COVID-19 has quickly changed the world, and you might be wondering whether your local Colorado business should be focusing on SEO during the pandemic or taking a break. While cutting out digital marketing might save some cash, this move can have disastrous effects on your bottom line results. Below shows what the pandemic has done to search traffic and why you should continue to focus on SEO during these troubling and strange times.
SEO During the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Search Traffic
When the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to send employees home last Spring, internet use skyrocketed. More than ever before, people began using online meetings and streaming apps, social media platforms, and search engines.
In a time marked by a change in interests and needs, consumers have turned to Google to get answers to their questions and find ways to solve problems. Interestingly, paid search traffic has dropped dramatically. So, if your business was relying on paid ads for advertising to secure leads, it may not be as effective.
Why SEO During the Pandemic Is Still Good for Local Businesses
The truth remains that businesses that focus on SEO will be the ones that consumers find in organic searches. SEO proves vital for standing out above your competitors when someone is looking to discover a new brand or make a decision about a purchase. Beyond this, here are several more reasons why your local business should continue its search engine marketing efforts with an experienced Colorado SEO expert during these difficult times.
SEO During the Pandemic Can Produce Business
When the economy takes a downturn, you want to focus your efforts on marketing that can produce results. When you show up in the search engine results for the right keywords, people are going to visit your website or give you a call. Provided you have the rest of the formula in place, your SEO efforts are the first step towards reaching your business goals.
Search Results are Measurable
As a Colorado business, you want to put your marketing dollars towards something you can measure. Unlike some other branding efforts, search marketing is measurable by looking at your analytics and sales leads.
People Search More When Things are “Scarce”
Remember what happened with toilet paper just a few short months ago? When goods are scarce, the search for them goes through the roof. If your business can be in the search results when some scarcity event happens, it will reap the benefits.
Evergreen Content Is Still Essential
There’s nothing wrong with writing about trending topics, but the traffic to those pages will decline with time. There’s never a bad time to focus on and publish evergreen content that will stand the test of time and continue to accumulate rankings and traffic.
SEO: More Than Just Website Traffic
The purpose of SEO isn’t just to increase website traffic, although more traffic is a good sign. As your business gets more visibility in the search engines, more people will recognize your brand name, even if they’ve never clicked on your link. In the long-term, you’re going to get more qualified traffic to your website that will translate into sales.
Getting Help With Your SEO During the Pandemic
Even though the country and consumers are facing unprecedented changes, this isn’t the time to put the brakes on your digital marketing efforts. If your business would like to develop a strategy to boost its SEO during the pandemic, we encourage you to contact us for a conversation about the next steps.
Pagecafe is an established Colorado-based web design and SEO company that specializes in helping local businesses get found and chosen in Google.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
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Wondering how to get your business to rank higher on Yelp? If not you should be, many of your prospects in Colorado go to the Yelp business directory every day when looking for local companies and services like yours.
Yelp offers a free listing to businesses called “Yelp for Business.” If you want to increase the likelihood of your prospects finding you on Yelp then you need to optimize this free listing.
Beyond just more searchers finding you, Yelp is famous for customer reviews and is therefore an important part of managing your company’s reputation. Many Colorado business owners actually hate Yelp because Yelp users tend to leave negative reviews. But it is because of the reviews that most business owners should take the steps in the post to claim and manage their Yelp business listing.
Yelp is usually a key part of the SEO strategy for local businesses in Colorado. Here are some tips on how to optimize this page to rank higher on Yelp and increase leads and sales from Yelp.
How to Rank Higher on Yelp for Business
First, let’s quickly answer the question of how does the Yelp for business work?
Yelp is an immensely popular business directory in the form of a website and mobile app that Colorado users love to use to find and review business. In particular, Yelp is used to find brick-and-mortar shops, stores and businesses.
The term “Yelp for business” refers to the listing of your company on Yelp. The listing, aka profile, contains your business name, address, phone, hours, descriptions, photos and customer reviews.
