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How to get a perfect Google PageSpeed score

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Your Google PageSpeed score from Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is one of the most visible scores for a website owner.

Receive a low score in red, and you know that your website isn’t up to standards. If you’re reading this article, you probably know the feeling.

In this article, we’ll discuss practical steps to get a perfect PageSpeed score on Google. Feel free to invite your web developer along for the ride. Let’s take a technical look at improving PageSpeed.

Related: Not sure how to prepare for Google’s SEO rank change? Republish your website

Why does a Google PageSpeed score matter?

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A Google PageSpeed score of 90 or above is considered good. Fifty to 90 is a score that needs improvement, and below 50 is considered poor.

Do those scores really matter?

 

According to a “Milliseconds Make Millions” study conducted by Google and Deloitte, improving your load time by 0.1s can boost conversion rates by 8%.

In other words, the PageSpeed of your site can have a big impact on conversion and bounce rates because first impressions matter. Customers are impatient, which is why another study from Google and Ipsos found that 77% of smartphone shoppers are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps allow them to make purchases quickly.

There’s certainly a business case to be made around a good PageSpeed. But, there are also some common myths around a perfect Google PageSpeed score.

Limitations of Google PageSpeed scores

While PageSpeed score can be a valuable metric for evaluating website performance and improving customer experience, it does have some limitations.

Some of the limitations to be aware of before getting obsessed with obtaining a perfect 100 PageSpeed score include:

  • User experience can’t be captured with a single metric. Good user experience is not captured by a good PageSpeed score. That’s why Google released Core Web Vitals standards to help quantify the user experience. Understanding the different metrics of Core Web Vitals is more important to your users’ experience than PageSpeed.
  • User experience can’t be captured with a single “representative user.” PageSpeed scores are computed using a predetermined device and network settings. In other words, the metric doesn’t take into account real-world performance, which is highly variable due to differences in users’ devices (i.e., mobile vs. desktop), network connections (i.e., 3G or 4G), and other factors.
  • User experience can’t be captured by lab data as well as it can on field data. Field data is gathered from your actual users and takes into account what devices and networks your users are on and appropriately mirrors those conditions when testing performance. Lab data is performance data collected within a single, controlled environment. If you want to verify the real performance experienced by users, field data offers a more realistic view of what your users actually experience.

Bottom line is that a good PageSpeed score does not equal a good user experience. A site owner should care more about consistent speed improvements in the real world, because studies show a fast website can benefit from improved conversions.

With that said, let’s begin our exploration on how to get a perfect 100/100 PageSpeed score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

10 tips for accomplishing a perfect PageSpeed score on Google

What steps have websites with perfect 100 Google PageSpeed scores taken to optimize their websites?

To help your business enjoy a fast website, we asked small business owners, digital marketers, plugin authors and web developers about the actions they have taken with their websites. From choosing a reliable hosting provider to image optimization, here are ten tips to help you get a perfect 100 for your Google PageSpeed score:

  • Choose a fast, reliable hosting provider.
  • Select a lightweight theme.
  • Purge plugins.
  • Reduce and optimize your website’s JavaScript.
  • Optimize images.
  • Browser caching.
  • Code minification and compression.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  • Use multiple speed testing tools.
  • Find an all-in-one, cloud-based service.

Read on to learn more.

1. Choose a fast, reliable hosting provider

glasses sitting in front of a computer

Server response times are one of the top reasons for a slow loading time.

Many of the cheap hosting plans small businesses have are shared servers. Being on a shared server means that you are sharing your server’s processor and memory with several other websites, which can impact your performance.

Upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan at a reliable provider is the first step to take if you’re serious about web performance. The investment in dedicated hosting is considerably more than a shared hosting plan, but the benefits of fast loading times, high uptime availability, security and support.

There’s no solution that can overcome poor hosting, so consider the investment and choose wisely.

2. Select a lightweight theme

If you’re on a CMS like WordPress, selecting a lightweight website theme is vital to load speed.

Several website themes come loaded with CSS code and large files that impact page size and increase the number of server requests.

