Local SEO

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Local search has become a de facto standard for businesses that service consumers in specific locales. Your online presences is just as important (if not more important) than your offline presence.

If you are new to the scene of Local SEO and search optimization for your local or small business, here are five Google local SEO tips to help you navigate through the steps needed to ensure that your business has the presence it needs to earn the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) results you deserve.

1. Attractive and Click-Worthy Title and Meta Descriptions

This is often an overlooked opportunity by many local SEO campaigns. These HTML elements are customizable features which are used to represent your website in search results. Typically, titles range from 50 – 60 characters and descriptions can range up to 200 characters.

In years past these titles and descriptions were used to incorporate keywords and help with rankings. Current SEO best practices tell us to use these titles and descriptions as an opportunity to improve user experience and attract clicks. Your meta titles and descriptions need to be a clear depiction of your page content, be persuasive, and of course specifically unique. Including your city in the description is recommended. Targeted keywords should be as close to the beginning of the paragraph as possible but not at the expense of user readability.

Use this opportunity to set yourself apart – do you offer 24/7 service? Free shipping? 25% off for first time customers?

2. Keep a Consistent and Prominent Online Presence

Whether your business is brand new or has been around for decades and moved locations several times, it is extremely important to make sure that your business name, address and phone number is consistent and visible across the Internet, no matter where someone may find you.

This consistency instills consumer trust and builds your authority. The consistency also plays a large role in your local SEO performance. The Search Engines want to understand your company and have confidence that you are a legitimate company.

Here is a starter list for online business directories where you can establish your presence:

  • Citysearch
  • Merchant Circle
  • YellowPages
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Houzz
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • BBB
  • Local Trade Affiliations

3. Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing for Full Control

Over the years Google My Business and Bing Places for Business have built their database of business listings. Even if you have never claimed your business listing the Search Engines may still be showing a listing for you!

It is critical for you to claim this listing so that you have full control over proper categorization of your business, description, address, and business hours.

There is a simple verification process for your GMB listing. Google mails you a postcard containing a PIN number you need for verification purposes. This confirms to Google that you are whom you say you are and indeed own the business you are attempting to claim.

4. Manage, Respond To, and Grow Your Reviews Online

Nowadays, both personal word-of-mouth referrals along with online reviews can influence whether or not we stay at a hotel, eat at a restaurant, hire a plumber, or even order a shirt from an online retailer.

The importance of controlling, managing, and growing customer reviews is finally catching the attention of businesses. A BrightLocal survey indicates that:

  • Online reviews are trusted as much as personal recommendations by 84% of those surveyed.
  • If asked, 70% of consumers will leave a review.
  • Positive reviews encourage 54% of consumers to visit a website.
  • Local businesses are trusted more when they have positive online reviews.
  • Less than 10 reviews are read before a consumer forms an opinion.
  • Reviews older than 3 months are not deemed relevant by consumers.
  • Over half of consumers agree that star ratings are important.

Seeking quality reviews on an ongoing basis is good business practice and keeps your brand in the forefront of consumers’ minds, helps you stand out from competitors, and also helps to minimize the one-off bad review you may get.

Don’t have the time or find it awkward to ask your customers for reviews? Consider our online Reputation Management Services that offer a fully automated software system that actually works behind the scenes to grow your reviews.

5. Structured Data Markup for Local

This markup language provides more information about your business to Google once it has been implemented in your website code. Most businesses use only the basic markup. This provides opportunities for business owners to outdistance their competitors by utilizing uncommonly used markup.

Google has a Structured Data Testing Tool you can use to determine if your markup implementation meets the required standards.

Want to learn more about how to win at Local SEO? Here are some additional articles by other SEOs in the industry as well as articles by our own team:

You can also call 1st on the List at 1-888-262-6687 if you have specific questions. We’d love to help you optimize your business for Local Search!

Additional Local SEO Marketing Tips and Articles:

Here’s what’s making news in the SEO community in the last several weeks.

Google Says HTTPS Sites May Get Ranking Boost

In a hangout this month between Bruce Clay and Gary Illyes of Google, Illyes reconfirmed that Google’s HTTPS ranking boost may serve as the tiebreaker if the quality signals for the two search results are equal.

He went on to say that he wishes all websites would use HTTPS but that it is perfectly fine if you don’t:

“I hope that I see more and more websites on HTTPS because I think that privacy, for example, is important, but of course I can’t expect everyone to go HTTPS. Some people don’t have the resources for that.”