This Yelp profile can be created by you, by Yelp itself or by anyone with a Yelp account. However, your Yelp business profile can only be claimed and managed by the business owner. More on that later.
How Does Yelp Help Small Local Businesses?
Yelp can help your business in two key ways: leads and reputation management.
When your prospects go to Yelp to search for goods and services your Yelp profile page will appear on the search results page. Like Google search, the higher your business ranks on the Yelp search results the more traffic, leads, and sales you will get from Yelp.
Yelp users love to read and leave reviews. If a Yelp user is your customer there is a good chance they will leave you a review. If a Yelp user needs your services there is a good chance they will open the Yelp app and search using the keywords for your business. The more great reviews you have the more new customers you will get. Vice-versa if you have lots of bad reviews.
Is a Yelp for Business Account Free?
Yelp for business offers a basic listing that is free. This listing is fine for most business categories. Yelp is very popular in the hospitality industry where the competition is fierce.
Tourism is a big industry in Colorado. If your business is a restaurant, lodging, travel service, bar, coffee shop, tourist-related, travel-related, etc. then you might want to explore the paid options Yelp offers with more features to increase visibility and engagement with your business.
In this post, we are going to focus on the Yelp for business free profile.
Claim Your Yelp for Business Page
You need to claim your Yelp for business page so you can update the info, add photos, reply to reviews and see visitor traffic to your Yelp profile.
If you’ve been in operation for a while, there is a good chance Yelp already has a listing for your business. If your business is new, then you may need to create your Yelp listing from scratch.
Claiming involves several steps that essentially verify you are the owner of the business. Go to the Claiming Your Business page on Yelp for instructions. Once claimed, come back here for tips on optimizing your listing.
Choose the Best Category
Choosing the best category for your business listing may be the most important tactic to rank higher on Yelp and get found by your most qualified prospects. Take some time to do this right.
Yelp offers a large list of categories for you to choose from to describe your business. Each business is allowed to multiple categories. You don’t have to choose a bunch of categories, in-fact sometimes it is better to choose only one or two categories. Unrelated categories may hurt your visibility.
Some categories unlock additional features for your profile page. For example, restaurant categories allow you to enter menus, delivery services and the like.
Upload Photos and Videos
Photos and videos improve the overall content of your Yelp listings. In addition, more quality photos and videos help with visibility. I definitely see that adding photos regularly helps businesses rank higher on Yelp.
Try to get your customers to post photos when they review your business.
Yelp lets businesses provide information common to many businesses such as a military discount, women-owned, and pandemic related features like social distancing enforced and the like. Click all that apply.
Hours of Operation
Enter the hours your business is open for walk-ins and phone answering. I don’t recommend saying your open 24/7 as many plumbers and lawyers do as this can give a negative experience to potential customers.
From This Business
This is the most important area of content optimization on Yelp and is where you provide textual information about your business and this is where you want to spend some time crafting keyword-rich descriptions.
The Yelp profile includes three sections where you can include text about your business. Write content for each section. Below are tips for what to write about in each section. For even more guidance visit Yelp’s official guidelines for the “From the Business” sections.
Focus this section on what you do and how you are better than your competitors. Include your keywords here to rank higher on Yelp but don’t stuff keywords into your content, rather make your business descriptions naturally include those keywords. Think about your audience. The words you write should appeal to the emotions of your primary audience. Use language that your audience can relate to, so they’ll feel a natural connection to you. Character limit: 1,000.
Enter the year you established the business in the box. Then in the history box go into storytelling mode and describe the history of the business, including 2 or 3 of the major milestones. Character limit: 1,000.
Meet the Business Owner
This is where you put a face on the business by connecting the business specialties and history with the business owner. Share why you started the business and your overall mission or purpose. You can include one or two personal details that you’re comfortable sharing. Character limit: 1,000.
You’re Done with the Profile, But Not the Work
Once you’ve completed the three sections above you are essentially done with the free components of your Yelp for Business profile and you’ve started the journey to rank higher on Yelp. But don’t stop here, at this point you need to start using Yelp to engage with your customers.