The more server requests and the larger a page file size may be, the longer it may take to deliver your theme and site content to a user.

That’s why a poorly written website theme can significantly increase your website’s load time. Selecting a lightweight theme with clean source code can reduce dependent requests, eliminate unused code or CSS files, and address the majority of speed issues.

“We recently switched our website to a streamlined Elementor theme from a more cumbersome one,” says Thorin Yee of Best Companies AZ. “By investing in a lightweight theme, we were able to eliminate CSS and JS files that slowed down our site. The foundation of a website is critical. If you’re putting in the effort to change your site speed, it won’t have much of an impact if the site itself is not structurally optimal.”

Rewriting or changing a website theme is a tough choice to make as a small business owner because of the investment. But again, there’s no remedy for a bloated website theme, so select your foundation carefully.

3. Purge plugins

Plugins on WordPress

Go easy on the plugins.

The more third-party plugins you add to a website, the slower a site can become. That’s why it’s a bad idea to use five or six plugins to optimize different aspects of a website, such as addressing render-blocking resources or unoptimized images.

Instead, it can be much more convenient to install and monitor a single tool that accomplishes speed optimization objectives.

Installing additional plugins can add significant overhead to your server and end up increasing load times. Try researching plugins and monitoring your site’s performance using lab data after adding or deactivating each one. Once you’ve found an optimal plugin mix, test out performance scores over a 28-day period using field data to see if the site has improved.

4. Reduce and optimize your website’s JavaScript

Render-blocking JavaScript is one of the biggest reasons for a slow-loading website. And yet, JavaScript is jam-packed into website frameworks, CMS themes and plugins.

Reducing and optimizing your website’s JavaScript isn’t a quick fix, and will require an experienced developer to analyze your website’s code.

Google PageSpeed Insights, along with other performance tools mentioned in this article can help a developer identify render-blocking JavaScript that could be eliminated to improve page speed and performance.

Admittedly, seeing the “eliminate render-blocking resources” suggestion from Google PageSpeed Insights can produce a paralyzing feeling of not knowing what to do. There are several all-in-one plugins that can help minify or defer your JavaScript. But, it’s always best to test these plugins in a staging environment before deployment to production.

5. Optimize images

Editing images on laptop

Optimizing images is a little less of a technical change, and easier to grasp for business owners than optimizing JavaScript.

Using an image format like WebP can help improve a performance score, since WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs and 25%-34% smaller than JPEGs. Reducing the image size or deferring offscreen images can also improve mobile experience and decrease bandwidth usage.

“Image optimizations are especially important for mobile users, since Google is mobile-first indexing and large image files take up data on mobile,” says Carey Wilbur of Charter Capital. “Not only will resizing or reformatting images to next-gen formats help PageSpeed Insights, it’ll also help you keep people on your website longer. Which is a win all away around.”

6. Browser caching

When a website loads, information like static content, a CSS file, external resources, scripts, and more needs to be requested. These requests all impact loading speed.

Browser caching gives a web browser the choice of retrieving that information from a previously stored version or the server.

This can make a big difference in terms of how quickly a web page loads.

 

To see a big boost in PageSpeed scores, enable browser caching using an all-in-one plugin, a specific caching plugin, or a managed hosting service.

7. Code minification and compression

Code minification modifies files and makes them compact, thereby improving website performance through compression of clean code.

Minifying code is particularly useful for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files because unnecessary or redundant data is removed, without affecting how the resource is processed by a web browser.

If all that sounds technical, many plugins today offer code minification and compression as a feature. Research all-in-one plugins to ensure that they have this functionality.

8. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content delivery networks (CDNs) offload the resource requests that can bog down the loading times of a page’s main content. For example, using a CDN to cache images and content enables pages to load more quickly for users accessing web pages with large resources.

CDNs may sound technical, but this should be a feature included by a reliable hosting provider. Check with your web host to see if you have access to a CDN, and if so, see if it can be enabled to help address slow page speed.

9. Use multiple speed testing tools

While PageSpeed Insights is the most visible speed testing tool for small businesses, there are several other performance tools that can offer different perspectives on how to improve page speed.

