seo for local businesses

How can SEO Develop Momentum In Your Organization?

SEO can dramatically impact your business and your website when done correctly. Although if your SEO campaign is managed incorrectly it can have the opposite effect and negatively impact your business.

So what is SEO and why is it so important?

SEO is search engine optimization and sometimes referred to as SEM or search engine marketing. Although the two are a little different you may hear those terms interchanged. Search engines are basically online libraries. Similar to books in the library, the easier a book is to find or the more it is promoted the more it will be checked out and read.

So when we think of SEO in those terms it isn’t too difficult to understand the very basics of what we need to do to rank well in the search engines.

Clear topic – Using headlines that summarize the content to follow tells the search engines what the web page is about. Visually we see the headlines as a larger font, bolded type or different colors. The search engine bots don’t see these changes as easily so we use codes in the text to create “H tags” (larger font).

social media for organic seo rankingsRelevant content – Additionally, our content following the headline should be relevant to the heading. So if our headline is “potty training a puppy” the content should only be about potty training puppies. If you want a page to have multiple topics they should be closely related. So in the above example “potty training a puppy” should not have another topic about “the best food for an aging dog”. Keep your page topics closely related and create different pages for topics that are not closely related. One exception to this rule is if you have for example, a “services” page that summarizes all of the services you offer with a link to pages that provide more detail on each topic.

Website promotion – Just as with a good book, you need to promote your website. When a book hits the best seller list it is more likely to be sought after. Promoting your website comes from the quality and quantity of links pointing to your website. It is really important to understand that quality is more important than quantity of links. Quality links are links from relevant and trusted sites. A coveted link for someone in the home improvement industry would be a link from Bob Villa’s website or another well known, high authority, relevant site. Relevance is extremely important as well. So having a link from webmd.com to a plumber would be of little value. Even though webmd is a high authority link it isn’t relevant to a plumber but would be a coveted link for a doctor. One exception to the relevancy example is for local businesses. Local links are a great addition to your link profile. For example if you’ve sponsored a local kids football team, getting a link from their site to yours would be a good relevant link. So if you live in Omaha and get a non-relevant link from a junior football league in Chicago, it would have little impact on your website quality.

Success breads greater success – Just like a good book that is always checked out, the more traffic (visitors) your website has the more value the search engines place on your website. Of course this does mean that visitors need to stay on your site for a little while and hopefully browse around. When they click on your site, don’t find what they are looking for, and click away quickly it is considered a bounce. Search engines read this signal as “oops! not what you were looking for”. Too many bounces for a specific keyword or phrase will tell the search engines that they need to serve up something different for their customer. The end result for your website is lower rankings.

Word of mouth – Have you ever had a friend tell you about a great book they just read? The same thing goes for your website. Social signals pointing back to your site is interpreted by the search engines as popularity. “So many people are talking about and sharing this content… hmm, it must be good.”

Understanding SEO at a high level will help you begin to understand what you can do to positively impact your website rankings. The greater your website rankings, the more visitors, inquiries and sales your business will have. Get your website ready for 2017 with a quick, easy and free website audit. Find out how the search engines see your website and what you need to do to fix your site for better rankings.

website design for small business

Improving The Conversion Rate Of Your Website

The home improvement industry as well as some other service industries have a greater need for an easy to navigate website. So when it comes to our websites all the shiny bells and whistles look great but if a visitor can’t find what they need quickly, they just move on.

Here we are going to take a look at some features that will help increase the leads and sales conversions generated from your website.

Contact information – most people will pick up the phone and call for service repairs and they are hoping to speak with someone right now. Most homeowners will get a list of contractors and start dialing, looking for a quote or to get an answer to a problem. If they have to hunt for your companies contact information, they lose interest and go to the next website. Make sure your contact information is easily visible on every page. The top right corner is the most common practice and is easy for consumers to find. It is also a good idea to have it in the footer as well. And of course you should have a contact page with your phone number prominently displayed.
Contact forms – Some consumer still prefer email to narrow down the top few contractors they want to speak with. It isn’t always easy for consumers to get away from work to manage their personal home maintenance needs so an easy to find quote form is ideal. Keep your forms short and simple, getting just the important information needed to provide a quote. The home improvement industry doesn’t always lend itself to accurate quotes via the internet so in these instances find out the best time and number to contact the consumer. Your contact form should be on the home page, most if not all of your inner pages and definitely on your contact page.

