Why do you need Local SEO for small business?
The internet is the best place to expand for Local businesses, big or small. There are no geographical boundaries to stop you. You can publicize yourself on as many social and digital platforms as possible.
But before you can attract the world with your brilliant product/services published on your website, you need Local Search Optimization. Local SEO is a simple yet advanced technique of modifying your website to make it customer-friendly and search engine compatible.
In reality, search engines operate on a specific algorithm. And the websites which follow these algorithms are the ones that show up on the top search results. And this is how local SEO helps you.
Through SEO, your website's Search engine compatibility dramatically improves, and your visitors get a better user experience on your site. The guide helps you nail down all the aspects that your small business needs to achieve greater success. We start with the very basics of establishing a small business online.
1: Domain Selection
Domain selection is the first and the most important thing when it comes to taking your small business online. Your domain name is the one thing that your website is recognized. And buying a unique domain name is the first step towards making progress with online marketing.
When someone looks at your website, what is the first thing they see? Your website name! And an attractive name is something that goes a long way in improving your website SEO. Search engine optimization is affected by many factors, and the domain name is one of them. So take a while and select the perfect domain name for your small business website.
When it comes to selecting a domain name, you should keep in mind that the name should represent something intimate. It should represent what your business is about and be closely associated with your small business.
Not only does it makes things easier for the customers, but it also helps you boost SEO. And with better SEO, a better rank on search results is quite easy.
The domain name has a direct relationship to your business performance. For instance, if you are a bakery name likes “bake a cake” or “cakes and bakes,” you are more likely to go along with your website.
2: Web Platform Selection
Taking your small business online is the one thing that is sure to improve your small business reach. Stepping foot in the online world may be simple, but making it to the top needs a ton of effort. And this should start from the very beginning.
Website platform selection is an important aspect when it comes to establishing your small business online. There are numerous platforms out there that can help you build a stable and responsive website like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento. But you should select the one that is search engine compatible.
For instance, this page that you are reading is a WordPress based website. Its fast, responsive, and rank on top of search results. If you want to go for an affordable website, look for a WordPress based setup.
For more info on programming languages and website development platforms read this post.
3: Logo and Colour theme
You have you domain name and a perfect platform to launch it on. What's left to do? Logo! Most people might not realize the importance of a decent Logo.
Logos are of different types. They might be as simple as a single word or a little complicated with icons. And the key to nailing the perfect Logo is to make sure that there is a color and font balance.
Make sure that that website's theme is in perfect sync with the Logo. Palates with lighter colors like- white, aqua, and gold- are sure to attract more customers. Similarly, lighter coloured websites are balanced out by dark or brighter coloured logos.
4: Hire a Website Development Company
Building a website is a ton of work. And everything should be perfect. Even the smallest things can have a significant impact on your website performance. Therefore it is essential to be cautious while designing your website.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the website should be simple and customer friendly.It should possess easy-to-use options and the latest technologies. It helps engage your customers for a longer duration on your website.
Thus, reducing the bounce rate. And lesser bounce rate creates an impression that customers find your website entertaining. And this allows search engines to push up your ranking on search results. Now lets focus on things you need to remember when designing your website.
5: Build an SEO Optimized Website
It is essential to pick up a website design that is search engine compatible. An optimized website can help you rank higher and generate more traffic. The SEO of your website is affected by many factors. And one of these factors is the website design.
To maintain a good SEO score of your website, you can implement some things like- have a mobile-friendly design, or use lighter web design. Some other things to do here are optimizing the page URLs and including optimized title tags to your website. An optimized website is search engine compatible and ensures that you rank higher on search results.
6: Opt for Mobile-friendly Design
With a significant population shifting from desktops to mobile phones, it is time that you adjust your website accordingly. More and more people are using mobile phones because they are compact and convenient. But to date, most websites are not compatible with compact devices.
As a result, sites take a lot of time to load on compact devices like mobile phones, and this can drive away customers.The only solution is to make sure that your website has a smaller and lighter, mobile-friendly version.
