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How to improve your Local SEO

Local SEO. Internet Marketing Concept.Optimising your local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is vital for small businesses. Local SEO is where you target customers who are likely to come and visit your store or business location. By correctly targeting the correct people who are in the vicinity of your business, it will encourage them to come and visit. Studies suggest that once someone has searched for a local business, they are likely to go and visit the business within 24 hours, so it is vital to get your business out there. Here we discuss a few ways in which you can improve your local SEO to get you seen by more people, but more importantly, the correct people. By using some of the same methods of standard SEO such as creating engaging and informative content, you can become more visible, however for local SEO there are a few more factors you should consider:

1.    Claim your business listing
Claiming your My Google Business page is a great way to start. This will mean when people search for a business similar to yours, you can appear in the business listings and this will provide potential customers with important information such as your opening hours, your address and contact details. Try and use local keywords in your listing as well. Google is not the only listing you can claim. Look at Bing Local, Yelp and other industry specific business directories to make your business more visible. Also add all of this useful information onto your social media networks as well. You can make your listing stand out with images and reviews. This could make the difference of a customer picking your company over a competitor.

2.    Keyword Research
Just as with all SEO and many forms of digital marketing, keyword research is extremely important. Having an understanding of what words and phrases customers are using when searching online lets you know what you should be including in your content. Start with some competitor analysis as this is a great way to get some inspiration to start you off. Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to help with this exercise. You can then use the keywords you want to focus on in your targeting list in Google Adwords and ensure they are included in your website copy to help with organic results as well. A great way to add keywords in a website is by writing informative and helpful blog articles for your target customers.

3.    Think mobile first
Many people are using their mobile phones above any other device they own so it makes sense to always ensure mobile is at the top of your mind when carrying out any form of digital marketing. It is especially important for local SEO as people will be looking for businesses on their phone on the go, so if they are near your business, they are likely to visit. You need to ensure that when customers are searching, all the information you want to get across is easy to read on mobile and that it’s all easy to find. Although your website needs to look good across all devices including tablets and desktop, mobile should always be the priority as so many people rely on them.

4.    Reviews are extremely useful
It is a good idea to ask your customers for reviews. As long as you don’t force your customers, or ask them in a rude or forceful way, a lot of customers will be happy to provide you with one. This is especially important for certain sectors such as dining or hotels. Having reviews on Google or Trip Advisor and other review sites will help you appear higher up on the search results page. Also, reviews hold a lot of power. If customers see several good reviews, they will be more tempted to visit your business. But make sure you keep an eye on reviews. Good reviews can do amazing things for both your brand visibility and your reputation, but bad reviews can sometimes be damaging. By addressing reviews, whether they are good or bad, in a quick and professional manner will show you have high levels of customer service.

5.    Be Social
Social media isn’t going anywhere soon, so it is important for your business to be visible on social media as it will be where your audience is. Social media marketing as a whole is relatively cheap form of marketing and can have an extremely high impact. The main thing to consider is which social platform is right for your business? Each social media platform is different, and you need to cater your content for this. It also depends on which social media platforms you believe your ideal customers to be on. If you are a restaurant for example, then Instagram is a great platform for you as your products are extremely visual, which will translate on Instagram well as this is a very image led platform. Social media is also a great place to push offers which can entice people to visit your business. Once you have people at your business, try and get them to share that they were there or used your product or service as this will help increase your reach.

6.    Make sure you measure
As with all elements of marketing, you need to make sure you measure the results consistently so you can adapt your strategy and see the results. The Google My Business dashboard can provide you with some information such as how many times your listing has been viewed, how many times it has been searched and how many times your map has been looked at. These are all great indications that customers are interested in visiting your business or contacting you.

7.    Make sure all details are correct
When filling out your business listings, always ensure your business information is correct. Keep your phone number, website, email address, business address and opening hours consistently up to date to avoid any customer confusion as this could lead to frustration. Also ensure all your information is consistent. Make sure your present your address in the same way each time with no abbreviations, as again this shows a great eye for detail and professionalism.

8.    Get blogging
Creating a blog on your website is a great way to regularly update your website, include local keywords and provide your potential customers with useful or entertaining content all at once. Not only is blogging great for SEO, it can benefit the customer by providing information each time they visit your website. If you can keep them engaged, they will be more invested in your business. You can use these blogs on your social channels as well!

If you need help with your local SEO strategy then Team DBS can help. We can look at your current website, and ensure your site is fully optimized for local SEO traffic. We can also help with your social media presence as well. If you would like more information or a no obligation quote then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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PPC vs SEO – which is best for my business?