Services – break down your services into easy to navigate pages. So for example you might have a page or section dedicated to residential services and another for commercial services. Or a repairs page and replacement page. Whatever makes the most sense for you industry. Your services and links to the inner pages should be prominently displayed on the home page so your visitors can easily find what they need.

Simple but attractive website – Unless you service a high end clientele, a simple design that is easy to navigate and looks nice will do the trick. Avoid light colored text on a dark background. Studies have found that most people will not read an entire site that is opposite of the norm. Now this isn’t always the case…. some light text on dark performs well so just be cautious going down this road.

I have seen some unattractive website perform well when they follow the guidelines above so there is no silver bullet when it comes to website conversions but the list laid out in this article will help 80% of website perform better. Contact Social Climb for your free consultation.

8 Best Practices for Website Design

 

Track Your Online Business

Set objectives with Google Analytics Goal Tracking

If you didn’t already know, Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to measure the performance of your website. One of its more powerful abilities is Goal Tracking, which allows you to create and measure specific user actions on your website, such as shopping cart purchases, blog article reads, or recommendations on social media. With this information you can measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns, test which of two layouts is best, and determine the success of your business’s social media page.

Our Social Climb team uses Goal Tracking as a part of the website optimization process for our clients, as well as during launch promotion planning. For those of you who are interested in managing these tools yourself, or learning about some of the components we can help you use, here are three of Analytics’ most useful features:

URL Tracking
google analytics toolsThere are a variety of ways that people arrive at your site and finding out which are working hardest for you is a crucial part of maintaining a steady stream of visitors. URL tracking allots you the ability to create custom URL addresses for gathering data from specific sources. You can check your search marketing campaigns, track repeating customers and how they purchase the items in their shopping cart, all by assigning these addresses to Analytics to oversee.

Funnels are a useful asset to URL tracking in which you specify a route through the various pages of your website. User data is then collected on the progress and frequency of that route. You use your custom addresses you’ve created and track the path taken to arrive at a secondary address. For instance, you set up a funnel between a particular item to the last step in your shopping cart to track how many people are purchasing that product. This allows you to see whether visitors are completing the funnel in the way you expect, or whether there are problems (such as visitors leaving before checking out), highlighting where improvements can be made in order for the desired transaction to occur.

Duration & Page Visits
Analytics keeps track of how long a visitor has been on your site based on recorded arrival and departure time stamps. The only drawback of the time stamp system is that the duration cannot be measured until a visitor has left one page for another, even if they have been there for hours. Duration is useful for monitoring how involved visitors are with your content and detecting the speed with which people are navigating. Specifying duration goals, such as setting a limit of three minutes, would alert you of how many people had stayed on a particular page for three minutes or more.

You can also monitor page visits; who is visiting, how often and how quickly they proceed. Statistics gathered from this section will determine the level of user-friendliness your site exudes.

Events
Events with Goal Tracking are just goal items you wish to track that don’t already fall into one of the above categories. A few items that can be considered Events, are:
Social media links that lead back to your site to monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaign.

Downloads on your site; are your resources being used?
Videos or photo galleries; are they useful or just filling up space?
Other external sources of traffic to your website, such as in email blasts or newsletters.
If you can name it, you can most likely track it in Events, down to a single mouse click.

Knowing is half the battle
Google Analytics provides an extensive set of tools and yields a great deal of information about the success and usability of your website, empowering you to measure the results of your efforts. Without empirical data about how your site is used and which strategies are effective, any effort to improve the way you do business online is tantamount to guesswork.

Social Climb’s marketing specialists are experienced in crafting digital strategies to suit your unique business needs. Whether you hire us to assist you or plan to do it yourself, Goal Tracking should be an integral part of your marketing efforts. To find out how your company can benefit from the use of Goal Tracking to improve website performance, feel free to contact us.

contractor leads

Who Is Looking For You On The Internet?

