Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to any successful digital marketing strategy for local businesses. It involves optimizing your website and online local presence to rank higher in search engine results, which can help attract more local customers to your business. However, many local business owners are uncertain of what SEO entails or how to implement it effectively. Here are the top 10 local SEO questions asked by small businesses, along with detailed answers to each.

1. What is local SEO and why is it important for businesses?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website and online presence to appear in local search results. Local searches are important for businesses because it helps them reach potential customers who are searching for local products or services. By appearing in local search results, businesses can increase their online visibility and drive more traffic to their website.

2. What are the key elements of local SEO?

The key elements of local SEO include optimizing the website and online presence for local keywords, creating and optimizing local business listings on search engines and directories, obtaining backlinks from reputable local sources, creating a linking strategy, and generating positive customer reviews.

3. How can local businesses optimize their website for local search?

Local businesses can optimize their website for local search by including location-based keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, and content. They should also include their NAP (name, address, phone number) information on every page and create location-specific landing pages to target specific geographic areas.

4. What are local business listings, and why are they important for SEO?

Local business listings are online directories that provide information about businesses, including their name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. These listings are important for SEO because they provide backlinks to the business website and improve the business's online visibility.

5. What are backlinks, and how can local businesses obtain them?

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to a business's website. These links are important for SEO because they signal to search engines that the business is reputable and trustworthy. Local businesses can obtain backlinks by creating high-quality content, contacting other local businesses or organizations for links, and participating in local events or sponsorships.

6. What role do online reviews play in local SEO?

Online reviews play a significant role in local SEO because they signal to search engines and potential customers that the business is reputable and provides high-quality products or services. Local businesses should encourage customers to leave reviews on their website and other review platforms, respond to all reviews (both positive and negative), and address any customer complaints or issues.

7. How can local businesses use social media to improve their SEO?

Local businesses can use social media to improve their SEO by sharing content and engaging with their followers. This can lead to increased website traffic, backlinks, and social signals (likes, shares, and comments) that signal to search engines that the business is popular and relevant.

8. What is mobile optimization, and why is it important for local SEO?

Mobile optimization is the process of optimizing a website for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This is important for local SEO because a large percentage of local searches are performed on mobile devices. A mobile-optimized website provides a better user experience, which can lead to increased engagement and conversions.

9. What is local link building, and how can local businesses implement it?

Local link building is the process of obtaining backlinks from local sources such as local news outlets, blogs, and other businesses. Local businesses can implement this by reaching out to local sources and offering to contribute content or participate in local events or sponsorships.

10. How can local businesses measure the success of their SEO efforts?

Local businesses can measure the success of their SEO efforts by tracking metrics such as website traffic, keyword rankings, and online reviews. They can also use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor their website's performance and identify areas for improvement.

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In today's digital age, consumers often turn to search engines to start their buying journey, which mean companies need to show up for relevant searches. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO can benefit businesses of all sizes, but it is particularly important for small businesses. In this blog, we will discuss why SEO is important to local businesses.

Increased Visibility

One of the main benefits of SEO is increased visibility. When a potential customer searches for a product or service related to your business, they are more likely to find your business if your website ranks higher in the search results. In fact, most clicks on Search Engine Result Pages go to the top three organic search results. If your website is not ranking in the top three results, you are likely missing out on potential customers.

SEO helps to improve the visibility of your website by optimizing your website's content, structure, and meta tags. These components help search engines understand the content of your website and rank it higher in relevant searches. With the help of a professional SEO company, you can optimize your website and increase your visibility to potential customers.

Increased Website Traffic

Increased website traffic is another benefit of SEO. When your website ranks higher in the search results, it is more likely to receive clicks and visits, which means that you can drive more traffic to your website and potentially generate more leads and sales.

SEO not only helps to increase the quantity of traffic to your website but also the quality. When your website ranks higher in the search results, it is more likely to attract visitors who are interested in your products or services. These qualified visits are more likely to convert into leads and sales.

Cost-Effective Marketing

SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy for small businesses. Unlike traditional advertising, which can be expensive and difficult to measure, SEO can provide a high return on investment (ROI) at a relatively low cost. SEO does require an initial investment to optimize your website and create quality content, but the ongoing maintenance is minimal once your website is optimized.

