The internet is a fast-paced, ever-changing world. It’s not just about potential customers finding you when they’re looking for you – it’s also because competitors can take away your business if they rank higher than you on the search engine results pages.
If your website doesn’t have a strong SEO strategy in place, then you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle trying to get traffic from Google and other search engines. That said, there are some ways that every small business with a local presence should consider optimizing their webpage for better rankings in SERPs (search engine result pages).
So, what does that mean for small businesses?
Should you be worried about your website’s presence on Google and other search engines? Let’s take a look at some examples of sites that are doing a great job optimizing their content to rank well in SERPs.
Pizza chains use structured data or schema markup properly so both the structure of their webpages, as well as the actual data about a food product is identified to Google.
When you search for pizza near your location on Google or various other search engines (like Bing and Yahoo), the websites that are using structured data will show up at the top of the organic results with a snippet from Wikipedia directly below it.
You’ll have some competition – but if you play the structured data game right, you’ll be doing very well with both customers and search engines.
Google rewards any website that uses structured data properly, especially if it’s long-form text content about a business. There are some ways that every small business with a local presence should consider optimizing their webpage for better rankings in SERPs (search engine result pages).
Using schema and microdata can help give your site the boost it needs to rank in SERPs, so long as you do it correctly. Here are some ways your local business can use structured data in their content to get the boost needed for higher rankings:
1) Use schema markup on product pages –
If you own an eCommerce site, then figuring out how to best implement structured data on your product pages is a great place to start. Using schema on your product pages can help boost your rankings if you’re trying to rank for long-tail keywords (like the name of the book or movie you sell).
2) Use structured data when creating blog posts –
Creating longer-form content about your company, products, and services? Then you should use structured data to help boost your rankings. Try making a page on your website that’s completely dedicated to each product you offer, and use the structured data tag to describe each one thoroughly.
3) Use microdata correctly –
Adding microdata using HTML is fairly straightforward. Add <code> </code> tags before and after the information about a particular product, and fill it out completely for an accurate description. Your search engine results will be even better if you can figure out a way to add in other relevant data – like reviews of your products from customers.
4) Use Schema markups on your blog posts –
If you’re creating longer-form content (like blog posts), then you should use the schema as well. Let Google know that a particular blog post is going to be about a certain product or service by adding the proper headers in HTML code, and then filling out the XML code for your actual content. This will help you with both relevant keywords and SERP rankings if Google’s algorithms see that you’re on top of using Schema.org markup.
5) Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date HTML tags –
The semantics of the code on your website will help Google understand what it’s dealing with first before it even looks at any other information about your site and its content. Using the right tags is important, so make sure to always use the most up-to-date HTML codes. If you’re not sure how to use them, make sure to ask an expert as they will be able to help you understand which tags are best for your website and your business.
6) Don’t rely on one type of structured data –
There isn’t just one type of structured data that will help you with your SEO. You need to figure out how to use both microdata and schema correctly, in addition to any other content you have on your website. Mixing them will make Google’s job a lot easier when it comes time to determine which websites deserve the top results for special keywords or phrases.
7) Use structured data on your blog posts –
Using structured data correctly on blog posts can help you out in many ways. Not only will it give you some great optimization boosts for search engines, but it’ll also make sure that your site’s content is easy to understand by Google.
8) Be aware of how the different types of structured data are used for SEO –
Using just one type of structured data isn’t enough for good SEO anymore. You need to know how to use each type in the right way, depending on your website’s content and the product or service you’re trying to promote.
9) Don’t forget about local companies in your area –
Do you live in a metropolitan area? If so, then it’s very important to remember that local companies need the most structured data possible on their websites. Use Schema.org for your business listings, as well as any other types of businesses or places in your area that you want to rank for.
10) Remember to fill out descriptions completely –
Sometimes when you’re using structured data, it can be easy to get a bit lazy. Always remember to fill out your descriptions completely, and make sure they’re always consistent with the keywords you’ve chosen for your product or service.
11) Use broad category markup –
If you want to boost your SEO rankings when it comes to local businesses, then you need to make sure that Google is aware of how highly relevant your content is when it comes to your businesses. Make sure that all of the sub-categories are filled out properly, and that you’re using broad category markup for each one.
12) Use microdata for your user reviews –
If your site has user reviews on it, then you should make sure to use microdata correctly so that Google can get a better idea of what the product or service is, and how it might relate to potential customers in your area.
13) Understand all the different types of structured data –
You need to learn about all the different types of structured data if you want to be able to properly use them for SEO purposes. Not only will this help boost your SEO rankings, but you’ll also feel more confident in your ability to use them correctly.
14) Know which structured data to focus on –
Don’t try to worry about every type of structured data available at once when it comes time for optimization efforts. Instead, focus on the two or three that work best for your business and give you the biggest boosts. The rest can be optimized at a later date, as long as you don’t forget about them.
