White Hat SEO tips for local business websites
TLDR: Whether your launching a small local business or even an inbound marketing agency you should really digest as much white hat SEO best practices that compliment your existing knowledge. Small business website design and optimization is key for everyone as it helps validate a product or service and helps local economies. Web development shouldn't be taken lightly and should be outsourced to an expert if possible. Unthink Digital Marketing is an expert lead generation for local businesses and Service Based Businesses such as software developers, construction, cleaning, lawfirms, consultants, etc. Here we share some tips to help you increase your search engine optimization for your new business website.
Before you can begin to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you have to understand what it is and what it does. In lamen’s terms, SEO helps your website be identified and ranked by any search engine in the market i.e., Google, Bing, and Yahoo. This rank is crucial to the success of your website because the higher you rank the more likely your website will be seen by users willing to purchase your product/service.
Provide Quality Content for SEO
You’ve probably heard this quote before, “Content is King” and to tell the truth the statement is 100% correct. From an SEO perspective, it’s very important to provide high-quality content to your consumers but it’s even more important to style that content correctly, in order to stimulate the appropriate reaction from an intrigued visitor. However, pinpointing such characteristics may be hard to define because the topic of good design tends to be subjective from person to person. So rather than basing this point off of personal opinions let’s use the Google Search Engine guidelines as a basis for understanding the importance of quality content. We’ve found that articles with 2,500 words or more tend to rank extremely well and extremely fast, whereas articles 1,000 words or shorter don’t get a lot of ranking relevance.
The point, however, is that content length is related to engagement. The more content you have on a blog post, the more time users will spend reading it and the higher the chance of clicking or engaging with the page, thus reducing bounce rate.
Google’s first quality content principle is to build your website for human interaction versus building your website for search engines. Search engines run on keyword searches that are queried by humans. This being said, the focus of your SEO should not revolve around specific keywords. It should be focused on portraying messages through technological mediums suited for human interaction.
A second quality content principle suggests that once you’ve created a website that is suited for human interaction, you have to make it stand out. Your website should portray the value of your business at first glance. This will help grab your audience’s attention driving them deeper into your website and helping your website rank higher. The longer your audience stays on your website and finds what they are looking for, the better your rank will be.
The third and final quality content principle we want to discuss is providing either a review or testimonials page on your website. Providing either of these two pages provide your company with the credibility needed to close sales online.
(example of website with quality content vs bad quality content)
Here are some core factors that help drive Google Rankings today:
A) A good site architecture, fast loading times and well-structured sitemap (Squarespace takes good care of that).
B) A website that has what Google consider’s high-quality content around certain keywords.
C) Highly-engaged traffic: returning users and low bounce rate.
D) Other high-quality websites that are pointing to yours.
You need to score high in all of these if you want to compete in SERP. Other secondary factors that can help but should come on a secondary priority are:
E) Having an SSL (https) site.
F) Domain age.
Get the Most From Title & Description Tags for Your DIY Website
If you don’t know what a title tag is, don’t worry it’s not that complicated. A title tag (looks like this <title></title>) provides search engines the ability to categorize and sort your website. Basically, anything you write in between the title tag will be used by the search engine to rank your site. It’ll match the search parameters provided by any user to your title tag, so make sure to make it count.
Here’s an example:
You always seem them like this:
A Google Search example of a search query
The appropriate amount of characters for your title is anywhere in between 50 to 60 characters. This range will assure that your titles will be displayed entirely on most search engine searches. There is also a certain format to get the most out of your title tag and it looks something like this.
Following the format above will allow for easier keyword search, resulting in higher website traffic.
While the title tag does the heavy lifting it is important to remember that other SEO tags exists and have their places within SEO growth. For example, the description tag allows you to describe the contents of your web page before a user even enters your site. Using this tag correctly can steer customers away from your competition and directly into your store. As a rule of thumb try to write your description in 155 characters or less, and remember; the tag itself is not of highest importance to the search engine, but it is extremely important to the user because it gives them an idea of what your web page is about.
Provide a User-Friendly Website Layout
Having a responsive website is very important now, specially after the latest Google Algorithm update Penguin. The first thing to consider when structuring your website should always be navigation. No one, and I mean no one, likes to visit a website where the information they’re looking for is nowhere to be found. We’ve all been there, you have to traverse 2,3, maybe event 4 pages before you get to what you need. If your website fails to provide an easy navigation, it’ll also fail to make a sale. Remember, to keep your navigation simple and your information accessible, because not doing so can cost you a sale.
In this example, a startup company that sells shorts for a niche market out of Arizona, Kimbo's Shorts opted for a clean menu with good font that is readable on any paltform and has good contrast. Kimbos sells an innovative pair of shorts for special occassions and have been featured on sites like Product Hunt.
Another thing to consider when structuring a website is to keep the code under the hood clean. Whether you’re a tech junky building your own website or an entrepreneur hiring a professional remember that disorganized code can make you lose rank fast. Here are a few guidelines to help you keep your website’s code clean and penalty free.
- Keep all your CSS and JS files as exterior files
- Make sure to contain ‘alt’ tags for all images
- Write code that is readable and easy to follow.
- Make sure to compress all your images before uploading them. No one likes a slow page so make sure to keep the data in your photos small.
