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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

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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!