Developing an SEO Strategy for Tennessee Businesses

SEO for Nashville, Knoxville, Johnson City, Memphis, and Everything In Between

The business community in Tennessee is thriving. New businesses are popping up all over the state: new restaurants, new microbreweries, new and expanding manufacturing, and so much more. A strong economy and increased access to high-speed internet services has created a boom in new businesses that need websites and successful SEO strategies to get them noticed.

If you’re one of the many new Tennessee business owners (or one that’s been around for a while) and you’re looking for a way to give your website a boost in search engine results in a clean and organic way, we’re Tennessee-based SEO experts and we’re here to help!

SEO in Johnson City, TN

Johnson City, TN thriving downtown - ITD Interactive SEO blog

Photo by mrgriffter / Wikimedia Commons

At ITD Interactive we’re partial to Johnson City because that’s where we’re based! Our local economy has taken off in the past several years with a big focus on the downtown area. Dozens of formerly vacant buildings have been developed into restaurants, breweries, local retailers, and more. The downtown area and beyond have turned into a hotspot of activity with tons of foot traffic that should be appealing to anyone with a dream to open their own business. A good SEO strategy for a developing area like Johnson City is to leverage the “shop local” movement as customers transition from shopping at the chains and big box stores that have been here for decades to focusing more on new locally owned and family businesses.


SEO in Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, TN skyline - ITD Interactive SEO blog

Photo by Nathan C. Fortner / Wikimedia Commons

Knoxville is a unique city when it comes to the local business community. It’s a large city of over 185,000 and home to the University of Tennessee. Knoxville has a thriving and eclectic downtown area full of local retailers, breweries and restaurants. The greater Knoxville area is home to many corporate offices, industries, retailers, and much more. To stand out in search results against other Knoxville businesses you’ll need to use a strategy that competes against those with a long history in the area. A strategy that utilizes landing pages to target specific services or products you offer will help you funnel potential customers from a search engine directly into your inbox.


SEO in Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN music scene and night life - ITD Interactive SEO blog

Photo by dconvertini / Wikimedia Commons

The heart of Nashville is naturally the music industry, but Tennessee’s capital is also known for its honky tonks, restaurants, breweries, and other industries that cater to tourism. Professional sports help bring in millions of tourists annually with the Tennessee Titans football team, Nashville Predators hockey team, and a pro soccer team coming soon. Higher education and related industries are important to the city economy as well – Nashville boasts many universities and colleges including Vanderbilt, Belmont, Tennessee State University along with several other schools in the city and in the general area. Any new business in Nashville catering to these industries absolutely needs to leverage those areas of activity when considering SEO services. It can be difficult to rank highly in an area saturated with so many existing businesses but the right SEO strategy using long tail keywords can help you find interested customers in a crowded market.


SEO in the Rest of Tennessee

Tennessee is a big state and every part of it is different when it comes to business. The right SEO strategy for your Tennessee business website needs to be customized for you and where you’re based, not a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re ready to get your website noticed, contact us today and see how ITD Interactive can create the right SEO strategy for you.

Tackling Your Website’s ADA Compliance Checklist

Making your website ADA compliant is a tricky and complicated task that’s recently become a hotly debated issue, but we here at IT Decisions are ready to help you get started and up to code!

What exactly is ADA Compliance and why do websites need it?

In a nutshell, ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance is working through a general checklist of tasks and guidelines to make sure your website can be easily and freely accessed by visitors who are differently-abled, such as blind users who use audio narration software to read websites to them or deaf users who need closed captions because they can’t hear the embedded audio in videos. The goal is to ensure that anyone who comes to your site won’t be blocked from accessing any of the content or information by means of good, thoughtful design or alternative methods of accessing the content.

Do all websites have to be ADA compliant?

While the ADA guidelines are vague when it comes to website accessibility it’s become a “better safe than sorry” situation that every site owner should consider, especially if your site is for a government organization or a public service. If a lawsuit is filed that your website is not accessible, you can be accused of discrimination and held liable to the tune of thousands of dollars in damages and legal fees.

Don’t let the threat of a lawsuit make you think accessibility isn’t important on its own! An open and accessible internet for everyone is something all site owners and developers should strive for. When we build a site we make sure that many of these items are cleared right out of the box, like making sure that all images have alt text and every page has a clear heading.

ADA Compliant design is good design!

One of the best things about making your site ADA compliant is that it also results in a clean, usable site for everyone. It can even help boost your SEO rankings! Many of the tasks required to make a site ADA compliant overlap with the ones to make a site user and SEO-friendly, like adding helpful alt text to every important image and using headings to make your site more readable. Getting your site compliant with ADA would work hand in hand with a larger SEO strategy designed to make your site more usable and visible to Google and other search engines.

ITD Interactive has the tools needed to make your site ADA compliant

If your site is a little older it wouldn’t hurt to have it scanned to see what needs to be improved to make your site ADA compliant. Many of the guidelines are common to newer sites, like including closed captions in videos, but if your site was built before video content was common then that’s just one thing that will likely need to be addressed.

ITD Interactive specializes in making websites ADA compliant and we can help make sure your site is both safe from litigation but more importantly accessible to anyone who wants to check out your content.

We’re a local business in Johnson City, Tennessee, but we can scan and improve sites anywhere around the country since these guidelines are so universal.

Contact ITD Interactive today if you’d like us to look at your site to see what it would take to make your website fully ADA compliant.

 

ITD Interactive - Inbound Marketing, SEO, eCommerce and Web Design

Why You Should Use Local Web Designers for Your Local Business Website

The business climate has been great for locally owned and operated businesses for the last several years. Many people feel a renewed sense of community. Supporting local small businesses is the perfect way to start loving where you live!