You can learn some of the other reasons why HTTPS and SSL matter for your website with this Slide Deck.

Google Logo Change Represents the Google of the Future

What do you think of Google’s new logo?

In launching their new logo, Google shares a story of how search has evolved from taking place on just a desktop PC to a number of different ways people interact with Google products across all platforms, app, and devices.

The new Google logo and its updated identity represents a “world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).”

Google says that this new logo not just represents Google of today, but the Google of the future.

Does Structured Markup and Rich Snippets Influence Google’s Ranking Algorithm?

This month Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz posted an article on Google hinting it may use structured data in its ranking algorithm in the future. In the past, Google has said that these do not directly lead to your page ranking better in its search results.

This speculation comes from a comment John Mueller made in a hangout session that Google may start using Rich Snippets and Markup as a ranking factor in the future:

“If we can recognize someone is looking for a car, we can say oh well, we have these pages that are marked up with structured data for a car, so probably they are pretty useful in that regard … So I think in the long run, it definitely makes sense to use structured data where you see that as being reasonable on the website. But I wouldn’t assume that using structured data markup will make your site jump up in rankings automatically. So we try to distinguish between a site that is done technically well and a site that actually has good content.”

Check out our Advanced SEO page for more information about Rich Snippets, Microdata, and Schema.

Continued Discussions About the New Google Local Search Display

We first mentioned the new Google Local 3 Pack last month and it has been heavily talked about in the Local SEO world since.

In his article The New Google Local Search Display, Jason Decker reiterates that several of the changes to local search results first seen in August are a “blow to local businesses” and provides several implications for searchers and local businesses:

  • The new Local 3 Pack is so plain it may reduce clicks to the website.
  • Display results may reduce phone calls to businesses as the phone number is hidden in most desktop results.
  • Local businesses may need to consider paid advertising to maintain their previous level of visibility in local search results. Decker points out that as more businesses resort to paid local ads we will most likely see competition and click costs spike.
  • Home service ads (currently only available in the San Francisco Bay Area) may eventually remove local search pack or push it down lower for certain business types.

Reasons for Consumers to Lose Trust in Your Website are Also Key SEO Factors

This month MarketingCharts.com shared a study by Neustar on what causes consumers to lose trust in digital brands. As we reviewed the top reasons your visitors may lose trust in your brand we quickly noticed that almost all of them have a direct impact on your rankings and Search Visibility.

Is it time to address these key issues on your site in order to boost both rankings and visitor trust?

91% do not trust websites with errors or mistakes.

Google says websites need to provide high-quality content and that its ranking algorithms look for signals of low quality content, which may include grammar and other mistakes. Errors on your website may naturally come over time, such as old hours or out of stock products. The more up to date and error free you keep your website, the better you stand to do both in the ranking and trust department.

88% do not trust websites that frequently go down.

Significant downtime from site maintenance or server issues hurt your rankings and can result in your pages getting deindexed. Think about it: if your website is frequently down when the Search Engines try to visit why would they then want to send visitors to your website, which would likely be down?

75% do not trust websites that take too long to load.

Fast websites not only increase your visitor trust but can improve your rankings. In 2014, site speed was Search Metric’s top ranking factor. Check out our slide deck on Website Speed to understand how making your website faster will ultimately increase your bottom line.

55% do not trust websites without security safeguards to protect personal information.

As mentioned above, Gary Illyes of Google has said that secure HTTPS websites may be the tiebreaker between two equal quality websites.

Take some time to review your website from a visitor perspective, paying attention to these key Trust indicators. What do you need to improve?

For more information about what is happening in the SEO world or what it will take to improve the visibility of your brand online, give us a call at 1-888-262-6687.

google-local-3-pack-example

Example of new Local 3 Pack when searching for an SEO Company in Abbotsford, BC.

 

It has been almost one month since Google replaced its “Local 7 Pack” results with its new “Local 3 Pack” results.

This means that searchers only see three businesses listed in the local map results.  We briefly explain the Local 3 update in our August 2015 SEO Updates post but think this topic is serious enough to warrant this dedicated blog post.

Here is everything we think you should know about the Local 3 Pack Google update, click through rates, and how to adjust your Local SEO strategy.

Google Local Snack Pack Summary

Moz published this Local SEO article less than two weeks after Google replaced its usual 7-pack local results with 3-pack results. Here are some key facts about the new Google Local 3 Pack:

  • Launched August 6, 2015.
  • 3-packs completely replaced 7-packs by the end of the day across all verticals and countries.
  • Desktop results now look more similar to Mobile results.
  • Several key changes in how the Business is listed including no specific address number.
  • Google now gives searchers an option to look for only businesses above a certain rating. Note this is dependent on the number of restaurants with available ratings in your area.
  • Google is now testing new home service ads that look similar to the Local Pack, but are sponsored.

