Getting Beyond the Keywords: 5 SEO Tips for Local Businesses
by Hayley Campbell
When we talk about search engine optimization (SEO), we often focus on keywords. But that isn’t the only factor that plays into your SERP ranking. In fact, there are many lesser-known SEO tips for local businesses that can have a major impact on the performance of your website, landing pages, and blog content.
Whether you’re looking for a few simple tips to boost your website ranking or are building a top-to-bottom SEO strategy for your local business, here are 5 tasks to prioritize.
Optimize Your Images
Alt image text is often misunderstood and underrated, but it’s nonetheless important. Besides relying on it to find images relevant to image searches (like the one above), search engines also check alt text to get more context about the web page the image is found on.
As a result, the short phrases you attach to your images can boost your SERP ranking for your predefined keyword. The key is to be descriptive and accurate, without stuffing as many keywords as possible into the tag.
Improve Your Site Speed
Websites that take more than 1-2 seconds to load don’t just deal with a higher bounce rate. They also struggle to rank. The reason being: search algorithms prioritize site speed as one of their ranking factors. And nearly all SEO monitoring tools like Ubersuggest and SEMRush take speed into account when auditing a site.
If you’re already working with a solid web hosting provider, though, you may feel like there’s not much you can do to shave some seconds (or milliseconds) off your load time. But thankfully, there are. Here are just a few:
- Compress images to make rendering faster
- Enable browser caching to speed up load time for repeat visitors
- Minimize the number of redirects you use on your site
Fix Broken Links
Search algorithms crawl your website regularly to find new content you might’ve published and see how your pages are performing. But if they’re met 404 errors frequently, your SEO ranking will take a nosedive. For that reason, fixing broken links is a non-negotiable task.
Arguably, the easiest way to handle broken links is to use an SEO audit tool to identify the problem pages and then explore each page individually to see what went wrong. If the content has been moved to a new URL, the best course of action is to reroute the old URL to the new one via a 301 redirect. But if the page has been removed altogether, the URL should be as well.
Search engines are designed to find the most relevant information for every single search. And the way they do that is pretty clever. In addition to keywords, bounce rate, and the time your visitors spend on your site – these algorithms look at the reach of your content. The more often it’s cited and shared, the more helpful the algorithm assumes it is and the higher it ranks it.
Gaining backlinks can be challenging if you don’t have a lot of industry rapport or a large network, though. Luckily, we can make it a little easier. Connect with us here to see how we can help you get more backlinks.
Clean Up Your URLs
While your visitors aren’t looking at your URL when they click through to your website from a Google results page, your URL does play a role in your ranking. Why? Because like your titles, headers, and keywords, the URL tells the search engine what your content is all about.
So, how do you optimize your URLs for search algorithms? Two ways. Keep it short and sweet, and include your SEO keyword in some form. For a blog post, the easiest way to do this is by shortening the title and adding it to the end of your primary business URL, like so:
Title: Getting Beyond the Keywords: 5 SEO Tips for Local Businesses
For a website, this is even easier, as you can simply plug a one to two word description of the page at the end of the core URL. Here are a few examples of what a services page might look like:
Keywords are critical to your SEO strategy – but they aren’t the only factor that matters to your ranking. To maximize the value of your website and blog, you also need to optimize your images and URLs, fix your links, get backlinks, and speed up your site’s load time.
We get how time-consuming and difficult these tasks can be without the right support, though. That’s why we offer a full suite of SEO services. With years of experience and a deep understanding of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, we have the expertise to help you achieve long-term growth and gains for your business. Check out our services here.