The Impact of Opening Hours on Search Rankings

In the digital age, the visibility of a business online is crucial for attracting customers. One factor that significantly influences online visibility is search rankings. Among various elements that affect these rankings, opening hours play a surprisingly pivotal role. This blog post explores how and why opening hours can influence a business’s position in search engine results.

Understanding Search Engine Algorithms

Search engines like Google use complex algorithms to determine the relevance and ranking of websites in search results. These algorithms take into account hundreds of factors, from keywords to site speed and, increasingly, real-world information like opening hours.

The Role of Opening Hours in Local SEO

Local SEO is a strategy that focuses on optimizing a business’s online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches. Opening hours are essential here because they provide search engines with valuable information about the business’s availability.

Consistency Across Platforms

Consistency in opening hours across various online platforms is vital. Discrepancies can confuse search engines and potential customers, leading to a lower trust score and, consequently, a drop in search rankings.

Up-to-Date Information

Keeping opening hours up-to-date, especially during holidays or special events, signals that the business provides current and reliable information to search engines. This can boost the business’s credibility and search rankings.

User Experience

Search engines prioritize user experience. Accurate opening hours enhance user experience by ensuring customers find a business open when they visit, which can lead to positive reviews and higher rankings.

Opening Hours and Click-Through Rates

The visibility of opening hours in search results can affect click-through rates (CTR). Businesses with clear and convenient opening hours may see higher CTRs, which search engines interpret as a sign of a quality result, potentially improving rankings.

The Influence on Bounce Rates

If customers visit a business outside its opening hours, they’re likely to leave quickly (bounce). High bounce rates can negatively impact search rankings, as they suggest to search engines that the site may not meet users’ needs.

Integrating Opening Hours with Rich Snippets

Rich snippets provide users with a snapshot of a business’s key information directly in search results. Including opening hours in rich snippets can make a listing more attractive, improving rankings.

The Power of Reviews

Reviews often mention opening hours. Positive comments about a business being open as advertised can influence search rankings positively, while negative feedback can do the opposite.


Opening hours are more than just a piece of information for customers; they are a dynamic element that interacts with search engine algorithms to affect a business’s online visibility. By managing opening hours effectively, businesses can improve their search rankings, attract more customers, and ultimately enhance their success in the digital marketplace.

Things to Consider when Relaunching Your Website

Image of SEO with a male figure on a laptop, a magnifying glass and a target.

Image courtesy Pixabay

SEO is a major consideration when relaunching a website. Relaunching your site can have a major impact on your site’s organic rankings. Going into the relaunch with a plan will set you up for success. When we relaunch a site for a client, we always consider the following:

  1. Keyword Research and Content Strategy
    • Perform thorough keyword research: Identify relevant keywords and phrases that align with your business goals. Understand what your target audience is searching for.
    • Create a content strategy: Develop high-quality, keyword-rich content that satisfies user intent. Ensure that your new pages address these keywords effectively.
  2. Technical SEO Optimization
    • Site Architecture and Hierarchy: Review your site’s structure. Optimize it for crawlability and user experience. Ensure logical navigation and a clear hierarchy.
    • Metadata and On-Page Elements: Add descriptive metadata (title tags, meta descriptions) to each page. Optimize headings, images, and internal links.
    • Page Speed: Optimize images, minimize code, and leverage browser caching. A faster site improves user experience and search rankings.
    • Mobile Responsiveness: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly. Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing.
  3. 301 Redirects and Broken Links
    • Redirect Old URLs: Map old URLs to new ones using 301 redirects. Preserve link equity and prevent broken links.
    • Audit and Fix Broken Links: Identify broken links during migration. Fix or redirect them to relevant pages.
  4. Backlink Preservation and Outreach
    • Backlink Audit: Analyze existing backlinks. Prioritize high-quality links and ensure they remain intact after the relaunch.
    • Outreach Strategy: Inform relevant websites about your relaunch. Request updated backlinks to the new pages.
  5. Monitoring and Post-Launch Optimization
    • Monitor Rankings and Traffic: Track keyword rankings, organic traffic, and user behavior post-launch. Address any fluctuations promptly.
    • Google Search Console and Analytics: Set up these tools to monitor performance. Check for crawl errors, indexation issues, and other anomalies.
    • User Experience (UX): Continuously improve UX. Optimize site speed, enhance navigation, and address user feedback.

Remember, a successful website relaunch involves meticulous planning, execution, and ongoing optimization. By addressing these SEO considerations, you’ll be well-prepared for a smooth transition and improved organic visibility. 

Quality still matters (it’s critical)

Baker creating macarons.

It may not be surprising, but quality content is critical to high ranking in Google Search (although it’s not a guarantee).

Search Off the Record is one of our favorite podcasts here at Decantery, and it always features great conversions about search. In a recent episode, John Mueller and Gary Illyes discussed the role of quality in indexing and ranking. The episode featured some great nuggets of information and discussed how Google treats various parts of your site differently based on quality.

One great reminder from the podcast is that we can always strive to enhance the quality of website content. A practical step towards achieving this goal is to remove outdated and low-quality content.

Is it Time To Update Your Website?

When you work in web development, one of the most common questions you’ll get asked is How do you know when it’s time to update your website?

A manufacturing client of ours recently came to us about updating their website. While the website we created for them last year has been doing well, they were ready for some changes. Our client identified a perfect opportunity for a restructure to their product pages: While on sales calls, he realized that his company’s site should be organized more by industry and not product category. Over the last several weeks, we have collaborated with him to make this possible, and we are looking forward to making his job easier!

