Easy to Implement Website Optimization Tips

This is the fourth installment of the five-part series written by our partner Whitespark called How to Win at Local Search in 2019. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can feel overwhelming for a small business trying to stand out in a crowd. Whether you hire a consultant to help you or are taking the reins yourself, it's helpful to understand which elements of SEO can have the biggest impact.

Five tips that will improve the visibility of your website.

1) Stop Under-utilizing Content

High quality content is very important and really a basic element for a website, yet so many businesses seem to forget this. Especially having content on the homepage.

Content is one of the simplest ways for you to create relevance, engage visitors, and share your most important message as soon as someone lands on your site.

Tip: Don’t forget to include your top keywords and related content on your homepage or the landing page that you are linking to from your Google My Business listing, because Google is looking for this.

Make sure your site has:

  • Separate pages for each service or product offering.
  • Really awesome location page(s) and/or contact page.
  • Title tags that target your location and keywords - Example: Top Keywords + City | Your Business Name
  • Use proper headings and titles that breakdown the content on your pages.


2) Schema Markup - You Need This!

Structured Data helps Google Search understand the content on a webpage and ultimately drive more traffic to your site. It is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the content. For example, on a local business website the business name, address, contact information, description, and business hours.

The job of the structured data is to describe the content on that page. Google wants all the information, and they want it delivered to them in a way that makes sense and that provides users with a better experience, this can be achieved through structured data markup throughout different pages on your site.

Example of Local Business Microdata formatting

Start with the basics like local business data, and then move on to data that will help enhance your search results like:

  • Reviews (Review stars on search engine result pages (SERP) can increase click-through rates by 30-400%. You’ve worked so hard on growing your reviews and testimonials, now show them off on your site and in search results).

  • Bookings (reservations)
  • Events
  • Job Postings
  • Recipes
  • Products
  • Food Delivery
  • Emails (RSVPs)

You can use Google’s Structured Data Testing tool to make sure you have implemented the mark-up correctly, and there are also a ton of plugins and tools available in the market to help you get structured data on your site.

3) Internal Links

Internal links allow users to navigate your website, establish an information hierarchy, and help disperse ranking power throughout a website. A lot of sites forget to link to other pages within their content, if you want pages to be found and create a connection to content throughout your site, add links! It’s really that easy.

4) Convert to HTTPS

As of July 2018, non-HTTPS sites became labeled as Not Secure, and while you may not be asking for a password or payment information, a user can still interpret this as your site having been hacked or compromised (even if it isn’t), which ultimately impacts your perceived credibility.  

Beyond an improved user experience, you want to have an HTTPS site because Google has been pushing for it, and will continue to create more incentives for sites to make the switch; “[HTTPS]... unlocks both performance improvements and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP. We’ve known since 2014 that HTTPS is a ranking factor, and while this isn’t going to push your rankings to #1, why wouldn’t you optimize your site when you know it is a factor that directly impacts rankings?

5) Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

More than half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, which means that mobile searches can drive more in-store traffic, calls, and ultimately convert into sales. But if your site is not mobile-friendly, easy to navigate and interact with on mobile, you risk losing a potential customer.

A mobile-friendly site is necessary in today’s search environment.To find out if your site passes the test, use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool. If it doesn’t make the grade, you will be provided with specific steps you need to take to improve your site, additional resources for further optimization, and feedback on any loading errors that require immediate attention.

Take advantage of these tips, so that you don’t have to worry about missing out on a local customer because your site was difficult to use on mobile.


Read on to the 5th and final installment in our series: Earning Links that Improve Your Rankings

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