Why does my business need Local Minneapolis SEO?
Think about all the times you’ve performed a search on a search engine, such as Google or Bing. How often did you click to the second or third page of results to get what you were looking for? Probably not very often. And you likely clicked to the fourth, fifth, or later pages rarely if ever. In general, most of us find what we’re looking for on the first page of search results and usually closer to the top of that page. Obviously we all want our websites and pages to appear prominently on the first page, so our sites aren’t lost in a sea of search results, but what can we do to acquire such a coveted position? This is where local Minneapolis SEO or search engine optimization comes in.
Here’s an example of SEO done correctly, look at how position one really stands out (this is for one of our clients, ranking for a popular, high traffic search term).
Using Local Minneapolis SEO Strategies
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of using various strategies to get a website or webpage to appear higher in the results listings of search engines. While it is possible to pay to have a listing display at or near the top of a search engine results page (SERP), the goal of local Minneapolis SEO strategies are get a webpage or website to “organically” earn a top spot in search results. Holding an organically high local Minneapolis position makes your site seem more credible to local searchers and will drive more local Minneapolis traffic to your site. This is what makes SEO such a powerful tool – it has the potential to get your pages seen by more searchers and drive significantly more people to your site. Most important, for local businesses, it’s vital to be seen at the top of local Minneapolis search listings, so you need to use strategies designed specifically for Minneapolis SEO.
The (very) Basics of How SEO Works
Google and other search engines like to offer searchers links to websites that seem relevant to what they’re looking for and that appear authoritative. Search engines rely on a variety of factors when deciding how relevant or authoritative any particular webpage is in response to any given search query. Some of the things they consider when choosing how to rank a page in the search listings are the page’s keyword usage, social metrics, quality of links to the domain, and page content – just to name a few.
SEO works by pinpointing all the factors that search engines deem important and then making sure those elements are being used effectively on every webpage. Search engines use “crawlers” or “bots” to visit websites, read through the pages and other info, and look for these important factors that signal that the site is relevant and authoritative.
Some things that make a site seem relevant are:
- Having keywords within the page’s content that relate to the search query
- Having keywords and language that mirror what your audience inputs into search engines
- Using Minneapolis-based SEO that’s designed for locals
Some things that give a site authority are:
- Getting other, respected sites to link to your page
- Having a lot of social interactions on the page (from Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Using a domain that’s been around for a while
In addition to making sure these elements and more are present, an important part of SEO is building and coding the site correctly, so the search engine’s crawlers can actually understand what’s on the page and communicate it correctly to Google, Bing, or some other search engine.
If optimizing for robotic visitors wasn’t enough, you should also optimize webpages for human visitors, meaning that the site offers a positive user experience. This may, in fact, be the most vital tactic in any Minneapolis SEO Company’s arsenal, since search engines are becoming better and better at deciphering what pages people find useful. Not to mention that everyone should want to provide a site that real humans enjoy.
Essentially, SEO works by ensuring a webpage contains all the elements that will make Google trust the page and deem it relevant enough to recommend to its users.
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Do I Really Need SEO for my Business?
In short, yes. Anyone who hopes to truly get real business benefits from their website in this location needs to utilize Minneapolis SEO. These days, having a great website with valuable content is not always enough to guarantee a high position in the SERPs. There’s simply too much content out there and too many savvy Minneapolis SEO companies that know how to work the system in their favor. Not using SEO would put your web properties at a clear disadvantage and opens up an opportunity for the competition, even with a subpar website, to rise above you in the rankings. To further explain, here are 10 main reasons why every local business website needs Minneapolis SEO.
Top 10 Reasons You Can’t Live Without Local SEO
1. People are Looking for Your Business Online
Today, when customers are looking for a product or service, they often start their hunt online where they can find business websites, reviews, contact info, and possibly even make a purchase. Other forms of advertisements still have their place, but with so many people having a mobile phone, tablet, or other device constantly within arm’s reach, it’s safe to assume that they’re reaching for those devices any time they are considering making a purchase. This means that, with quality SEO, you have the opportunity to put your brand literally at people’s fingertips. Whenever they search for anything relating to your business, you can appear prominently in the search results and can grab much more customer attention as compared to competitors that aren’t as visible.
2. The Majority of Shoppers Research Products Before Going to the Store
As mentioned, customers often first turn to the internet when looking for products or services, and this holds true even when they plan on going to a physical store in the Minneapolis area. Recent research shows that 81% of consumers investigate and compare products online before heading out to brick and mortar stores. If you own a physical store, SEO can make sure searchers find your brand and products and may encourage them to visit your business instead of a competitor’s. And even if your products are sold exclusively online, a high SERP ranking and a quality website may just convince people to stay home and buy your products instead.
