Aug 27

Why Every Business Should Have Local SEO – Yours Included!

Engaging in local SEO is crucial in an era where mobile searches are skyrocketing and search engine algorithm changes are increasingly bringing users more accurate and relevant results for the search terms they enter.

 

seo

image credit – geralt – pixabay.com

 

So what is local SEO and why is it so important? At its heart, local SEO is the optimisation of a business website with the aim of gaining higher local rankings and it’s important because an increasingly high percentage of all search queries have local intent.

 

Rising Smartphone Ownership and Local SEO – What’s the Story?

Whilst that’s what local SEO is and why it’s important, why are rising smartphone ownership numbers frequently cited in articles about the need for local SEO?

They’re cited because people who use their smartphones to search for products and services are, more often than not, on the go, out and about, and they’re generally looking for local businesses when they search for products and services.

Whilst many people use their smartphones to search for products on Amazon and eBay or buy plane tickets, they’re more likely to use their smartphones to search for a local Thai restaurant or garage.

Furthermore, if you searched for a restaurant or garage using your smartphone, Google wouldn’t need to be told that you’re looking for one in your local area, it would automatically use your location and provide you with local results.

And how dramatically is smartphone ownership rising? According to Statista, there were 21.6 million smartphone users in the UK in 2011, 26.4 million in 2012, 30.9 in 2013 and a predicted 34.6 million by the end of this year, 2014.

This is a significant increase and it indicates just how important local search already is, not to mention how much more important it will become, with smartphone ownership figures for 2017 predicted at 43.4 million.

 

Smartphone User Behaviour – Important Trends That Can’t Be Ignored

But the importance of local search and SEO goes beyond smartphone ownership as it also extends to the behaviour of smartphone users when they search. In the US, according to Fresh Egg, in 2013 four out of five people searched for local information using their smartphones, two out of three took direct action and one out of three made a purchase.

What this means for you, as a local business owner, is that you need local SEO in a big way because without it your competitors are going to gain a competitive edge – don’t forget that although a high percentage of local searches begin without a specific business in mind, once they’ve found one and they’re happy with their products/services, they’re less likely to search again for the same product/service in the future.

 

Local SEO Strategies for 2014 – Move With the Times to Stay Ahead

In addition to creating a local business page for every search engine – that means Bing Places and Yahoo Local in addition to Google+ Places – you’ll also need to optimise your business website for local SEO.

If search engine optimisation isn’t one of your strong points, it’s highly advisable to have a local search engine optimisation agency optimise your website for you, though take note of what they’re doing because it’s important to gain an understanding of how SEO works and get involved – it’s your business after all and you should involve yourself in its promotion as much as possible.

  1. Use long-tail keywords to keep up with Hummingbird, i.e. keywords in the form of questions, for instance, ‘What’s the best Thai restaurant in …’
  2. Optimise your website for Google Maps and Google+ Local because of their strong correlation to local SEO
  3. Encourage online user reviews because they’re playing an increasingly major role in local SEO
  4. Upload quality photos to your local listing – make sure they’ll load quickly – because photos instil confidence and trust

Local SEO will only increase in importance as time goes by – move with the times to stay ahead.

 

Aug 27

5 Best Market Trends for Entrepreneurs

Technology based businesses can be fraught with complications. Developing a successful, original idea is unchartered territory for many and the difference between success and failure can be a minor, unexpected issue. However, looking at the current startup climate in the Philippines, 2014 appears to be another strong year for burgeoning innovative ideas from ambitious young entrepreneurs. If you are cultivating an idea of your own, we have listed some great tips to incorporate into your business strategy to ensure success.

 

market trends

 

  • Mobile apps: The smartphone trend is constantly growing as more and more companies are creating mobile apps to market their goods to a broader audience. Mobile apps let users browse and buy goods anytime, anywhere, so developing an app not only encourages brand awareness but can also dramatically increase your sales. A good example is from OLX, which lets people buy and sell a variety of goods by simply tapping their smartphone screen.
  • Virtual office: Virtual offices are a great option for entrepreneurs whoare laying the foundation of their business and do not have enough capital to invest in a physical space for their operation.  Sites like Voffice offer entrepreneurs flexible office space at a minimal cost compared to conventional work places. Co-working spaces are also another option for those who enjoy the company of like-minded people and offer entrepreneurs different points of view from various industries.
  • E-commerce: Many companies are now conducting their businesses through online portals alone which helps to cut down on costs and allows businesses to sell their goods 24/7. Sites like Carmudi and Zipmatch are good examples of successful e-commerce startups that have emerged in the Philippines in the last few years.
  • Clouds of privacy: Clouds give entrepreneurs and businesses the ability to save and store sensitive data in a place that can only be accessed with a password.Not only does it save on space but it also provides a high level of security as no physical documents can get into the wrong hands.
  • Mobile payments: 2014 has seen many people replace their wallets with mobile credit cards and crypto-currencies.  These forms of payment and currency provide users with a sense of security and ease; therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to include e-commerce payment facilities so users have the option to pay for goods however they please.

