CenturyLink recently issued the following announcement.
It can be challenging to grow a small business, let alone stay on top of the latest web trends. But a functional, mobile-friendly website is critical. And if customers can’t find your website, your business will not survive in today’s world.
But not any website will do. Having a company help you create a modern website that appears in search results is game-changing.
CenturyLink, and our partner Vivial, can help. No matter what size your business is, we understand what it takes to compete in today’s market. Fundamentally, there are three key areas to focus on: your website, local search results and directory optimization.
1. Mobile-Friendly Website
A modern, mobile-friendly (also known as responsive) website is essential for local businesses. It’s also something most site visitors expect. It’s designed for “user first,” which means high-quality images, clear and concise text and no-brainer navigation. Every site should also include simple ways to engage with your company that also benefit the user. Examples could be “Sign up for free” or “Get 10% off.”
Sounds easy It’s not.
There are many DIY website tools aimed at small businesses. The one thing they all have in common is the claim of simplicity (just drag and drop the blocks), but the result can still look homemade. Maybe you’ve saved URLs for simple, clean and attractive sites as examples of how your site should look. Those sites most likely required more than drag-and-drop functionality. In fact, you may like these sites not only for the aesthetics, but the content, navigation and strong calls to action. All of this takes time, experience and investment to get right.
Over 60% online searches occur via mobile. So, if your website isn’t mobile responsive, meaning it doesn’t display properly across the variety of devices used today, then you are losing website visitors. How does your current site look on a phone compared to a PC? Not so great? It’s time to update.
Perhaps a more important reason to optimize for mobile is to be indexed by Google. Indexing looks at your site’s content and stores information about it in Google’s indexing database. It’s a major part of being found during a Google search. Google uses mobile-first indexing now, so being optimized for mobile is critical.
2. Local Search Results
How often have you typed “Find restaurants near me”? You can replace “restaurants” with nearly any type of business or product—the same principle applies. We all use Google a lot, and so do your customers and prospects. There are nearly 40,000 search queries every second and the volume grows by 10% every year!
So, what exactly are we talking about when we say local search results? Local search works in concert with search engine optimization (SEO) to help your business show up in relevant local searches. Where SEO used to consist of a list of keywords that describe website content (and thus your business), it now requires analysis to get the list right, and a fairly deep understanding of how search engines work, backlinks, indexing and more.
3. Directory Optimization
Did you know that having correct information across the internet can help your Google rankings?
Business listing sites, such as Google My Business, Bing and Yelp, not only help customers and prospects find you, but they also direct traffic to a website. Therefore, having business information—business name, address and hours, and maybe photos, menus, etc.—up to date and accurate is extremely important. The information you enter should also be consistent across all sites you’re signed up with, which can be challenging because each site may present different fields for capturing the same type of information.
The real issue is that there are hundreds of sites. You should list your business on as many relevant sites as possible to make it easier for people to find your company and improve your Google rankings. But getting listed, and keeping listings current, is time-consuming. The best advice we can offer is to partner with a company that will help manage this process. This frees up your time for more important tasks, like running your business!
Now that you know the three key areas of online marketing, are you ready to get started? Or maybe you’d rather leave the marketing to the expert.
CenturyLink and Vivial understand small businesses and the types of issues you face every day. We can help you enhance your company’s online presence and reach more of your goals.
Original source can be found here.