Here’s a list of performance tools and their benefit to website owners:

Lighthouse: Gives you personalized advice on how to improve your website across performance, accessibility, PWA, SEO, and other best practices.

WebPageTest: Allows you to compare the performance of one or more pages in a controlled lab environment, and deep dive into performance stats and test performance on a real device.

TestMySite: Allows you to diagnose webpage performance across devices and provides a list of fixes for improving the experience from Webpagetest and PageSpeed Insights.

PageSpeed Insights: Shows speed field data for your site, alongside suggestions for common optimizations to improve it.

Speed Scorecard: Allows you to compare your mobile site speed against your peers in over 10 countries. Mobile site speed is based on real-world data from the Chrome User Experience Report.

Impact Calculator: Allows you to estimate the potential revenue opportunity of improving your mobile site speed, based on benchmark data from Google Analytics.

Chrome Developer Tools: Allows you to profile the runtime of a page, as well as identify and debug performance bottlenecks.

Marketers may enjoy using TestMySite, Impact Calculator and Speed Scorecard to measure ROI while developers may get more benefit from using PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, Chrome Developer Tools or WebPageTest to identify and correct performance issues.

Related: GoDaddy Website Design Services and Google Lighthouse — design meets power

10. Find an all-in-one, cloud-based service

Our website, Markitors.com, did all of the steps above and topped out our PageSpeed scores at 75/100 on mobile, and 95/100 on desktop.

We needed an all-in-one service that combined caching, image optimization, lazy loading, code minification and compression to put our site to a perfect score.

For that, we turned to NitroPack.

“NitroPack combines everything needed for a fast website in one service,” says Deyan Georgiev, CEO at NitroPack. “Our built-in features and their unique implementation in one cloud-based service lead to our outstanding performance.”

After installing a paid plan of NitroPack on Markitors.com we saw our 75/100 score on mobile and 95/100 score on desktop go directly to a perfect 100/100.

Mission accomplished.

Next steps

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix to get a perfect 100 on your Google PageSpeed scores. In most cases, you or an experienced web developer will have to dig into your site’s code and optimize it.

It’s a journey.

 

But, as demonstrated in this article, there are immediate steps you can take to make your website faster and get close to a perfect 100 score.

If you are a DIY’er business owner who is comfortable diving into a code base, start by making your site more lightweight by reducing and optimizing your JavaScript.

If you’re looking for an immediate boost with minimal time spent on improving page speed, consider investing in a fast, reliable hosting plan and installing an all-in-one, cloud-based service like NitroPack.

Or, if these steps are over your head or low on your priority list, forward this article to an experienced web developer so they can get started on improving your site performance.

The hardest step to improving is often the first one. Hopefully, these steps will help you achieve a perfect 100 Google PageSpeed score and improve your customer experience as a result.

The post How to get a perfect Google PageSpeed score appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.



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New Cybersecurity Regulations Are Coming. Here’s How to Prepare.

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Cybersecurity has reached a tipping point. After decades of private-sector organizations more or less being left to deal with cyber incidents on their own, the scale and impact of cyberattacks means that the fallout from these incidents can ripple across societies and borders.

Now, governments feel a need to “do something,” and many are considering new laws and regulations. Yet lawmakers often struggle to regulate technology — they respond to political urgency, and most don’t have a firm grasp on the technology they’re aiming to control. The consequences, impacts, and uncertainties on companies are often not realized until afterward.

In the United States, a whole suite of new regulations and enforcement are in the offing: the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency are all working on new rules. In addition, in 2021 alone, 36 states enacted new cybersecurity legislation. Globally, there are many initiatives such as China and Russia’s data localization requirements, India’s CERT-In incident reporting requirements, and the EU’s GDPR and its incident reporting.

Companies don’t need to just sit by and wait for the rules to be written and then implemented, however. Rather, they need to be working now to understand the kinds of regulations that are presently being considered, ascertain the uncertainties and potential impacts, and prepare to act.

