Blog2019-11-15T15:06:08+00:00

The 3 Keys To Appearing In The Google Local Pack

Google’s local algorithm has always been based on 3 factors:

  • Relevance
  • Prominence
  • Proximity

Whilst this may seem fairly self-explanatory, without ticking these three boxes, your business is unlikely to appear in these highly sought after slots. What do they actually mean though?

1. Relevance

To satisfy the first criteria, your business has to offer products or services which are closely linked to the terms that the person making the search is looking for. As simple as that.

2. Proximity

To satisfy the second criteria, your business needs to be located within the proximity of the person making the search. Again, as simple as that.

3. Prominence

To satisfy the third criteria, the prominence of your business will play a crucial role. Do you have other local listings (citations)? Are you gathering reviews? Do other customer experiences point towards new customers receiving a positive experience with you? If the answer to these questions is yes, they will all help to improve your prominence and therefore your chances of appearing in the local pack.

How Can We Help?

Setting up or claiming an existing listing is just the start of the process. We will make sure that you squeeze every last drop of potential from your listing.

We will do this by completing the following steps:

  • Making sure that all of the information listed on your account is accurate, relevant and verified.
  • Add images to your listing
  • Make sure there are no duplicate listings which could prove harmful in the future.
  • Submit a number of citations which will help to confirm your listing’s details in Google’s eyes.
  • We would actively seek to encourage customer reviews. For example, if you have an e-mail database for current and past customers, we will contact them on your behalf with links to your listing and a guide for the best and quickest way to leave a review.
  • Keep your listing up to date.

The benefits of having your business listed on Google Local include:

  • Google Maps listings typically appear at the top of the search results pages. Therefore they are very likely to be the first thing that people see.
  • Accessing Google Maps listings on a mobile phone or smart device will offer customers an easy way to either call your business or get directions to your location.
  • The easy access to the impartial ratings left by current and previous customers can go a long way towards giving new customers confidence in your products and services.
  • Potential customers visiting your listing are very likely to be local to your business, therefore giving you a definite advantage over businesses based further afield.

The above information is designed to offer a guide towards maximising the exposure and potential of your Google Maps listing. There are also additional factors which must be taken into consideration. If you would like Footprint Web Design to help optimise your Google Maps listing, simply give us a call today on Tel. No. +44(0)1883 372488.

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Stepping Up Your Website Security

With online security being more important than ever before, the addition of an HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) certificate to a website will help to secure the connection to the website for your visitors.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connections to your website, regardless of the content on the site.

Browsers nearly always provide an indication of whether the website you are browsing is secure or not. Just take a look at the address bar in the browser to see what we mean. Is the lock in the top left-hand corner locked or unlocked? Does it say secure or not secure? The answer to these questions will tell you whether an HTTPS certificate is in place.

Taking A Closer Look

Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:

  1. Encryption—encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
  2. Data integrity—data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  3. Authentication—proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

Online Security

How Does It Help Though?

Everyone has the right to visit a legal website without worrying about what will happen to their details should a transaction take place.

Google has identified a number of reasons why the switch to HTTPS is beneficial for web users and webmasters alike. These include the fact that data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:

  1. Encryption. Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.
  2. Data integrity. Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  3. Authentication. Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

Are There Any SEO Benefits?

Previously, Google announced that HTTPS would be added to their ranking algorithm. Whilst very unlikely to be the difference between a page 10 ranking and a page 1 ranking, building trust with customers is a key part of any SEO campaign and therefore should definitely be considered.

With the majority of browsers making it clear if a website is ‘not secure’, without the inclusion of an HTTPS for your website, you are running the risk of scaring away visitors.

Contact Us

Would like to find out more about making the switch to an HTTPS connection by adding an SSL certificate to your website? Give the Footprint Web Design team a call on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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The Pros and Cons of Online Reviews

Recent history has seen the popularity and impact of online reviews increase significantly. Whether business owners like it or not, potential customers often use the reviews of a service or product as a key tool in their decision-making process.