3. Your Competition is Doing it
SEO is such a well-known and effective tool that there’s no question at least some of your competitors are using its strategies and employing a Minneapolis SEO expert. And more and more businesses are catching on to the benefits of optimization every day. So, if you aren’t taking advantage of the latest optimization tactics then you’re undoubtedly losing ground to a competitor who is. This of course leads to your website dropping in the search rankings, but because SERP placement is so powerful, it can also translate to a direct slump in sales as customers turn to other businesses that were easier to find online.
4. SEO is Here to Say
You may have heard people say things like, “SEO is dead.” But guess what? Naysayers have been arguing that for years, and SEO is still here and still pushing sites higher and higher on the SERPs. The truth is that SEO is constantly evolving, so what worked in the past may no longer deliver results. This has caused some folks to claim that SEO is dead when it’s actually just transformed over time, and some people haven’t kept up. Essentially, as long as search engines are ranking listings to give users the most relevant content, SEO will exist in some form or another, and Minneapolis SEO companies will continue to work their magic.
5. Save Money
As mentioned, you can pay to have your website appear higher in the listings, and this can sometimes be a good strategy to give a new website a jump start, but it can get costly in the long term and never has quite the same clout in the eyes of consumers as an organically high listing. Other online marketing outlets, such as pay-per-click, social media, email marketing, etc. can also provide good results but have a hard time matching the ROI from a solid, Minneapolis SEO campaign. It’s simply too hard to equal the audience exposure, website traffic, and ultimately, the customer conversions that a top SERP position brings.
6. It’s the Foundation of any Online Marketing Strategy
It takes more than your website and SEO to have a fully-fledged online marketing campaign. Other strategies, such as utilizing social media, branding, and more also play an important role in how you succeed online and in the local market. However, your website is inevitably what most folks will look for when they want to know more about your business, regardless of where they first hear about you. For these reasons, your website and the accompanying SEO should always be the bedrock of your marketing campaign.
7. It Puts Your Best “Salesman” to Work
In many ways your website is your best employee – it’s always on the job, does what you tell it, and brings in customers and leads around the clock. Great SEO ensures that this ideal salesman constantly gets attention online, so it can connect with as many people as possible and do its job.
8. Inbound Marketing Brings in More Leads than Other Practices
The main difference between inbound and outbound marketing is that inbound marketing, such as SEO, naturally draws people to your business by earning their interest, whereas outbound marketing is paid promotion that pushes your products or services onto consumers. Recent marketing reports show that inbound marketing brings in significantly more leads than outbound tactics, and SEO is spearheading all inbound strategies. So, if the majority of leads are coming from SEO, you can guarantee that if you’re not taking advantage of this strategy that you’re leaving leads on the table or simply handing them over to the competition.
9. It Works!
When done right, SEO for Minneapolis audiences can drive steady, local traffic to your website. This has been proven in case study after case study, even as search engines changed their algorithms. The trick is getting SEO done right by a provider who knows how to leverage the available strategies. If you’ve tried SEO before without much success, you might be surprised by the results you can get from a real SEO expert who has a deep understanding of the local market and has the competence to adapt to the ever-changing online landscape.
10. SEO Can Be Hands-Off
Business owners have countless and varied responsibilities that pull them in different directions on a daily basis. Adding in another responsibility is not only difficult in terms of time management but it can also put a strain on important, operational aspects of your business. The good thing about search engine optimization is that you can outsource it to a professional Minneapolis SEO company that can keep it running efficiently while you focus on doing what you do best.
Can I Do SEO On My Own?
There are undoubtedly some aspects of SEO that you can do on your own. But remember, some people’s entire careers are focused on providing SEO services, so there’s a considerable amount of knowledge and skill that goes into it. If you wanted to take the DIY approach to outfitting your website with even decent SEO that could compete with what the experts are doing, you’d essentially have to take on learning SEO as your second job. And even then things could be a struggle, as there are varying approaches to optimization, which may make it hard to know which strategies are best, and pitfalls are everywhere. What’s more, just when you think you have everything figured out, a Google algorithm will change or something else will evolve that undoes what you thought you knew.
Minneapolis SEO agencies have already encountered and learned from the pitfalls, and they stay on the cutting edge of the online environment, so they’re ready for changes to the SEO “game” when they happen. For most, hiring an SEO expert pays off enormously in the long run and saves endless hours that could be better spent focusing directly on their business.
The Bottom Line on SEO for Minneapolis
Ultimately, having a website without equipping it with excellent SEO that’s targeted at a Minneapolis audience is akin to writing a novel that no one reads – it doesn’t serve its purpose and doesn’t have an impact. If you want a useful website, it has to be “findable” and optimized for both computer and human visitors. This is what’s going to drive people to your pages and business and increase sales and conversions.
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