Everyone!

Even if they don’t know exactly what they need, chances are most people are looking for a skilled contractor who can fix whatever is broken, damaged, or in need of maintenance around their homes. From fence installations to bathroom remodeling and from landscaping to home automation, every homeowner and tenant with access to the internet, will look for home improvement services online, from their computers and even most likely, their phones.

The people looking for DIY tutorials one day are the same people looking for repairs, maintenance, and other related services the next day.

Other people, who don’t have time for DIY projects, are constantly looking for contractors who can take over whatever home improvement project they have in mind. So every day, hundreds of people go online to look for specialized contractors in their specific locations, to assign them home improvement tasks of all sorts.

So we know the internet is one of the biggest sources for contractors to find more customers and make more sales but are people buying?

According to a study by The Farnsworth Group contractors are optimistic about 2017. Their study turned up an increase of 5-10% in 2017.

home improvement leads

 

So the next big question for home improvement contractors is….

 

What’s A Cost Effective Way To Capture This Business Growth?

There are basically 3 ways to take advantage of online leads.

1. SEO – search engine optimization is the science or art of ranking your business website on the first page of the search engines so prospects can find you. To accomplish this you’ll need some skills and knowledge in modern SEO techniques. Alternatively you can hire an SEO company that specializes in the home improvement industry. Bear in mind that this is a process and will take time to achieve the rankings your desire

2.Paid Ads – Paid ads, PPC or pay per click ads is simply buying ads on the first page of the search results. The search engines will tell you that anyone can create an ad and achieve page 1, this is true but without some working knowledge of the system ad cost can put this out of reach for many. Hiring a company to manage the ads is a great way to go for many companies. But for most small contractor businesses the cost is just too high and out of reach.

3. Leads – Pay per lead programs have become increasingly popular. The popularity is due to the fact that this is a much more palatable option for most home improvement contractors. The cost is much lower and results are more immediate than SEO.

So if you own or manage a home improvement company and are ready to grow your business in 2017, you’ve come to the right place. Social Climb specializes in leads for home improvement businesses across the US. We work with all types of companies, from home elevator companies to roofers to window washing. Schedule a free no obligation consult with one of our experts today!

Lead Generation For Contractors

Copywriting for SEO

Quality Copywriting Earns More Customers

You can spend a lot of money building a website with all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t have engaging content, no one is going to use it. Whether you own a large eCommerce platform, a small business or blog from the comfort of your home, maintaining the interest of those visiting your website is absolutely crucial. At Social Climb, we’ve discovered an effective balance between poignant copy and strong SEO in order to get people to the websites we build as well as retaining their attention and making their visit memorable enough to return again and again.

SEO — A Balancing Act

Search Engine Optimization is the application of keywords and phrases in conjunction with marketing research processes to highlight the meaning of your webpages, helping to boost your site to the top of the organic search results in which it is highly relevant. Although marketing is key in keeping your website afloat, SEO by itself won’t build or maintain the audience you need to ensure your business’s success. Even if you’re performing well in search results and receive a lot of traffic, your visitors will leave and forget about your site all together if they aren’t engaged or impressed by your content. This is why a healthy balance between SEO and writing copy for human indulgence is vital to the strength of an online company.

blogging for seoWhen visiting a site for the first time, readers quickly determine what your content is about and whether or not it’s applicable to what they need. Long-winded SEO paragraphs or sentences stuffed chock-full of keywords written for GoogleBot are not going to provide a positive outcome for your visitors. Copy written for humans should be specific, easily understood and — due to the rapidity at which people browse — scannable.

At Social Climb, we focus on writing copy and applying SEO as a single, blended procedure. While our talented marketing team are experts at researching the best SEO application for your site’s success, we find a way to apply search-targeted terminology organically into your copy to keep your visitors reading through to the end. People don’t read advertisements; they read what’s interesting to them, which is why it is important to not only think about what’s in it for your organization, but also, what’s in it for your customer?