Whether people are looking for a restaurant for an evening meal, a hotel for their holiday, a plumber to fix a broken pipe or anything in between, online reviews have quickly become an integral part of promoting your business online.

There are of course two sides to everything and to provide you with a full picture of the pros and cons of online reviews, we have drawn up a list of potential positive and negative impacts.

A 5 Star Review

The Positive Impact of Online Reviews

Positive reviews can result in:

  • Increased conversion rates (customers spending more money!!)
  • Creating increased trust with your clients
  • Free advertising (great reviews on external sites can be key in drawing in new customers)
  • Improved results on search engines (regular reviews are strongly believed to play a role in ranking algorithms)
  • Increased feedback (the ability to leave reviews can be key in opening lines of communication with your customers)

The Negative Impact of Reviews on Businesses

On the flip side, receiving negative reviews can result in:

  • An impact on the perceived reputation of your business
  • Damage to trust levels (Too many negative reviews or no reviews at all can impact the trustworthiness of a business)
  • Increased costs (some 3rd party review sites will charge to use their services)
  • Reviews being left which may not be accurate (3rd party review sites offer complete freedom on the reviews that can be left)
  • Without a drip-feed of reviews, old reviews can seem out of date

Please Note – It is essential to remember that regardless of the platform, you will always have the option to reply to any review. Positive or negative, responses are strongly encouraged. However, taking the high ground in response to a negative review is also strongly encouraged!

If you would like more information relating to online reviews and how they can impact your business, please contact Footprint Web Design today.

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What Are The Key Factors Shaping Local SEO?

Local SEO is important. It has been for many years and will be for many more. If your business focuses on a local area, tapping into this can be the difference between the success and failure of your website.

However, it is essential to remember that achieving high ranking local search results requires the implementation of specific SEO strategies.

Changes in Google’s ranking algorithms are frequent and the past few months have seen the following

  • Reduction in number of page 1 maps rankings available
  • The increased importance of reputation management
  • GMB dashboard updates
  • Increased need for a citation profile

This all pulls together to ensure that effective local SEO requires a varied approach and should be left to the professionals!3 Factors That Are Shaping Local SEO

Local Search Is Harder Than Before

With fewer slots up for grabs in the first page Google Maps listings, it used to be fairly simple to achieve a first-page ranking. However, as these numbers were reduced, finding additional ways to optimise both your website and your Google Maps listing has become harder and more important than ever before.

It was not too long ago that simply claiming and optimising your businesses ‘Google My Business’ listing would likely be enough to obtain a high ranking but with the drop from seven slots to three slots, local businesses are facing much stiffer competition.

Your Locations Is Still Hugely Important

Google knows precisely where the person making an online search is based at the moment they make their search. It is this location that impacts the specific results that show up in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Google is now beginning to take this further by narrowing down the radius of the displayed results to ensure that locally-based businesses (and therefore more relevant businesses) obtain higher rankings.

This is good news for businesses that are located away from the centre of a town/city as this is helping to level the playing field with businesses who have a prime location.

Your Reputation Is Still Crucial

This is not exactly a newsflash! There can be no doubt whatsoever that businesses have been trading off their reputations for many years. The consumers’ addition of reviews to your website, your Google Maps listing, your Social Media accounts and your directory listings can play a critical role in helping to shine a light on the level of service that your customers can expect to receive.

Please Note – Not only do these reviews play a pivotal role in the way your business is viewed, but they are also a key signal to Google whether your business is trustworthy – or not.

Contact Us

If you would like to put your website in the hands of a company who will take it forward, please contact Footprint Web Design on Tel. No. 01883 372488 today.

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3 Reasons Why Citation Building Must Not Be Overlooked

We strongly believe that building citations are essential for any business looking to target locally based customers. Along with helping to increase rankings in relevant Google Maps (and general search results), the offer the following benefits for businesses of all size.