From restaurants and breweries to manufacturers and industrial facilities, local businesses are booming and they all have one thing in common: they need a well-designed website to stand out, search engine optimization to be found, and a social media strategy that will help them engage with the local market. That’s where your friendly neighborhood local web design and marketing firms like ITD Interactive come in!

Local Web Designers Understand Your Market and Customers

We understand your market because we are your market! We spend a lot of time examining and researching the local market for the same reason any local business does: to look for ways to expand our reach and find new customers. A local design firm will have a better understanding of how to reach local customers than a group from hundreds of miles away who may have never even stepped foot in your market before.

Here at ITD Interactive we always try to support our local businesses in the Tri-Cities. There’s no better way to understand how to reach customers of a business than to be a customer of that business yourself.

Local Web Designers Are a Part of Your Local Network

Since we all work in the same business community, there’s a good chance that we’ll know more than a few of the same people. This is a perfect opportunity to get real-world reviews. Just ask someone you know who’s worked with us! Every local business owner knows there’s no advertising better than good word-of-mouth. Take a look at our portfolio and testimonials to get an idea of who we’ve worked with.

Local Web Designers Are a Phone Call or Quick Trip Across Town Away

A quick Google search is all it takes to know there are a lot of options out there when it comes to building a website. There are definitely a lot of talented designers in the field. But there’s always a catch! If you’re a small business owner in Johnson City, TN and decide to go with a web design firm in Chicago or even somewhere a little closer like Asheville to build your site, you’ll always be working around their schedule. Designers in other cities often have a lot of local clients. They may even be in another time zone or work a totally different schedule. It may be difficult to get them on the phone if you have questions about your website or if your site is down and need to get it back up as soon as possible so you don’t lose any business.

ITD Interactive is a Proud Local Johnson City, TN Web Design Agency!

ITD Interactive is a local web site design firm. That means we’re within miles of any business in Johnson City and a short trip from Bristol, Kingsport, and the rest of the Tri-Cities area. We’re in the office normal hours every weekday and will respond to you within a business day if we happen to miss your call. When you need to see how something works you can drop by our office any time for a hands-on tutorial. If you’re lucky you’ll be here on a day that JC brings in her famous chocolate-chip cookies – we’re happy to share if there are any left!

If you’re in the Tri-Cities and are ready to see the difference in working with local, personable web designers drop us a line and let’s get to work!

 

ITD Interactive - Inbound Marketing, SEO, eCommerce and Web Design

Online Reviews – Why They’re Important and How to Get Them

Any business owner knows good word-of-mouth reviews from happy customers are the key to organically building a great reputation that will result in more sales. But did you know getting good reviews online can also help make your website easier to find?

Reviews Boost Your Local SEO

Online Reviews Boost Local SEOGetting to the number one spot of Google is a real accomplishment but if you’re a local business with a brick and mortar location it isn’t going to do you much good for someone thousands of miles away to see your site first. That’s where local SEO comes in – increasing your site’s visibility specifically for your location so your site gets seen by real potential customers. You can boost your local SEO by keeping your social media pages up to date, customizing your content to include local keywords, claiming your business listing on Google, but most importantly for this topic is getting and featuring reviews of your business.

There are many places you can get online reviews depending on the kind of business you have: Yelp, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon, TripAdvisor, and many other review-centric sites. Two of the most important places to get reviews as a business owner in 2018 are Facebook and Google My Business.

Collecting reviews on your Google My Business is a crucial part of building local SEO. Google is the most used way of finding a local business and with proper maintenance and curation your Google My Business profile will appear right in the search results. A profile with complete, accurate information and a great review score will really make you stand out.

Facebook is another good spot to encourage reviews and discussion with your customers. It’s still the most widely-used social network and most people have become accustomed to searching for local businesses on it to look for photos, reviews and customer comments. Being active on your page will create an easy way for potential customers to find you and ask questions that might make them more likely to walk through the doors.

Feature Your Positive Reviews

If you get an especially glowing review that’s worth featuring, you should consider setting up a Testimonials page on your website. You can collect the most positive reviews you think accurately reflect your business to further boost your on-site SEO. Remember to include a link back to the review itself so your users can see the rest of the reviews as well!

Reward Satisfied Customers for Leaving Reviews

Strategies to Boost Online ReviewsWhile you can’t outright buy positive Google reviews without getting punished if/when Google finds out about it (and they will), you can absolutely encourage your satisfied customers to consider leaving you a review with a reward system. One method you can use is to stock up on gift cards for Starbucks and tell your customers that you’ll be drawing a random winner every week from your new reviews to decide who wins one. Sometimes all it takes is a cup of coffee to convince someone to share their positive experience with others!

Resist the Urge to Fight Back

There’s nothing more discouraging and frustrating than a negative review that’s right out in the open for all to see. As mean and nasty as an anonymous reviewer may be, always be the bigger person and don’t take the bait to get into a war of words. These scuffles can quickly get out of control and as Barbara Streisand can tell you, trying to hide something on the internet tends to make matters worse. Engage with your negative reviewers in a positive, helpful way and show potential customers that you’re willing to own mistakes and make them right. While this might not have a direct effect on SEO, it’s a good practice to keep in mind.

If you’re interested in learning more about local SEO, set up a consultation with ITD Interactive today! We’ll discuss your business model with you and find the best way to increase your bottom line.

eCommerce, General, Inbound Marketing, Local SEO, SEO, SEO for Small Business, Web Marketing, Websites