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Local Small Business – 5 SEO Tips for 2018

SEO Trends That Will Impact Your Local Small Business in 2018

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is more challenging than ever.

Local SEO 2018We’re an SEO company and we work primarily with local small businesses. Since Thanksgiving, there has been no less than four search algorithm changes from Google. Companies that do what we do have reported large variances in search results for the websites they track over the last several weeks.  We’ve seen the variances too but we’re happy that our websites are, for the most part, settling in higher on the SERPS then they were when are the updates started occurring.

What’s going on, why all the changes? We think Google is getting closer to their primary goal, which is to deliver the best answer to any specific query a Google search customer makes. Previously, when you asked a question on the Google search page like “What’s a good Italian restaurant near me”, Google would list a series of websites and web directories that would provide choices for the enquirer to select from. We believe Google aims to give a spoken response through your auto speaker, Bluetooth device or headphones to a query. So a query “What’s a good Italian restaurant near me” would generate a voice (male or female, your choice) saying Izzo’s, 40 reviews. 4.3 stars, pizza and Italian dishes, 100 Main St, 555-555-1212. Do you want to call and place an order”?

That’s where we think Google is going but how can your company be the answer. What do you have to do to make sure your business is the “Izzo’s” in your industry? Here are some important trends that you need to follow in 2018.

  1. The continuing development of voice search.

Meet the Google Assistant. If you have an Android device, you already have. The Assistant is conversational, it can ask questions and contribute to a conversation. To plan for a fully operational Google Assistant you will need to embrace long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are 3 and 4 word phrases that present a very specific query. Long tail keywords will deliver less traffic but more motivated prospects. They are far more likely to produce a positive result for you when voice search is activated. An article in Search Engine Watch suggests using a micro-targeted long-tail strategy.

  1. Pay close attention to SERP features.

Being number one on the search page is no longer the primary purpose of your search efforts. Google wants as much information as possible on their search pages. They are accomplishing this goal through SERP features. SERP features include things like featured snippets, local packs, knowledge panels and so on. SERP features are taking clicks away from your website by giving searchers the information they need without leaving the search page.

According to Stone Temple Consulting, nearly 30% of Google searches show a Featured snippet. Companies need to strategize about how they can get their content into the Featured snippet that results from a search of one of their keywords. The Google answer box has a click through rate of over 20%, so it is a worthy goal to get your content in there.

Long-tail keywords is one answer. The more specific a query is, the better chance your content will be chosen for the snippet if you answer the question completely. Organizing your content to provide quick answers to “how” and “why” questions can give a big boost to your click through rate. Doing this will require you to learn more about your searchers intent and how to respond.

  1. Site speed matters.

It is well known that over 50% of all Google searches are done on mobile devices and that Google favors fast loading websites. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to find flaws in your website design that may be slowing your site down. Many platforms, including WordPress, use scripts and plugins that may not be useful for your needs or goals. Have your webmaster audit your website and determine if there is code on your site that can be deleted without adversely affecting the function or usefulness of your site.

  1. Think mobile

Most websites are still built on a desktop. While most new websites are built with responsive design, it behooves a webmaster to view the site on different devices before publishing the website. Having customers and prospects find flaws in the mobile version on their phone or tablet is embarrassing in the least and costly besides. Most mobile visitors will not return to a website that does not provide a worthwhile experience on their mobile device. Engagement and bounce rate are ranking factors for SEO.

  1. Get an SSL certificate

Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS would become a ranking factor. It had an impact. According to Tech Crunch half of web traffic was encrypted as of February of 2017. That figure has surely gone up. In addition to better SEO, having an SSL on your website gives added assurance to your visitors that their personal information is protected. The best part is that SSL certificates have become inexpensive and easier to attach.

 

If you’re a local business owner and take any of these steps, your ranking will go up. Take them all and your business will improve significantly. You’ll be on the first page for the keywords that matter to you. If you need help, give us a call. If you want to know how we can help with Local SEO, you can click here.

 

 

31 thoughts on “Local Small Business – 5 SEO Tips for 2018”

  1. Great article! Thanks for posting. With the increase in mobile users, mobile queries surpassed desktop queries. Therefore it becomes important for Google to make changes in techniques that are used to process a query. Google is going to implement mobile-first indexing which will help Google to index mobile-friendly sites. So speed, voice search, and mobile -friendly sites are really matters in Google ranking.

  2. I understand mobile responsive websites and website speed are 2 very important factors. But is it really mandatory for all the websites to have SSL certificate? I thought SSL certificate is only important for E-Commerce Websites. Voice search is what we will have to start taking seriously now. Thanks for sharing such important information on SEO.

  3. Good Article and good tips. This is what we need to do in 2018 Voice Search & SSL good ones. SSL is going to be a must as browsers will start displaying not secure after July this year so people wouldn’t want to visit your website if it says not secure so better to have it as they are cheap as chips these days anyway.

  4. Thanks for this very important article. SEO isn’t simple but you have to do it. Without this work, it’s very difficult to get a good rank in google.

  5. Very informative article.Every beginner should read this article to know about Seo. To make your website rank in google you need to know about Seo .Google keeps on changing their algorithm and you need to keep yourself updated if you want positive result.Thanks for sharing such article.

  6. The Internet provides an important platform for building relationships with customers and increasing customer retention levels. When a customer has purchased a product from your online store, you can begin the relationship by sending a follow-up email to confirm the transaction and thank the customer.

  7. Nice tips. I found this much useful tips on this blog. Local SEO is very important for local business growth. Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have put it here.

  8. Hi, John, thanks for sharing your article. These are really good SEO tips that will help you rank higher in Google. You have to remember that a good content is the key to success. With a good content you get low bounce rate and high engagement.

  9. It is predicted that SEO NZ practices will certainly change as the Google is more focusing on creating a better voice search engagement as soon as possible. User will get more relevant results through voice medium and increasing engagement on apps will likely lead to add more features on SEO strategies.

  10. Thank you for the article. It is not enough just to write an article and put it on the Internet. After publication, she begins to live her network life. I am talking about the reaction of the public and first of all about the comments. Be sure to thank for the comment and note the indifference to the topic. Listen to the recommendations. Write an essay is a more difficult task

  11. For me, hiring an SEO company can result in a huge boom in your business because an SEO Optimized website can bring genuine and relevant traffic from search engines. Through SEO we can promote our brand and get more brand awareness and people reach. Hiring an SEO company is always a good decision.

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