Local SEO is particularly cost-effective because it targets a specific geographic area. This means that you can focus your marketing efforts on potential customers in your local area, who are more likely to convert into leads and sales. With the help of a professional SEO company, you can create a customized SEO strategy that targets your local market and maximizes your ROI.

Improved User Experience

SEO not only benefits search engines but also improves the user experience on your website. By optimizing your website's content, structure, and meta tags, you can improve the navigation, readability, and usability of your website. This means that visitors to your website are more likely to have a positive experience and stay on your website longer.

Improved user experience can also lead to higher engagement and conversions. Visitors with positive experiences are more likely to engage with your website and take the desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form to request more information.

Competitive Advantage

In today's business environment, having a competitive advantage is crucial for success. SEO can provide a competitive advantage for small businesses by helping them to rank higher in search results than their competitors. Potential customers who find your business at the top of the SERPs are more likely to choose your company over competitors.

Local SEO is particularly important for small businesses that compete with larger businesses. With the help of a professional SEO company, you can create a customized SEO strategy that targets your local market and helps you to compete with larger businesses in your industry.

Learn More About How SEO Can Grow Your Business

SEO helps increase visibility, drive website traffic, improve user experience, and provide a competitive advantage. With the help of a professional SEO company like Let It - Be Local, your small business can enjoy the benefits of being found by qualified customers. Contact us today to learn more!

Below are the five of the most popular questions searched online regarding search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. What is SEO and how does it work?
  2. How do I improve my website's SEO?
  3. What are the important ranking factors for Google?
  4. How can I do keyword research for my website?
  5. What are backlinks and why are they important for SEO?

These are some of the most common questions people have when they first start learning about SEO when seeking to improve their website's visibility and ranking in search engines. Understanding the answers to these questions is essential in developing a comprehensive SEO strategy and improving the overall performance of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is SEO and how does it work?

SEO stands for "search engine optimization." It is the process of optimizing a website to improve its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. SEO aims to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic (non-paid) search results.

The process of SEO involves optimizing various aspects of a website, such as its content, structure, and technical components, to make it more appealing and relevant to search engines. Components include keyword research to identify the phrases people are searching for, on-page optimization to ensure the website's content and structure are optimized for search engines, and link building to establish the website's authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.

SEO also involves ongoing monitoring and analysis of the website's performance in search results to identify areas for improvement and make necessary updates.

In essence, SEO is about helping search engines understand what a website is about and what it offers to users so that the website can be ranked higher in the SERPs for relevant keywords. By doing so, SEO will increase the visibility and credibility of a website, leading to more traffic and potentially more customers.

How do I improve my website's SEO?

Improving your website's SEO involves an ongoing combination of on-page optimization and off-page optimization strategies. Here are some steps you can take to improve your website's SEO:

These are just a few of the many steps you can take to improve your website's SEO. It is important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy that requires ongoing effort and monitoring to be effective.

What are the important ranking factors for Google?

Google considers hundreds of factors when ranking websites in its search results pages (SERPs). Some of the most important ranking factors for Google include:

These are some of Google's most important ranking factors, but it's important to note that the search engine's algorithms constantly evolve, and new ranking factors may emerge. Staying up-to-date with the latest best practices in SEO, and continually monitoring and adjusting your website's optimization strategy is the best way to achieve sustainable results.

How can I conduct keyword research for my website?

Keyword research is an essential step in the process of optimizing your website for search engines. Keyword research helps you identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for and incorporate them into your website's content and meta tags. Here are some steps you can follow to do keyword research for your website:

Keyword research can be a time-consuming process, but it is a critical step in the process of optimizing your website for search engines. By conducting thorough keyword research, you can ensure that your website's content is optimized for the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for, which can help improve your website's visibility and ranking in the SERPs.

What are backlinks and why are they important for SEO?

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are links from other websites that lead to your website. Backlinks are crucial in search engine optimization because they serve as a "vote of confidence" from other websites to yours.