In order to succeed in the new Local 3 Pack, this article recommends focusing on organic search, links, citations, and marketing priorities.

Local Pack Click Through Rate Studies

Mike Ramsay, a prominent voice in the SEO community and owner of Nifty Marketing, recently released some of his own studies on how the new Local 3 Pack affects Click Through Rates.

His findings suggest that nearly half of people are clicking on Organic Results. The other half of clicks is divided fairly evenly between Paid Ads and Local Pack results.

One interesting finding is that for Mobile, only 18% of clicks occur on Local Packs and 31% on Paid Ads, while Organic clicks remain about even.

Mike concludes that we should focus on growing organic traffic for phrases that show map results and phrases that don’t show map results. He points out that local results change so often that it is extremely difficult to successfully chase after them. A local organic search strategy is important.

Google Local 3 Pack Eye and Click Study

Barry Schwartz features another click study for Local 3 Pack performed by Casey Meraz that confirms Ramsay’s numbers. In this study organic is the clear leader with nearly 40% of total clicks.

The other key finding is that only 6% of local clicks result in a “one click visit” to the firm’s website. This means that a visitor who clicks on your brand in Organic results will go directly to your website where you have full control over the message they see.

A visitor who clicks on your brand in Local results likely won’t end up on your website. They will see photos gathered by Google, Google reviews, address, phone number, hours, and even competitor listings.

Not only do Organic clicks happen more often they also send visitors directly to your website which is right where you want them.

Google Plus Presence Eliminated

Many articles about Google Local 3 Pack hint at this but Paul Chaney makes this a main point within his implications of the 3 Pack for local businesses. He suggests that Google is further backing down on the social network’s significance.

If you disliked Google Plus don’t get too excited. Chaney points out that while Google Plus pages are missing entirely in some places all of the information displayed in the Local Pack is still pulled from Google Plus. This means that Google Plus is still important for your business.

Chaney gives five practical pointers to protect your website against all of Google Local Pack changes:

  1. Know your competitors and who is dominating the 3-pack.
  2. Claim and populate your Google+ page.
  3. Encourage and respond to reviews.
  4. Keep building citations (mentions) for your company in local directories.
  5. Focus on optimizing your website with fresh, high quality content.

Need some help with your Local SEO Strategy? Give us a call today at 1-888-262-6687 to see how we can help your business grow in Local Search visibility. You can also fill our out quick contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.

Here’s what making news in the SEO community in the last couple of weeks.

Moz Ranking Factors Preview

Moz is getting ready to publish its latest set of Search Engine Ranking Factors and gave author Eric Enge early access to some of the data. Here is what he has found:

  1. More and more Top 10 Results are Mobile Friendly:
  • 75% of Top 10 Results for commercial searches are mobile friendly.
  • 64% of Top 10 Results for informational searches are mobile friendly.
  1. Using HTTPS is a very new and minor ranking factor:
  • 17% of Top 10 Results for commercial searches use HTTPS.
  • 11% of Top 10 Results for informational searches use HTTPS.

Gary Illyes of Google confirmed HTTPS as a minor ranking factor on July 22, which we are told is used as a tiebreaker when two competing sites are similar in all other aspects. Google has warned that they will continue to increase the weight of this ranking factor over time.

Actionable Takeaway: Mobile Friendliness has arrived. To maintain or improve your rankings your website needs to be Mobile Friendly. HTTPS is on the horizon and many are waiting to see the impact this will have on rankings and the best way to implement on various types of websites.

Google Showing 3 Local Results Instead of 7

We started noticing this ourselves last week and Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable confirmed it on August 7. Google is now showing just 3 local listings with a link to see more. Previously, it had shown 7 local listings in Search Results.

Many SEOs and businesses are upset that just 3 make it to the Google Local Pack, making the competition even tougher.

There are a number of other big differences between Google Local 3-Pack and 7-Pack, as pointed out by Jennifer Slegg:

  • Exact addresses removed (just street name is shown)
  • Phone numbers removed (mobile version still has “call” button option)
  • Google+ links removed
  • Store hours added
  • “Google Reviews” now called “Reviews”
  • No fly out listing when you hover over a business (must click to see information)

When you click on a business from the Local Pack you will see a list of 20 additional local listings (competitors) in the left column, the selected business’ local listings information in the middle, and a map of the area on the right.

