After analysing the top SEO trends for 2016 in search of helpful ways to simplify SEO for brands of all sizes, I’ve compiled them into one easy-to-follow master guide. Whether you are just getting into the SEO market for the first time or you’re looking for ways to identify the best SEO company for your needs, this 2016 local SEO guide will have something for everyone.
Simple SEO Tips for Local Search
When it comes to local SEO for local business owners, most have too little time to observe and absorb the nuances to getting their business to rank locally.
It seems that most SEO information and SEO guides online resemble a dog’s breakfast of information; some is outdated and worse yet –much of it is completely off the reserve. While seeking information to compile for this article, I found many falsehoods I had to weed out. And had I not spent the past 9 years learning about SEO, I might not have known the difference!
My point is that there’s a lot of SEO guru rubbish on the internet and I’d like to set the record straight for local business SEO. Marketing for local business is already complicated enough as it is.
The rules of engagement for SEO have been a moving target for so long, and new platforms are always emerging. It is ever important for small business to stay on top of 2016 SEO trends, in spite of the new ways their customers consume online media which seem to pop up on a daily basis.
To make matters worse, large corporations always seem to be a step ahead with their bloated marketing budgets and numbers of staff they can throw at search engine optimisation.
Don’t Be a Jack of All Trades
Ever hear the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none”? In a nutshell, when speaking in SEO terms this simply means doing a few things really well may have greater value than covering every single one of your bases. And this will likely resonate well with small business owners who are typically already spread thin trying to keep up with their customer and business needs.
So without any further preamble, I present to you a list of Local SEO tasks you can easily implement without having to use up too much time to be effective.
Use social media for little more than engagement
I didn’t say these suggestions wouldn’t seem sinful from the perspective of your average social media guru, but the truth is; they work. And for small to medium-sized businesses these bare bones local SEO shortcuts are just what the doctor ordered.
Keeping your social media channels open to engagement and little else will allow you to make yourself available to your market while not taking up all of your precious time.
Make updates for major promotions or corporate announcements along with a touch of brain candy for prospective customers and then save the time you spend across social media channels for incoming communication from your customers and prospective buyers.
This will allow you to create accounts across all of the relevant social media channels your competitors are already using while not using the same amount of resources they do. Truly, this is the path of least resistance for small businesses on social media.
The benefits of this approach will allow you to be where your customers are while enhancing your local search relevance. Your social profiles will serve as enhanced directory listings driving traffic to your most important online asset: your website –you are not obligated to create all-encompassing social media outlets.
Make your website redesign mobile-only
Last year, mobile use of the internet outnumbered desktop browser use, meaning that the average business had traffic from a majority of mobile website visitors.
Mobile websites are highly engaging, look great across devices, and serve up the most relevant content for website visitors first and foremost. They are substantial by providing mainly information that website visitors expect, while cutting the fat.
Mobile websites are also faster to produce than their desktop counterparts, saving you both time and website design budget.
In order to achieve a successful mobile-only experience, be sure to use high resolution images so they don’t look too grainy, and do your research. Study previous iterations of your website’s analytics to ensure you include everything that was popular on your original website. Here’s a guide for implementing a mobile responsive website that may be useful.
Too many small businesses complicate their offer or the simple purpose their website should fulfil with drawn out verbiage and multiple calls to action on the same page; do not do this and you will save yourself some time and likely increase your website conversions in the process.
Always keep the most relevant information above the fold. Every page or post on your website should have a single purpose or call to action, period. And of course this goes double for online ads.
For enhanced listings, only showcase the most commonly required call to actions such as your hours of operation, booking a service, or extensions such as making a phone call, locating your business on a map, or a link to visiting your business website.
Keep your target data all in one place
Use a single database to keep track of your customer profiles, something that Forrester states only 22% of marketers actually do. Of the 22% surveyed who use a single customer profile database, 70% of marketers said that using data was helpful to distinguish unique customer profiles. Only 52% of those who spread their data across multiple databases found that same information useful –it pays to keep it simple and record all customer profile data in one place.
Keep it meaningful
While collecting data like baseball cards may seem like fun, it can obfuscate meaningful data metrics. Collecting data for the sake of data is a fruitless exercise that wastes resources and time.
Instead, focus on metrics that matter to your bottom line, as collecting too much data across too many metrics will eventually begin to overlap and contradict one another, creating a disadvantage as opposed to an advantage.
Some metrics are more important than others; increasing your attention on one metric will likely decrease the effectiveness of another. You simply cannot “please” every metric outcome and that is why it is important to focus on only the most important ones –the ones that generate revenue.
If you don’t have time, or facilitating too many diverse marketing campaigns seems overwhelming then we hope you find this list of suggestions to simplify your SEO endeavours useful.
It isn’t about doing everything, all the time. Quality marketing is about doing it well. If you’ve only got a limited budget or limited time, quality is always much more important than quantity.
Do you have any thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.