From a search engine's perspective, a backlink is seen as an endorsement of your website's quality and relevance. The more high-quality backlinks you have pointing to your website, the more likely it is that search engines will view your website as an authoritative and trustworthy source of information. This can have a positive impact on your website's ranking in the search results pages (SERPs).

In addition to improving your website's ranking, backlinks also help increase your website's visibility and drive more organic traffic to your website. When someone clicks on a link from another website to your website, this is referred to as referral traffic.

To build high-quality backlinks, you must focus on creating valuable, relevant, high-quality content that other websites want to link to. This can include blog posts, infographics, videos, and other useful and informative content for your target audience. Additionally, you can reach out to other websites in your industry and ask for a backlink in exchange for linking to their website or for creating a guest post for their blog.

It's important to note that not all backlinks are created equal. Low-quality or spammy backlinks from sources such as link farms or directories can harm your website's ranking. Therefore, it's important to focus on building high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant sources.

In conclusion, backlinks are an important factor in SEO and can have a positive impact on your website's ranking and visibility. By focusing on building high-quality backlinks, you can help improve your website's SEO and attract more organic traffic to your website.

Want to Learn More About SEO?

If you are new to search engine optimization, consulting with an experienced digital marketing agency like Let It-Be Local will help to guide you through the process and ensure that your website is optimized for success. Contact us today!

Whether you're a small business owner or part of a large corporation, digital marketing can help you reach your target audience and drive sales. However, many small businesses struggle to achieve the desired results with their digital marketing efforts. This is where a digital marketing agency can come in and help. Here are some reasons why you should consider hiring Let It Be - Local to support your digital marketing efforts.

Hiring a digital marketing agency can provide many benefits for businesses, including:

  1. Expertise: Digital marketing agencies have the knowledge and experience to create effective marketing strategies and campaigns that are tailored to a business's specific goals. One of the biggest advantages of working with a digital marketing agency is the level of expertise and experience we bring to the table. 

    Let It Be - Local has a team of professionals who specialize in different areas of digital marketing, such as SEO, social media marketing, PPC advertising, and more. We have experience working with various clients across different industries, so we can bring unique perspectives and insights to your business. By hiring a digital marketing agency, you can tap into expertise and benefit from years of experience to create a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy for your business.
  1. Time-saving: Many small business don’t realize how time-consuming managing digital marketing campaign can be until getting one started. A digital marketing agency can handle all aspects of your business’ online strategy, allowing owners to focus on other areas of their business.
  1. Cost-effective: Hiring a digital marketing agency can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house marketing team, as agencies have a range of skills and expertise that would be difficult to replicate with a small team. By working with a digital marketing agency, you can access a team of professionals without the costs associated with hiring and maintaining an in-house team. 

    Many agencies, like Let It Be - Local, also offer flexible pricing models, which means you can choose the services you need and pay only for what you use. This can be a cost-effective solution for businesses that want to optimize their digital marketing efforts without breaking the bank.
  1. Access to tools and resources: Digital marketing agencies have access to various tools and resources that can help improve your marketing performance, including analytics tools, marketing automation software, and advertising platforms. Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging for small businesses to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. 

    Digital marketing agencies like Let It Be - Local invest heavily in the latest tools and technologies to stay ahead of the curve. By working with an agency, you can benefit from access to the latest marketing tools and technologies that can help you optimize your campaigns for better results. 
  1. Flexibility: Digital marketing agencies can work with businesses on a flexible basis, providing support as and when it is needed rather than requiring a long-term commitment.
  1. Keeping up with trends: Digital marketing agencies stay up-to-date with the latest digital marketing trends and algorithm changes, ensuring that businesses are always ahead of the curve.
  1. Creativity: Digital marketing agencies can bring a fresh perspective and creative ideas to marketing campaigns, helping businesses stand apart from the competition.
  1. Measurable Results: One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that it's highly measurable. However, measuring the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns can be a complex and time-consuming process. Let It Be - Local has access to advanced analytics tools that track and measure the performance of your campaigns in real-time. This means you can get a clear picture of how your campaigns are performing and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns for better results.

By choosing to hire a digital marketing agency, small businesses can increase their online visibility, reach new customers, and grow their profits.

