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Featured SEO

Why Local SEO is Important for Your Business

Why Local SEO is Important for Your Business

Many people search for local products and services online, including using maps to locate the closest businesses to their location.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to increase the website’s visibility in search engine results, such as Google, and increase visitor traffic to the website or to a business’ storefront location.

SEO is an ongoing process that requires time to work–it is not an overnight fix, but it can help businesses rank higher, gain more customers, and build their brand. Local SEO helps bring attention to your business and helps customers in your area find it through maps services and through online searches.

While ranking higher in search results may not seem necessary if your business is already fairly successful, all your competitors are investing in SEO and you cannot afford not to do the same.

Local SEO

Local SEO

Local SEO is an effective way to market your local business online to customers who are looking for the products or services you offer, in your area.

A study by Google revealed that 50% of individuals who used their smartphone for a local search visited a store within a day.

For example, if a potential customer is searching for a local IT management firm that specializes in managed security and cloud services, and you are a company with that specialty, investing in local SEO will allow your business to rank higher in local search results and gain more attention.

The connection between online search and in person visits holds true across many different business industries and ensures that searchers who are looking for a local business are directed to relevant results.

SEO services ensure that potential customers find your local business faster through:

  • On-page optimization
  • Off-page optimization
  • Content Management
  • Appropriate Keywords
  • Link Building
  • And More

If you’re still wondering why local SEO is important for your business, consider whether you can easily find your business on Google search results, maps, or other online search platforms by only using one or two terms related to your business.

If you aren’t at the top 3 results, you need to invest in SEO, and those businesses at the top of search results invest heavily in SEO to maintain their advantage.

Ranking High Matters

Ranking High Matters

When it comes to searching and browsing online, Google is the search engine that most people use.

From looking up recipes, to getting questions answered, ordering products, finding social media, engaging in online forums, or finding the right business for a current need, internet searches dominate.

In a time when less people are visiting stores in-person and instead relying on online fulfillment, search engine results can make or break your business. Since most people (95%) don’t search beyond the first pages of online results, it’s important to rank high for keyword related to your business.

To achieve search results that users will see, businesses and marketers must rank high for relevant keywords by following the most recent SEO best practices and creating new, high-quality content.

By directing more web traffic to their website, a business can gain many new customers and build interest in their products or services, which is why local SEO is important for your business.

Adding relevant content to your website that aligns with what potential customers are looking for in search engines (such as Google or Bing) and linking your website from other pages (such as social media or similar websites) ensures that people looking for the type of product or service you offer can find you from the first page of search results.

Utilize Local Search

Utilize Local Search

In order to ensure that customers can find your business, utilize a location for your business or designate a central location served by your website. Even if your business is entirely online, you will still have to register the business in a location and using that business or mailing location can help you boost local searches and get more attention.

Integrate Google maps and create webpages for any specific locations you serve. Even if you provide nationwide service, adding a few location pages for the most popular locations where your clients live can help increase web traffic from potential new customers in those cities.

Providing accurate local search and maps information ensures that customers can find and navigate to your business, in addition to increasing your relevancy in search results.

If you have a business with multiple locations, it’s important to list each location on your website and create pages for each location so that customers or patients can decide which location is closest or most relevant to them.

Take Advantage of Free Tools

Take Advantage of Free Tools

Google and other websites have a multitude of SEO and digital marketing tools to help businesses optimize their websites. Although it can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with SEO or marketing, many experts (including us) use these tools to increase web traffic, rank higher in search results, and understand trending searches and topics with different demographics.

While each marketing agency or SEO expert will have different lists of SEO tools, the common theme is to use tools to measure website effectiveness, keyword use, and to optimize the website for best performance.

A few great free SEO tools include:

  • Google Console
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Google’s Mobile Friendly Test
  • Yoast WordPress Plugin
  • People Also Ask
  • Answer The Public
  • Google Analytics
  • CanIRank

There are so many other free and paid SEO tools available to help you optimize not only your website, but also your online posts and blogs, social media posts, business listings, and ad campaigns.

Paid tools tend to offer more services and help businesses get ahead faster, but if you can’t afford them or are just getting started with SEO, free tools are absolutely worth using.

SEO Tools & Tips

Many businesses aren’t sure where to begin with SEO and need a place to start. Besides hiring a dedicated SEO expert or marketing agency to handle SEO, consider trying popular SEO tools and simple tips to get your business and website optimized for better online ranking.