Tell Your Story

If your business has a story, chances are, you’ll want to tell it. Humans are natural storytellers; we seek tradition and relationships in our everyday interactions. When a co-worker tells an anecdote about their weekend, our brain automatically goes: “That reminds me of the time when I…” Relating our own experiences to stories told by others is how we establish our footing.

So, if you have a story, tell it. Too often are “About Us” pages left scant. This is where people go to learn about you and look for a reason as to why they should choose your company over another. In fact, you want to incorporate philosophy, ideally one that you use to sell your product, and weave it strongly throughout every page of your website. The goal is to comfort as well as earn the trust of your site visitors — a tone that shines through clearly and aids the campaign.

An example of a company with a strong backstory, is the well-known shoe and apparel store TOMS. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, was inspired by a trip to Argentina to help those in third-world countries. Although his story has grown beyond shoes, their iconic style remains popular and his website contributes much of its space to display what the non-profit is, how it all started and their current efforts to continue that story.

Content Outside The Obvious

more sales with seoHaving good web content doesn’t stop at informational storytelling and SEO. In fact, the way you phrase your error messages, form instructions and page headers can drastically shape your users’ experience through your site as well as build a relationship with customers outside the site using email blasts, newsletters and social media.

Small, seemingly insignificant bits of content need to fit the context of your site and your user’s progress in their journey through it. Notifications such as error messages, 404 page text (when the server cannot find the requested URL) or company guidelines should all be crafted sensitively, with the user’s anticipated mood and expectations carefully taken into consideration for each individual situation. Consider whether your copy should follow a brand persona by making the 404 page consistent with the branding, which has the potential of making a frustrating moment more lighthearted and personable.

A way to continually engage with your customers and potential customers is by keeping in touch through blogs, email, newsletters and social media. At Social Climb, we publish a variety of announcements, business and technical blogs throughout the month to keep our customers engaged and educated. These are great outlets through which to build relationships, not only by continuing to communicate using your business persona but also by earning repeat visitors and links to your website.

Social media in particular is a great medium for you to provide compelling, consistent content that makes your customers feel more comfortable and conversational with a business; above all, news feeds on sites such as Twitter or Facebook are a place for casual conversation. You can then use this engagement on a more personal level to post not only conversational statuses or tweets, but also news articles, blogs or eCommerce promotions, linking customers back to your website.

In a society where we are constantly posting, uploading, tweeting and blogging, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the quantity and inconsistent quality of content these days. We don’t need more copy, we need better copy. Not only can your businesses benefit from eliminating those little grammar and spelling errors that may exist on their site, but you can also improve the user experience by having professional, personable, resonating copy that your visitors can easily locate, relate to and retain.

Social Climb can offer assistance improving existing copy or creating fresh copy for your website. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help you and your customers and we would be happy to help.

contractor lead generation

Generate More Leads For Your Home Improvement Business

Generating contractor leads and keeping your business far in the green doesn’t need to be drudgery. In fact, it does not need to be work that you do at all. For a lot of types of service providers, from remodeling, roof, cooling, plumbing, to a mix of each one of them, with a little focus, the right devices, and an investment in learning ways to utilize them, you can quickly develop leads that will bring you business that you’re looking for.

But what about the competition? The competitor is always going to exist. There will constantly be others doing exactly what you do. The way to get control in a local market is to make your voice heard over the crowd. This can be accomplished with the power of a really good web site that is optimized for online search. Let your rivals have their old methods of generating contractor leads like bulk mail, radio advertisements, and leaflets. These techniques are old and quickly becoming outdated.

leads generation for contractorsEnvision having a web site that attracts people to find your contracting business trustworthy and credible. Imagine how your business could change because they are picking up the phone and calling about your home improvement services. A website is a necessary tool for producing more leads, customers and referrals for your contracting business.

If somebody is looking to have their lawn landscaped and type into the search engine the words “landscaping service” will they discover you? Hopefully your local listing will turn up on the first page, even better the first few position and even much better, take up the whole front page. Can you afford to not to have a system like this in place?

