These days, most customers search for businesses through the internet based on their needs. A new local business may have an extremely lacking online presence, simply due to search engine algorithms. SEO techniques, especially those done on a local scale, help businesses to not be at the mercy of these algorithms by allowing them to appear higher on search results. On a local scale, some of the tactics used to propel through search results will be different than on a global or national scale. That’s why Jacksonville Local SEO is crucial in boosting the online presence of local Jacksonville businesses.
Local SEO vs Global SEO for Small Businesses
What is the difference between local and large-scale SEO anyways? Well, a small business definitely wants to show up at the top of a search engine, but if the small business is in Florida, they don’t really care about the search results in California. So, local businesses will need to cater their SEO to the area near them. For example, a business using Jacksonville SEO would probably seek to show up in top results in northeast Florida. It is recommended that one uses a local SEO service for local SEO. For businesses in northeast Florida, Jacksonville SEO knows Jacksonville trends, and can take a targeted, local approach to your SEO.
Speaking in a broad SEO sense, there are really three main components of search ranking. The content in a site places its ranking based on relevancy, backlinks rank based on interconnectedness, and everything else comes down to that search engine’s specific algorithm.
When creating content, a local business will want to write content with links to more of the business’s content, or relevant content elsewhere. These links increase ranking on both a global and local setting. More specific than this, for local SEO, a local business will want to fill out a My Business Location form on Google. You will want to be exceedingly thorough when filling out this information, to make sure all necessary information is present and no inaccuracies exist.
Another thing that local businesses need to ensure is that the name, address, and phone number (commonly referred to in the local SEO world as NAP) of their business is posted on multiple platforms and is consistently correct. It is extremely important for a local business to remain consistent across platforms. Sometimes, the search ranking algorithm will see a business with minor inconsistencies as illegitimate and place it farther down on ranking results.
This is a major problem for local businesses who don’t realize they have inconsistencies but see very low web traffic. Luckily, it’s a very easy problem to fix and easy information to maintain. Below are some general practices that businesses can take up online, specific to local SEO (especially Jacksonville SEO).
Creating fleshed out social media accounts will help to give Jacksonville local businesses more ranking power in search engines. Simply creating the accounts isn’t enough though, it’s necessary to keep active on social media, as accounts with more followers fare better on search engine ranking. Make sure that your business is taking an intensely cross-platform approach. The more active social media profiles, the better that the business will show up on search results.
In 2018, Google announced that it would now be ranking results based on the mobile friendliness of websites as well, as the majority of people now browse the internet and search for goods and services on their mobile device. This is called “Mobile-First Indexing” and it’s a response to the ever-growing use of mobile devices in business. This mobile friendliness not only includes a design conducive to mobile viewing, but a quick load time, which is seen as more mobile-friendly. Something a business can do to increase their load times on mobile devices is to participate in Google AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages. This project optimizes pages for mobile devices and routes the visit through AMP. The user can then proceed to the real website if they wish, or continue browsing through AMP.
If a customer opts to turn on location services, the search engine will also highly prioritize searches in the area nearest to them. This is another reason that a business needs to establish their physical presence online. Businesses with a fully informed search engine profile are more likely to be visited than a company lacking tons of necessary information, like business hours or a phone number. Businesses can also be penalized on search results rankings for information that doesn’t match on all platforms, such as an out-of-date phone number or email.
The drastic increase of people using voice command has changed the structure of most people’s search queries. When in the past, people might search for “pizza in Jacksonville”, they might now say “pizza places near me”. Be sure to account for the different structure in queries brought about by voice command, due to the natural variation between how we might vocally say something, and how we might type something out. It’s important for local businesses to not only think about how people in the area might structure their searches, but also the method in which they search that could lead to a difference in the structure of their searches.
Using a Geo Modifier means that you add a specific location to a set of keywords, such as saying “Jacksonville local SEO”, rather than just “local SEO”. It is pretty much useless for broad SEO, which may reduce the national search engine rankings for your business, but for a locally focused business, Geo Modifiers are an extremely vital SEO practice to take. If on the hunt for a local business, people will be likely to do a search for pretty much the exact phrase that you entered, plus the Geo Modifier.
Jax SEO is Local SEO
There are so many more things to consider for SEO today, especially locally. By its very nature SEO is an extremely dynamic field, constantly in flux. Sourcing to Jacksonville SEO ensures that you receive professional services, from a company that deeply understands SEO, and more importantly, deeply understands Jacksonville.