Local SEO Best Practices for Your Business Website

Local search engine optimization isn’t a single strategy you implement to boost your website to the top of search engine rankings. Its powerful digital marketing strategy for business owners wanting to sell to local customers that combines a variety of best practices for SEO. Meaning, if you’re going to increase your local ranking and ensure you are not losing your customer to your competitor – implement local SEO strategies. Local SEO isn’t different from the regular SEO. It’s just that we using keywords that are more relevant to the local audience.

Your SEO checklist for your small business website

Content Rules

Search engines love content that is compelling and fresh. If you want to rank well in local search results, you need to publish new high quality website content as often as possible. Having a local SEO strategy is essential from the very beginning of your planning process. Plan your content strategy based on the keyword research. Your website content should be engaging and useful to your audience. Think of it this way: When many people come to your website using a particular search term, search engines monitor it – you will likely improve your search rankings. Include your keywords in the title tags and meta descriptions of your web pages. It’s observed, people tend to click on the links that have a keyword in it instead of the one which doesn’t.

Optimize NAP Information

After creating content that is optimized for your local search results, optimizing your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) across your web presence is the most crucial factor. Wondering why? Well, search engines can pick up your NAP information from anywhere around the web. So, if you have different data on various sites, Google may not consider as a single entity. Apart from that, the consistency and quantity of NAP is a ranking factor for local search. Also, think about it this way – if people see different business details across the web, they may get confused about which one is the correct one. Moreover, they may end up contacting your competitor who has more consistent business information. A consistent NAP can get you higher visibility in local search.

Go Mobile

Do you log in to your laptop each time you what to search for something? No, right? You would instead pull out your phone or tablet go on the internet to find whatever you need. That’s what your customers would do too. Moreover, if your website gives a poor mobile user experience, they would get frustrated. In April 2015, Google rolled out a mobile-friendly algorithm and website that fail to comply with Google’s Mobile Friendly guidelines will result in losing mobile search traffic. Not only that, Google penalizes the sites which are not optimized for mobile devices. It can drastically hamper your mobile search results ranking. Google even provides tools to determine the mobile-friendliness of your website. Optimize your site for mobiles and embrace the traffic from those small screens out there. A mobile friendly website is also SEO friendly.

Provide Simple and Easy-To-Use Navigation

The website’s navigation is like a roadmap to your site. It is a factor that will decide how quickly a visitor finds what they’re looking. If people are getting frustrated leaving your website, it will result in an increased bounce rate. It will not only impact your user engagement but will also result in the loss of a potential client. Put time to think through and design website navigation that is easy for a visitor to use to find what they want. Plan your website architecture and based on it create website navigation. It will help you to have clarity of what should go where and which pages need to be interlinked.

Link Building is a Must

Search engines count a link back to your site a “vote of credibility”. It means, there is a possibility that search engines would show your site to the searches for the particular keyword. Links are like trust and authority. You will naturally have few links, but link building activity can increase the number of websites linking to your site and furthermore your website ranking. You can outreach websites with relevant, high-quality content that have good authority to link back to your website. It will help your small business to build online exposure, attract more customers and increase your website ranking. Link building demands regular outreach and follows up. It can be daunting, but in the process, you are acquiring quality links for your website and foster new relationships.

Last but not the least…

Local SEO is often complicated. An effective local SEO strategy is never truly complete. Along with optimizing your website, social media can also help you improve your search engine ranking. Search engine optimization and your website’s ranking are interlinked. Following these basic best practices will lay a solid foundation from which to build upon.

Content Optimization: Increase Traffic Intelligently

I’ll explain how to optimize your existing content and increase your ROI in three simple steps:

1. Study your content

2. Evaluate your content

3.Build your content

Step 1: Study your content

The first step to optimizing your content is to have a global view.

Navigate your entire site with a tool like Screaming Frog or ContentKing, extract all URLs and drop them into an Excel spreadsheet.

Keep your keyword research easy to use: you will need it in the next step where you will evaluate the content.

Step 2: Rate your content

Fill in all the content of your site in a spreadsheet. Now for each page fill out:

Your target audience targeting.

The goal of your content.

The keywords you want to upload to the ranking.

How satisfied are you with:

Organic traffic and conversions (in the last 12 months).

Social traffic and conversions (in the last 12 months).

Usability.

These traffic and conversion numbers should be in your analysis to create a complete picture.

This can take a long time, so focus on the most important pages to first sort out the most important data for you

You will soon see how much to do!