You can compress your entire website as well, but that would hardly do any do. The smart thing to do here is to have a separate mobile-friendly version of your website.
7: Insist on Light Weight Design
Having a website is a dream come true for many. And in the attempt to create the perfect website, people tend to go a little over the top. It might result in your website bulky with too many unnecessary features.
And this results in a heavy website that has a longer load duration. And this harms the ranking of your website.
It is best if you choose a pre-made lightweight design. Or else you can eliminate some of the heavy stuff from your pre-existing website. Elimination can also help improve the speed and SEO of your website.
8: Start with On-page SEO
They say the world is your oyster! But it is impossible to earn popularity without technology and media.
Likewise, you have to implement some new methods and strategies if you want your business to stand out online.
On page, SEO can refer to both – optimization of content and HTML source code of a page or website. It improvises the performance of your small business website online.
Target Area Selection is a vital element of On–Page search engine optimization. Shooting arrows in the dark will not help you create a strong base of clients. You have to be aware of the areas that need to be targeted for Digital marketing.
When you do business in Toronto, your small business website must reach a potential crowd in and around Toronto to create a positive impact. On-Page SEO helps you optimize and select the area you specifically want to explore.
This enhances the quality of your customer reach. Fine customers means more money! And if you manage to master your Local Area searches, magnificent growth is not too far away.
10: Competitor Analysis
Competitor Analysis is the simplest method to know what your audience is looking for. Once you know what to focus on, your work will get much more straightforward.
A detailed competitor analysis can benefit you in many ways, like- better search ranking, greater traffic overturns, and more conversions on site. The very basis of competitor analysis is to gain knowledge.
You are a small business owner; you don't have enough time to invest in hit-and-trial methods. So what's the next best thing? Check out your competitor's webpage and analyze it. Study what works for your competitor- keywords, content, and links. And use this intelligence for your benefit.
11: Keyword Research
Millions of people surf the internet looking for a solution to their problems. They tend to click on one of the first few search results shown by search engines.
This is because the topmost search results are more in compliance with the customer’s needs. A page only ranks higher when it has relevant keywords. If your small business website masters this aspect, your online marketing strategies become highly effective.
Keyword research makes sure your page includes the most relevant keywords. It helps describe the ideas or services of your business. As a result, it drives more and more traffic to your business website and boosts your SEO in no time.
12: Crafting your content
One of the many vital elements of a good business website is the quality of its content. Just ranking higher on the search engine is not enough.
You should be able to capture your client, on the other side of the screen, with the quality of your content. Make sure you do not lose out on an opportunity for business just because your website lacks quality content.
Your website has to be readable and easy to understand. Even if you get thousands of clicks, your website might not generate potential leads if the quality of writing or content is compromised.
13: Adding Images and InfoGraphics
Just like quality content is valuable, images are another element that are essential to capture a client’s full attention online. Your business website needs relevant images and infographics to attract more and more people.
If you are wondering, here is why it is equally important. Images and graphics help our brains connect the dots that understandable content or writing cannot. And if your business is related to sales, it should be the critical element of your website.
Without visual relation to the content, your page could become annoying and non-entertaining for the people who click on it. Besides this, it could also help your business look professional and attractive.
14: Utilizing Videos and GIFs
Along with images and graphics, it has become a new trend to include videos and GIFs about your services or products. Videos and GIFs have effectively captured the attention of the new generation on the internet.
Small trailers, promos, ads. Have made many websites reach out more effectively to their clients. Describing your products or services through video becomes comfortable and attractive if you add a video to your official business page.
Your video needs to be informative and closely related to the content shared on your website. It is a sad truth that most people do not like to read through a website. A video, on the other hand, can engage your customers for long.
15: Internal linking
Internal Linking is one of the powerful methods to increase the average total time of users on your website by elevating user engagement. The webpages are interlinked with each other so that the user can drift to other webpages after reading the first one.
