Did you know that 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase? (Search Engine Watch). You could be missing out on a lot of new traffic to your website and more potential sales due to your lack of search presence. But with so many people throwing the term SEO, or search engine optimization, around, it can often lead to more questions than answers. SEO is more important than ever for local businesses due to the dominance of mobile search. But you also need to realize that not all SEO is created equal. So, what separates the SEO pros from the SEO wannabes? I’m so glad you asked.
Before we jump into the details, I want to give a basic overview of what SEO is. Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the number of visitors to a web site by achieving higher ranks in the search results of a search engine. Furthermore, 60% of all organic clicks go to the top 3 search results (Business2Community). So, in essence, the goal is to rank higher for keywords and phrases that your buyers are searching for in order to attract them to your website. It is important to understand that this is a very simplified overview. Over the past few years, SEO has become so much more than just rankings. And with the rise of mobile search, implementing a mobile search plan can greatly benefit your local business.
Google's senior vice president of search disclosed this year that Google now sees more than half of its 100 billion monthly searches occurring on mobile devices. For the first time ever, more people use their mobile devices to search for solutions and products. But it’s not just about Google anymore. Facebook, the world’s leading social media platform, has plans to integrate its own search engine within its app. This would literally shift the way we’ve searched for products and services online. Too many businesses sit back and react to these changes instead of looking at the trends and making moves ahead of time. The ones that take action are the ones that win big!
WARNING: There are a lot of “SEO” companies out there that claim to be able to deliver things that just aren’t possible. Two of the biggest lies I see are “We guarantee you the first spot on Google” and “One-time, set it and forget it SEO Solutions.” Both of theses are not only unreasonable, but can end up costing your local business in the long run. If you want to see some more red flags, check out this post. “SEO is a dirty word: 3 Red Flags to look out for when hiring a local SEO agency”.
Over the years, the way we market websites and content to the search engines has changed drastically. SMART SEO is focused around building a strategy that is tailored to the specific needs of clients and industry. With the rise of mobile search, SMART SEO solutions are the only way to go.
Each industry is unique and no two businesses are exactly alike. A SMART SEO campaign will be centered around the specific business and its needs. While some elements of SEO are true for all industries, the ongoing search marketing efforts need a more specific approach. For example, a local business may need a strong local search campaign with a focus on building its presence in Maps.
The next step in creating SMART SEO solutions is measuring. You need to know whether or not what you are doing is working. Too many small business owners chase trends and throw money into short term campaigns expecting fast growth, but more often that not, their ROI is either very low or nonexistent. Measuring your results helps to ensure you protect your hard earned money and invest in areas that will grow your local business.
In order to make sure that your strategy will meet your desired outcome, you need to develop goals. These goals will become the foundation to creating a mobile search strategy that converts. Your goals need to be tied to real business results and not just “rankings”. Rankings tell only part of the story. With goals set in place, you can begin to look for solutions that will help you achieve these results.
Search engines are smart. No longer can you just target specific keywords and relative variations. Successful SEO creates relevant solutions for your buyer persona. For many, the word “relevant” means “what’s trendy.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. “Relevant” literally means, “closely connected to.” So whether you are creating content, writing meta descriptions and title tags or promoting your content via social media, make sure that it connects with your audience on an authentic level. As Facebook gets into the mobile search game, authentic and relevant mobile SEO solutions are going to be key to driving and converting more traffic than your competition.
Because SEO changes so frequently, staying on top of the changes is a must. Each year, Google alone changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times. Building time bound solutions forces you to look at what you have done and determine what to do next. But it’s not just the search engines that change. Users have determined that mobile is their preferred means of searching for products and services online. As mobile continues to increase its impact on search, smart local business will look at how users are adapting and plan a course of action accordingly. Our agency runs our SEO campaigns in quarters so that we can ensure we have continued success throughout the year.
While we may have just seen mobile search surpass traditional search, this is only the beginning. More and more of our world is going mobile and the time to put a plan of action into place is now. On average, we conduct 12 billion searches per month in the United States (Comscore). Local businesses who embrace mobile search and SMART SEO will see much faster growth and higher ROI than their competition. To help you out with creating your very own SMART Local SEO campaign, we have two free offers for you.
The Ultimate SEO checklist will help you build a strong foundation for your website. This list has all of the “must haves” to make sure that your site meets Google best practices. Get your free checklist here or click the button below.
Your business listings are extremely important and having incorrect or missing information can hurt your business’ online exposure. The link below will let you scan your business for any errors online and show you exactly what you need to fix. Click here or on the button below to get your free scan.
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