Below are four Yelp optimization tactics you can implement to help convince Yelp that you should rank at the top of the search result pages.
Encourage Customer Check-Ins
Your Yelp business listing has a button for customers to check-in. Businesses are allowed to encourage people who are physically visiting the business to check-in.
Businesses can create and post a check-in offer as a way to receive loyalty rewards. This is a Yelp paid service, visit Yelp to learn more.
The most important fact to understand about increasing the number of Yelp reviews for your business is that you need to get reviews from people that use Yelp regularly. Don’t waste your time trying to get non-Yelper’s to leave a review. This is because Yelp will often remove reviews from people that create a Yelp account, log in once to leave you a review and then never log in again. Yelp views these types of reviews as fake.
Find out if your happy customers are regular Yelp users. By regular I mean they actually log into Yelp to find and review businesses they use. If you have a happy customer that is a regular Yelp user then you need to take action and let them know you are on Yelp.
Don’t ask your customers directly to review you on Yelp. That’s because Yelp policy forbids businesses to directly ask or reward a customer to leave a positive review. Instead, make it obvious to your customers that you are on Yelp. Get a Yelp sticker and put it on the door of your brick-and-mortar business. Put a Yelp badge on your website that links to your Yelp listing. You can also put a Yelp link in your email signature to remind people to visit your Yelp page.
Reply to All Reviews
Be sure to reply to all reviews, good and bad. Responding to reviews shows the prospects viewing your page that you care about the opinions of your customers.
Keep Yelp Listing Fresh
Yelp favors businesses that are active on their Yelp business listing. Log into your Yelp page at least once a month and make an update if possible. Great updates are posting more photos, responding to reviews and refreshing details about your business.
Optimizing your Yelp for Business page so that you rank higher on Yelp is not hard, it just requires a little effort. Follow the steps above and log into your Yelp profile on a regular basis and you may soon find phone and front doorbell ringing with new customers from Yelp.
Before You Leave
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Is it worth paying for SEO if you are a local business in Colorado? While it’s true that the search engine’s algorithms continue to change, it’s hard to argue with the value of ranking well in Google. But, any smart local business owner is going to carefully weigh their options. So, here we discuss what you need to know about the current state of SEO so that you can answer the question, Is SEO worth paying for?
Is It Worth Paying for SEO, and What Exactly is It?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a series of adjustments and tweaks to your website and its content with the goal of driving free, or organic, traffic from the search engines to your website. When you get higher rankings in the search engines, your site will get discovered by more people who are looking for your products and services.
This leads to the question, does SEO work, and is it worth paying for SEO? In short, yes, and it’s something your business doesn’t want to ignore.
Why Organic Search Engine Traffic is So Important
If you’ve had the concern, “is it worth paying for SEO?” the numbers don’t lie. According to one study by Bright Edge, more than half (51%) of traffic that goes to websites comes from organic search. This far beats other traffic sources, such as paid search and social media at 14% and 5%, respectively.
Organic search is not only the top source of your website’s traffic but performing well in the search engines benefits your business in several ways:
- Organic rankings are vital for local businesses – 70% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store, and 30% of mobile searches are location-specific.
- More people are online – With brick and mortar businesses shutting down thanks to COVID-19 and the necessity for social distancing, more people than ever are using the internet. How you represent your brand in the search engines is vital.
- Google has authority – Consumers trust Google to deliver relevant search results, which is why the #1 spot gets roughly 21% of clicks.
- More sales and revenue – High SERP rankings translate into more clicks and conversions for your business. Research shows that 81% of shoppers research products online before purchasing.
SEO Services: Worth the Money
Google isn’t the simple search engine that it once was. The search engine giant has changed its algorithm repeatedly over the past decade and has released a vast amount of features such as local search results, knowledge cards, news boxes, related questions, products and services, shopping results, video results, and more.
