Whether you are trying to increase your conversions or enhancing awareness of your brand, SEO can give your website the edge it needs to achieve these goals.
However, it is essential to know that search engine optimization is, in fact, a combination of off-page SEO, on-page SEO, social media marketing, link building, content optimization, and website development.
With so many aspects to consider, it is no surprise that many small businesses in California and all across the United States are fighting to get their websites ranked in local search results.
The digital marketing experts at Rank On Top often come across clients who bring in these complains:
“I can’t get any leads thru my website, it’s useless.”
“We can’t trust inbound marketing; it’s not working for us.”
“We did the keyword research and wrote new content, but Google isn’t responding. Where did we go wrong?”
“There is no ROI to blogging!”
“We got a new website. What do we do with it?”
If any of these issues sound familiar, we understand why you are frustrated. It can be very tiring to put in the effort and not get a payoff.
There can be many reasons why your website isn’t showing up in search results for Google.
Here are 5 of the most prevalent factors that can keep your business site from ranking:
1. Not Looking For Backlinks That Drag You Down
Our search marketing specialists agree that backlinks are one of the top-ranking factors that Google looks for when ranking a site.
The trouble is that it wants highly relevant backlinks to your site’s pages – if the links are originating from dubious or blacklisted websites, the search engine will consider yours one of them. And guess what? Even if you’ve done everything right, your site will go down because it’s associating with the wrong crowd.
And if you have links from big international websites, Google might nor rank you locally because your pages simply won’t have any local relevance.
So be very careful when creating or removing backlinks, and know what your goals are for the exercise before you get to it.
Our backlinking technicians suggest that you seek referrals and linkbacks from your suppliers, partners, and other business stakeholders. Associating with local companies will add value to both your search presence. So talk to your local clubs and charities, contribute to their events to make it to the local online news that links back to your website
2. Neglecting Your Citations
A beautiful website is useless if Google simply doesn’t have enough info about your business to guide people to it.
Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be added to your Facebook, Google My Business, Google Maps, and Apple Maps pages. This simple info is powerful enough to help you rank in local search, so build up your citations with correct information because it will do a lot for your ranking.
Google appreciates citations because these allow potential clients to find your store easily.
3. Not Optimizing Website Images
Did you know that Google allows users to search via images (and now voice, too)?
While voice search may be too advanced for small businesses in California, optimizing for image search is very important.
But since Google can’t ‘read’ images, it relies on the data accompanying your picture – this includes alt tags, image names, and other text that surrounds it on the webpage. Make sure your image alt text and descriptions use keywords naturally. This will make sure images show up higher in search results, and that’ll get your website to rank too.
4. Not Working On Website Responsiveness
Your local customers are using smartphones to find related businesses online – Google won’t show them your website until it’s sure that the site will look good on a phone screen.
You can ensure that by creating a responsive website – i.e., has the ability to adjust to different screen sizes without compromising on its usability.
If you want to capture high-response local buyers, optimize your website to provide immaculate user experience with a clean layout and fast loading times.
When you review the site, consider a visitor’s POV to critique it. Is the content easy to read? Is it easy to navigate between the pages? Do the design elements adjust to the screen size?
Make sure that your site’s visitors find the info, products, or services they are looking for. Add sharing buttons so they can share your page with their social media, increasing the reach of your website.
5. Not Knowing What Your Competitors Are Doing
Google takes many factors into account when creating results for a search. These include location, intent matching, personalization, etc. so you might see that the same keyword shows up in different search results at different places depending on search location, language, or the device used.
So find out if your competing businesses are deploying a particular strategy to show up on SERPs. You can do this with a simple Google search for your targeted keywords. Make a spreadsheet that details any competitor websites that show up in the top 3 search results for your keywords.
Repeat this for all locations and keywords you wish to rank for.
In the end, study the names of your real local competitors in the spreadsheet, visit their websites, and see what they are getting right.
SEO isn’t all that complicated, but it is a very exact science that depends on some simple yet powerful factors, as explained by Google.
If you’d like to find and fix local SEO mistakes for your California business website, get in touch with us today. We’ll make sure that your business takes off and leaves your competitors behind in the dust