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Search is essential to any effective online marketing strategy in today's digital age. By optimizing your website for search engines, your business can increase its online visibility, attract more targeted traffic, and ultimately drive more leads and sales. However, many businesses struggle to understand the distinction between organic and paid search and how these approaches differ in their impact and effectiveness.

This blog post will explore the differences between organic and paid search, and why businesses need to understand these distinctions.

What is Organic Search?

Organic search (also known as SEO or search engine optimization) refers to the process of optimizing a website to improve its search engine ranking without paying for ads or placement. It involves various techniques, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and content creation.

SEO aims to improve a website’s visibility and authority in the eyes of search engines, which can lead to higher rankings in local and organic search results. The higher a website’s ranking, the more likely it is to be seen by potential customers who are searching for products or services in that particular niche.

Organic search is a long-term strategy that requires patience and persistence. It can take several months or even years to see significant results, as search engines need time to crawl and index a website’s content and links. However, once a website has established a strong organic presence, it can continue to reap the benefits for years to follow.

What is Paid Search?

Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, involves paying for ad placement in search engine results pages (SERPs). With paid search, businesses bid on specific keywords or phrases, and their ads appear at the top of the search results when someone searches for those terms.

Paid search can be a highly effective way to drive targeted traffic to a website, as businesses only pay for clicks on their ads, which means they can control their advertising costs and ensure that they only pay for relevant traffic to their products or services.

Paid search can also produce results much more quickly than organic SEO. As soon as a business sets up its ad campaign, its ads can start appearing in search results and driving traffic to its website. This makes it an excellent option for businesses that want immediate results from their online marketing efforts.

However, paid SEO can also be expensive, especially if a business is competing for highly competitive keywords. Additionally, once a business stops paying for ad placement, its ads will no longer appear in search results. This can mean that paid SEO is often not a sustainable long-term strategy for driving traffic to a website.

Organic Search vs. Paid Search: What’s the Difference?

While both organic search and paid search aim to improve a website’s visibility in search engine results, the two approaches differ significantly in their impact and effectiveness.

One of the key differences between SEO and paid search is the level of control businesses have over their online presence. With organic SEO, businesses have complete control over the content and structure of their website, which can be optimized for search engines in various ways. In contrast, with a paid search strategy, businesses have less control over the placement and appearance of their ads in search results, as a bidding system and other factors determine these.

Another difference between SEO and paid search is their cost-effectiveness. While paid search can produce results faster than organic search, it can also be much more expensive, especially for businesses competing for high-value keywords. SEO is a more cost-effective strategy in the long run, as it can produce sustainable results for years.

Need Help Deciding Between Organic and Paid Search?

If you’re not sure which search strategy is a better fit for your business, we can help! Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing services.

Ideally, your marketing budget would have a lot of wiggle room - allowing you to pursue both SEO and Google Ads. Many small businesses find that this is just not feasible, leaving them with an either/or scenario. So, instead of putting you in a position of feeling guilty for not being able to provide the best of both worlds, we are going to give you the knowledge you need to choose the best one for your business. 

SEO: What Is It? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. In the vast world of digital marketing, this term is heard everywhere. Though it makes sense since being found via search engines is vital for nearly all businesses. 

Whenever you build a website, Google will, on its own, find it and index it without you having to do anything to optimize it. Here’s the thing, though - just because your website is indexed doesn’t mean it will show up for the searches you want it to. Let’s take a look at an example. 

Construction crews often vary their services based on the season. For instance, during the winter months, they may offer snow removal services. If their website only mentions construction and not snow removal, then it isn’t likely to show up when someone searches for snow removal in their town. This is still true even if snow removal is mentioned, but done so only briefly. It may very well show up in search engine results, but it will likely be somewhere after the first few pages. However, by creating a specific service page outlining the specifics of the snow removal services, there will be a greater chance of ranking higher in the search results. This is known as on-page optimization. 

If another construction company offers the same sort of snow removal services, they may have added backlinks to the local chamber of commerce, newspaper, or other local government offices. When it comes down to ranking two similar sites, Google will prioritize those websites that have backlinks from trustworthy sources - as well as those with business profiles on Google. This is known as off-page optimization. 

