Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool for boosting organic search for your local business website. Even if you are a new website, you don’t have to sit and wait to get the desired results from your website. SEO gives you back the control to guide and sharpen your organic search performance.
Here are 7 powerful SEO strategies that you can use to drive improved website visibility and win back big in organic search results.
1. Create an Outline of Your Site Architecture
The site structure of your website is an important factor to consider in delivering a seamless user experience. So pay special attention to how you arrange the different site content and resources not just on the first page, but through every page of your website. Most websites use their landing page to introduce the website and typically go from general content to specialized content.
The one thing you want to avoid by all means is to stuff or cram everything up and make your site look cluttered. This will keep visitors from finding relevant content and make a massive dent in your overall user experience.
So include sub-pages and sub-topics to break down big pieces of content and keep the user experience seamless.
Optimized site architecture is also crucial for another reason, it enables search engines easily crawl your pages and gauge the vertical depth of your site content, your top pages, and special sections.
2. Use Analytics and Diagnostic Tools
Setting up a website is only part of the job done – you also have to constantly measure and monitor how your site is performing. Only then will you be able to make changes where necessary and course correct.
To do this, you need robust website analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Analytics tools can help you track visitors to your site and also capture visitor behavior while they are on your site.
Information about your site content and traffic performance and visitor actions can help you plan and map your business goals and objectives. In addition to web analytics tools, get Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console accounts to track closely how search engines view your local business website. You can use these tools to include any additional information that can make search engines understand your site better.
3. Generate High-Quality Content
Content reigns supreme with your users and with search engines. So the more high-quality and highly relevant content that your site contains, the better will be your website's organic search performance.
When you sit down to plan your content, think about what kind of content can deliver greater value to visitors. Does your content provide answers to common customer queries and does it offer viable solutions to common customer pain points?
Can you deliver greater value by expanding your site and including new pages or can you further optimize the content on your existing pages? Can adding a blog or a new content section help optimize your content offering? These are all factors you will have to consider when planning your site content.
However, while you are planning your content, keep your site architecture in mind – you don’t want to clutter your site in the name of adding content value.
Remember, valuable content should enhance user experience – not take away from it.
4. Focus on Internal Link Structure
One of the best ways of adding value to your content is via inbound links to your site from other authority sites. So it’s great to focus on those. However, also take a look at the links to the pages that are within your website. Your internal link structure can help add value to your site content.
Carefully plan how you want to link pages and topics within your website. Link to other internal pages and topics where it is necessary and where it can add real value. Don’t blindly link to every single page or section. Your internal link building should be focused and deliver link authority value.
5. Page Load Speed
Page load speed is again something that you want to optimize. Sites that load slowly are a drag on the user experience.
There are several online tools you can use to check your page load speed such as Google PageSpeed Insights
Few things to keep in mind for optimizing page site speed include –
- Focus on improving your server response time.
- Ensure your content and images are optimized.
- Use a content distribution network (CDN).
- Ensure your website is mobile-optimized.
- Get rid of unnecessary plugins.
6. Monitor your Indexing Process
You must constantly monitor how search engines index your local business website pages.
Prioritize your indexing process by ensuring that your website’s XML sitemap, robots.txt, and in-page canonical and indexing commands are sound so you can effectively monitor the indexing of your site pages by search engines.
Also, ensure that your sitemap is validating and that all your important site pages that are indexed are in order and according to your expectations.
So carefully monitor for indexing errors and ensure your indexing process is in order. If you notice any errors, hurry to address the issue.
7. Build External Authority via Links and Citations
For small businesses that operate within local markets, building external authority via links and validations is a critical aspect of driving organic search performance. Identify ways and opportunities for getting credible sites and industry or local authority/experts to link to your site. You want local validation such as trade associations, influential business partnerships, commerce bodies, and credible directories to link to your site.
Start by making a list of external authority links and relationships that can add value to your brand. Next chalk out a plan on how you can build relationships and how those relationships can translate into credible external links to your local business website.
In addition, consider the use of citations for establishing authority for your site. You can use your Google Business Profile to establish your Google Maps listings to gain citations. Submit to prominent directories, map sites, and data aggregation services to get mentions.
It takes work and time – but the benefits from external authority links and citations can be huge for boosting your local business organic search performance.
SEO is time-consuming and at times it can seem overwhelming. Especially when you start new. However, given the kind of competition that exists within the local market space, you need to take advantage of every strategy or platform that can boost your organic search performance.
You will have to take on a proactive approach with your SEO strategy. Constantly monitor and course correct quickly when necessary. Some of the strategies are easier and faster to implement and you will see the results quickly. With others, such as building external authority, the process and results can take time to show. But once you start, you can only move ahead.
So yes, it is challenging. But the wins are worth the time and effort.