If your business hasn’t been implementing any search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, you may want to start now. In 2020, we witnessed a massive shift in the business landscape brought about by the global pandemic. This put many restrictions on traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, and those that couldn’t stay afloat had to inevitably close shop. The majority of the businesses that survived did so because they were quick to migrate to an online platform. However, transferring your business from the physical space to the Internet isn’t as simple as making a website and a few social media pages. With hundreds of thousands of businesses now adopting the same strategy, how do you ensure that your company stands above the rest?
SEO is a process for improving a website’s visibility to consumers through search engines. Try to look back on the last time you did a Google search. How often do you click on websites that are lower in the search rankings? How often do you check the second page? The third page? Most likely, your answers to those questions are “not that often” or even “never”. Studies show that that’s the case for most users as well. This means that the higher your rank is on search engines, the more clicks your website gets, which was proven to be directly proportional to revenue. Thus, if you run a flower shop in Glendale, it would be ideal for your website to be the top search if someone were to Google “flower shops in Glendale”. Having an effective SEO strategy can help you achieve just that.
The importance of SEO and SEO tools for local businesses
You may think that SEO is only relevant to giant corporations and not small, local businesses, but SEO is not more vital than ever for every company. Due to the pandemic, most people are very cautious about spending too much time outside. Any time outdoors is usually spent driving to their exact destinations, doing what they came to do, and then returning home. Gone are the days when people could aimlessly wander around and chance upon new establishments. Nowadays, the only way they can find what establishments are in the area is by doing a Google Maps search. Thus, if you are an establishment that opened during the pandemic and you didn’t register your business into Google Maps or even build a social media presence, chances are most of the locals wouldn’t even know you exist. Think of SEO as a supplement to your current marketing campaign.
Now that we’ve established the importance of SEO even for local businesses, it’s time to answer the question of how you can do SEO in the first place. At present, there are hundreds of tools you can use to help audit and optimize everything from your website to your videos and blog posts. Most SEO tools are beginner-friendly and report their findings in simple infographics. With these tools, you can figure out the issues with your website and the content you’re putting out, and once you’re aware of these, you can take the necessary steps to improve them. You can also use these to find out how you measure up against your competition.
We know that most local businesses don’t have the bloated marketing budget that most big companies do, so with the help of Washington DC SEO Company, we rounded up a mix of the newest free and paid SEO tools for you.
1. NightWatch (Paid)
NightWatch is an SEO dashboard that summarizes many SEO metrics in a simple, easy-to-understand format. At a glance, you can visualize your current traffic, search rank, visibility, as well as any changes to these metrics, positive or negative. You can also run site audits and backlink monitoring with a click of a button.
2. Website Grader (Free)
Website Grader, as its name implies, grades your website based on loading speed, mobile-friendliness, on-page SEO, and other criteria. It also gives you valuable tips like how many seconds your website should take to load and the potential causes for slow loading speed.
3. AnimalzRevive (Free)
AnimalzRevive tells you which pages on your website are experiencing “organic decay”. Knowing which pages need attention and updating can centralize your efforts on these pages to give them the boost they need.
4. Morningfame (Free)
Morningfame grades your YouTube videos on the following criteria: view count, watch time (how long they watched before clicking out), engagement (likes, comments, etc.), and how many users subscribed while or after watching the video. By knowing the scores on each of these categories, you can improve your videos to fit your target market’s preference.
5. Google My Business (Free)
All local businesses should have an updated, complete, and accurate Google My Business profile. Not only does it benefit potential customers by providing them with everything they need, from contact number and address to business hours and reviews, it also benefits your business by increasing your search engine rank.
6. Google Search Console (Free)
Google Search Console allows you to view your performance on search results by giving you a report on certain key metrics. You can view keyword rankings, clicks per keyword, how many times your website showed up in the search results per keyword, and your click-through rate.
7. Ahrefs (Free)
The more external websites that link to your site may boost your rank but will have the opposite effect if these sites are suspicious. Ahrefs tells you if the websites linking to your own are legitimate, so you can quickly track down spam sites and remove their link to you.
If you’re having difficulty manipulating these tools, or want to solidify your SEO strategy, don’t hesitate to contact Washington DC SEO Company. They boast a portfolio of successful SEO campaigns for multiple companies, as well as a team of experts on search engine algorithms. Besides hourly consultations, they also have in-house creatives who can help you design and develop your website or produce high-quality content.