Generate Quality Outbound/Inbound Links
Tell Us What You Need
As you can see in our website page we decided to go for a clean and clear layout that is repsonsive for mobile browsers as well as desktop visitors. When you visit our website you don't really have to scroll past the landing page view to know what we do and or to have a second step to take - in this case is clicking our button to contnue browsing. This helps SEO because search engines like Google recognize layout designs and gives us 'points' for good design and good flow as well.
Links tend to be one of the main drivers of your SEO since they are the gateway entrances to your website. They’re segmented into two categories: Inbound links (links found in other websites which drive traffic towards your website) and outbound links (links within your website that drive traffic towards exterior websites).
In either case, both links are exceptionally important towards boosting any website’s SEO. To begin let’s focus on outbounds links. When focusing on building a successful outbound link campaign you have to ensure that the websites you are pointing to are places of high quality. In today’s fast-paced world a large number of outbound links will guarantee you nothing if you provide poor quality content. As a search engine goes through your website rank it’s also looking at your backlinks(outbound links) and if those links are websites with quality content then your rank will go up. In the past, it might have been enough just to have your website point to any other website, but due to the abuse of back-link (outbound link) spamming it is so much more beneficial to point to websites with quality content. Here are a few examples of good websites to point your links to:
- Social medias: These included but are not limited to your blog, Facebook Page, Instagram Profile, etc.
- Online Directories: Online directories are also a great way to drive traffic towards your business website and have people find your business easily.
- Networking: Ask other business owners if they’ll allow you to provide a link towards your website. This is a create way to start building links towards your website and vice-versa.
For inbound links, you want the same plethora of quality links, but this pointing at your website. You want high-ranked pages to link directly to your website, but just like outbound links be careful not to abuse this strategy by having paid systems point to your website.
In this example below, we ran a quick test on our own very website so that you can see how good White Hat SEO can lead to consistent lead generation and sales all while also building a reputable brand within your industry through content and a good responsive layout.
As you can see Globally we are ranking pretty decent, not great but decent. Nationally we are well in good ranking and industry wide globally we are generating an average of 8.3k website visits each month!!
The time spent on a site increases SEO - which is why good readable content is important - the longer the visitors 'browse' through your site and the more page views per visit the better!
Bounce rate is a key metric that should be measured for your inbound marketing and as you are improving website pages and calls to action. A good bounce rate is around 20% or less - so we have some work to do there still as well.
That was a lot of reading? Enjoy this music video!
Think Mobile FIRST, Stay Responsive
Our final piece of advice is to remember and understand the importance of responsive layouts. This is by far the most important feature to follow in the 21st century. A responsive layout allows your website to look good on all devices and since everything in our fast-paced society now relies on the mobile device, it’s a perfect time to become responsive. If your website does not work properly on mobile devices this can hinder your sales and be very hurtful towards the rank of your SEO. Thankfully, for you, we have some tips on how to make your website optimal for mobile devices. Here are some of the guidelines:
- Reduce the amount of content: Reducing the amount of content is essential to the success of a proper mobile display. Only show the most important features of your website in mobile devices to make your layout on mobile devices efficient.
- Test: Testing on different screen sizes if important since your website is going to look different on a phone than on a computer or tablet.
- Image sizing: Since every device is going to have different sizes so will you images.Make sure to size your images appropriately, as you build for your targeted devices.
- Font Size: Just like with your images you don’t want your information to look out of place or clunky. Make sure to size fonts for your targeted mobile devices.
Did we miss anything? What do you suggest? Leave us what you do to boost your SEO below or message us on any of our social medias.
Here is another update from one of our actual clients:
Blue Pearl Bookkeeping's owner Perla Diaz, had a family member do a Wordpress website for her El Paso local bookkeeping accounting business. Her relative did a decent job but the site lacked SEO and wasn't too mobile friendly. When we were hired the first month we focused on improving her back end code for Google's code spiders as well as creating content for her targeted audience.
This what most website's SEO analysis looks like:
This is what it looked like after only three and a half weeks of SEO (no fake paid links) :
This is only after the first month, this is a recent client as of the publication of this post. We are still yet to redesign her website and do other things for them but to start we focus on measuring traffic and increasing that number of visits and time spent - once that is achieved we optimize to convert more of the traffic for lead generation. Some others do it in reverse but we find it more effective to create content that drives traffic and builds reputation first and then that way is easier to convert viisitors into leads.
If you would like us to help you with amazing good WHITE HAT SEO practices that are also very affordable - please don't hesitate to contact us. - Send us an email to [email protected] or click the orange button below.
Our marketing team is made up of seasoned business owners, artists, entrepreneurs, and project managers. In a world where starting a business is easy, but keeping it is almost always impossible, Unthink is a long standing company helping companies for almost 10 years now. We started as a pure consultancy service and over time we added marketing execution to offer greater value at lower prices and ensure consistency. Humberto Valle, Founder and CEO, launched Unthink with core beliefs revolving Blue Ocean Strategy, Lean Methodologies, Integrity, Intelligence, and Energy. For us an ideal client is someone who is looking to build a long-term partnership and is thinking long term for their company. With our month-to-month Inbound Marketing & SEO best practices we help organizations increase their exposure and branding for a strong foundation. #Unthink We are graduates of great schools, volunteers at nonprofits, we are always learning and love what we do. We are always trying to better ourselves. For us and for you.