In addition to ranking your Colorado business website high in organic search results, there are endless opportunities to have your brand and its content show up on the first page of Google. But it isn’t easy. Google has become sophisticated and only ranks high-quality content in organic and local results. Some of the things that won’t work anymore to improve your rankings include:
- Clickbait headlines
- Keyword stuffing
- Spammy backlinks to your site
- Duplicate content
- Sites not optimized for fast loading and mobile devices
When done properly with an experienced and reputable partner, SEO proves to be worth every penny paid. The right digital marketing company can help your business with webpage optimization, content marketing, technical SEO, and offsite optimization to get your website the attention it deserves.
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Getting Help with Your SEO Needs
After reading this discussion about the value of search engine optimization (SEO), if you’re still wondering, “Is it worth paying for SEO?” then we invite you to have a more in-depth conversation on the topic.
Reach out to Pagecafe to schedule a free consultation with a local SEO expert today to learn more about how SEO can help your business achieve its goals. We are an established Colorado-based company that specializes in helping local businesses increase leads and sales through web design and SEO.
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Understanding how to find your website ranking on Google should be very high on your Colorado business priority list. Ranking in the top positions or at least the first page of search results on Google ensure that your SEO campaign is delivering on its promises. Even when your website ranks well, observing and understanding trends and changes helps you to track your competitors. So, how do you find your website ranking on Google? Here are some top tips.
Fluctuations in Your Website Ranking on Google
Search results are increasingly variable and in real time. Your keyword rankings may change on a daily or even hourly basis. Five key factors play a role in search results:
- Localization – Often, businesses near the searchers physical location appear first in the rankings, especially for local-oriented keywords.
- Algorithm Updates – Google constantly refines and tweaks its algorithms, driving search results. Changes affect your results either negatively or positively.
- Personalization – Google uses previous browsing habits to show the most relevant search results.
- User Engagement – Results that get a lot of clicks get a boost in the rankings, especially when they receive a lot of user engagement.
- SEO Campaign Efforts – Improvements to content, backlinks, or your website’s structure will improve its visibility in Google search results.
So, how can you see where your site ranks at any given time?
Using Search Console to Find Your Website Ranking on Google
Google’s search console offers average values to show where your site ranks for a range of search terms. Those aren’t exact figures. Yet, this diagnostic information comes straight from Google.
To use the search console, you need to register your website first. Then once registered in Google Search Console, you’ll sign in, select your site from the provided list, click “search traffic” and “search analytics.” This shows the keywords you’re ranking for and which are generating click-throughs. Next, click “Impressions,” “CTR,” and “Position.” You can choose the filter so you only see your company’s results if you wish. This gives you relatively accurate data about your ranking position.
BrightLocal Is Not Free, But It Can Find Your Website Ranking on Google
There is a suite of BrightLocal SEO tools that you can use to check your Google ranking. The Local Search Results Rank Checker (click to view on the BrightLocal website) is useful and free. It also supplies screenshots that you can save and review later. It’s possible to enter targeted keywords and a location, too, so you’ll see localized results.
Using Private Browser Sessions
All major browsers provide private browsing sessions. Private Browser Sessions prove useful if you want to carry out manual checks. However, bear your location in mind. Your results can become artificially inflated this way.
However, you are able to disable the search’s location element. Also, if you choose keywords that have no local influence, your results will be a more accurate representation of your ranking for locations father from your businesss. You can use your private browser session by opening your favorite incognito browser and searching keywords. You should do this in multiple locations, and then cross-reference your results.
SEO Services and Packages
Today’s search engines have numerous variances and inputs that can affect your Colorado Springs website’s ranking. This means the process of finding your website ranking on Google can be complicated. Using a professional Colorado Springs SEO service or package will ensure you get the best and most accurate results. Professional SEO companies will provide rank analysis and tracking as part of your deal, which makes it easier to stay on top of your SEO campaigns and ensure they’re working for you.
Finding your website ranking on Google truly is extremely important to the growth and success of your business. Ensure you get accurate results by working with Pagecafe. We are a Colorado Springs local business with expert knowledge on finding your website ranking on Google.
Call us today to get started!
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