Having a website is one of the most common media used by local businesses to drive leads. While it is no longer a surprise, it quite surprising to know that people consider on-site optimization to be less important than local search (Source: SEtalks) while trying to increase their business’ visibility on search.
Why is that so? Perhaps, one of the main reasons could be their failure of understanding that on-site optimization is the first and foremost thing to do to harness users engagement on a website.
If you are one of the companies which failed to practice on-site optimization, take a look at what you could miss if you continue to ignore on-site optimization for your website.
Speed Is a Major Factor
These days, when everything can be searched over the web and when information is laid on the table for searchers, a 1-second delay in your website’s loading speed could be a major pitfall. Consumers will not wait for your website to load. They will, without hesitation, abandon your website if they have to wait a little more time to see and consume your content.
It starts with checking your website speed on Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool. From there, you could get assessments and suggestions on optimization tactics to speed up your loading time.
Local Content Will Help You Gain Traction
You may think that starting a blog and creating long-form content could eat up much of your time. But here’s a fact, quality content specific in your location within your website is a major eye-catcher.
Let’s face it. It is difficult to capture the interest of the consumers, nowadays. That is why you have to level your strategies to their playing field.
Moreover, quality content is also a good booster in ranking in SERPs. Google like quality content…no, THEY LOVE IT! So if you want your website to be the top result in local SERP, start revamping your content’s quality.
Creating quality local content is not a huge commitment as it may seem. Here are some tips.
- Important information should be visible. Get your NAP right. Make sure to put them in a right position where users can clearly see them.
- Brainstorm on blog topics. Use Google Trends or Buzzsumo to check and see trending topics relevant to your locals.
- Encourage user-generated content. Allow users to write a review and comment about your business or product within your website.
Content creation may be time-consuming but trust me; it’ll be worth the effort when you see the effect in your search rankings and traffic.
Your URL is your Identity
Have you encountered a website with a vague URL or the URL isn’t exactly what the business represents? Users may assess a website based on their URL or the domain name. So don’t choose a limiting domain name like “applepieboston.com” when you sell different kinds of pastries and sweets in your business.
Here are other things you should remember when choosing your URL for your website.
- Avoid strange TLDs. The most common TLD is “.com” but if you can’t pair it with your domain name because of availability. You may use “.co”, “.net” or ccTLD like “.ca” or “.uk” as an alternative option.
- Don’t make it too long. Make your URL short, easy to read and easy to remember.
Moreover, it is also highly recommended that you should include a relevant keyword in your pages’ URLs. While there is no concrete evidence that Google favor keyword-based URL, it is still ideal so users know what to expect just by looking at your URLs on the search results.
Get rid of URLs that use id number like “.com/PID-1084757”. It can be very vague for users and could be discouraging. Ideally, make your URL descriptive like “.com/salted-caramel-apple-macarons” or “.com/4×4-exhaust-muffler”.
Optimizing your website could be very difficult if you are using improper URLs. It could also be a trust determinant for consumers, so try to make your URLs accurate and precise for a positive identity.
Usability As A Factor In Decision-Making
In optimizing your website it is not enough that you make it informative and visually creative. A website that is difficult to navigate is a waste of investment. Usability still plays a crucial role in user’s decision.
If you want to encourage your visitors to engage with your business, optimize your website’s usability.
Here are some tips.
- Organize your content. One of the most common reasons why users abandon a website is because of a content fatigue. Try not to squeeze all your content into one main category. Ideally, you can follow the umbrella structure for your content if you offer various services. This way, your visitors don’t have to scan overcrowded content to find what they are looking for.
An umbrella structure uses one overarching theme and uses subcategories and tier categories to divide contents. This allows users to directly choose a page they are only interested in. Thus, avoiding the content fatigue.
- Utilize Directional Cues. Directional cues are tiny details you may want to add in your website so users are aware of their path within your website. This is ideal for websites that have lots of categories.
Breadcrumbs and active menus’ color emphasis are examples of directional cues. They allow visitors to track the page they are in or they have visited.
- Make your CTA clear. You definitely do not understand the purpose of having a website if you don’t have any call-to-action on your website.
Your CTA is the one that drives customers to do action. If you want them to make an appointment or phone call with you, place a noticeable call or appointment button as a CTA.
A fully-optimized website has a clear CTA that supports the company’s objectives. So don’t expect your customers to intuit an action for your business. You need to provide to them.
Getting Your Schema Right
You are losing a lot of opportunity for your website if you don’t get yourself familiar with schema markup. As an integral part of on-site optimization for local search, a scheme markup allows Google spiders to crawl your website and fetch relevant data and serve them to users in local search.
Most users upon looking at the search results would like to know some relevant information about a business. If you don’t have a schema markup, you could be losing your chance to encourage people to engage with your business.
It is considered a valuable element in local SEO which you should not ignore. If you are having problems with the coding, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to help you.
50% of local mobile searchers are looking for business information like a local address (Source: HubSpot) . With this number, we could no longer deny the fact that local SEO is indeed a vital part of lead generation success of most businesses.
However, local marketing success is not achieved by having your local website alone. Your website, as your landing page, needs proper optimization so users can find them in search results. And as consumers consider having a website a major determinant in dealing with businesses, you should also put extra attention on the experience you can give to users while engaging to their website.
All in all, your local website is a total representation of your business. If you want it to be your lead-generating machine, get your on-site optimization running. Do what you have to do and sooner or later, you will see opportunities knocking at your doors.