A key component of any small business’ marketing strategy is to be effectively positioned within search engine results. And you can do this with content that you influence.
As well as the many complex and detailed strategies search engine optimization can involve, there are a few simple and effective ways to boost your rankings and visibility, while simultaneously improving your social media, ratings, reviews and media.
Your first step should always be to ensure the information on your website is properly optimized. This includes the following:
- Your domain name should ideally be your company name.
- Page titles should have keywords that identify your business, services, and locations.
- More than ever for small businesses, you want as much about your local area in your website copy as possible.
It’s also important to encourage and respond to online user reviews.
- Encourage your customers to go online and give you a review after you have provided them a service. This will build up your reputation and the more positive, authentic reviews you have, the more Google will notice you.
- Make sure you are proactive about responding to reviews – good or bad. Always thank them for the positive review and welcome them back, and address any negative reviews, find out what went wrong, fix it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s a learning curve for your business too.
Social media is everywhere now, and largely dominates the web. So it’s important you understand its advantages and how to make these work for you.
- The main options are Google+ (this can also take you into Google My Business, which is hugely beneficial), Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. These accounts should all be in some way linked to your main website.
- These are networks where you can hugely interact with your customers and target audience. Update statuses, engage directly with customers, introduce new products and specials, and post any relevant information.
A lot of people underestimate the value of third-party business listing sources, e.g Yelp. Don’t make that mistake. It is perhaps one of the most effective ways to boost local SEO.
- Search for leading local listings websites, and make sure you’re listed.
- Put as much information as you can about your business into the listing.
- If your business has several locations, make sure you list each separately.
- Make sure you’re listed under the right category.
Last, but certainly not least – publicity. Develop relationships with local media and bloggers. Encourage them to take advantage of your service or product, or email about a local event you’re supporting. Any mention you get from a worthy media source, will mean a lot to where you stand in the search results.