The number of citations, the location of the citations and the consistency of the information can all play a key role in helping to influence Google’s rankings, particular with regards to Google Maps.

What Are Citations?

A citation is essentially any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a particular business. Citations can be listed on business directories, on websites and apps, and on social media channels.

Citations can provide the ideal way for internet users to discover details relating to local businesses and also offer the chance to positively impact local search engine rankings.

One of the most important ways that citations can help to benefit a business is by increasing the chances of local customers to find your business online. These will include third-party sites that people use, like Google Maps, Yell, Yelp, FreeIndex, Yelp, Thomson Local and Foursquare to name just a few.

How Can We Help?

Citations offer a number of benefits but 3, in particular, stand out.

  1. They offer trusted sources of location information
  2. They help to create an excellent link profile (links back to your website)
  3. They form a key component of an impressive review profile (lots of destinations for customers to provide independent reviews)

Setting up or claiming existing citations (some directories may actually create a listing for you!) is just the beginning of the process. We will make sure that you squeeze every last drop of potential out of each and every listing.

We will do this by completing the following steps:

  • Making sure that all of the information listed on your account is accurate, relevant and verified
  • Flesh out your listing with as many relevant details as possible
  • Make sure there are no duplicate listings which may prove harmful in the future
  • We would actively seek to encourage customer reviews. For example, if you have an e-mail database for current and past customers, we will contact them on your behalf with links to your listing and a guide for the best and quickest way to leave a review
  • Keep your listings up to date

Getting In Touch

The above information is designed to offer a guide towards maximising the exposure and potential of your citation portfolio. There are also, of course, additional factors which must be taken into consideration. If you would like Footprint Web Design to help optimise your Google Maps listing, simply give us a call today on Tel. No. +44(0)1883 372488.

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Is Your Website Ticking The Right Boxes?

If you have paid any attention to our blog over the past few years, you will know how strongly we feel about the importance of local SEO.

For the uninitiated, local SEO is a tailored solution designed to achieve maximised visibility in search results in key local areas. For businesses providing any type of service (electrician, plumber, gardener, driving school etc), we don’t believe that we are going overboard by saying that this strategy can take your business to another level or leave it lagging behind if you choose not to implement it.

Which Areas Does A Local SEO Campaign Target?Google Maps

Covering a wide variety of areas which must be targeted, a typical local SEO campaign will include amongst others:

  • The creation of an optimised GMB listing
  • Mobile friendly/first website
  • Geo-focused content
  • Online reputation management
  • Citations and NAP consistency
  • Social media campaigns
  • Local link building
  • Google LSAs (Local Services Ads) (possibly)

By placing an emphasis on the most beneficial areas of SEO, our local SEO marketing techniques can often take less time to produce effective results, therefore quickly helping to increase the levels of traffic to your website.

Footprint Web Design’s expertise in all aspects of SEO offers the chance to receive a swift and effective ROI.

  • Top of the Google’s Listings with Footprint Web Design Local SEO –Footprint Web Design and our team of SEO experts possess all of the skills needed to get your business to the top of Google’s natural listings and to appear on Google Maps & Places. These are vital if you want people locally to easily find your small business.
  • Achieving Fast Results –Google’s PPC (Pay Per Click) platform, Adwords, offers the most effective method of quickly attracting business on the internet. We will get your PPC Marketing up and running for you and have customers finding your business and services in the shortest possible period of time.
  • Social Media Interactions With Customers –Social Media for business is the fastest growing method of opening lines of communication between a small business and its customers. By allowing you to offer updates, receive feedback and get in on what your customers want – all a very low cost – social media platforms are quickly becoming one of the primary advertising methods for businesses throughout the UK.

Further Information

If you’d like to speak to us regarding any of our services, including our online marketing services, please give us a call on 01883 372488 or contact us via Facebook and we’ll be happy to talk you through your options.

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