Google says they are exploring the best way to bring a better search experience but many business owners and marketers are wondering how this will impact potential calls and clicks.

Actionable Takeaway: Make sure you do everything possible to have a complete Google+ Profile including customer reviews. Make sure your website is properly optimized for the opportunity to show up below the Local Pack. You need to do everything you can to try to get in the Top 3 Local Pack, have a complete profile for if searchers click on you from the list of 20 Competitors on the side, and have a great ranking site if searchers scroll right past the local listings all together.

Reviews Deliver ROI

Myles Anderson has spent a lot of time and resources uncovering the true value of reputation management for local business marketers. Some of his latest findings include:

  • 83% of marketers believe reviews and reputation management absolutely delivers a good ROI,
  • 61% ask customers for reviews, and
  • 73% spend less than 20% of their time on review/reputation related tasks.

The results suggest that Review Management doesn’t have to take up too much of your time, is as simple as asking customers for reviews, and can provide a great ROI.

Anderson sought out an additional four experts in the area to provide advice on reviews, which included:

  1. Positive reviews can mean more clicks than your competitors.
  2. No reviews can be just as detrimental as bad reviews.
  3. Take the time to read, mine, and apply your reviews – both good and bad.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask multiple times for a review.
  5. Remember all sources for reviews … Facebook, Yelp, Google+, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Houzz, Healthgrades, and more. Niche sites in your industry are important too.

Actionable Item: Follow Anderson’s advice in thinking of this process as Reputation Development rather than Reputation management. How can you further develop your reputation?

Recent Google Algorithm Ranking Updates

Google makes hundreds (300-600) of changes to its algorithm each year. Many are minor and go unnoticed but there are some more major updates that affect a significant number of websites and get the SEO community buzzing.

So far in 2015 there have been several Google ranking updates that people are still talking about:

  • Panda 4.2 – July 17, 2015
    This is the 28th Panda refresh that is expected to take months to fully roll out. Panda was first launched on May 20, 2014 and is designed to target low quality content.
  • The Quality Update (aka Phantom) – May 3, 2015
    The SEO Community started buzzing about large scale ranking changes and named this update “Phantom” before Google would officially confirm it. Google did finally confirm this as a quality signals update that has a broad impact.
  • Mobile Update – April 22, 2015
    For the first time ever Google preannounced a ranking update before it happened plus the exact date it would hit, giving website owners a deadline to upgrade to a mobile friendly or mobile responsive website. Many took the warning seriously and upgraded their websites to become mobile friendly. So far the update has had a smaller than expected impact on websites although it is expected to increase in the future.

Actionable Item: Google is making changes to how your site might rank each and every day. Focus on Google’s best practices and principles, and take a holistic approach to SEO and online marketing as a whole.

Have you kept up with all of these changes, or do you need assistance going mobile friendly or secure? Do you have enough reviews and local exposure?

Call us at 1-888-262-6687 for advice.

If you are a small business you can’t afford to miss the promising results of the recent study by Yodle on What Consumers Want from Local Businesses.

Guess what? People love local businesses!

Four out of five respondents use local businesses and nearly half say they shopped at local businesses more this year than last.

Your entire marketing budget may not even be a tenth or hundredth of your National Brand competitors but you do hold a Search Advantage in that people in your area want to shop at true local businesses. And Search Engines recognize this and are now showing more localized results than ever before.

In response to the new study Search Engine Land columnist Wesley Young discusses the results of the Yodle study in detail and helps us understand how to use what consumers want in order to boost your local SEO strategy.

Here are the key takeaways you can apply to your local business:

  • Highlight the competitive advantages people automatically attach to local businesses, such as personalization, trustworthiness, customer service, quality, and reliability. Do this throughout your website text and the Meta Data that appears beside your website in Search Results. You can also let this seep into your offline marketing!
  • Highlight that you’re locally owned and operated. We already know that people like to shop local and apply certain characteristics (like personalization and trustworthiness) to local businesses. Use your website to tell your story, explain your local heritage, and entice people to shop local.
  • Play to their emotions. People like the idea of keeping their business local and supporting their economy. Make the benefits of doing business with you clear and your customers won’t have trouble justifying shopping local over National Brands (even if they do pay a little more).
  • Ask for reviews. If your customers are like the respondents to the Yodle study, 90% would write a review for you if asked them … but only 7% have been asked. Don’t be bashful. Reviews are displayed in Search Results and used by potential customers each and every day to evaluate a business.
  • Get a website if you don’t already have one. Your website not only increases your visibility but establishes your credibility as a real business. Studies show that nearly half of sole-proprietors don’t have a website and over one third of small businesses with 25 or less employees do not have a website.
  • Stop turning potential customers away with an outdated, stale, or boring website. The majority of small businesses wait 6 months or more before making any updates which is far too long for most.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy for your local visitors to view on their phone. Many local businesses now see 20-50% of their website traffic visiting from mobile devices.
  • Connect with visitors how they want. Yodle discovered that nearly 70% of respondents preferred email communications over phone or mail. Does your website clearly present your contact email address? Do you respond to emails in a timely matter? Do you send appointment reminders or service updates through email?