What We Don’t Know About Cyberattacks

To date, most countries’ cybersecurity-related regulations have been focused on privacy rather than cybersecurity, thus most cybersecurity attacks are not required to be reported. If private information is stolen, such as names and credit card numbers, that must be reported to the appropriate authority. But, for instance, when Colonial Pipeline suffered a ransomware attack that caused it to shut down the pipeline that provided fuel to nearly 50% of the U.S. east coast, it wasn’t required to report it because no personal information was stolen. (Of course, it is hard to keep things secret when thousands of gasoline stations can’t get fuel.)

As a result, it’s almost impossible to know how many cyberattacks there really are, and what form they take. Some have suggested that only 25% of cybersecurity incidents are reported, others say only about 18%, others say that 10% or less are reported.

The truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know. This is a terrible situation. As the management guru Peter Drucker famously said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

What Needs To Be Reported, by Whom, and When?

Governments have decided that this approach is untenable. In the United States, for instance, the White House, Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and many other agencies and local governments are considering, pursuing, or starting to enforce new rules that would require companies to report cyber incidents — especially critical infrastructure industries, such as energy, health care, communications and financial services. Under these new rules, Colonial Pipeline would be required to report a ransomware attack.

To an extent, these requirements have been inspired by the reporting recommended for “near misses” or “close calls” for aircraft: When aircraft come close to crashing, they’re required to file a report, so that failures that cause such events can be identified and avoided in the future.

On its face, a similar requirement for cybersecurity seems very reasonable. The problem is, what should count as a cybersecurity “incident” is much less clear than the “near miss” of two aircraft being closer than allowed. A cyber “incident” is something that could have led to a cyber breach, but does not need to have become an actual cyber breach: By one official definition, it only requires an action that “imminently jeopardizes” a system or presents an “imminent threat” of violating a law.

This leaves companies navigating a lot of gray area, however. For example, if someone tries to log in to your system but is denied because the password is wrong. Is that an “imminent threat”? What about a phishing email? Or someone searching for a known, common vulnerability, such as the log4j vulnerability, in your system? What if an attacker actually got into your system, but was discovered and expelled before any harm had been done?

This ambiguity requires companies and regulators to strike a balance. All companies are safer when there’s more information about what attackers are trying to do, but that requires companies to report meaningful incidents in a timely manner. For example, based on data gathered from current incident reports, we learned that just 288 out of the nearly 200,000 known vulnerabilities in the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) are actively being exploited in ransomware attacks. Knowing this allows companies to prioritize addressing these vulnerabilities.

On the other hand, using an overly broad definition might mean that a typical large company might be required to report thousands of incidents per day, even if most were spam emails that were ignored or repelled. This would be an enormous burden both on the company to produce these reports as well as the agency that would need to process and make sense out of such a deluge of reports.

International companies will also need to navigate the different reporting standards in the European Union, Australia, and elsewhere, including how quickly a report must be filed — whether that’s six hours in India, 72 hours in the EU under GDPR, or four business days in the Unites States, and often many variations in each country since there is a flood of regulations coming out of diverse agencies.

What Companies Can Do Now

Make sure your procedures are up to the task.

Companies subject to SEC regulations, which includes most large companies in the United States, need to quickly define “materiality” and review their current policies and procedures for determining whether “materiality” applies, in light of these new regulations. They’ll likely need to revise them to streamline their operation — especially if such decisions must be done frequently and quickly.

Keep ransomware policies up to date.

Regulations are also being formulated in areas such as reporting ransomware attacks and even making it a crime to pay a ransom. Company policies regarding paying ransomware need to be reviewed, along with likely changes to cyberinsurance policies.

Prepare for required “Software Bill of Materials” in order to better vet your digital supply chain.

Many companies did not know that they had the log4j vulnerability in their systems because that software was often bundled with other software that was bundled with other software. There are regulations being proposed to require companies to maintain a detailed and up-to-date Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) so that they can quickly and accurately know all the different pieces of software embedded in their complex computer systems.

Although an SBOM is useful for other purposes too, it may require significant changes to the ways that software is developed and acquired in your company. The impact of these changes needs to be reviewed by management.