Having your home improvement website SEO optimized for the best keywords that concern your business is a no brainer. The life time value of consumers that are trying to find you before you try to find them can’t be ignored. The internet as a constant lead source will enable you to concentrate on carrying out great and not fret about the competitors in your local market. Performing great gets consumers to come back again and again.

A little expertise or professional assistance from an SEO agency specifically for your business is the most cost effective means to generate contracting leads bar none. That’s money in the bank.

Business Success Starts With A Specialist In Online Marketing

In the world of online marketing, it has become a competitive landscape where businesses each day fight it out to get recognized. In order to succeed, you must employ an online marketing specialist to help boost your brand.

With so much competition coming from all over the world, it is imperative that you have an expert who is in tune with all the latest trends. Many people in marketing today specialize in social media, since that is what is trending at the moment. Each company looks for different ways to reach the consumer through multiple marketing platforms, but it all begins online.

When you use the internet to advertise and promote your business, you have the ability to not only reach the consumer at home, but also on their smartphones which they carry around all day. Since smartphone use is way up and getting bigger each day, it’s important to reach that audience, too.

If you are someone who is up on all the latest marketing trends, you could be a candidate to become a specialist in this area. Businesses pay big money for information about consumer habits, which is why you see many online surveys. This is just another form of marketing where you can get the consumer involved. There are many companies that specialize in running surveys to get the opinions of consumers which in turn fuels marketing efforts.

internet marketingYou need to know what the latest trends are in order to stay relevant in today’s business world. An expert in internet marketing should be aware of all the latest keywords that consumers use in the search engines.

In today’s internet, a business needs to understand and utilize search engine optimization. You must build your website that is fully optimized to take advantage of all the latest social media trends. You need to know what your potential customers search for online then sprinkle those keywords throughout your website. Your website needs to be relevant today consumers can find you on the search engines. The higher your search engine rank, the more traffic you will receive and that equates to more business.

Specializing in marketing online requires you to have a vast knowledge of all the different social media platforms. This is where it gets very tricky because what is in today might be out tomorrow. Your online marketing specialist has to be the one who can foresee what is trending now and into the future. Businesses who are in on all the latest online marketing trends will be in the best position to succeed moving forward.

Being an expert in the online world definitely has many advantages if you like to be on the internet all day long. In addition to that, you must have a love of social media, smartphones and new technology. The best part about being a specialist is that you get to see all the latest happenings in the world of technology before it becomes mainstream.

When hiring for marketing purposes, you need someone who is familiar with all the new media. This is not a position to be taken lightly and, in fact, the bottom line for each business is how well they do in online marketing.

online marketing strategies

Top Marketing Strategies To Grow A New Business

Starting a business can be the most exciting, frustrating, challenging and rewarding undertaking we ever do. Like so many we dive the business full of ideas, dreams and ambition. But sometimes all the planning doesn’t give is the dose of reality that hits us once we get started.

Some entrepreneurs hire a business coach but many go it alone… and as someone who didn’t hire a business coach, I discovered very quickly that I at least needed to get involved with like minded groups and online coaches that offered training, coaching and more importantly accountability. It’s easy to focus on the wrong things and “not see the forest for the trees”. So having gone through many challenges and at times still going through the growing pains I thought it might be of some value to share what I’ve learned.

 

  1. Identify your weaknesses early – Entrepreneurs wear many hats (especially when we are getting started), we can be everything from the janitor to the CFO when our businesses are young. This is the time to identify the things we may not be very good at, the things we really don’t like to do and the things we love about our business.
  2. Hire a coach or join a group – Get help with the things that you may not be very good at. This could be marketing, managing finances, managing employees or some other aspect of the business. There are a great number of groups that can be a voice of reason when we need it, offer guidance and information to help overcome the challenges.
  3. Find an accountability partner – There are some tasks in our business that we don’t enjoy doing and these tend to get pushed to the bottom of our to do list. An accountability partner is someone you meet with bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on your needs. You help by holding them accountable for tasks and goals in their business and they will do the same for you. There is no greater motivation than realizing you have an accountability meeting next week and you haven’t completed the task you were committed to doing before the next meeting.

