Structured data is a missed opportunity for many companies, even those already focusing on their websites’ search engine optimization. While taking advantage of schema markup to enhance search results isn’t uncommon, many companies ignore the opportunities they have to improve their online presence. One of the best ways to use structured data if you own a business with a physical location that customers visit is to leverage structured data for your local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to search engine optimization practices meant to boost the rankings of a site for keywords related to a specific region, town or city. It is often designed to boost the Google My Business listings of companies and ensure they show up in SERPs when customers search for terms related to the business.
What is Structured Data?
Structured data is data that has been placed on a website using schema markup. Google can pick up that data and display it on search in ways other than standard search results. When you search Google and see tables, graphics, business listings, calendars of events and other types of search results, it is typically the result of a website using structured data.
Local Business Cards
The best way to leverage structured data to boost your local SEO is to place “Local Business” schema markup on your site. There numerous forms of schema markup one can use to place structured data on their site, but Google recommends J-SON-LD. When a company uses schema markup to denote that their local business information on their site, they can receive a “local business card” at the top of Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Local business cards run across the top of a SERP, similar to Google Shopping ads. They are formatted into a small square box that will contain the name, address, and contact information of the local business. If your site ranks well and has a local business card, it will show prominently at the top of the page before users even scroll down to the standard organic search results. These cards’ prominence leads to higher click through rates and more traffic for both websites and existing business listings.
Ratings and Reviews in SERPs
Another excellent way to leverage structured data to enhance your search engine optimization is to ensure you’ve marked up any positive ratings and reviews for your business on your site. By adding schema for reviews and aggregate ratings into your schema markup for your local business, ratings and reviews will appear both as part of your local business cards and even under your site’s organic listing. If you have strong reviews and ratings, this can help convert more users into site visitors, as it will immediately increase customers’ trust in your brand.
Your local business’s SEO can benefit from strategic use of structured data. Enhancing your local search results will help improve click through rates and draw more potential clients to your brand. If you find out about more search engine optimization techniques to help your business, schedule an appointment with Mountain Media.
It is common for companies who have leadership inexperienced with digital marketing to be overwhelmed at the start of their online journey. If you don’t understand the necessary steps to get your brand a prominent online presence, all the new concepts, terms, and processes of getting online can be quite daunting. Even if you consult digital marketing experts to help guide you through the beginning phases of putting together a strategy, it isn’t uncommon to miss something important or make early mistakes that are difficult to recover from later on. Here are some big mistakes that you should avoid when putting together your plans.
Inaccurate Listings and Citations
One important issue that many companies miss is to make sure all the places your company is listed online have the same, correct information. Google checks to make sure that businesses’ online citations have matching names, addresses and phone numbers to the information on each company’s website. Digital marketing professionals commonly refer to these pieces of information as NAP. While Google’s algorithms are smart enough to match up slight variations in name and address formatting, altogether incorrect addresses and phone numbers can hurt a website’s rankings. If your company has ever moved its headquarters or changed its phone number, it is likely that there are still listings with bad information out there. Have digital marketing professionals perform an audit of your citations and ensure all the information about your company online is correct and consistent.
Stale Website with No Updates
Many companies believe that once their website goes live that their digital marketing job is done. While having an excellent website at launch is definitely important, truly excelling in digital marketing requires consistent attention to your website and content. Expanding your website regularly and adding additional useful content for your users is important if you want to stay relevant to Google. Google prefers websites that have fresh and relevant content on them and often pushes down sites that have stayed stale and stagnant for years. Make sure your digital marketing strategy includes regular content updates to your website.
Interfering With Your Campaign Before It Reaches It’s Potential
Impatience is a major problem for businesses that venture into digital marketing and SEO without doing their homework. Too many companies begin a marketing campaign with the expectation that major success will be quick. If you use paid media, it is possible to get leads on a short turnaround, but standard organic digital marketing requires time. Google takes several months to take stock of new websites and rank them appropriately. The investment of time and effort put in in the early stages of a digital marketing campaign pays off dividends in the long-term. However, many people get impatient and begin changing strategies or altering plans long before their website and campaign has a chance to shine. These big shifts in their campaigns can confuse Google or be seen as spam and actually harm campaigns. Trust digital marketing experts and be patient when waiting to reap the benefits of a long-term strategy.
If you find yourself struggling with the beginnings of building a digital marketing campaign, it always makes sense to reach out to professionals who can guide you on right path. If you want to elevate your brand, contact Mountain Media today and we can make sure you avoid any pitfalls while you build your strategy.
The advent of COVID-19 on the world has changed the nature of people’s relationship with the Internet. Even before the pandemic, many people have been amazed by the universality of the Internet in our lives since the rise of smartphones. While most people didn’t imagine it possible, the web became even more central to our day-to-day life after COVID. Stuck at home, people found themselves using the web as a virtual office space for work as well as for most of their socialization with their friends. Since the pandemic has meant more time spent at home for many people, people have been using their smartphones more, even more than the increase in tablet, laptop and desktop use. With more people on their phones and the reality of a global increase in time spent online, companies need to ensure their website design is mobile friendly more than ever before.
In our previous blog post, we mentioned how important it is for a website design to be clean, beautiful and functional, but given the way the world is changing, website design goes even deeper than that. With more people using mobile devices to interact with every aspect of the world, your site must not only be excellent, it must be designed with mobile users specifically in mind. If your website looks fantastic on a laptop or desktop, but loads slowly or appears awkward on a smartphone, you are turning most of your potential visitors away. The reality is that most people’s primary point of interaction with the Internet is through their mobile devices, and that’s the version of your website you need to be concerned about when it comes to first impressions.
When making your website design, you must keep how a mobile user navigates a site in mind. Visualize how someone scrolling through your site on their tablet may be digesting information. Place calls to action and contact information in easy-to-find places. Ensuring your phone number is in a prominent place and easily clickable so users can tap through to call immediately is key if your website design is focused on conversions. These choices are increasingly important in a world where mobile usage only continues to rise.
For many industries, mobile website design is suddenly exponentially more important due to the decrease in face-to-face interaction since COVID began. If you are in finance, marketing, medicine, or any other number of industries where networking, conferences and in-person meetings are the common first point of contact with potential partners and clients, you found yourself needing a new way to put your best foot forward once COVID started keeping everyone at home. Having an impressive website design is key when more people are now going to get their first impression of your company by looking you up on their phone, rather than speaking to you in a meeting.
Make sure your website design is optimized for mobile as more people use the Internet for every aspect of their socialization and networking. A quality website design might very well be the difference between gaining new clients and going unnoticed. Reach out to the digital marketing experts at Mountain Media to talk about your website design needs and how together we could elevate your company to the next level.