If you haven’t optimized for local search or aren’t sure why local SEO is important for your business, we’ve put together some of the best ways to determine how to implement SEO and ensure that local customers can find your business online and visit in person or call for service.

Try these local SEO strategies to help your business right away:

Get a Google My Business Account–Google My Business is the result panel that appears on the right side of search results and describes a business. Set up a Google My Business account so that searchers can easily find your business online and locate it on maps when looking for directions. Google creates a repository of information on your business and displays it in Google My Business, which increases your rank and credibility.

Choose the Right Domain Name–Choose a domain name (website) that reflects your business and will not be easily mistaken for another business or similar company. By choosing a relevant and unique domain name, there will be no confusion when people visit your website or decide whether your website is associated with your business. Sometimes your domain name will already be taken, and you will have to find the next best domain. You may even want to select multiple domains related to your business.

Integrate Relevant Keywords–If you have a business but don’t provide an accurate description of it or the products or services you offer, Google’s search algorithm, along with others, will not be able to grab pieces of information to display for your business in search results. Integrate keywords that are relevant to your business in the new site pages or blog posts that you create. You can use free keyword research tools to help choose the best terms for your industry or specific business.

Keep Content Fresh–Write more content on your website and update any information regularly. For blog posts or industry related content, write longer posts that are sure to show up in search results for that topic. A good minimum length suggestion is around 500 words, but in general longer is better when it comes to blogs. Google prioritizes new content, so in order to show up in results, you need to keep updating content.

Use Links– To tie back to your site, use links from other websites, ads, social media posts, and more. This promotes regular traffic to the website and ensures that your website can be reached from many locations. Links also provide better opportunities to track where people are coming from online, in addition to information about who they are.

Reviews Matter Too– Respond to every review you receive, even if it’s a simple “thank you”. This includes responding to negative reviews to see how to correct any issue that resulted in a negative experience. People like to see that businesses care about their customers and are willing to fix mistakes or make the best of a bad situation. Many searchers read reviews and tend to search a business name online along with the term “review” to read about a product, service, or business before they try it.

Create Social Media Accounts–Create social media accounts for your small business on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other social media networking websites or industry specific social media platforms that make sense for your business. Social media helps potential customers find your website, interact with your brand, and learn more about what your business has to offer.

Add Local Citation Fixing–All the information about your website should be the same on each page (such as name, address, phone number, location, etc.). These factors (NAP) are one of the top local ranking criteria. Staying consistent with this information helps people find your business faster and ensures they have the right information to contact or visit you. Additionally, Google pulls contact and business information from your website to show in search results.

Pay Attention to Traffic–Check out Google Console, which is a free SEO tool that is helpful to understand your site’s search traffic and performance. This tool provides one of the best representations and analysis of why local SEO is important for your business and can provide tips to make your website perform better in Google search results. Search Console teaches you how to optimize your search appearance on Google and increase organic traffic to your website.

Get Local SEO For Your Business

Jives Media provides customized local search engine optimization services. We have experience working with optimizing for local search and offer complete SEO services to ensure your website sends the right message and attracts the right customers. Understand why local SEO is important for your business and attract more customers.

We provide the best local SEO services, tailored to fit your business needs. Our dedicated team of SEO experts analyze marketing performance data to ensure your campaign is optimized to produce the greatest results, using real time analysis, KPIs, and reporting.

We implement the findings from our analysis to help your digital marketing campaign and web site thrive. Through ongoing optimization, we ensure every aspect of your digital marketing strategy and campaign are garnering the best results possible to attract local customers and grow your business.

We help launch your business or organization to the top of the search results with our seamless optimization process. Give Jives Media a call or contact us on our website.

Categories
Featured SEO Web Design Agency

Things to Consider Before Hiring A Web Design Agency

Things to Consider Before Hiring A Web Design Agency

Grow your business and attract new site visitors and leads through a new, optimized website. Find an experienced website design agency to create a fresh, responsive website design or transform an old, outdated site to bring in new customers and increase sales.

An up-to-date website helps your business show up higher in search results to ensure that customers find you online first, as opposed to finding and visiting your competitors’ sites. It can be difficult to commit to a website design agency, especially if you have never worked with a designer or agency before.

Check out the top things you should consider before hiring a web design agency to create a new site for your business and ensure the final site design is everything you want.

What Experience Does the Agency Have

What Experience Does the Agency Have?

What experience does the agency have, and do they have a portfolio of client work? Inquire as to whether they have created mobile responsive sites before and get an idea for their standard of work. Look at the agency’s online reviews and client ratings, or ask around for suggestions from family, friends, and colleagues.

