The holiday season is upon us again, it’s time to take a look at your website to see if there is anything you can do to prepare for the rush. So what do we recommend?
Conduct a Local SEO Campaign
Most businesses tend to do very well with their local community. To be a part of this community the first thing you are going to need to publish your address. Step one is to publish your address. Put it in the header or the footer of your site, and publish it on your Contact Us page. Search engines will appreciate it if you mark up the location using a microformat or microdata on your Contact Us page because it is one of the main aspects of that page, but it is not really necessary to do so on the other pages because they are secondary pieces of information for that page.
Step two is to claim ownership of your business on as many local business directories as you can find. At the very least you are going to want to be listed in Google Places, but you should also aim for Yahoo! Local, the Bing Business Portal. If you are a retail business you are definitely going to want to get listed in Foursquare, and Yelp. Additional directories you may wish to be listed in include Yellow Pages, YellowBook, HotFrog, Yellowee, Local, Localeze. Once you have claimed ownership in these business directories you can add information to your listing. Include things such as pictures/videos, company history, categories, descriptions, products and services, links to social media sites, brands that you carry, amenities, etc.
The holy grail of Google Places is to crack into the top 7 locations for your most important keywords. For important keywords Google will display the top seven local business (aka the 7 pack) on the first page of any search for those keywords when a location is established with the search. For example, “mobile web site development in rochester ny” lists The BrandBuilder Company as the top result. Using ‘in’ or ‘near’ before a city name tends to help bring up the 7 pack. You can see where you rank by conducting the same search in Google Maps. Make sure that you are not signed in to Google while you do these searches because it may introduce a bias in your searches that artificially rank your website higher than the average user.
Mobile growth is on the rise. By 2013 mobile internet access will surpass the desktop, and there will at least one mobile device for everyone on the planet by 2015. Your customers already look at your website on a mobile device. Why not give them a pleasant experience? Websites designed for desktops are clunky when displayed on a mobile device. A mobile website will help you communicate more effectively with your existing customers and capture new customers.
Don’t Forget eCommerce
While you want customers in your store, why not capture additional sales while they’re on your website? A good eCommerce solution will at least allow you to:
- Allow you to customize your website for mobile devices.
- Display your products
- Let customers leave ratings/reviews
- Display recommended products
- Export your products into shopping cart comparison sites such as ShopZilla and PriceGrabber
- Integrate with QuickBooks
- Allow customers to share your products on social media websites
- Create tests using the Google Website Optimizer
- Set discount rules
Are you ready for the holidays?