If you are a local business check out our Local SEO Services to further advance your visibility in the Search Engines and ability to attract even more local customers.

I’ve been reminded in the last couple weeks once again at how many businesses are selecting search engine optimization (SEO) companies based solely on price. This simplistic selection method is costing them far more than they think!

The process used by individual SEO companies varies so much from company to company that lowest price is not the factor to base your decision on. It is like buying a $10,000 commuter car instead of a $50,000 luxury European sports car, expecting to get the same level of performance.

Unfortunately, like far too many business owners that I speak to think this way. The truth is if you select a low cost SEO company that doesn’t do a good job you not only end up paying someone else a second time to redo all the work but also end up having to repair any damage done. Do you still think it is wise to buy based on lowest price?

There are simply no short cuts in SEO that will get you great long-term results at the lowest cost – it’s an oxymoron. I am not saying that you have to buy the highest priced SEO Package out there. I am saying that you need to be smart when selecting an SEO and choose the right criteria (not cost!) to evaluate the provider and their ability to deliver on results.

If you are not experienced with SEO it can be hard to tell a good firm from a bad one, so here are my top tips to help you make a wise decision in selecting an SEO company to work with.

1. Established expertise in SEO.

Look for an SEO company with experience. SEO has been around for 15+ so why shouldn’t you choose a firm that has been doing it from the very beginning? Not only will they have years of experience the fact that they are still in business doing SEO is a testament to their ability to deliver on results and keep clients happy.

2. Established manual processes that differentiate you from your competitors.

You should also look for an SEO company that uses an established manual process. Yes they cost more, but at the end of the day you get the quality results you’re looking for. If you purchase SEO that uses an automated process, you can expect to be on page 10 of the results, with the 600,000 other site-owners using automated SEO. You can’t expect to be top ranking if you and your competitors are all doing exactly the same thing.

3. SEO should take several months (not weeks).

Search engine optimization takes time to mature and sites don’t attain instant rankings. Don’t discount SEO companies that tell you it will take several months to get the rankings you are looking for. The ones that tell you that it will take several months are the ones giving you the real facts. Be extra weary of companies that guarantee results in any period of time. There is no way to guarantee any type of ranking!

4. Customer testimonials should back up their ability.

Ask about some of their customers and the results they’ve achieved. You can also ask how long many of their clients have been with them. A high turnover rate of clients likely indicates they aren’t able to deliver or maintain results. An SEO Company that can maintain clients for two, three, four or five plus years is likely achieving results and earning their clients a positive benefit.

5. Don’t abandon SEO if you’ve been burned in the past.

Don’t abandon SEO because you once picked the wrong company to do your SEO. Search is the most cost effective method for bringing large numbers of potential customers to your website. The cost of not being in the search engines far exceeds the cost of paying a good SEO firm to get your site properly ranked in the search engines. Some companies that have the whole equation right are selling over a million dollars a week in sales on the Internet. No Joke! Many businesses are now taking advantage of this efficient way to expand their company’s exposure to new markets.

I have never believed in the fable that everyone who has a website gets rich (that’s media overhype), but the site owners that get it right sure can do very well. The Internet is a place where smart businesses thrive and the weak fall.

Smart business decisions and choosing smart SEO service providers, based on performance rather than lowest cost, is what translates into profit.

For more information about our company’s history and philosophy of SEO please visitor our About Us page or set up a consultation with one of our SEO experts today.

Never underestimate the power of local search.

The recent 2014 Local Search Study by Neustar Localeze and 15miles suggests that between 61 and 78% of local searches result in a purchase, depending on what type of device the person was searching from.

Between 65 and 73% of these purchases are “in store” meaning the person has selected your company from their search options and physically came to your location to do business with you.

Why you should care about these numbers … 

People are searching for local businesses like yours.

