Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Frequently Overlooked SEO Tactics That Can Transform Business Visibility

Businesses can quickly fall into the rut of tired SEO practices, using the same content, keyword, and social media routines, even if they aren’t the most effective. It’s important to recognize that very small changes to your local listings, your location data, and your mobile optimization can lead to a massive upshift in accessibility and usability. MDG Advertising revealed that while 77.1 million people enable local content on their mobile devices, only 37% of businesses are actually keying into local listings. These underutilized aspects of your search engine listings can help you pull ahead of competitors who are stuck using outdated SEO strategies.

Leverage Google Services

While Google Plus staggers behind in popularity when pitted against other social media networks, they’ve still managed to gain over 300 million active users. Engagement from these users can directly influence business listings in a way that other social media users cannot – every time someone endorses your Google Plus content with a +1 vote, their network will view your business posts at a higher ranking. This creates a ripple effect – more people endorsing your content leads to more networks that can see your heightened ranking.

Google Places is a simple form that businesses can fill out so that they’re included in various search listings on Google Maps, Google Plus, and on regular Google searches that use location keywords. This listing depicts key information about your business, such as the address, hours, a directions link, and images. Be sure to pick graphics that represent your company well – this listing is often your digital introduction for most casual browsers. A Google Places listing used together with a Google Plus profile provides companies with excellent opportunities to reach prospective local customers.

Cater to Your Mobile Viewers

So someone has just located your business on his or her smartphone or tablet. They’re rushing to make an appointment and trying to learn more about your company. What is their experience like when they click on your website link? Can they find relevant information about your products and services quickly, or are they faced with walls of text, difficult navigation, or content that just won’t load on mobile?

Adobe revealed some shocking news in their 2013 digital marketing report – 45% of marketers don’t have a mobile-friendly website. This can be a major handicap for companies, causing them to lose prospective clients due to a lack of accessibility and ease of use. Mobile users are unlikely to return to your website if it is too difficult to navigate and use.

One of the easiest ways to identify problems is to test your website across several types of browsers and mobile devices. Does your website look and operate the same on phones and tablets running Windows, iOS, and Android platforms? What are the major usability hurdles that prevent audiences from gaining access to the most important information? Create a list of the issues you notice.

So how do you solve these problems? Here are some tools companies can use to make their websites more mobile friendly:

  • Use mobile optimization plug-ins or built-in features on your website’s content management system (CMS). Plugins like WPtouch can convert WordPress sites while Tumblr blogs have a native mobile setting.

  • Hire a web developer that uses HTML 5 and mobile friendly web elements.

  • Subscribe to a mobile website optimization service, like Mofuse, which can convert your website for use on a diverse range of devices.

Incorporating Location Data

Location data can be included within your website’s source code and content to dramatically influence your local listings and audience reach. Behind-the-scenes data like KML code allows your business to show up in specialty apps like Google Earth and Google Maps for mobile platforms. To be included in these apps, you just need to generate a KML code for your business location and attach it to your website. Google Developers have written up KML documentation guides that can walk your organization through this process.

Location data can also be used at the content level using targeted keywords. For example, cab companies hoping to gain business in Denver, CO can use geographical keywords like “Denver transportation” or “Denver taxi.” These concise word pairings identifies both the service and the location of this business. This company can reach an even broader audience by using keywords that mention other locations in or near their cab service area, including the names of specific neighborhoods, districts, and cities.

Companies can quickly rise above the competition by embracing Google services, using location data, and optimizing their web presence for mobile users. Consumer searches on smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly relevant to marketing success. Many of these techniques described haven’t been adopted by many organizations, which means that you will be ahead of the curve.

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Frequently Overlooked SEO Tactics That Can Transform Business Visibility

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