To SEO or not to SEO? That’s the small business owner’s question
You may be asking yourself if it’s worth your time to invest in local SEO; it serves big business, not mine. Or so you think.
When done properly, SEO benefits every business, no matter the size, so long as you focus on optimizing pages and sites for results specific to your region. It’s especially useful for potential customers that are looking ‘near me’ for a particular product or service. Take a moment and follow these essential steps to maximize SEO for your small business.
How do search engines decide what to rank in local search results?
- An up-to-date website
- Location, location, location - are you near where people are looking?
- Relevance of what you have to offer in relation to what people are searching
- Positive online presence/reputation
These six factors will impact the success, or lack thereof, of your SEO performance. The following tips can help you stay on track and virtually hit your target audience in no time.
1. Your website
There’s no need to spend hour upon hour perfecting your website, however it is imperative that it is fresh and maintained current. The structure, loading speed, and safety are all major priorities for not only SEO, but consumers too.
Paired with a solid functioning website, is branding. Communicating what your business offers using a consistent logo and tagline is important for SEO. They must reflect your values and expertise, customers need to be able to recognize who you are, and it doesn’t take a lot of money to do it. Share what you know! Blog, use social media; the internet is your friend as long as you put out quality information that people want to read.
2. Google needs to know your location
Google wants to match you up with the right people in the right area, they need to know where you’re located so they can do that. Insert your contact information where you can so that it’s easy for people to find. Be sure to research how to add the data in correct formatting so that search engines pick it up easily. It can help to add your city and state/province, along with page titles if applicable.
An extension of Google is Google My Business (GMB), a budget friendly way to get your business on the online market. It’s free and helps with connecting you to your geographical area thus connecting you to more potential customers.
3. Content that relates to what you do or offer
Ultimately, the job of Google is to match people with what they are searching for. Quality content is where it’s at, making sure that what you write reflects the message your business wants to share or be remembered for. Be clear and focus on specific keywords that your customers would search. This must be intentional, write what pertains to your niche. Write about it all: your goals as a business, how you started, specific products, anything that relates to what your business has to offer. Good content is great marketing, you’re working for an overall online reach and the right words will help get you there.
4. Positive reputation
It’s time to get up and go! Talk about your business, build relationships, reach out to friends, friends of friends, and their friends. Getting people to talk about your website will naturally generate traffic, keep this trend going by linking from others’ websites and vice versa; again, just make sure that your values and vision align before connecting with a potential negative association.
5. Social media
Be sure to have a social media presence, this doesn’t have to be your primary source of sharing however providing updates and sharing good content can go a long way the more platforms you utilize.
Regardless of where the online traffic comes from, encourage ratings and reviews; this helps you develop a positive presence which leads to more trust from the customer. People want to hear what others have to say about you so be aware of comments and visible feedback.
The way in which we do business is shifting, and fast. Big business may have a leg up financially, but small businesses have the ability to carve out a strong and effective presence online should they choose to collaborate and leverage their local markets. What once was a stroll through downtown (insert town/city name here) to visit the local shops, has now become a click of a mouse to travel from shop to shop, globally, with the ability to get services or pick up purchases the same or next day.
SEO isn’t just for big business, it’s for all businesses. Need help getting started? Visit KlussterMedia.com, we’ll get you climbing the search results ladder in no time.