What More Should You Do?

Someone, or likely a group in your company, should be reviewing these new or proposed regulations and evaluate what impacts they will have on your organization. These are rarely just technical details left to your information technology or cybersecurity team — they have companywide implications and likely changes to many policies and procedures throughout your organization. To the extent that most of these new regulations are still malleable, your organization may want to actively influence what directions these regulations take and how they are implemented and enforced.

Acknowledgement: This research was supported, in part, by funds from the members of the Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS) consortium.

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How does the local search algorithm work? 

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Get found locally

The internet has revolutionized the business world and changed how we conduct business. Any business that aims to increase its visibility and boost profit needs to pay much attention to top ranking factors, including local SEO — which introduces the topic of the local search algorithm.

Local SEO is one of the top practices that help boost a business’s visibility and generates more sales.

However, achieving better local SEO rankings is not a walk in the park, especially due to increased competition. To appear higher on local results, businesses and marketers need to understand how the local search algorithm works.

Knowing this helps guide the steps for improving rankings in the local pack.

The competition gets stiffer as more businesses open and optimize for local searching. Besides, Google is updating its algorithm consistently, meaning only businesses that can keep up with these updates can appear at the top of local search results.

Luckily, you have come to this post as this article looks at everything you need to know about Google’s local search algorithm and what you can do to get that top spot in the local pack.

Understanding the local search algorithm

Google aims to provide the best results that match a specific local search query. It constantly updates the local search algorithm to determine which business to rank on top of local search results.

Ideally, Google wants to provide local content that is relevant and valuable to users. As with search engine optimization, keyword stuffing cannot give you that top spot in local search results.

SEO specialists and marketers should consider Google’s local search algorithm updates and make the necessary changes to rank higher. Failure to consider these updates means losing your local search presence, resulting in fewer leads and conversions.

Local algorithms check the Google My Business (GMB) listings to determine where to rank a business in local search rankings.

Ideally, Google’s local algorithm ranks businesses with information that matches a searcher’s query. And the higher a business ranks in local search results, the more chances a potential customer will click on it.

This post looks at the three major pillars that determine local search results to better understand the local search algorithm: proximity,  prominence and relevance.

Of course, other factors make up Google’s local search algorithm, but since we cannot identify all of them, we’ll focus on the most crucial ones in this post.

By understanding these pillars, marketers can better position themselves for local search success.

1. Proximity

Proximity is one of the major ranking factors when it comes to local search. That means the distance between a business and a searcher is a ranking factor in local search.

When a searcher searches for something, Google considers how far the searcher is from the location of the term they use in the search. When a searcher doesn’t specify the location, Google calculates the distance based on the information they have regarding their location.

Ideally, Google aims to provide the most relevant results to a search query. For instance, why would Google provide a list of coffee shops in Los Angeles if the searcher is searching from Colombia?

That would be irrelevant local search results that won’t benefit the searcher.

Unfortunately, while proximity is a major local search pillar, it’s one of the factors that businesses have little control over. After all, you cannot change where your business is located, right?

You can only ensure your business location is as clear as possible, so that it appears for related nearby queries. Here are steps you can take to achieve this:

  • Claim and verify the Google My Business listing
  • Ensure local listings are accurate and optimized for local products or services
  • Get the Google Maps API Key and optimize for your location and routes
  • Set up your profile correctly (for Service Area Businesses) to avoid violating Google’s guidelines

Users can perform several types of local searches, including:

Geo-modified searches

Users will perform geo-modified searches when they are planning to visit somewhere. For instance, a searcher in Los Angeles planning to visit Toronto, Canada, may search for a “coffee shop in Oakville.” The results will differ from if they searched for “coffee” while physically in Oakville.

To be specific, geo-modified searches are mainly based on relevance and prominence as opposed to proximity when a user searches for something when outside the city included in the search.

Non-geo searches

Searchers perform this type of search when looking for something around them. For instance, a user in Los Angeles performing a local search for “coffee.”

Ideally, the user only needs to search for something and is shown results based on proximity. They will get the results that are closest to them.