Below some items you see that the thing is wrong:

Pages where the target or audience is not clear. If you do not even know who you wrote a page and what did you want to achieve with it, how can you expect its content to go well?

Pages optimized for too many keywords. These pages are run in circles. Also, pages that are not optimized for keywords. These are almost never rank high!

Pages that are hyper-optimized at the point where people can read them with the buzzing. Oh

Go to and fill in the Excel spreadsheet so you can be absolutely clear about the role each page plays on your site and the way it is running.

Step 3: Optimize content

You have seen so far what to check. Let’s look at it as well:

Increase traffic through our website optimization strategy.

Increase the organic traffic driven by your existing content: integrate the right keywords and increase the clickthrough rate (CTR).

The right keywords for the right pages

It is almost self-evident, but let’s stress it anyway:

If you do not incorporate the right keywords into the correct pages, these pages will have poor ranking for those words.

But how do you do this effectively to make pages easier?

Prioritize these items:

Title: Embed your most important keywords at the beginning of your title and target a title of 30 to 60 characters (and 285 to 575 pixels).

Meta description: Embed important keywords in the meta description. When users search for these keywords, they will appear bold in the snippets. This makes your score more impressive, which in turn leads to more clicks. Keep the description 70 to 155 characters (and 430 to 920 pixels).

H1 header and heading H2: Place important keywords in these headings.

Content: Make sure the keywords you want to sort are in the text of your article. Even experienced SEO experts do forget this at times.

Internal links to pages: Create internal links from relevant pages on your site to that page, with important keywords as their text.

Image Optimization: Do not forget: images bring traffic Make sure you integrate keywords into image filenames, alt tags and title tags.

Improve CTR

Your pages rank well in organic search results, but you have a low CTR. You have already put all the effort required to rank, but you do not reap the essence.

Follow these best practices for higher CTRs:

Experiment with title and meta-description: Is it too long or too short? Are keywords matched well? Is it easy to read? Do they have a clear call for action?

Robo-Advisors Help Investors Peek Behind the Curtain

When most people’s investment portfolios took a major hit following the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, more than a few financial advisors wanted to send a robotic clone to tell clients their portfolios had lost value. Robo-advisors are now doing much of what financial advisors do – just not the dirty work of course.

In the new digital wealth management world, technology has empowered the individual investor, who can now choose between discount brokers, robo-advisors and/or human advisors. Robo-advisors provide automated portfolio management services – investment goals and risk screening, asset allocation and portfolio rebalancing – all with little or no human intervention.

This same technology has also caught more than one human financial advisor with his pants down as investment advisory services have become much more transparent. Wealth Managers, for example, continue to charge annual fees of around 1% even when a large portion of investments are managed through index funds instead of actively. But rather than displace financial advisors, using this same technology to streamline their own businesses has allowed some professionals to zero-in on what they do best while providing more transparent, less expensive investment advisory services for clients.

Fooling Some of the People Some of the Time

Wealth Management is a $5 trillion dollar industry and hidden investment fees are the shame of the investment advisory business, especially at old school brokerage firms. Even passive index funds may kickback a hidden 1% fee to a broker. These hidden fees reduce investment returns 1% a year or a whopping $17 billion, leading to as much as a 12% reduction in retirement income, according to a recent report on investment advice and retirement savings by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).

Wealth management firms need to rebuild trust and relationships with the investment community. Those who have focused on client relationship building alone, however, have watched their clients jump ship for digital investment platforms. “Our research shows that firms that integrate digital tools into their business models will help strengthen these relationships rather than threaten them, and in fact help them attract the most lucrative investors,” says Owen Jelf, global managing director of Accenture’s Capital Markets practice.

Online investment services, including the robo-advisors, are forcing their human counterparts to be on top of their game. Big banks and brokerages in fear of once again becoming technology laggards (remember eTrade and the online trading revolution?) are moving quickly to add a robo-portfolio management option. At the very least, they’re adding comparable investment products and services, and of course there’s the pricing.

The advent of digital wealth managers is helping individual investors in three big ways:

Access to Professional Portfolio Services – Investors no longer have to pay high fees to obtain professional portfolio advisory services, nor do they have to compromise on quality. TradeKing – among the least expensive of the discount brokers – now provides personalized, automated portfolios on par with some high net worth wealth managers. At the same time, more wealth managers who used to snub anyone with less than $1 million in assets to invest are now lowering their minimum requirements and seeking out mass-affluents.