 

 

Image credit: IFA 2010 Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin 18” by Bin im GartenOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Aug 24

8 SEO Tricks to Increase Your Web Traffic

SEO

Image by KROMKRATHOG – freedigitalphotos.net

 

A good Montreal SEO company can help you improve your rankings on search engines like Google and Yahoo. There are also a number of tricks you can employ in conjunction with their advice. If you’re ready to take your website to the next level, here are just eight strategies for mastering modern-day SEO.

 

1: Use Less Competitive Keywords

A very general keyword like “textbooks” won’t improve your web ranking; too many sites have co-opted it already. Instead, use more specialized variations like “geometry textbooks” or “used textbooks for cheap.” You can corner the market on them.

 

2: Use Meta Descriptions

If you aren’t stuffing SERP-friendly phrases into your tags, titles and site descriptions, you’re missing out on easy opportunities to improve your keyword density. Most people won’t even notice them, but you’ll still reap their rewards.

 

3: Employ Headings and Subheadings

Search engines love headers; they tell the brand’s algorithms how to classify and categorize the site. If you want Google to pay attention to your growing business, start using headers optimized with critical keywords.

 

4: Format Your Text

In the same vein as the above, search engines appreciate well-formatted content just as much as customers do. If your typical paragraphs run for more than 2-3 sentences, it’s time to start shortening them or breaking them up with lists and bullet points.

 

5: Go Deep

Deep research into the analytics of your site will reveal how you can optimize your content and course-correct any mistakes. If you don’t know how to complete deep research by yourself, ask a company like httpFusion.

 

6: Use Keywords With Your Images

A single image can hold a multitude of keywords. Your first step should be the image filename itself; instead of uploading it as “392737.jpg,” rename it to “businessplanning1.jpg.” Then include alt text in the form of “increase your revenue with these unique business strategies!”

 

7: Change Your URL

http://www.glassrepair.com/florida/windowreplacements is a much friendlier advertisement than http://www.glassrepair.com/repl/eegpage=17. Visitors, search engines and even shareholders will appreciate the more descriptive version.

 

8: Link, Link, Link

Ingoing and outgoing links are how search engines classify “authoritative” sources. The more people are referencing you, the more they assume that you know what you’re talking about, and the higher your SERPs will be.

 

These are just eight tips for better SEO. In today’s economy, you can’t achieve anything on the Internet without understanding how search engines work, so modify your SEO habits until they conform to the web’s new standards.

Aug 19

6 Things to Remember when Shopping for a New Digital Camera

Choosing a new digital camera can be quite a daunting task. There seems to be hundreds of models available, all claiming to be exactly what you need.

 

This; however, is not the case, as some cameras definitely serve certain purposes better than others with some not actually being suitable for your requirements at all.

 

digital camera

 

The first thing that you need to do is sit down and think about what exactly you need a camera for. Do you need it for holiday snaps? Are you starting a photography business? Are you interested in landscapes photography? And so on. Once you have figured out these requirements, you are ready to start your camera hunting.

 

1. Compact Cameras

For people that just want to take the occasional snap, the compact camera is probably the best option. They are small, fit into your pocket or bag and can actually take very high quality pictures. The only real drawbacks with compacts are that you can’t change lenses or add accessories like filters.

 

2. The Compact System Camera

If you are a bit more serious about your photography, a compact system camera might well be the best choice for you. A compact system allows for extra lenses, flash guns and even filters which can be either bought with the initial package or purchased at later dates when needed. These cameras also have longer zooms than compacts and greater overall control. The only downside with these cameras is that they won’t actually fit into your pocket.

 

3. Digital SLRs

Digital SLRs are for people that have a very serious interest in photography or are professional. Digital SLRs range from amateur models that can be bought from as little as £250, to professional models ranging from £1.500 up to £5.000. These are big cameras that are designed to do a certain job, which is to take professional quality pictures. If you are not really sure what an aperture setting is, you would probably be best with one of the compact models.

 

4. Megapixels

A lot of cameras boast large megapixel specs, with some compacts even going up to the seven and eight megapixel range. This is all very well, but the higher the megapixel the more space you will take up on your memory cards. Unless you are planning on printing high quality poster size images, a four to five megapixel camera would be fine. For professional photographers the case is different, literally being the more the better.

 

5. Compatibility and Saving Money

If you already have a digital camera and would like to upgrade, it is worth thinking about salvaging accessories from your existing unit. You can save money if your new camera uses the same types of batteries, memory cards, flashes and filters as your old one. In fact, most professional photographers only change the main camera body units and keep the rest of their equipment until they need to be replaced.

 

6. Read the Reviews

If you are not a keen photographer, read as many reviews on your shortlisted cameras as possible. Publications such as Which magazine often write up highly detailed reviews of digital cameras and accessories. From these types of reviews; you can build up a great picture of what model would be best for you and which ones are the best overall value for money.

 

If you follow these basic considerations, you should be able to quickly find the best type of digital camera for your needs. The only other piece of advice is to shop around to get the very best prices.

 

Author: Carlos Lyon is a writer working on a freelance basis for Kelly McCann Photography. A fine art photography gallery based in the UK that has an online presence at www.kellymccann.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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