“Near me” searches

“Near me” searches have been so popular in recent years. Although their popularity has significantly declined, users still perform this type of search when looking for something locally.

For instance, some users could add “near me” when searching for a coffee shop, hoping to get the most relevant results near them. As we’ve stated, this trend has lost popularity because when you perform a local search, you are searching for something near you.

It is not necessary to add “near me” to what you’re searching.

2. Prominence

Prominence refers to how important Google thinks your business is, which gets factored into the local search algorithm.

In other words, it refers to how well a business stands from the rest in various aspects, including directories, links, reviews, mentions, among other things.

If search engines view your business as trustworthy and credible, they will likely show it on top of related search query results.

The local search algorithm views businesses/brands with a stronger online prominence as credible and trustworthy. Some of the factors that determine prominence include:

Citations

A local citation is the mention of a business’s information online. The mention can include the partial or complete name, address, and phone number (NAP) of a local business.

Citations are an excellent way for people to learn about local businesses and impact local search results.

A business with high-quality citations can rank better in local search results, although businesses must continually manage citations to ensure data accuracy.

Inbound links

Backlinks play a crucial role in local business prominence. Gaining relevant backlinks from high-quality sites is an excellent way to build a business’ online reputation.

If you’re trying to outrank your competitors without much success, your backlink profile could be the reason.

In that case, you should check your competitor’s backlinks and compare them with yours. When doing this, pay attention to the number and quality of their backlinks.

As a rule of thumb, aim to have high-quality local backlinks pointing to your site to improve your page’s authority.

Reviews

Next, you need to pay much attention to reviews to improve local prominence. Many customers look at a business’s online reviews before deciding whether to engage more with the business or not. Besides, many positive online reviews can increase a business’ ranking factors.

Consider this scenario. A potential customer is looking for a pub around Oakville. When they perform a search, they are presented with two results: one with over 100 reviews and another with less than 10 reviews.

Which business do you think the searcher would trust? The one with 100 reviews, obviously.

As with search engines, customers need to trust a business before they decide to do business with it. Similarly, search engines can view online reviews and analyze them to determine a business’s online prominence.

That said, here are strategies you can use to boost your online review signals:

Have a strategy

You won’t have a strong online prominence if your products or services are not of a high standard. So, the first step to having many great reviews is to develop great products and services.

After that, develop a strategy to encourage your happy customers to leave honest but valuable reviews of their experience doing business with you to help boost your online reputation.

Monitor and manage the reviews

Having many reviews is one thing; you need to develop a plan to engage with your customers for better results. Responding to reviews shows people that you care and are genuine about your products and services.

People will avoid businesses that don’t respond to customer reviews (whether positive or negative).

Search engines, too, can tell whether you engage with customer reviews or not and will use the information to determine where to rank on local search results.

When responding to online reviews, pay special attention to negative reviews and how you respond to them. While no business likes getting negative reviews, how you respond to them can positively impact your business — respond positively to turn the negative reviews around.

3. Relevance

As earlier stated, Google wants to provide the most relevant results to a local search query. This key ranking factor will determine a business’s position in local search results — how well does a local business match a search query?

Even if your business ticks the above pillars (prominence and proximity), if the content on your page isn’t well structured and doesn’t cover the topics that a searcher is looking for, you won’t appear on top of local search results.

Here are factors that businesses should consider to create a relevant listing:

  • Local page signals
  • Local listing categories and attributes
  • Social posts and responses to online reviews

Local listing signals and categories

A business GMB listing and category can impact its relevance score for local searches. As such, complete your business profile carefully and continually add quality content to the web page to ensure it is relevant for proximity searches.

More specifically, ensure that all information on all listing pages, including Yelp, Bing, and Google, is complete and accurate. Aside from these factors, here are two crucial features you should pay attention to:

Category selection

Selecting the right categories for your local business listing is among the crucial factors for ranking locally. With over 4000 GMB categories, you want to choose categories that best describe your business — ensure they are relevant and specific.