If the agency has other clients in a similar field or industry to yours, you will get a better understanding of what requirements you may need for your website and how the final design will look.

An experienced agency will likely have more work experience; however, do not discount a younger agency altogether. An up-and-coming agency can offer fresh ideas and often have equally capable designers that will complete your site design at a lower price point.

What Kind of Website Does Your Business Need

What Kind of Website Does Your Business Need?

Do you need a simple website listing company information or a more complex site design for eCommerce, online interactions, or service offerings? If you aren’t sure what site functionality you need, consult with a few different agencies an get an idea of what they typically provide.

Regardless of what needs you have for the site, it should be mobile responsive so that mobile users can access the site with ease and will have a positive user experience.

Make a design wish list or must-haves list before getting started and ensure the agency can fulfill all those items. Talk to the agency about what they suggest for site design and how the new website will benefit your business in that format.

Who Will Be Completing the Design

Who Will Be Completing the Design?

When discussing your new website, ask who will be completing the work. Is the design and development all done in-house, or will the company outsource certain aspects?

This distinction between who will be completing the work and from which location can affect the time it takes to complete the website, along with any communication and back and forth you might need to have with site designers to get the final website completed.

If possible, try to meet with the designers who will be handing your new website design and development, and if that isn’t possible then at least ensure you can talk to your project manager or project point of contact.

What Is the Expected Timeline

What Is the Expected Timeline?

Prior to officially hiring a design agency to create a new website, you should determine the expected design and completion timeline.

Ask how long it will take to complete the website and what will happen if there are unexpected delays or if you have design changes for the team.

Web design and development takes longer than most people think, especially with complex or unique designs. Prepare for hiccups in the process and include some flexibility in the schedule for design changes and reviewing. (are you on a tight deadline for opening a business or a grand opening?)

Do You Need A Customized Website

Do You Need A Customized Website?

Determine if you need a simple website design, a more complex design, or a completely unique custom site design. Keep in mind that the more complex the website is, the longer it will take to complete and the more expensive the work will be.

Ask whether the company provides customized web design services that will meet your needs and if they have any suggestions for custom design work.

It can be helpful to go into a meeting knowing exactly what you need, sitemap in hand, but realistically many new businesses or individuals in need of a website don’t understand what their needs are.

After a discussion, you may find that a preexisting template fits your needs, or that the new website will only need a few custom sections as opposed to a complete design from scratch.

What Is the Website Development & Design Process

What Is the Website Development & Design Process?

When considering hiring a website design agency, inquire about their process, including different steps and timelines for completing work, and any effort required from your end.

Discuss what happens if there is an issue that requires additional time or reworks.

Are there certain steps that you will need to take or items you need to provide prior to the agency beginning work? Make sure to outline the design/development process and establish a timeline for deliverables and reviewing.

What Is Included With Website Design & Development

What Is Included With Website Design & Development?

Get an idea of what is included with website creation, including any SEO, content, or initial support.

While some agencies will scrimp on anything other than the website to offer a lower price, you might want to pay up for a better overall experience for visitors and higher search engine rankings for your website.

Find out if the agency has “add on” capabilities, such as marketing strategy, branding, copywriting, content marketing, lead generation, marketing automation, and SEO, among others. You may find that a website alone is not enough to sustain your business or draw in new leads after a certain point.

Ask about the items that you should produce–will you need to provide media and content or can the team product those things in-house (either from stock images or their own media) with some input or guidance from your end?

What about SEO

What about SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is what helps your website appear in relevant search results and a new website should be optimized before going live and may need to be optimized on a regular basis as search terms change over time.

In order to attract more visitors to your new website and ensure that it shows up in Google search results, your site should be optimized with relevant keywords, backlinks, a fast loading page speed, proper web security, mobile-friendly features, meta details, tags, and technical SEO.

While you don’t have to hire the same website design agency to implement SEO for your site, they will likely be able to implement these items faster and more efficiently than a new company that has to take over managing the SEO for your website.

Do You Get Along with the Agency

Do You Get Along with the Agency?

If you can’t see eye to eye with the web design agency you hire, then it’s likely that the entire web design process will leave you feeling underwhelmed and unsatisfied.

Do you get a positive feeling about their work or team from discussions with the company or website designers? You should feel comfortable with the team and point of contact, especially if you need to make edits or corrections.

While each agency is going to have a different culture, it’s important to have productive discussions and maintain some level of trust throughout the design process with the agency you hire to create your new website.