More Transparency – Investors can and should demand complete disclosure from financial advisors today. Since the mortgage crisis, individual investors have shown a very low tolerance for opaque financial transactions. Human advisors are under pressure to disclose as much information as robo-offerings, which are targeting/aimed at 75 million millennials who have grown up in a more transparent digital world.

Lower Fees – Robo-advisors charge fees that are often less than half of the 1% charged by typical investment advisors. A lot of independent advisors (who aren’t captive to big brokerage firms) are quietly lowering fees to compete with their digital counterparts.

Best of Both

All this new technology is exposing financial advisor practices and demanding more fee transparency. Still, it doesn’t mean robo-advisors exist to assassinate human advisors. In reality, robo-advice can complement human investment advice and save money in the process. Model portfolios cost less to construct and the savings actually helps clients to access other specialized advisory services such as tax advice, real estate investment or estate planning. Clients can have the best of both worlds using a package deal – robo-generated portfolios plus on-going highly personalized human financial guidance (at a much more affordable annual fee of .75%, as an example).

Money is Emotional, and Relationships Matter

Not all investors are ready to replace human interaction with algorithms. Money is and always has been, emotional. When someone dies, sells a business or gets divorced, turning to the robot doesn’t have much appeal. Real people want human interaction along with a personalized, customized investment plan. Not to mention a fiduciary relationship that a robot cannot offer. Individual investors are all for lower fees, but technology has limits. For example, a robo-advisor survey by the Wall Street Journal shows different robo-advisors produced different portfolios for investors with the exact same investor profiles.

More everyday investors will move toward some combination of human and online help to manage their investments and deal with serious life events that drive big financial decisions. Clearly, they will choose the investment advisors who offer full transparency. These innovations put individual investors in the driver’s seat.

Investment Tips – For the First Time Investor

The basic rules of any first time investment are normally:

1. What is your preferred period of time for this investment?

Have a plan for the length of time to want to invest for, normally for reasonable growth a minimum period is 5 years but the longer the term the better your chances of making profit over inflation.

2. Know your risk profile (ATR) and what you are comfortable investing in

There are many tools to help assess your Attitude to Risk profile and you can find numerous online questionaires on this subject, indeed one of the first things a financial adviser will establish is the client’s ATR.

3. How much of your investment can you afford to lose in the short term?

Always have a clear idea on how much of your investment you can afford to lose in the short or medium term, this way you can spread your money according to the level of risk you are prepared to take.

4. What is your overall objective, is it growth or income?

During the early years many younger clients may want to achieve high growth or growth in excess of inflation I order to build up their wealth.

While other older clients approaching or in retirement, may want income options with additional tax saving benefits.

5. Have a good clear idea about your current tax status

With so many different investment products in the market its important to know your current level of taxable income and which products may offer more longer term benefits.

6. Always split your investment as a total percentage (%) between low, medium and adventurous funds

Its quite common for many clients to spread their investment portfolios over various types of assets from low risk securities such as deposits and fixed interests with medium risk products such as distribution, gilts and bonds right up to higher (adventurous) risk which can include various stock markets and private stocks and shares.

7. Have you learnt from anything from previous investments

Its always handy to be able to review previous investments: what went well and maybe what did’nt do well, was the timing right, the spread, etc.

8. Have a plan B if markets fall or rise sharply

Deciding on your reaction should your investment move up or down sharply in the early years is clearly an advantage, knowing how you will react gives a good indication of how to build your portfolio over the short, medium and longer term.

9. Keeping regularly reviewing how your portfolio is going

Always spend a some time maybe just a few minutes every week seeing how everything is moving, what’s doing well and why, Whats not doing well and why, whether you need to re-balance your portfolio over time to suit any change in your risk profile.

10. Remember always try to diversify

Don’t have all your eggs in just 1 basket have 40 or more baskets, if you can Try and have a good spread of investment fund managers in various market sectors not just Insurance, Banks or Mutual products.

11. Take advantage of any tax incentives for investing (ISA etc)

With the taxman giving away less and less in the way of tax incentives, it always makes real sense to use whatever tax perks that are available, such as: tax relief, allowances, thresholds, deferrals, tax free status etc.

12. Be clever, always speak to an experienced independent financial adviser

It might be good to try a few things out yourself but importantly when dealing with your most important assets such as your life savings or your pension etc then save yourself a lot of time and trouble by discussing your needs and objectives with a financial adviser, use his knowledge and experience to save you problems in the future.