7 Facts You Need To Know About SEO

When it comes to SEO, there are many factors that determine the way your website is indexed and ranked by the search engines. That in mind, it’s obvious that by focusing on the right SEO techniques, you can maximize your marketing efforts and grow your business into a success.

But other than improving your visibility on the search engines, what else does SEO offer? 

Here are 7 facts you should know about SEO and why it’s so important for businesses when trying to take their brand to the next level.

1. Most traffic on websites comes from organic search

Organic search is currently the main source of traffic for websites. While you can direct targeted traffic to your website through paid ads or a social media marketing campaign, being visible on the search engines is always going to work in your favor. With organic search engine optimization (as opposed to pay-per-click ads) people will more easily find your website on search engines while they are looking for a product or service you provide. Making it more likely that they will convert from visitor to customer. No one searches for a product or service that they don’t want, so they’re already in the mood to buy. You just have to stand out among the competition. Additionally, when you rank on the front page of a search engine, you are showing potential consumers the legitimacy of your products or services because of your high ranking.

2. SEO is the best long term strategy to market your business

Results don’t happen overnight – organic search engine optimization takes time, patience, and consistency. While PPC or retargeting campaigns are great ways to reach your audience and sell more of your products, keep in mind that your ads will stop showing up the very moment you stop paying for them. With search engine optimization, that doesn’t happen. If your website is well optimized using the best SEO practices, it should continue to show up on search engines for months or even years to come. 

3. Good SEO is NOT expensive

Contrary to what many think, SEO is relatively cheap, considering the payoff. If you were reluctant to spend money to optimize your website for search, think of SEO as an investment. The sooner you invest in good SEO implementation, the sooner you’ll gain more visibility on Google and grow your brand for the long haul. 

4. SEO best practices are constantly changing

Did you know that ‘pausing’ an SEO campaign for too long can have a negative effect? While it’s true that SEO is a long term strategy to rank your business, what’s also true is that the search world is always changing. Google alone is known to make often algorithm changes. This means that, if you fall behind, getting back on track may be quite the challenge. 

5. SEO and User Experience are related

Few people realize that today, user experience is a big part of ranking well on search engines. Google already knows what a positive user experience looks like on a website and how to spot a negative one. The better your website is structured, the more likely it will gain more visibility. 

Google and other search engines take hundreds of factors into account when determining which pages rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs). With that being said, today, elements of user experience have been rolled into SEO best practices. How easy is your site to navigate? Do you have quality content that makes visitors want to stay and engage? Is your site secure, fast and mobile-friendly?

Think of the partnership of SEO and user experience this way: SEO targets search engines and user experience targets your website’s visitors. Both share a common goal of giving users the best experience.

Some common website elements that impact both SEO and user experience are:

-headings

-easy navigation and site structure

-site speed

-mobile experience

6. Great rankings influence conversions

Customers today do a lot of research before buying something – whether it’s a product or a service. This is a big advantage! Not only does good SEO help you rank well in Google, but it allows you to send a positive message about your offer. Using this SEO best practice to outrank your competition will definitely have a positive effect on your conversions.

7. If you’re not on Page 1, you’re losing business

Obviously, if you’re not #1, someone else is! And that means you’re losing business… If you need assistance in improving your SEO, contact us at IFTS and we will help get you on the road to page number 1!

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How to Rank Highly on Google Local

How Do I Get on Google maps?

To rank highly on Google Maps, you have to get your business on there in the first place. 

To get on Google Maps:
  1. Search for your business in Maps
  2. If it appears, claim the listing
  3. If it doesn’t appear, add it as a place to Maps and claim the listing
To claim your listing:

To claim your listing, you’ll need a Google My Business account where you will have control over what shows up in search results regarding your business. For details on how to get your GMB account set up, head to our blog Introducing Google My Business.

How Can I Rank Higher on Google Local?

Complete your Google My business listing.

Your business’s ranking in Google Maps correlates directly to the completeness and accuracy of your Google My Business listing. Google wants to display as much information about a business to consumers as possible.

To rank higher on Google Maps, each of these areas below need to be complete and optimized specifically to your business.

Enter complete data

Businesses with complete and accurate information are more likely to be matched with corresponding searches. Make sure that all of your business information is entered correctly into Google my business so customers easily know what you do, where to find you, and at what time. Be sure to provide the important information such as your physical address, phone number, category and attributes. Keep this information updated as your business changes.

Verify Your Locations

Verify your business’ location to give it the best opportunity to appear when being searched.

Keep business hours up to date

Be sure to enter and update your business open hours as well as special hours for holidays. This lets customers know when they can visit your business and aids in confidence that your location will be open.

Manage and respond to customer reviews

Responding to reviews is a great way to interact with customers that have used your business and shows that you value their feedback. Positive reviews from your customers will increase the likelihood of potential customers visiting your location or even choosing your business over your competition.

Add photos of your business

Adding photos of your business will show potential customers what you have to offer and could even answer any questions they may have. 

How Google Determines your Business’s Local Ranking

Local results are based off of relevance, distance and prominence as these factors are combined to help find the best match for your search.

Relevance

Relevance simply refers to how well a business listing matches what is being searched. This is what makes adding detailed information on your business extremely important so that your listing can be matched to relevant searches by Google.

Distance

Distance simply means how far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search.