 

small-business-marketing-strategiesThese 3 items are really foundational components of your business. Develop processes, structure and time frames for all the tasks needed to keep your business running and over time these will become daily, weekly and monthly habits.

 

  1. Spend 70% of your time growing your business – 70% sounds like a lot of time but sales are the life blood of every business. Without a steady stream of sales your business will become stagnant and the slightest shift in your market could be devastating.
  2. Track all your marketing – If you spend time or dollars on a marketing strategy you need to be able to analyze it 30 days out. Keep the marketing strategies that deliver the highest ROI. Dump the ones with a low ROI or negative ROI and keep trying new things.
  3. Develop inbound and outbound marketing strategies – Inbound is most beneficial for service based businesses. Outbound tends to work better for eCommerce, insurance and the health care niche but there is no hard fast rule; every market and niche is a little different.
  4. 80/20 rule – Invest 80% of your efforts on the marketing tactics that are bringing you the greatest return. Spend 20% of your time trying new marketing tactics, testing and learning. Technologies are changing so fast that it is nearly impossible to keep up with the newest big thing… this is where you will be really glad you joined a group of entrepreneurs, marketers and like minded individuals.
  5. Stay focused – For me this was the hardest thing to do. I’m like a sponge that gathers all types of information from the internet, conversations and my groups. I love to test new marketing concepts. And this can quickly send me down a rabbit hole and way outside of my wheelhouse. My accountability partner has played a major role in keeping me on task. This doesn’t mean that I can’t test new concepts – I just ask myself these two questions; “is this project going to benefit the current business goals?” and “will this enhance the business financially?”. If I can answer yes to these two questions, I can spend less than 20% of my time testing (or “playing” as I call it).

Conclusion:
In summary, there are many rewards to having your own business. Developing a strong foundation, hiring great employees and having a good marketing strategy will set you on the right path to success. I want to leave you with one important thing if you take nothing else from this article; Seriously, spend 70% of your time on sales. All of the other work will get done… it really will. You’ll have the finances to hire more employees and if you really don’t enjoy sales, hire a sales rep or a marketing company to deliver exclusive leads… just focus on growing!

local marketing stats for small business

Local Marketing Statistics That Impact Your Business

Developing an online marketing strategy for your local business means keeping up with the latest trends and understanding your customers. You’ll find a plethora of marketing statistics online from search engine optimization to local marketing. Understanding how this information is applicable to your local business can be challenging.

Back in July we wrote about Launch of Google’s New Ads in Local Pack and how it could impact local businesses. I was recently talking to one of our National clients who read our article and called me to find out how they could take advantage of these changes. She saw an opportunity to start marketing locally in her biggest markets and possibly reducing her national Adwords campaign cost.

There is a value in keeping up with local marketing trends. So how do you figure out what your local business should be doing?

Solution: Local Marketing Stats
Make use of local marketing statistics to focus your current marketing strategy

 

local business marketing trendsEighty percent of Internet Users Own a Smartphone

In 2015 desktop searches was surpassed by mobile searches. Google changed their algorithm to boost mobile friendly websites. This change rocked the SEO industry and was dubbed “Mobilegeddon” because it was believed to have a significant impact on local rankings. Some business were impacted more than others (both positively and negatively).

It’s inevitable that technology will continue to develop and mobile will increasingly become more important to your business. The best way to know how many of your visitors are mobile is to take a look at your Google Analytics. You can see a break down of the traffic coming from mobile devices vs. desktop.

 

Twenty percent of consumers look for answers to complex questions on social media

Just as mobile search has changed online marketing, so to has social media. Today consumers spend more time on a variety of social media platforms. Yes, they do spend time venting about their day and uploading pictures of their lunch, but they also spend a great deal of time looking for answers and asking questions. This is especially true with the Millennials.

The questions posed in social media are on a wide range of topics from “how do I fix my leaky faucet” to “I’m upgrading my old junky car, what kind of car should I buy?”. Your business can be there to answer these questions. Knowing the most common questions your potential customers have will allow you to post answers via an FAQ on your website, YouTube videos and blog posts that answer these questions. If you have the resources, setting up Google Alerts will help your staff find and respond to these questions directly. You can search places like Quora, Twitter, Yahoo Answers to name a few.

