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The State of Local SEO & Where to Focus Now

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 19-10-2016


It was really common, even just a few years ago, for many business owners to know nothing or very little about SEO. While that’s still common with some businesses, the number of businesses that have begun putting a real effort toward ranking in search engine results, has gone up dramatically. That means that as a business owner trying to rank for local search terms, you have to work harder and smarter now than you have before. Since more people are trying, you have to try even harder, or simply focus on the most important ranking factors in order to achieve a higher position in the search results.

To help you understand local SEO a bit better, and what is working and what is not, we have some quick guidelines for you based on information included in a study conducted by Local SEO Guide and PlacesScout.com. The study relies on a lot of good quality information and actually gives us some substance to base our recommendations on.

Reviews are Very Important

A quick look at the data by the study, shows that reviews are very important to ranking for a local SEO term. People are relying on reviews more and more to pick out businesses to work with, and that means that it makes a lot of sense for your company to work on getting good quality reviews out there. Try to encourage reviews on platforms like Yelp, and others online, and also consider creating a review section for your own website. With more reviews you’ll tend to get more clicks and receive a larger portion of the business overall, which is what all owners are looking for.

To help encourage your customers to leave you a review, you should follow up with them in the future asking for a review specifically. You can even send along a link to the review page that a customer needs to visit to leave you one. Heck, you can even add an incentive to leave a review such as a prize drawing or something else to help encourage user action.

Backlinks are Still Important

There are plenty of gurus in 2016 that claim backlinks are dead and that you shouldn’t be wasting your time with them while trying to rank for local SEO. That’s simply not the case, and the study conducted by Local SEO Guide and PlaceScout.com adds a bit of proof that says otherwise.

The study shows that sites with a higher Magestic AC rating seemed to rank better in the search results. Magestic SEO is a SEO tool and a backlink tool that helps you figure out how to improve your rankings. Anyway, most of the factors that determine how high or low of a Magestic AC rating a site gets are tied to backlinks specifically. That means, it makes a whole lot of sense to work on getting good quality backlinks on your site.

Just be careful not to make the mistake of just going for any backlinks. You want to try to obtain high quality backlinks for your site, even if that means getting just a few decent links to your site over time. That’s much more beneficial than getting a large number of low quality links.

Focus on Usability

Building a user-friendly website makes a lot of sense concerning the customers themselves, but it also makes sense from an SEO point of view. That’s because Google is getting better at looking out for sites that are going to offer users a better experience. You need to make sure that your site is clean, easy to navigate, and that information is presented clearly and immediately. Doing so will help you keep customers on your website for more than a second or two. It’s important to get customers to spend more time on your site, because this looks good to Google, and it also looks good when customers click over to another internal page on your site during their visit.

One other thing that you have to think about when it comes to usability is how fast the site loads. There are tools that show you how long it takes Google to load your page, and you can rely on them to gauge how efficient the site is overall. Make sure that your page is loading quickly by Google’s standards, because this will help your local SEO rankings as well.

With more people working hard toward SEO, it’s important to know what to focus on and what you should really worry about improving in your own business website. By focusing in on these three ranking factors, you should be able to increase your results, and you might not even have to increase the amount of effort you put in in order to do it.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!

Optimizing Your Site for Local Search on Mobile

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 19-09-2016


Building a website today isn’t just about creating a space for desktop computer users to go visit. In fact, it’s more about creating a useful resource for mobile phone users than it is for computer users these days. There are more people on their phones, and these people are also more willing to spend money than the people using their desktop computers. That means there is a lot of incentive to build high quality mobile-friendly websites for all these people. Down below I detail the best ways to start tailoring the site for mobile users.

Understand Your Audience

It’s common for desktop computer users to research a restaurant, a new location, a product in a store before they even plan on making a purchase. This isn’t the case with mobile phone searchers. They are doing research right then and now because they want the information to make a purchase. Otherwise they would conduct the research on a larger screen at home. You need to realize there is a level of urgency to the search and cater to that urgency by offering a simple solution that’s readily available.

Focus on Shorter Keywords

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like typing out lengthy searches on my mobile phone. I type in the bare minimum and hope that what I’m looking for pops up. This is common for other searchers as well, which is why if you are optimizing a site for mobile, you want to optimize for the shortest keyword phrases possible.