Certain technical key points also play a role in how a website is ranked. Google wants high-ranking websites to be safe, easy to use, quick to load, and free of errors. 

All in all, SEO’s goal is to optimize your web presence so that you can rank well with Google. Unfortunately, you can’t control the search engine’s algorithms and rankings - and that means there are no guarantees that your SEO efforts will work. But, by knowing the main factors Google looks for in a website and combining it with SEO best practices, you can increase your chance of ranking high. 

What are Google Ads? 

Depending on how long you’ve been following digital marketing, Google Ads used to be called AdWords. They are a means of getting around SEO, rankings, algorithms, etc., and have your business ranked at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Does this just happen? No. You have to pay to get there. 

Google search ads allow you to target a very specific audience and their search queries. The result is that you drive qualified and relevant traffic directly to your site. Google places these paid ad placements both above and below the organic search results. They appear similar with the only significant difference being that they are labeled as “ads.” 

Before you get too excited, there are a couple of catches. For one, you must bid on keywords. This means you are not always guaranteed that top spot on the first page of SERPs - a competitor may outbid you. Also, Google will assign an Ad Quality Score for each ad. This score, as well as your bid, will determine where your ad will end up on the page. 

SEO and GoogleAds: What’s the Difference?

By now, you can probably tell that both SEO and Google Ads serve their own purpose - and can work very well together. Google Ads can give you fast results while SEO builds long-term success. But if putting them to work together isn’t an option, then we need to break down the pros and cons of each. 

The Pros of SEO

More Cost-Effective: SEO costs less than Google Ads, and its effects have longevity. 

Steady Traffic: If you take the time to invest in SEO and quality content, you will likely always have a source of traffic to your website. 

Larger Potential Audience: The number of people who click on organic search results rather than ads is significantly higher. So, in that way, SEO gives you a larger target audience.

Build Trust with Consumers: Those ranking high in organic results are seen as being more trustworthy by consumers. 

Consider it an Asset: The effort you put into your SEO is an asset that can grow. The more you invest in your SEO, the higher your rankings - and the more it will drive traffic to your website and lead to conversions. 

The Cons of SEO

Results Can Be Slow: SEO doesn’t happen overnight - it takes time. 

Limits on Local SEO: You are limited by proximity regardless of the size area you serve.  

Limited Control: Google is always changing their algorithms. And, opting for SEO means this is something you’re going to have to deal with. 

The Pros of Google Ads

Quick Results: It is no secret - Google Ads yields faster results – that is, as long as you make large enough bids. 

Tracking and Metrics: Because you are paying for Google Ads, Google gives you all sorts of easily accessible tools to use for tracking and metrics.

Target Your Ideal Customer: With Google Ads you are bound to get precise targeting for your audience.

Expand Your Reach: By advertising,  you can expand your visibility for more search terms, including keywords that you may not be ranking for organically. So in this way, Google Ads also increases your reach. 

The Cons of Google Ads

Costly in Competitive Markets: Depending on your niche, you may find that pay-per-click costs are too high to make your campaigns profitable. 

Little Long-Term Value: Google Ads do not create value for your business over time. Once you stop paying for it, the benefit ends - and traffic to your site comes to a halt. 

SEO and Google Ads: Pick One

Remember, it will take a long time to see results from SEO, but the results will continue to be valuable to you for a much longer period. SEO is most often recommended as the go-to digital marketing channel for those with a smaller budget, an established business, and who don’t require fast results. Meanwhile, we recommend emphasizing Google Ads for newer businesses looking for sales, leads, and fast results -- and who don’t have the patience for the fruits of SEO labor to develop. 

If you have the budget, both SEO and Google Ads work well together. Consider using your Google Ads to uncover the best keywords with the highest conversions - and then focus your SEO efforts on these keywords. 

Want Help with Digital Marketing?

If you are interested in learning how your business can benefit from these digital marketing tools, contact us today.

If you’re running a local business, you know how important it is to be visible on the search engine results pages (SERPs). But what you may not know is that data aggregators are a critical part of local SEO.