You can also create sections of Related Topics in a box so that the visitor can select the topic of his interest. If the user is interested in your website niche, he is most likely to take interest in other webpages of your website, and this is an opportunity to increase user engagement.
16: Setting up a Sales Funnel
Sales funnel are a decent way of making your customers buy your services and products. The trick is to create a need. You need to make an offer to your customer- something which he needs or something that can be of great importance to him.
The customer buys your services or products in exchange for their email. Sales funnels help you build an email list for your business.
Sales funnels work in a step by step manner, engaging a specific group of people each time. Through a sales funnel, your ability to turn your viewers into customers dramatically multiplies.
17: Work on Technical SEO
We can all talk about SEO in simple terms. But when it comes to delivering the best SEO strategy in Toronto, Canada. It is all digital! There is tons of technical stuff that needs attention. So that the SEO of each page is optimum.
And the most important is the technical aspect of SEO needs to be updated from time to time. Let us learn about Technical SEO aspects.
18: Add an XML site map
Wouldn’t it be more natural of people could find your website in the blink of any eye? The very purpose of SEO is to make sure that your website is discoverable by search engines.
The purpose of an XML site map is to direct Google towards the essential pages of your website. An XML sitemap is more or less like a roadmap that helps Google navigate through your website effortlessly.
It is essential to have an XML sitemap plugin if you want to improve your SEO. An XML Site map can still produce tremendous results even if pages of your site lack internal links.
19: Add an SEO Plugin
Starting a website on platforms like WordPress is not easy. It is a multi-step process. But the fun part is there are hundreds of SEO plugins to help you.
For instance, some plugins scan through your posts and make sure that they are well optimized. On such plugin is Yoast SEO, which is widely used all around the globe. Other plugins can help you optimize your page, or set up survey pages.
Each SEO Plugin can give you the insight to improve the SEO score of your website. All you need to do is download the plugins and activate them.
20: Setup Redirects
As the word suggests, redirecting is the process of forwarding one URL to another. By setting up your redirect process you are not only forwarding your users to a different location but you are doing the same to search engines.
Most common redirect setups in use are 301, 302 and Meta refresh. A 301 type of redirect means that the original page which the user is looking for has been permanently moved. T
his type of redirect setup is recommended for better SEO. In contrast to this 302, means that the web page has been temporarily moved. Get a redirect plugin to enhance this aspect of your website.
21: Setup Custom 404 Page
In simple terms, a 404 is an error displayed when the search engines or visitors are unable to locate a requested page.
It represents a dead-end- which suggests that the page is either permanently moved or no longer exists. When it comes to setting up a 404 page for your website, wouldn’t it be best if you could have a more engaging and informative 404 page?
A blank 404 page negatively impacts on your audience and may even send them back. Whereas an engaging 404 page holds the attention of your customers and reduces bounce rate.
22: Utilize Schema Markup
Schema Markup is the newest method of boosting SEO. Being new; it is the least used method. Most users are unaware of the concept of Schema Markup, but it can do wonders for your website.
In simple terms, Schema Marker, refers to the method of code insertion. You insert relevant codes on your website. And this helps the search engines in returning more informative data to its users.
When a search engine scans through your website, these specific codes grab the attention of search engines. And this helps you rank higher on search results. If you wish to understand Schema Markup in-depth, you should give rich snippets a try.
23: Add Robots.txt File
If you are not a novice in the field of SEO, you would know what a crawler is. In reality, search engines use search engine bots or crawlers to index websites. And here comes the concept of Robots.txt.
Robots.txt is a text file that directs these crawlers towards indexing websites. The Robot.txt file is placed under the top-level directory to ensure that search engines can detect them instantly.
The best thing about Robots.txt setup is that it is incredibly flexible. And through these settings, SEO experts can control the performance of multiple webpages at a time.
24: Work on Page speed improvement
Times are tougher than ever. Everyone is busy in their own world. And they barely have any time to waste. In conditions like these improving the page speed can go a long way.
When people don’t have to wait too long for your website to load there is a lesser probability of customers leaving your website. To improve your page speed you can do some simple things like eliminating the heavy stuff.