How Much Will It Cost

How Much Will It Cost?

Cost is a big factor when it comes to hiring a website design agency. When meeting with different agencies, provide the same scope of work for each and inquire about an estimated cost for the proposed work.

Do some research and ask yourself whether the cost reflects the quality expected in website design of the caliber you expect.

Get cost estimates from several different agencies and compare the quality relative to the quoted price. Some agencies will charge more but have a quality of work that is well worth the extra cost.

Ensure that you have gotten a great website for the money, but don’t cheap out either. Make sure to discuss payment as well. Many agencies require funds up from, while others take half payment before completing work and half after delivering the finished website.

How Is Hosting Handled

How Is Hosting Handled?

How does the agency handle website hosting? If you don’t like the host that they typically use, are there better options available?

There are a variety of website platforms and hosting options, some better than others. A good web design agency should be able to discuss the pros and cons of different hosts with you.

Learn how often will there be site backups and how long will your site be backed up? Having access to your site information is important in case you decide to move to a new host or get a new website in the future.

Is There A Content Management System (CMS) For Your Website

Is There A Content Management System (CMS) For Your Website?

A content management system allows you to update and make changes to your website without the need for coding. Some common CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, Wix, and SharePoint, among many others.

Whether the agency uses a system you are familiar with or something you’ve never heard of, you should be able to make simple edits to the site, update content, photos, and add new pages with ease (no coding needed).

How will you update your website? Will you do the work yourself or depend on the company? Discuss what logins and final ownership will you have of the website, along with any training or user guides the agency will provide for your website’s CMS.

What Does Post-Launch Support Look Like

What Does Post-Launch Support Look Like?

Ask what support the web design agency provides after your site has been launched.

From small adjustments and walking you through the new site design to updates upon request, it’s best to find out how the agency plans to transition support after the site is live so you aren’t left hanging when an issue crops up unexpectedly.

Some agencies may have support plans, while others may offer guidance or a demo to show you how to make changes yourself. How accessible is the agency? Find out whether you will have to submit an online ticket to fix something or you can email contact at the agency with questions or issues.

Contact Us

Jives Media is a web design agency in San Francisco, California consisting of award-winning web designers, growth hackers, and MBA brand strategists. In 2012, we decided to bring our unique superpowers together to form one lethal web development and digital marketing team.

We help organizations from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 corporations meet their marketing goals while serving a wide range of industries. Our experience in responsive web design and development, digital marketing, and analytics allow us to serve as a triple threat for our clients.

Jives Media will create a sleek, powerful, and mobile-responsive site that is tailored to your business needs–3x faster than from any of our competitors.

Our team helps create innovative and stunning websites so that your business gets off the ground running, with analytics and measurable results starting from launch day. Contact us online today for a web design consultation.

Categories
Featured SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization?

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Neil Patel puts it best here 
Definition: Search engine optimization is usually abbreviated by three letters: SEO. SEO is the art of ranking high on a search engine in the unpaid section, also known as the organic listings.

You can think of SEO like the motor of your car, or the brains behind your website. Without SEO, your website will not be moving up the Google’s ranks anytime soon. Companies that invest in website SEO will have a higher chance of showing up at the top of Google. Why is this important? It is important because Google controls the majority of all search traffic. Therefore, it is critical to keep their algorithms happy and invest in SEO. You will want to work with a marketing specialist or SEO master who specializes in Search Engine Optimization.

SEO - Jives Media
What SEO Can Do For Your Website

What to look for when hiring an SEO expert? 

When interviewing SEO marketers, ask them about their experience. Specifically, look at the number of sites they have worked on and see if they rank. Ideally, you want to work with an agency that has worked with multiple sites and industries. Each company/site has its own unique issues, and to be an SEO expert and best in class, they will have need  the necessary skills and experience to tackle whatever SEO problems come their way.

You will also want to ask about the marketer’s wins and losses. Get them to talk about their experience. SEO experts love to talk about their wins, but it is equally important to discuss challenges they have faces and how they were able to solve for them.

SEO is complicated. It is full of ups and downs, and tons of technical issues that can dramatically improve or crush a rank of a website.

Don’t buy cheap SEO

Effective SEO is not cheap, nor should it. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The goal of SEO is to help rank your site. Someone who is charging you $300 a month is likely not putting in the required time or has the experience to get your site ranked. Think of it like an investment, pay someone who is highly qualified now, and enjoy the return on investment for years.

Learn more about what SEO is, how it works, and how your website can benefit by contacting us today!