Data aggregators are companies that collect, distribute, and sometimes sell business listings and consumer data, depending on their business model. They’re also used by search engines to populate local search results and by consumers to find local businesses.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at data aggregators and why they’re so important for local SEO. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make sure you get the best results from using a data aggregator.

What Is a Data Aggregator?

A data aggregator is a business that collects user or business data from various sources and repackages or distributes it in useful ways. Data aggregators are also known as data brokers or data resellers.

A data broker gathers information from social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, review sites like FourSquare and Yelp, and local business listings like YellowBook and NextDoor. Small businesses obtain user-generated content from data aggregator databases for marketing purposes and campaign decisions, as these databases are organized in a way that makes it easy to locate specific information.

A local data aggregator, or LDA, is the type of aggregator that takes information from one business and distributes it across hundreds or thousands of websites. LDAs charge small businesses a fee to create citations for their business. 

Why Is Data Aggregation Useful?

Data aggregation is useful from the local SEO perspective because it allows businesses to spend their time and money more efficiently. Creating citations for your company and Google My Business profile takes hours, if not weeks, without the right tools. Manually submitting your business’s information to local business directories can take 15 to 20 minutes per submission. 

By using an LDA, businesses can improve their search result rankings much faster for a fraction of the cost. An LDA will automatically submit small business information to various websites within a few business days. This frees up business owners and their employees to sell to more customers or improve products and services.

How Do Local SEO Data Aggregators Work?

Understanding how local SEO data aggregators work starts with understanding what information they need to do their job. Local SEO listings include a lot of data, but primary data points are:

There are two main types of data aggregators: centralized and distributed. Centralized data aggregators collect and analyze all the local SEO data from review sites, social media platforms, and other websites in one place. Distributed data aggregators collect and analyze local SEO data and store it in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks or other locations. 

Centralized data aggregators are more robust than distributed ones. They can store vast amounts of information, which makes it easier for them to aggregate vast quantities of information.

Distributed data aggregators are more granular and flexible, making it easier for them to pick up on small changes in a geographic area in real time. When choosing a centralized or distributed data aggregator, make sure that you consider whether you need robustness or flexibility in a system.

Both types of data aggregation structures are used to disseminate information about your business to relevant directories and review websites. Keeping your business information consistent throughout submissions is the most important factor in working with any data aggregator. 

What Are the Biggest Benefits of Local SEO Data Aggregation?

Local data aggregation helps small businesses with SEO because it allows them to quickly and efficiently publish their most up-to-date info across hundreds or thousands of websites. This gives them more time, money, and energy to focus on bigger priorities in their business.

Using an LDA also enables businesses to make more informed decisions about pricing and marketing, as the process of gathering competitive intelligence becomes easier once a business is ranking higher.

Utilizing local SEO data aggregation shortens the time it takes to build a local presence. When you’re doing everything yourself, including SEO tasks, it will take weeks upon weeks. When you hire third-party services to handle manual tasks like citation creation for you, you aren't bogged down by important, but less urgent business needs. 

Local SEO data aggregation also provides insight into the latest movements of search engine algorithms, which can be helpful when optimizing site content, structure, and URLs.

How to Work With Local Data Aggregators

Working with local data aggregators is pretty easy overall; it’s primarily a matter of having your informational ducks in a row. Here’s what to do:

The Bottom Line

Using an LDA is an excellent way to make a large SEO difference for your small business in a short amount of time. As your business achieves higher local search result rankings, you’ll have a clearer line of sight toward your competitors. 

Review each local data aggregator's privacy policy in its entirety before deciding whether or not to work with them, as well as whether or not they follow standard verification procedures in the data brokerage industry. Through local SEO data aggregation efforts, you'll be able to reach the audiences you desire much sooner and at a lower cost than with blanket or strictly manual marketing approaches.

Choosing a web design company is an important step for any business or individual who wants to set up a website. Afterall, online presence is important, so you need to create an attractive and easy to navigate website. But how do you choose the right firm to create a new site or help update an existing one?

Research Pays Off

Start with online searches to find web design companies and ask your peers for references. You can also make a list of websites you like, both as examples and to find out who constructed these sites that appeal to you the most.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, research the company or companies to uncover their reputation and expertise. See how long they’ve been in business, and what skills they have in regard to development, SEO, and marketing.