This caused us to start thinking about other reasons that it might be tell-tale signs that your website needs some TLC. Let’s dive in!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Over time, if you have a live website and your business is doing well, it can be easy to forget that your online presence needs love and attention. Let’s cover a few instances of reasons to update your site:

  1. Your website is not SEO-optimized.
    • It’s assumed that most websites and their content are optimized for positive SEO results, but we also understand that this is not something every small to medium business knows about. Without proper SEO optimization, your website will not show up in Google searches as readily or won’t initiate enough conversions for you, among many other negative impacts. SEO optimization is one of our main services and we’d love to chat with you if SEO makes you say, “huh?”
  2. Your website traffic has slowed down.
    • If you’re tracking your website’s traffic, and you see that visitors, interactions, and conversions have been dwindling over time, your site might be due for some changes. While many factors go into why traffic may have slowed, it’s important to also keep up with the times. A digital audit is a perfect way to figure out where areas of opportunity are. You can also utilize remarketing techniques to bring visitors back to your website and close your conversion loop.
  3. Your website is not mobile-friendly.
    • 52% of online traffic is done on mobile devices. Check out how quickly mobile has taken over in the graphic to the right! That means that no matter how gorgeous your website is on your desktop screen, it’s vital to check how it looks on various mobile devices. If you have even the slightest feeling that it’s not easy to navigate while on a cell phone or tablet, it might be time to check your mobile settings and devise an update plan.
  4. Visual trends have changed.
    • All smart marketers know that following trends is a necessary nuisance. The trick is to accommodate trends in your visual identity without subscribing fully to them. This allows your branding and “look” to fit in with what’s popular without expiring too quickly. For instance, if an image slider on home pages is a successful visual addition, it’s a quick edit to make without compromising the current integrity or branding you have.
  5. You’re not using form fills, subscription sign-ups, or value add options.
    • If a prospect visits your website but doesn’t take anything away from it, have you really captured their interest? If your site doesn’t have a newsletter sign-up form, you’re missing out on engaging with prospects in the long run. Not sure about email marketing or email lead gen? We can help you with that! Other value add examples are downloadable PDFs and case studies—don’t forget to make downloads a conversion goal in your Analytics account! This allows you to gather even more information about potential customers. 

All Things Considered

There are dozens of reasons why you need to update your website. Whether it’s simply a matter of “it’s been too long” or you want to drive more qualified leads into your sales funnel, your website deserves an update. Think of it as an online, living extension of your brand and company. Provide it with the right development and attention, and you’ll see ongoing positive impact.

Do you still feel like your website needs some TLC and aren’t sure where to start? Let us know! We love helping businesses explore and identify their options. Click the link below to drop us a line.

SEO Best Practices: Optimize Your Website’s Content

Here at Decantery, we love exploring best practices for our day-to-day tasks, and helping clients understand how we do what we do. Recently, we took the time to sit down with a client and discuss SEO best practices so that they can write more impactful content for their website. This post is a quick overview […]

Continue reading

Best Practices for Integrating Paid Search & Organic Insights

When it comes to integrating Paid Search and SEO, 1+1=3. The combination of both channels is stronger together, rather than they are on their own. This correlation was compounded when Google dropped their right rail ads from the SERP (search engine results page). Since then, top-of-the-page ad real estate increased from 3 to 4 placements. The increase of ad realestate decreases Organic listings from being seen above-the-fold and can require participation in Paid Search.

It’s imperative digital advertisers understand how Paid Search and Organic can work together.  Paid Search and Organic performance insight should be leveraged through integrated optimization tactics.

Increase Your Ownership of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

When Paid Search and Organic both appear in the SERP results, particularly above-the-fold, the more page space you occupy, the less there is for your competition. Achieving this scenario exponentially increases your chance of being clicked and winning conversions.

So, what steps should you take? Try augmenting high ranking keywords with Paid Search.  Test for a statistically significant amount of time to see if your increased takeover of SERP real estate subsequently drives more traffic, engagement or conversions.

 Using Paid Search Data to Optimize Organic

Often, Paid Search is referred to as a sprint and SEO as a marathon. This is because Paid Search achieves first page results immediately, whereas, Organic rankings grow over time. Websites may launch with Organic rankings from page 2 and beyond. However, Paid Search can appear in position 1 on day one of their launch. For that reason, Paid Search can provide preliminary insight that can be applied to SEO’s strategy. By testing keywords in Paid Search, you can discover whether or not they’ll be good conversion drivers. These types of findings can help you identify keywords that are crucial to your SEO strategy.

Also, analyze top performing Paid Search ad copy to determine what CTA’s work best and utilize them when crafting or refining  meta descriptions. Paid Search best-practices rotate 3-4 ads per ad group, which means you’ll be able to identify phrases that work well for particular keyword themes as well.

Using Organic to Optimize Paid Search

On the flip side, SEO insights can be optimized to improve Paid Search performance. Identify Paid Search keywords with low Quality Score and work to improve them with on-site SEO tactics such as better on-page keyword optimization or creating keyword-targeted subpages. Optimizations such as these signal higher keyword/content relevancy ratios to search engines.

Additionally, Paid Search terms that are expensive, but essential, can be made SEO priorities. Gaining traffic from these types of keywords will take time and effort. But, if you put a strategic roadmap in place and optimize accordingly, you’ll eventually reap the benefit of free, Organic traffic.

Taking a Holistic Approach to Paid & Organic Search

Managing Paid Search and SEO in individual silos is detrimental to performance. By making them work together, you’ll be able to leverage their learnings and achieve optimal performance.