:: By Travis Bliffen, Stellar SEO ::
The battle between websites can get downright fierce in some industries while other verticals require very little to rank or outperform their online competition.
In either business scenario, there are three easy, but proven effective website changes companies can make to gain the upper hand on their less-optimized competition in the local search market.
1. GMB Site Mirroring
Many people set up Google My Business (GMB) listings, stuff a few keywords in the description and call it good. There are actually several things you can do to further optimize your GMB listing and how it works with your website. One of which is structure mirroring. When you set up your GMB listing you are given the option to select categories. Let’s say that you are a digital marketing company and you choose:
• Web Design
• Internet Marketing Service
• Marketing Agency
Your website should also contain pages specific to each of the categories you have selected. This shows Google that you are extremely relevant to the categories and that you are offering a quick and user-friendly layout that will get their search traffic to the right page as quickly as possible. Sure, this sounds extremely simple and the execution is, but how many of you are NOT doing this at the moment?
2. Optimizing Image Data
Adding alternate text and making file names descriptive has been discussed many times. What you don’t hear as often is geo-tagging photos. There are several options for tagging images but the Picasa desktop app is one of the most popular. Simply gather all of the photos you will be using for your website, Google My Business and citation building. Once you import them into the program of your choice enter the latitude and longitude of your exact location and then double check to make sure it is accurate. Now when you add these photos to sites your images will have an extra element of optimization, giving you the leg up on your competition.
3. Switching to a Secure Site
It is not often that Google comes out and tells us what to do to positively impact rankings. The fact that they have mentioned that secure sites will be given a ranking boost is a good indication that we should start moving that way. As most of you know, Google has long said they are on a mission to improve user experience and if you understand how SSL certificates work, you can clearly see why they would favor sites using them. That being said, if you are not sure how to set up the appropriate redirects so that you avoid losing links or creating duplicate content issues, you may do more harm than good. Although slightly dated, Moz put together a great resource for understanding how to navigate these tricky waters.
While the three steps above are not going to help you dominate search around the globe, they are all steps in the right direction. If you are looking for more ways to improve your optimization check out Brand Signals for Better SEO.
Over to You?
Have you implemented any of the three tips above? How did it impact your rankings?
Travis Bliffen is the founder of Stellar SEO, a Web design and marketing firm located in Marion, IL. Travis and his team are equipped to handle any size SEO project and have helped numerous businesses to date build a rock solid online presence. When you are ready for more leads and sales, it is time to get #stellarized. Connect on Facebook or Twitter @theseoproz