A good way to do this is to check for reviews and testimonials, both on the company’s own site, and Yelp, Google, Facebook and other resources for reviews. 

Ask for a Portfolio

Along with looking at each web company’s own website, explore their portfolio so you can view samples of their work. Are they professional? Simple to use? Do the sites the company has developed fit well with the kind of function and approach that you’d like for yourself?

And it’s also important to see the range of the company’s work. Are the designs unique for each website, or do they appear to have been built from a template? 

Make a List of Your Website “Must Haves”

Decide on your basic requirements and make a list of what these are. Knowing your “must haves” will make it easier to choose the web design company that suits you best. 

Examples include experience with WordPress, logo design, hosting, and specifics that you might need such as online payment or online registration options. 

Know Your Time and Budget 

Being aware of your own time frame and budget will also help in choosing a web design firm. If a company’s services are too expensive to fit your cost parameters, then you should not choose that resource. And if a company takes many months to create work you needed yesterday, then another choice is also in order. 

Establish both a timeline and budget for your web design needs. If you have a hard and fast deadline, such as a new product launch or company location, be sure to express that to the web design company in advance, to make sure there are no questions about delays.

Evaluate Web Design Companies as Long-term Partner

Interact with the web design company to find the right fit for you and your business. Make sure that their personality as well as their skills fits your needs. Chances are you’ll be entering a long-term relationship with a web design company, so make sure it’s the right relationship for you.

Ready to Learn More about Web Design from Let It Be Local?

If you’re ready to learn more about the capabilities we offer, reach out to us today! Whether you have a specific project in mind, or just want to talk about the design services we provide, we’re ready to help. 

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to efforts made to improve the visibility of your website in the search engines, and it's an absolute must if you want to ensure your business stays competitive online. And while Google has made its ranking algorithms harder to crack than ever, there are still plenty of improvements you can make right away to help your site rank higher and drive more traffic. 

Here are five tips you can use right now to improve your visibility and lay a foundation for SEO success. 

1) Do Keyword Research

Before diving into SEO, you need to do keyword research. Keywords are words or phrases people use to search for products, services, or information online. 

The first step is to figure out what your business does—we'll call it Service Business 101. Next, you want to understand which words your target audience will likely type into a search engine when looking for these core keywords for your products or services. 

To do keyword research, you'll need to figure out what you do, who you serve, what they want, and how they talk about it online. You can start by browsing through sites like Quora where people are asking questions in forums related to your business. Read these posts and see if you can discover new keyword opportunities. Just make sure not to steal these ideas – use them as inspiration for your unique content!

Our favorite free keyword research tool is UberSuggest and our favorite paid keyword research tools are Ahrefs and SEMrush

2) Optimize Page Titles

Optimizing page titles is an essential SEO best practice. The purpose of a title tag is to inform search engines about the topic of your web page. When you enter specific keywords into your website's title tag, you tell search engines exactly what your page is about. You can think of a title tag as like the chapter title in a book’s table of contents – it gives the reader an idea of the topic of the chapter. 

The keywords contained in your title tag are essential for several reasons. First, search engines use these words to find your web page. These words are also visible in search engine results pages (SERPs), so optimizing them can help you stand out from other search engine result listings and improve your click through rate (CTR). And of course, title tags help Google determine where your web page should be ranked within its search engine results pages. By incorporating the right keywords in your title tags, you can give your pages a better chance of ranking on the first page of Google searches. 

3) Use Lengthy, Specific Meta Descriptions

The first search result always has a large share of clicks. You must write meta descriptions that match your target audience's needs. Make sure your descriptions are long enough (about 100-155 characters or more) and specific, with relevant terms included. Most importantly, use natural language; Google is smart enough to detect keyword stuffing in meta descriptions for SEO purposes, so don't overdo it. 

Tip: Tip of your title tag as like a headline and your meta description as like the ad copy that “sells the click” and helps persuade the searcher to click on your listing. 

4) Create and Optimize Your Google Business Profile

For local businesses, it’s critical to create and optimize a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business profile, or GMB).  