Here are guidelines to follow when selecting a category:

  • Describe your business as opposed to your services
  • Be specific to minimize competition
  • Reduce the number of GMB categories to describe your business better
  • Business description

Without a proper description, users won’t know what your business is about. This section is about adding an introduction to your business so that customers and search engines can know more about your business.

However, don’t use this section for marketing your business. Just give users and search engines descriptive info that can help determine whether your business matches their needs.

Local page signals

Another way a business can improve its standing in the local search algorithm is by optimizing web pages for specific keywords. For multi-location businesses, it’s essential to have separate, localized pages for each location, with relevant information and contact details for customers to reach you.

Performing competitor research is advisable to determine what terms or keywords to use for a specific query. Here are top on-page signals to consider when trying to gain relevance for a given topic:

  • Keyword research — Before creating local content, you need to find keywords that matter to your business. Perform keyword research to determine highly relevant keywords with high intent. When finding relevant terms to use in your content, base your research on the customer perspective; think about what they search for and the type of content they are looking for.
  • Create local content — After finding the right keywords, it’s time to create your content. Google values the quality of content more than the length of the content, so keep this in mind when creating content. Another crucial thing to pay attention to is localizing the content. For example, you can create content on local news and events or use your city’s name within your content.

The goal is to create a connection between what’s happening in your local area and your business. Also, use pictures with your specific geolocation to increase your content relevance.

Creating quality and relevant content is only the start. You need to optimize your content for on-page signals so local search algorithms can discover and rank them better. Here’s how you can optimize your local content for on-page signals:

  • Meta descriptions — Include keywords in your meta descriptions to encourage searchers to click through and increase visibility
  • Title tags — Title tags are some of the factors that search engines use to determine where to rank content. Incorporating keywords naturally in your title tags can help boost local rankings
  • Image tags — Another way to improve local rankings is by including relevant keywords in your image tags. Including geotags also comes with an added advantage
  • Headings — Users and Google value pages with clear structures. Consider creating headings within your content to capture readers’ attention and encourage them to read on. However, ensure your heading tags describe the content that comes after them well. Also, include keywords in your heading tags to help search engines understand them and their importance.

Off-page local signals

Gaining high-quality backlinks is a great way to boost credibility and trust. Backlinks refer to external links from another website to your site. Aim to have more high-quality backlinks to boost your website authority.

Ideally, having many quality backlinks shows search engines that your website or page is credible and trustworthy, which boosts the chances of ranking it higher in search engine results.

Guest posting is one of the best examples of link-building strategies you can use. Finding great guest posting opportunities provides an excellent opportunity to share your content to a new but relevant audience, which helps boost your website authority.

Another strategy you can use is to create longer and better content than what is already available on the web. When your content is high quality and relevant, it will be easier to get high-quality backlinks.

Review and social signals

Online reviews can also help boost relevance for your local business. Aim to get as many positive reviews from your happy customers as possible.

Remember, when customers perform a local search, they get not only the relevant businesses but also reviews related to the search. The more positive reviews a business has, the higher chances a potential customer will do business with them.

Closing thoughts on the local search algorithm

Ranking on top of local search results can seem daunting, but it shouldn’t when you know the vital things to focus on. As you have seen above, the local algorithm is based on three pillars: relevance, proximity, and prominence.

Of course, other factors determine local search rankings depending on your industry and competition.



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Email will be with us until the universe dies, so these startups are working to make it better

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Ah, email. Why did you send my friend’s birthday party invite to my spam folder? Why do you make it so easy to archive an email when I don’t even know what that means? Why are you … blue now … Gmail?

Email is a necessary evil. So whenever I hear about startups looking to innovate on the decades-old communication tech, I’m instantly intrigued considering the huge number of potential areas of improvement. Plus, talk about a large TAM!

Startups have taken note. Boomerang launched its email productivity software in 2010, and since its 2014 launch, Superhuman has raised $108 million to help users get through their inbox faster. Trying to build a better email mousetrap isn’t exactly a novel concept, but it could be big business.

I recently received pitches from two new upstarts, both of which launched their email innovations in the last year, that really piqued my interest. Let’s meet them.

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