3 Ways to Make Search Engines Love Your Site

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Do you know exactly what search engines are looking for on your website? Simply having a website doesn’t mean search engine algorithms can easily find it and know when to show it to local searchers. Building a strong relationship between your website and search engines isn’t easy or fast, but here are three places to start.

1. Be Prepared for Mobile Searchers

Let’s start with the basics: a mobile-friendly website is no longer just an option. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile search, it might as well not exist for more than half of local searches that are conducted. That’s right: over 50% of local searches happen on mobile devices. And with search engine changes like last year’s Mobilegeddon, non-mobile websites are being de-emphasized, if not outright penalized, in mobile search results. So, having a mobile-friendly or responsive website is the first step to boosting search traffic with local SEO.

2. Create Quality Content & Back it Up with Metadata

Yes, keywords are still important to your local SEO strategy, but the way you should use them has shifted as search engines have become better interpreters of what’s on your website and how it relates to a user’s search intent. So, arbitrarily stuffing your website with your target keywords or writing only for search engines rather than consumers will probably hurt your site in the long run, since the goal of search engines is to provide users with relevant, helpful responses to their queries. The more helpful and relevant your site’s content is, the better it will fare over time. And, fully completing the metadata on every page – like headings, title tags, alt text, etc. – will give both search engines and searchers a snapshot of your site, further contributing to better performance in organic search results.

3. Focus on Your Local Audience

In reality, you don’t want just anyone to discover and visit your website. If you’re driving the wrong people to your business, they’re going to bounce quickly without contacting you, which could hurt your future SEO performance, not to mention conversions and sales. That’s why it’s imperative to focus your website’s SEO on the audience that matters most: those in your local area who are most likely to buy. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or are a field service business, knowing your local audience is key to developing a focused local SEO program. Not only can your target city and neighborhoods influence your keyword strategy, but adding location-specific information, like NAP (name, address, phone), on your website — and making that information consistent with your local listings —  will help search engines more quickly and easily identify your target location and show your site to searches in that area.

These three website updates are just a glimpse of what goes into a complete SEO program. Discover more ways to make your website search-friendly, and learn about our enhanced local search engine optimization solution, ReachSEO.

Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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