Why is a local focus so important? According to Google:

Here are some tips to get you started: 

Plus, you’ll also want to request reviews from your customers, clients and patients on an ongoing basis. And, of course, make sure to create and optimize separate Google profiles for each of your business locations

There are many more tips that we could provide for Google profile optimization, but this will get you started. Contact us if you require assistance with Local SEO services

5) Build Citations and Links

Next, it’s critical that you build citations and links to give your business credibility in Google’s eyes. 

What are citations? Citations are mentions of your company’s “NAP” - and the more citations you have, the more trust Google will have that your business is established and trustworthy. 

What are links? Links are hyperlinks from one website to another website. Google considers links to be like votes in favor of your website’s authority. The more links you have from high-quality, relevant websites, the more likely Google is to rank your website at the top of the search results. 

The best way to build a foundation of citations and links is to get your business listed in dozens of reputable, relevant directories. You’ll want to get listed in 3 types of directories: 

And again, it’s important to make sure that you use your real business name in your listings and keep your NAP consistent. 

Need SEO Help?

If you are ready to improve your SEO, try some of these easy-to-implement steps and watch your traffic grow. If you need help implementing any SEO best practices, contact us today!

The New Year is the perfect time to improve your business’s local visibility and rankings on Google. So, before the opportunity passes you by, take the time now to follow these simple steps for boosting your visibility on the world’s leading search engine. Here are 8 Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) updates you should make early this year. 

1. Audit the Basics

Conduct a quick audit of the basic information on each of your Business Profile pages. Confirm your location(s) are correct, your phone number is correct, and website links are functional. Keep in mind that Google invites users to report misinformation, which unfortunately can lead to your basic info being changed without you realizing it. So take thirty minutes or less to confirm that each of your business listings has accurate contact and location information.

2. Optimize Product or Service Descriptions

If you’re offering new products on your website, be sure that they are also included in your Google Business Profile. Best practices for optimizing product descriptions include information on shipping estimates, benefits the product or service offers the consumer, photos of products.

 The same goes for updating new services offered. A law firm for example, that has expanded into different practice areas, should update the services to include these new areas of practice.

3. Update Images

Add some new photos to your Business Profile in the New Year, to get your phone ringing or more requests for directions. Studies have shown that business profiles that have at least 100 images get at least 500% more phone calls than those with fewer images. Likewise, businesses that have more than 100 photos get 2700% more requests for directions. 

4. Create Your Own Q&As

Answering frequently asked questions is a great way to help consumers understand your business better. Think of common questions you receive as the owner, or while working in your store or office and then ask them in Google. Then, log into your business profile and answer the questions. This not only helps your customers but can also increase your visibility and ranking, by allowing you to add keywords in your answers. 

5. Begin Using Google Post

Google posts are widely underused, but they can be incredibly helpful in showing up in local panels in Google Search and Google Maps. In the New Year, you can use posts to promote new products, announce new services, acknowledge your top talent, share awards you’ve received, and much more. Photos, videos, and branded content graphics can all be shared in a post.

6. Add Attributes

Attributes give consumers detailed information about your store or business. Attributes can include everything from COVID-19 precautions to ownership information, to accessibility features at your location(s). Take advantage of the opportunity to share as much about your business as you can, with attributes.

7. Read and Respond to All Messages and Reviews  

It is incredibly important for rankings and visibility that you acknowledge all reviews promptly. A favorable review warrants a thank you reply. A negative review should also be acknowledged and responded to professionally. If you’ve been lax in responding to messages, the New Year presents the perfect opportunity to focus on replying promptly.

8. Update Hours and Holiday Information

If your hours have changed since the holidays, be sure that your current hours and closures are accurate. Likewise, if you know you’ll be closed for upcoming holidays such as Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, etc., schedule those hours now using the “special hours” feature.

Get Help With Your Search Engine Visibility and Ranking

If you need help getting your business to show up and rank locally contact Let It Be Local today. Let It Be Local provides SEO services, as well as Google Ads, social media, and web design with a focus on locally-focused small businesses.  

Ready to Get Started?

We would love to help you accelerate your business. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your online objectives.
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