Prominence

Prominence refers to how well known a business is and is based on the information that Google collects about a business from across the web such as links or articles. Google review count is factored into local search ranking. Having more reviews and positive ratings posted by your customers will improve your business’s local ranking.

 

Is your business struggling with ranking in the map pack? Contact IFTS and we will help you get started with a free Google my business audit.

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Introducing Google My Business

What is Google my business, how does it work, and how should you use it?

First off, you may be wondering, ‘what exactly Google my business actually is?’ According to Google, GMB (google my business) is an application launched in June 2014 to give business owners greater control of what shows up in search results regarding their business.

As a lawyer or a law firm, you may find that Google my business will come in extremely handy to help new clients find your services, contact information, website, or even reviews of your work – all pointing towards why they should hire you over your competitors.

The remainder of this article will discuss how to set up your GMB profile alongside the importance of each section.

Claim Your Profile

The first step to creating your Google My Business profile is claiming the GMB profile for your law firm or small business. The sooner you claim this, the sooner you will appear in organic search results and listings when users are searching for attorneys, lawyers, and law firms in your local area.

Often, Google will take the initiative and create a GMB profile for businesses, this may have already been processed for your firm. This allows clients to discover and engage with your business via organic results.

However, claiming the profile yourself will enable it to become verified – this allows you to respond to customer reviews alongside the ability to edit existing content regarding your business.

Company Name

When setting up your GMB profile you will be asked to provide a company name. Ensure this is entered accurately to help clients find your business.

Phone Number

Providing a business phone number is essential to receive business. If you’re a sole practitioner, this could be your mobile, however, for bigger firms, this should be the number of reception.

Address

Without an address, how are clients going to find you? Ensure you enter your address both accurately and as simple as possible. If it’s a hard to reach area, be sure to specify which number, colour door etc…

Website

Linking your GMB profile to your website will increase leads while allowing customers to see exactly what it is that you do, alongside providing them with means to contact you.

Hours

To complete the hours’ section simply provide your business open hours. This allows customers to know when to ring, when to visit, and when you can be reached for business queries.

Images (Inside, Outside, People)

One aspect of the GMB profile, which many businesses skimp on is the images. This is your time to shine, to show others your impressive law firm or small business and most importantly build trust by displaying employees and their role in the business.

We recommend adding as many pictures as possible to optimize your GMB profile – this will help you rank in search engines such as Google while displaying what exactly you have to  offer.

Here’s what to include:

  • Pictures inside your law firm (reception, offices, impressive views?) or small business (entry, work stations, sales floor)
  • Photos from outside of your law firm or small business (where it is, what it overlooks)
  • Images of those who work there (employees, reception staff, attorneys, even cleaning staff)

Business Description

The description is arguably the most important aspect of your GMB profile. You want this to be both informative and SEO (search engine optimized) friendly. A popular way to approach this is to answer popular questions regarding your business.

For example, what do you do, where you are based, who do you work with, and what you believe in.

You are given a total of 750-characters to fill for this section, we suggest leaving no page unturned and making use of each and every character. The more you answer the better.

Service Categories

As a business owner, Google allows you to select up to ten categories to best suit your business. For example, as a law firm, these categories may include:

  • Law
  • Lawyer
  • Law firms near me
  • Attorneys

Keep in mind that the categories you choose will influence your organic search results. Ensure these are as accurate as possible, best reflecting your businesses interests.

Logo

The minimum size for your logo is 250 x 250 pixels, ensure your logo is not too big nor too small and should be a square. As I’m sure you’re aware, your logo is how clients identify and relate to your business. Keep it simple, relevant, and easy to remember.

Cover Image Size 

As well as uploading your company logo, you will also need to provide a cover photo. The minimum dimensions for this are 480 x 280 pixels while the maximum is 2120 x 1192 pixels. When uploading your cover image ensure this is saved in either JPEG or PNG format, this will provide the highest quality resolution for your profile.

Ask and Answer a Question

As a business owner, Google allows you to ask and answer popular questions. For example, you may ask, ‘where are you located,’ ‘what sort of law do you deal with,’ or alternatively, ‘how do I contact you?’. These questions and answers provide users answers hassle free answers without the need to consult your business beforehand.

Reviews

Reviews on Google provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers. Business reviews appear next to your listing in Maps and Search, and can help your business stand out on Google.

To get reviews on Google, encourage your customers to spread the word about your business by following these best practices:

  • Remind your customers to leave reviews. Let them know that it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers.
  • Reply to reviews to build your customers’ trust. Your customers will notice that your business values their input, and are more likely to leave more reviews in the future.
  • Verify your business so your information is eligible to appear on Maps, Search, and other Google services. Only verified businesses can respond to reviews.

As mentioned previously, clients may leave reviews based on dealings with your business. Once your account is verified, you’ll be able to reply to these reviews. Keep it friendly, short, and thank your reviewers regardless of their comments.

For further information on how to deal with both positive and negative reviews, you can visit Google’s support page here.

Profile Verified and Owned by Your Firm 

Verifying your business allows it so that your business appears to customers in search results and maps. This will also allow you to respond to reviews, along with other management benefits. For further information on verifying your business, you can visit this link here.   

 

Need help creating or optimizing your Google My Business profile? Contact IFTS and we will get you started with a free 13 point profile audit.

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