Make sure that your website is light as a feather. Lighter websites have several benefits. First they improve your search ranking and then they ensure that your website is not abandoned instantly. Do you Need help with page speed optimization?
25: Websites Code optimization
The meaning of code optimization is quite literal. Code optimization involves the process of improving code size and quality. Web Development Companies modified the code in a way that it takes less memory but works equally good.
In other terms, the quality, efficiency, and compatibility with search engines of your code improve. Code optimization includes compact size, lesser memory space, and improved functionality.
For better SEO score, what you must focus on is that the output of the optimized and the non-optimized code is similar. Code optimization makes your website lighter, which results in improved SEO. Better code leads to better SEO rankings and broader exposure.
26: optimize your Images
In simple words, Image optimization is a modern technique that involves the delivery of prime quality images. The key is to keep the image size small while maintaining the format, dimension, and resolution.
It should be noted that there are different ways of optimizing your images. You can resize them, or compressing them. Caching is another technique of image optimization. And if you are not a pro in this field, it doesn’t matter! There are many image optimization tools available, like Image Kit.
More large images can slow down your website. And this can have a severe impact on your website SEO. Don’t let the photos bring you down, instead make the best of it!
27: Setup Google search console
Google provides various free tools to identify and analyze the reports of how your website is doing. The two tools provided by Google are Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Google Search Console specifically helps you to identify the "crawl errors" on your website. Additionally, it also sends you an email every time any error or potential error is detected so that faults get notified and fixed immediately.
28: Setup Google analytics
It is a free tool provided by Google to analyze and manage the website's performance. It helps you to obtain a better understanding of your customers. You can quickly dive into the fine details to identify the rooms for improvement.
Google Analytics also enables you to understand how users got engaged with your Google Ad Campaign to maximize the user experience. It also lets you measure your advertising ROI to get the complete insights and pattern of the conversion rate.
29: Full Technical Audit
Before you start ahead with off page seo, you must do a technical audit of your site. Technical Seo Audit helps you identify on-page issues that may still be left to fix and drag down your site.
Once you know what is wrong, you can fix it in no time. SEO Audit exposes you to that part of the website, which may not be perfect. Conducting an Audit at the beginning of your off-page seo campaign, helps your seo score and user experience at higher levels.
30 : Work with Off-Page SEO
After the technical SEO Audit and fixing of all errors, you can give your full attention to the off-page strategy. Off-Page SEO tactics are as crucial as On-Page SEO practices. In contrast to On-Page SEO, Off-Page is more focused on what happens behind the scenes.
Off-Page SEO helps you connect with competitor websites. It also helps you create a positive presence outside your website. Off-Page SEO is more focused on uplifting your website by finding and utilizing various backlink opportunities.
31: Authority Backlinks
Back-linking is the most reliable way to improve your SEO score. Building authority backlinks requires you to share links of your website on peer websites. The key is to find websites that share similar interests. Sharing your link on these websites not only helps you gather a more significant viewership, but also helps you target your potential audience.
The customers that visit your competitor websites constitute your group of potential customers. And through authentic backlinks to legit websites, you are continually expanding your customer pool. Besides this, search engines are automatically more inclined towards websites with backlinks from high-quality sites.
32: High-Value Profiles Creation
Social media is an active enforcer of search engine optimization. You need to understand the influence of social media on people’s lives in Toronto, Canada. Social media is like second nature to people, and this can be a great way to connect to them. Besides building a reliable company, you should also focus on making strong relations with your customers.
And social media is key to that. Try to create high quality and informative profiles on social media. Your first instinct should be to provide your customers with the required information. Manage Your social accounts should be welcoming and informative. Make sure to use a light conversational tone and keep it informal!
33: Collecting Reviews
When you look up for a service or product, what is an essential thing that you do? You go down to the review section and find out if this product suits your needs. This is what your customers are doing right now. People tend to believe what other people write about your products/services in the review sections.
