank websites it considers low quality. Low quality to Google means a user didn’t get the information needed and went back to the search engine to continue looking at sites. What is Google Panda? Panda is a change to Google’s algorithm affecting a lot of old websites. Its purpose is to bring high quality and to the Internet and quality content site to the forefront. Thus, it focuses on the look of websites.   Panda notices things like: • Thin content • Poor site design • Websites that don’t use reference articles. For example, links reference articles within its site. • Websites that slowly load • Websites using duplicate content repeatedly • High bounce back rates • Content farms   What about Google Penguin? Google Penguin is the latest algorithm devoted to website quality. Penguin has the same purpose as Panda, but achieves it in a different way. It’s focused on websites using tactics to maneuver around the search engine to produce a...

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