3 great tips that you can do yourself right now, for nada! These are HUGE, easy to implement and will make a difference. Nuff said.
1. Run a citations check
Citations? A citation is where on the internet your businesses NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is found, mostly in directories (Yelp, Yellow Pages etc), but can also be found on other websites, links and so on. Google wants to see absolute consistency here and mixtures of addresses or phone numbers (7863794041 or 786-379-4042 or Fl instead of South Florida for example) can become a negative ranking factor.
There are several companies out there that offer free citation checks – one of the best is run by MOZ (Industry leaders in SEO) you can run a check right now, right here . The results will show where they are (or not), inconsistencies, and so on, you can then make a decision to claim the NAP and manually edit.
But we use the Yellow Pages services, (over at adsolutions.yp.com), because they too will do a free citation check, as above, but they also offer a paid service of around 60 bucks a month (at writing, and one of the best pricing we found), where they will add and claim your NAP from over a hundred local directories, social platforms and more. This gives you a ‘one stop shop’ to manage, edit and publish all your citations in one go, for example, if you need to change a telephone number, rather than visiting hundreds of citations and manually editing them, nightmare! Change it once in your YP account and it will push to all, fantastic! Word of warning though, we found YP marketing to be very aggressive – calling every day with more deals etc. Also, it took quite a bit of pushing & shoving to get everything working correctly (ie to get all the citations published), but we got there in the end. We have seen a huge improvement in local search results because of this.
This next one should go without saying, but it’s surprising how many businesses do not do this.
2. Claim and optimize Your Google My Business Profile
Doing number 1 above will set this up too, but we preferred doing this ourselves as it’s so important. It’s really easy, especially if your services are local. It’s a business listing that shows up in local searches, powered by Google you can make a start here. You need to have a physical location (not a P.O. box) to claim (which is normally a process of receiving a physical postcard to the address with a verification number). You can optimize your profile with categories, contact details, image galleries, reviews and so on.
Mega Tip: This is something we had to deal with ourselves – what if you are based outside of say Miami but your target market is IN Miami? If you register your address as being outside of Miami then any business nearer to the search query (the proximity algorithm), will be higher in the results because you are registered further away, and they closer. Luckily Google has thought of this and has now set up an option to set a ‘service area’ for your business that goes beyond just your address – see our very own local Google business map below, note it has a range (we mainly cover from Key West to West Pam Beach), not just a single point. Here’s a link to the ‘how to’ page Google has written for us – phew!
3. Speed up Your Website via your Hosting Account
Most modern hosting companies now set the PHP compression options for websites within the Control Panel (it was done manually via the .htaccess file on the server, therefore a developer was needed). Now anyone can set this up – auto-magically compressing an entire website. Meaning when a website is called on, the server can deliver it much, much quicker because it’s now much, much smaller (in terms of kilobytes), this is brilliant especially for mobile. Some hosting control panels will allow for image caching to be set here too, (set how often a visitor will need to pull down new images after an initial visit (normally, not very often) – making for an even faster website experience. Google loves to see this too. you don’t need to be technical (you just need to click a button, normally) but finding that button can be a chore – recommend you simply call your hosting company and get them to do it (or to show you where these setting are for future reference).
So, there you have it, 3 awesome tips that are absolutely essential, and will make a difference to your local business website and anybody can start applying for free!
Your business website is your most valuable online asset, so ensuring that it is properly optimized for local search is, of course, paramount. Don’t have the time? Give us a call – we can set up all the above for you (with a few extra bells and whistles to boot!).
Call 786. 379. 4041
Thank you – Justin