15) Make sure to keep your structured data updated –
It’s easy to think that structured data isn’t going to matter much when it comes time for search engines like Google to rank your site for certain keywords and phrases. However, as time passes and new algorithms take place, you can bet that structured data will matter more than ever. Don’t let things slip or you might get buried by the competition.
16) Use schema for local businesses –
If there’s anything that Google loves, it’s speed- so if your website is slow, then you’re going to have a tough time rising to the top of search engine rankings. You don’t have to sacrifice quality content for speed, but you do need a way to optimize your data and site as much as possible for Google’s needs. Schema is one option worth considering
17) Keep an eye on the semantic web –
You should never lose focus when it comes down to optimizing your site for search engines, but you should also keep an eye on the semantic web. What this means is that you need to make sure that you’re minding how data is presented in other locations- not just on your own website.
18) Make sure everything is consistent –
When it comes down to structured data, consistency is going to be the key to success. The more consistent you are, the better off your SEO rankings will be in the long run. Keep it simple and easy to read and understand- and watch as your rankings rise over time!
19) Make sure that server speed is up –
One of the biggest issues you’re going to run into when it comes to SEO is making sure that your server speed is up to par. If it’s not, then you’re going to have a very hard time trying to optimize your website properly and boost your rankings in the search engines as much as possible.
19) Make sure there are no mistakes –
One of the biggest issues you’re going to run into when it comes to using structured data on your website is making sure that you’re not going to make any mistakes. Think about which types of issues might affect your user experience, and then try to minimize them as much as possible.
20) Make sure Google can understand everything –
Sometimes the best way to boost your results in search engine rankings for local businesses is to make sure that Google can understand everything you’re presenting. If there are issues with the way it processes information, then you won’t be able to properly boost your page ranking or get the most out of structured data.
21) Understand why search engines like Google prefer sites with structured data –
There are many reasons why search engines like Google prefer sites that are using structured data. This involves everything from making it easier to read for both humans and search engine bots, to stemming the spread of online spam and other malicious content as much as possible. It’s important to understand these reasons and then embrace them if you want a better chance at boosting your rankings in Google.
22) Test and experiment –
As you start to embrace the use of structured data for local businesses, then it’s a good idea to test out different combinations and see what works best. This can be done by making small changes over time and keeping track of how much traffic you’re getting in Google, as well as other search engines.
23) Make sure there is no duplicate content –
If there is any duplicate content on your website without the relevant use of schema, then you’re going to have a very hard time getting ahead in search engine rankings. You need to avoid this at all costs if you want to boost your page ranking and enjoy more success over time!
24) Pick the right format for keywords –
Another thing that you’re going to want to keep your eye on when it comes down to using structured data is making sure that you’re picking the right format for specific keywords. If there are multiple ways to approach a certain topic, then always go with the one that’s most relevant and properly matches search engine ranking patterns.
25) Make sure user experience isn’t affected –
All things being equal, you’re going to want to make sure that your user experience isn’t negatively impacted by the use of certain keywords and phrases in your content. You don’t want it to be too difficult for users to navigate through your site or find the specific information they might be looking for balance is very important!
26) Make sure to embrace new content –
It’s also a good idea to keep tabs on new content and how your audience might like it. If you’re producing something that is going to provide value for users and boost your search engine rankings, then it’s definitely worth the time investment!
27) Avoid duplicate titles-
Sometimes one of the best ways to get ahead of the competition and boost your search engine rankings is to make sure that you’re not making any mistakes with duplicate titles. This can be a real problem if you have too many keywords stuffed into one title, or if there’s no clear distinction between what you are selling.
28) Avoid duplicate meta descriptions-
It’s also important for you to pay attention to duplicate meta descriptions. If these are being placed on the same pages, then it could be affecting your search engine ranking patterns negatively. It’s best if you focus on making sure that each page has individualized meta descriptions that do an effective job of attracting clicks and boosting traffic!
29) Avoid duplicate images-
Much like duplicate meta descriptions, it’s a good idea to avoid using duplicate images on relevant pages. There are many ways that you can do this, including making sure that each image is properly labeled with the right keywords and phrases as well as unique alt attributes.
30) Make sure there is no spam –
Finally, don’t forget to check over everything thoroughly for spam. This can be anything from using poor grammar or even including links you don’t approve of to someone who might have hacked your site. If you want to be taken seriously in the eyes of Google, then it’s important to eliminate as much spam as possible!
SEO strategies for small businesses with a local presence are important.
It’s not just about potential customers finding you when they’re looking for you- it’s also because competitors can take away your business if they rank higher than you on the search engine results pages.
There is lots of information to cover, so we recommend that you check out our blog post “How to Optimize Your Website For Structured Data” to get started and have some guidance along the way! The Alignment Online team is here to help; contact us today at https://alignmentonline.com/