Get Real World Research

Stop relying on tools like Adwords Keyword Planner for mobile keywords. These tools are made for desktop search and haven’t been modernized enough to be really useful for mobile searches. Instead just go around and talk with real people. Ask them about how they would search for something specific, or better yet, ask them to look up information for you on their phones, and look at the keywords they type in to find it for you. This will tell you everything you need to know about how the person would search.

Optimizing for Local

When creating the pages themselves shoot for a word count between 300 and 500 words, but make the text scannable and offer the valuable information right up top for searchers in a hurry. It’s also important to include both the keyword and your location in your text alt images, in the header tag of the page and the title tag of the page. If you add it in all these places as well as in the actual content, you should be able to show up quite nicely in mobile search.

Mobile Testing

The very first thing you should do when you think you are done with your mobile site is have Google crawl it and test it by going here. Doing so will let you know what Google thinks of your site and whether you have items to fix or not. After you do that, it’s time to view the site on a few different mobile devices yourself. Pay attention to how it appears on these smaller devices. It could look great on a full computer screen, but be terrible on a small device. Make sure that isn’t the case.

Consider Paying for Results

While it’s more cost-effective to optimize your site for organic traffic, it’s faster to pay to be listed in the search engines. Consider paying for a premium ad if your products are worth enough to make it worth your while to convert a few people for all the money that you spend on traffic. Just take care optimizing the search links to make them sound as natural as possible.

Optimizing for mobile search isn’t that difficult, but it helps to understand the general process behind it. You’ll have to slowly improve all those key ranking factors on your website one at a time, until you finally get the listings that you’ve always wanted.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!

Why Google My Business Practitioner Listings are Important

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic | Posted on 19-08-2016


Google My Business is an excellent place to list your company and to gain some recognition locally, but you have to be aware of individual practitioners at your business. If some of your staff have themselves listed as members of your company they could cause potential problems in the future. While searching for duplicate listings of your business under Google My Business make sure you look out for individual practitioner listings as well.

Beware of Practitioners that Leave Your Company

Even if your business has been running successfully for more than a decade you may not have maintained the same pool of staff members over that period of time. Instead some of your workers may have left to another company or even changed careers over the years. That doesn’t seem like such an issue until you consider that they may have set up a Google My Business listing under their name that is related to your business. That means that when people search for your business name they may be seeing the listing for an old practitioner that doesn’t work with you any longer. The listing could make visitors believe the office is closed, or even bring your potential customers to a listing with a competitor if that practitioner changed to another office location.

Look out for Duplicate Listings

Search the name of your company and look out for all the different listings that are related to your business. It’s common to see more than one of these listings showing up in Google. This might not seem like a problem until you consider that some of the listings may be less positive or professional than the others. For instance, you could have an unverified listing for your business that only shows a couple reviews, while the main company listing shows 120 reviews. Obviously customers will be more impressed by a larger number of reviews, but they could be visiting the unverified page unknowingly and get the wrong idea.

It’s important to look out for any duplicate listings so that you can let Google know about them and have them all combined into one unified listing. Doing this is the perfect way to bulk up the number of reviews that you have, and to really improve your listing overall while making sure it’s the one that everyone sees.

Keep an Eye on the Presence of all Your Practitioners

Every single practitioner is going to have a unique presence and reviews of their own. This is an excellent way for customers to figure out who it is that they want to work with from within the company, and a cool way for individual employees to stand out. Unfortunately very poor employee listings can do harm to your company’s image overall. If visitors see an employee that’s rated poorly they’ll view the company in a poor light as well, which obviously isn’t good for business. That’s why it’s so important to keep a watchful eye on all the connected practitioner listings for any doctors, lawyers, real estate agents or anyone else that works within your office.

Review Consolidation Could Change Your Rank

In Google’s eyes the more reviews you have the better, as long as a bunch of the additional reviews aren’t negative ones. That means if you are interested in improving your results in the search engine, and who isn’t, then you should strongly consider having any duplicate listings consolidated into one, especially if those duplicates have reviews on them as well. Combining all the reviews together into one location gives you a larger pool of happy customers to show off, and will likely lead to a bump in your listing placement, unless you’re already at the top already.

While individual practitioners may not affect your rank at all, they’re still important to keep in mind with Google My Business. They can change the way that visitors see your company and even lead potential customers to your competitors if you aren’t happy! That’s why you should take a moment to look through all your listings today, and get any issues sorted out by contacting Google directly and requesting any necessary changes.

Avasoft Solutions offers web design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and pay per click advertising. Contact us today!