 

Word-Of-Mouth is the #1 influencer among Millennials

When it comes to making purchasing decisions, Millennials look more closely at online reviews and referrals. As of 2015, the number of Millennials are greater than Baby Boomers, making up 25% of the US population. This group will undoubtedly become an increasingly more important makeup of your customer base. Creating a strong online reputation will be invaluable for your business going forward. Sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook are some of the places Millennials turn to currently (This will most likely changes as more review sites become more popular).

 

Content Searches have a great close ratio

Content marketing is the new trend that so many local businesses are reluctant to adapt. Leads from a content search are eight times as likely to result in a sale. Consumers are searching for answers, helpful information that is useful. Developing content for your blog will allow you to share your knowledge and attract consumers who are looking for this type of information. These articles can then be shared across many social platforms, email campaigns and advertising.

 

Keeping up with trends can help your local business put more emphasis on marketing that will have a greater impact on your business. Share your experience with these and other trends that are impacting local business today.

How Schema Markup Can Help Your Local Business Rankings

Schema isn’t new in the SEO world but it is new for many small businesses looking to improve their rankings on the search engines. Schema.org developed a revolutionary collaboration between the top search engines that created a way to make it easier to identify and categorize information on a website. Unfortunately, local businesses are far behind in practicing this on their own websites.

using schema for local businessesBefore we dive any further into Schema, let’s get a clear understanding of what it is…

Schema markup is code that is added to your website, which enables the search engines to better understand what your site is about and therefore return better search results for the user. If you’re familiar with rich snippets, you’ll probably know what schema markup is all about.

 

Here’s an example of a query for an event:

schema event markup example

The schema markup told the search engines to display a schedule of upcoming events for the Denver area. If someone is looking for this information it would be very helpful. Basically, schema tells the search engines what the information on your website means, not just what it says.

So, How does this help my local business?

There are many different types of markup that can be added to your website but we will only look at the ones most relevant for a local business.

Geographic Markup

First, you’ll want to make sure the address and phone number match your Google maps listing and that it is correct – You’ll be using this in your markup. Next you’ll need to choose the best category for your business – Schema.org’s local business section has a list of business types. You can include your address, phone, business hours and the types of payments your business accepts

A realtor’s site code would look like this:

 

schema markup geo example

In the example above the only information that is displayed on the website is the the markup info between the “itemprop” and the “span” tags. But for the bots crawling your site, they know that this is a real estate agency, where they are located, and their contact information.

Social Properties

Social media is playing a greater role in ranking our websites than ever before. But not in the way that you may think. Think of social media as a way for people to vote for your business – you can read more about social media in your SEO strategy.

Telling the search engines which social properties are related to your site will help them connect the dots and discover other properties related to your business. The markup for this looks like this:

schema markup example 3

It is especially important to include properties owned by Google like Blogger, YouTube, G+ Page and G+ Profile. Another good source to include are Google’s social Data Hub Partners.

Why is Schema Markup Important for Local Businesses?

In a nutshell…. Schema just flat out helps your website rank better! There are hundreds of markup types from nail salons to medical dosage schedules. When you can help the search engines understand what your site is about, where your business is located and authority sits your business is associated with, you will improve your rankings.

Does my site have schema markup?

If you’ve had someone else make your website and don’t know if schema was incorporated in your websites structure, you can use Google’s schema testing tool. Just login to Google, put your web address in the box and run the test.

Need help adding schema to your website?

Adding schema to your website isn’t as difficult as it may seem. All of that code can seem a little intimidating if you’re not familiar with it. By adding schema to your website, you will improve your rankings and improve the way the search engines use your site information. For help adding schema to your website contact Social Climb – we are always happy to help a small business!

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Social Climb (303) 900-4688
5.0 stars - based on 10 reviews
8310 South Valley Highway, 105A Englewood, CO 80112
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am - 5:00pm