But not all reviews are good. Bad reviews open up improvement possibilities, but they can hurt your website. Can you risk sharing bad reviews with your would-be-customers? It is best to put some review management plans into action. Review management helps you rank good reviews on top.
Should SEO be done by a local agency or international agency?
There are numerous SEO agencies out there. And each one has its recipe for a perfect SEO. While looking for an SEO company to help you with the online growth of your small business, the most important thing to do is understand their services. If you find what you need, it barely matters if the company is local or international.
What are the qualities of an SEO company you need to be looking for?
There are some things you need to keep in mind while hunting for the perfect SEO company. You need to go through their service packages and find out what services they provide. You need to know if the services pertain to your needs. Another thing to focus on is the budget.
I have a local business, and most of my customers are within 10 miles of my business, do I need a web presence?
Times are changing, and with each passing day, more and more people are joining the internet. Despite being a local business, if you choose to go online, you would be targeting a much larger audience that over conventional methods of advertisement. And with unique features like local search engine optimization, becoming a local celebrity is no big deal!
Is it possible for small business websites to get on the 1st page?
Why not? But the search result ranking depends on which areas you target. It is advisable to focus on the geographical area, which brings in a significant chunk of your customers. With special techniques and dedicated services by SEO companies, it gets more comfortable for you to rank 1st on search results.
How much time does it take to improve the ranking for small businesses?
SEO is not an overnight thing. It takes time to understand the functioning of your website and making adjustments to your website. In general, it takes somewhere between two to six months to improve your ranking on search engines. But the wait is worth the results!
How much time does it take to improve the ranking for small businesses?
SEO is not an overnight thing. It takes time to understand the functioning of your website and making adjustments to your website. In general, it takes somewhere between three to six months to improve your ranking on search engines. But the wait is worth the results!
Do small businesses need to outsource SEO? Why?
If you want to stand out on a platform as massive as the internet, you need SEO. SEO is all the more critical for small businesses because it helps you connect with your customers. Small businesses have limited resources and restricted reach. But SEO by your side, you can convert your website into an instant money maker.
Why do Search Engine ranking change frequently, and what small businesses should focus on for higher ranking?
Search engines are focused on bringing the best to its customers. Keeping that in mind, they continuously analyze numerous websites and make sure to rank the best ones on top. And since websites are constantly changing, so are their rankings. Small businesses need to focus on keywords and site performance if they want to land a decent ranking.
Are local SEO marketing services more critical than traditional advertising for small businesses?
Most small businesses focus on a particular geographical area. Their customer pool is limited as well, for a bakery in Toronto, what good it would do if you market yourself in Edmonton. Local SEO for small businesses helps them specify which areas to target and how to lure in more customers. Traditional advertising has its benefits, but local SEO has a geographical edge.
How fast do SEO services for small businesses pay off?
SEO, be it for small businesses or large enterprises, they have a similar amount of time- three to six months, sometimes, even more, depending upon the competition. During this time, Seo companies or Seo experts usually do website analysis, fixing of flaws, and prepare an SEO strategy. Once the SEO strategy goes into action, constant monitoring and required changes are an ongoing process. And all this takes a lot of effort and commitment.
Do small businesses need non-local SEO?
As a small business owner, your focus should be on local SEO. The local population is what thrives your business. But at the same time, you should not ignore On-Page or Off-Page SEO. Using On-Page and Off-Page SEO, you can expand your customer base and create a stronger foundation for your business online.
Search engine optimization is a vast umbrella that covers ever-growing and numerous aspects. And if you want good results for your small business, it is essential to focus on each one of them. The important thing is to find a perfect balance when optimizing these SEO aspects for your website and not over-optimize your SEO. Over-optimization has its risks.
This guide is incomplete, and there will be more updates. We are here to help your small business achieve great success. Our Digital Marketing agency has expertise in all of the above SEO factors. And we care to provide premium quality marketing services at very affordable pricing in Toronto and entire Canada. If you need help with SEO, we are your go-to company.