We say this a lot, and we’ll say it again: Things are moving fast in this digital age, and that’s particularly true in local search. The changes come hard and fast, and you have to be able to adapt quickly. Businesses that adapt will thrive; those that do not will have a hard time just trying to survive. Here are several things to keep in mind:
Focus on user experience:
Over the past few years, searchers have become much savvier at zeroing in on exactly what they want to find online. They’ve developed high expectations of being able to accomplish certain tasks. For example, customers expect to be able to accomplish most of their banking needs, set up doctor appointments, pay their utility bills and even check their children’s grades in real time.
Sites that don’t immediately these wants and needs are quickly abandoned; those that provide great user experiences earn repeat visits, longer and deeper browsing, email harvesting, and more opportunities to gain conversions.
Usability is crucial to the success of your business website. It does no good to have a site that’s just pretty or ranks highly in search engine results if no one can use the thing.
This is another point we note often, but it bears repeating: The Web has gone mobile. Having a site that’s compatible for the mobile user is the bare minimum. The mobile version of your site must be fast, functional and responsive to whatever device it is being viewed on. It can’t just be compatible; it must be optimized for the best user experience on every device.
Just because your site doesn’t look broken on a mobile device, that doesn’t mean it’s appealing or functional for users. If a visitor has to scroll around too much to find what she wants or zoom way in to click a link, she’s going to find a more user-friendly site. Test your site on as many devices as you can. Make sure your site works great for everyone.
This term refers to getting listed on other Web sites that already rank for terms that you wish to rank for. People use those sites to look for businesses similar to yours, so having a presence on them can result in referrals that might otherwise go to competitors who are listed in places where you’re not listed.
Barnacle listings also provide you with citations that help to improve your rankings in Google Maps, as long as they are consistent with what you put in your Google local listing and on your website. They also provide your customers solid places where they can leave reviews and ratings about your company.
These types of listings have recently taken on additional importance in Google local search results. Algorithm changes have allowed strong directory sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and others resurface in the top organic spots for many local searches. Ring Ring Marketing can help you find great “barnacles” for your business site.