Text sign showing Ppc Vs Seo. Conceptual photo Pay per click against Search Engine Optimization strategies.Search Engine Marketing (also known as SEM) consists of two main areas, PPC (Pay per Click Advertising) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). If you are new to these terms, they can appear to be extremely daunting prospects. Here we help to explain what they are, discuss the differences between the two of them, why they are important for increasing sales and revenue, and which one will work best for your business.

What is PPC?
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. This marketing technique allows you to show a customised advert to people who are searching for your products or services. The beauty of it is that you are only charged when someone clicks on your advert, hence the name.

Pay Per Click advertising is most effective on Google or Bing and the reason it’s so effective is that you get to choose the search terms your adverts are shown for. The ads are highly prominent as they appear at the top of search result pages and in most instances will be the first listings that clients or customers see.

The exact position your ad will appear in depends heavily on how much you are willing to spend, your resources, and skill set in the area. If there is a lot of competition for certain “keywords” (which are phrases that your potential clients or customers are typing in to the search engine), then it will cost you more per click to feature at the top of the page. You can identify which results on a page are PPC as they feature the word “Ad”.

What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the marketing technique used to try and influence the “organic” or “natural” search engine results, which you do not pay to appear in. By optimising your website content and digital presence by focusing on certain keywords, you can end up getting your website on to the first page of the search engine results without the need to pay every time someone clicks on the link.

Organic results appear below the PPC ads. If you create your website with the keywords that people are searching for in mind in terms of meta data (the code that sits behind each page and tells Google what your website is about), the text on those pages, the layout of the site and more, then you can create something that Google and other search engines will love and will be more likely to appear higher up in the results. Having a site that is easy to navigate, answers your customers questions and has a good overall customer experience are factors that Google likes and in turn will reward you with a higher position. But it is isn’t just enough to do this once and forget about it – Google likes to see a website that is constantly being updated and an active social media presence, so SEO is an ongoing process.

What are the differences?
Cost - The main draw to SEO is that it free - but only to a degree. Initially you will have to pay for the website and the content on it to be optimized if you want it to be done properly and in line with keyword research. You may also have to pay for someone to write ongoing content (such as a blog) or to write your social media for you, but you can do that yourself.

However, you will not have to pay each time a customer clicks, unlike PPC where you must pay for each individual click regardless of whether the customer ends up converting. Having said this, it takes investment in both time and money in order to get your SEO to a great level. The cost you end up paying for an ad depends on what keyword you are bidding for and how many people are bidding on the same keyword, among others, as PPC is effectively an online auction. Although you have to pay each time a customer clicks through, you do not have to pay every time your advert is viewed. Although SEO does not have a direct cost like PPC, you have to consider the cost of both time and money spent on your ongoing efforts to build you SEO as it is a time-consuming task.

Position in Search Results - PPC ads feature above organic results and also feature at the bottom of the search results page. The position of your advert depends on many factors. Organic results fill the middle of search engine result pages (SERPs) and the exact position, again depends on many factors. The more relevant search engines think you are, the higher up the page it will place you. Many people think that if they are positioned high up in the natural results then they don’t need to feature in PPC, but often that isn’t the case. Many people will only click the first two or three results they see, which are often PPC. To catch as many visitors as possible, you generally need to appear in both.

Time - PPC is a much quicker option and you can see results in a much shorter time period. If PPC adverts are set up effectively you can start seeing results straight away. SEO is a time-consuming task in comparison, and it can take months for the benefits to start to be felt. However, if it is carried out regularly and efficiently, you will see the benefits that can last a long time.

Visibility - PPC ads are more visible across all of Google including their partners such as YouTube. This means your ad can appear in more places than your organic result which can lead to more visits to your site.

Control - A benefit of PPC is that you are in complete control of what your ad says and how it will appear (even if you cannot completely control where). This means you can create tailored ads that are targeting specific groups of people. The more informative your ad is, the more likely a customer will click.

Amount of Traffic - Studies have suggested that PPC ads get more clicks, however this will therefore result in higher cost. SEO results will get high amounts of traffic but only if you feature high up in the results, which again can take a lot of time to achieve this, if at all.

In conclusion the best approach for many businesses is a combination of both PPC and SEO. Depending on the budget you have available and the type of business you own, you should start with PPC as the results can be seen faster, but team this up with an SEO strategy as soon as possible, as the sooner you start, the sooner you will start to see the benefits. This is a longer-term strategy and will require a lot of initial effort, however if you continue to carry out SEO you will hopefully appear on the first page of results which will be cheaper for your business in the long run. They also work hand in hand as if you start off with PPC ads you can use the keyword data you have created in your research to aid your SEO strategy at the same time.  Both PPC and SEO take time to completely master and will involve a lot of resources, however when they are done well, both methods make a huge impact on the visibility and success of your website and business.

If you need help with your PPC or SEO strategies, then the DBS team are happy to help. Contact us on 01522 811688 or visit for more information.

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