These searching people are qualified and ready to make a purchase. In fact, nearly 4 in 5 people using their phone to find a local business end up making a purchase.

If you haven’t considered local search visibility and optimizing your website so you are at the top of search results you are missing out on extremely affordable advertising to qualified buyers!

Additional Local SEO Takeaways from the Study

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  • If you are a local business (serving customers in a specific geographic region) local search visibility is crucial.
  • If you are a local business your mobile search visibility is just as critical.
  • The primary piece of information sought when searching on a mobile phone is the address or location. Your mobile site must make this extremely easy to find.
  • People searching on tablets tend to be comparing prices and seeking information about your products and services. Your website must be engaging and easy to use on a tablet device where people use their fingers to navigate your pages on a smaller size screen.
  • Only half of those searching on a mobile phone are satisfied with their experience – there is always room for improving your mobile website.
  • Other important pieces of information local searchers seek to find are hours of operation, special offers and ratings and reviews.

[/checklist]

Learn more about our Local SEO Services designed specifically for local businesses needing some extra visibility or gives us a call at 1-888-262-6687 to request your complimentary Local SEO Site Evaluation.

In today’s article Cathy, our newest staff member, reflects on what she has learned about SEO since joining our team that she thinks all small business owner should know.

Search Engines need to find your website with the phrases customers use.

I like to think of keywords (or phrases) as your anchor or connection to the Search Engine. Since nearly half of all website visitors come from a Natural Search, (i.e. Google or Bing) keywords are now your connection to new customers too! If potential customers cannot find your site because your website’s language doesn’t include the search phrases searchers are using, you lose credibility. If you are not ranking for the keywords your customers are searching for then you need SEO.

But SEO is more than just keywords.

However not just keywords get you ranked. Google uses an algorithm (set of rules) made up of over 200 factors to evaluate your website. Evaluating how keywords are used on your website is just one factor. For example, did you know that where your website is hosted can affect your rankings? Google is always updating its algorithm to better meet the needs of Internet users and to be able to provide relevant search results.

Your website’s mobile responsiveness matters, a lot.

Google now places importance on how your site displays on various devices. A site can look great on a desktop screen but if it is not optimized to display on tablets or mobile platforms not only will Google show your website LESS in mobile search results, your website visitors will quickly move to a site that they can view with ease. If your website is not adaptive to various screen sizes and devices then you may need SEO.

Google uses Semantics to understand your website better than you think.

Do not underestimate Google’s ability to understand the language and context of a search query, or its ability to assess whether your website may have an answer to the search. Google now considers semantics in its algorithm which means that the context of your answer to search queries must be understandable. The days of creating countless pages with poorly written, over keyword-optimized content are gone. Searchers are looking for direct, understandable answers to their questions and Search Engines are doing their best to rank websites with these answers at the top. If your content is not meeting the criterion set by the search engine semantics then you need SEO.

Google favors local search results;
Local SEO gets you the exposure you need in your city.

Where are you located? Google now ranks your site on the information you provide about where you are and how your clients can reach you. If your site does not rank in your market area, you need SEO.

Images and video make up a huge portion of Google Searches.
Are your images and videos ranking?

Today, more than ever, the internet has become image driven. YouTube has taken videos to new markets worldwide and Google now indexes and ranks images, presentations, and videos to make it easier for the viewer to find what they are looking for. There are Best Practices to optimizing videos and images to ensure that your media content is noticed that you need to follow.

Don’t let other websites copy your content;
Duplicate content can have devastating effects on SEO.

This may seem like we are going back to high school but plagiarism is bad! You never want to copy someone else’s website content and you don’t want to risk the consequences of letting someone else copy yours!

Google penalizes duplicate content. Google gives credit to the first website it finds with the content (this even involves short phrases). Any other website with the content does not get any credit. There are ways to check your website for duplicate content and to tell if other websites are using your content in an unauthorized manner.

A website needs to load fast because visitors are impatient and Google recognizes this.

People are in a hurry. They want answers now. Google knows this and in order to provide these impatient visitors with the best experience Google search results will favor fast loading website results. If your website is slow to load you risk losing potential traffic and customers either because you won’t be shown in Search Results or because the visitors will leave your website.

Are you learning more about your website? Does this bring up more questions about how your website may be hurting itself in terms of SEO and rankings? One of our SEO consultants is available to speak with you. Simply call us toll free at 1-888-262-6687 or email contact@1stonthelist.ca to arrange a time that works for you to speak with us.