Staff Writer: Nancy Mann
Research has shown that up to 40% of searches that take place on the most frequently visited search engines have at least some local intent. That’s one of the best reasons why a small business should explore affordable SEO services to help them optimize their search engine presence. An experienced SEO specialist can apply the kind of expertise that will make even the smallest company reach its fullest possible online potential.
There are three important SEO components that can assist a small business, or actually, any business, in gaining online momentum: Research, Strategy and Analytics. These three areas work synergistically to yield a plan aimed at higher traffic and more conversions, both of which are at the heart of heightened business profits.
The research needed to develop an SEO strategy deals not only with keyword research, which identifies the optimal keywords to use in order to successfully connect with a target market audience, but also with research having to do with a company’s direct competition. Called “competitive research,” this information explains why a competitor’s site ranks above the rest, and how exactly it acquired that coveted position. Studying things like the competition’s keyword density and server checks can reveal a lot of what’s been included in their SEO strategy; however, things can be taken a step further by examining a competitor’s source code, which can truly convey just how SEO-savvy its web team is.
Once an ample amount of research has been done, especially competitive research, and data has been complied, the next step is developing an SEO strategy. Basically, this strategy is designed to capture that same target audience, promote traffic and help a business thrive. For the small business owner who is hoping to gain a larger percentage of its local market, two areas need to be addressed: on-page optimization and content, and local business listings.
On-page optimization and content helps a local business speak to its own community. This is achieved by strategically choosing the appropriate on-page (and off-page) elements that dictate relevance to a search engine – elements such as Meta data, tags and content. Content is particularly critical, as that what makes the real connection with the average site user. Content assists in developing a company’s brand and position as well as conveys the value of its products or services.
Along with content, local business listings optimization plays a part in achieving higher rankings. It’s important that a business is represented well through factors such as consistent contact information (name, address, phone) and appropriate categorization. These are key in encouraging a potential new customer to find their way to that business.
Last, analytics are useful in tracking traffic numbers and monitoring how visitors actually use and interact with a site. Google Analytics, one of the most popular analytic tools, allows for both goal tracking and conversion rates, each necessary to gauge a strategy’s overall success.
Small business can’t afford not to seek affordable SEO services. SEO is still one of the best ways to stay competitive.