When it comes to having an online presence, your small business doesn’t want to be the best kept secret.
There are some basic SEO tips and tricks that all businesses should implement in order to assure that your prospects can find you when searching online for your product or service.
I see it all too often when dealing with service-based businesses and assisting them with their online marketing. An owner has a reputable business that is superior to competitors but yet they don’t have an online presence.
What happens unfortunately is newbie business owners who understand online marketing are able to outrank the superior business owner and show up on top of search results.
Imagine being that business owner and missing out on all those opportunities.
Almost 90% of consumers looking for a service will go to the web to search for a company. If you don’t have a presence you’re missing out on a tremendous amount of business.
So how can you as a small business owner make sure that your business is found online?
Let’s go over 5 basic SEO Tips and Tricks to get you found over your competition.
Online Reviews are a Must
Online reviews are so important for small business owners and the more you have the better.
Online reviews are social proof to not only potential customers but also to the search engines.
Look to have as many online reviews as possible from as many different review sites as possible.
Many of the top reviews sites want consistent fresh reviews being left frequently, thus make it part of your marketing practice to encourage clients you’ve just performed a service for to leave you a review.
Google and Yelp reviews are obviously very important, but there are many other online review sites.
SEO TIP 1: Though you can ask friends and family for reviews, it’s critical you take the time to implement it into your marketing and customer discussions. Train yourself and employees to regularly be asking for online reviews.
Take the time to get your business listed in all the major online directories.
Many online searches occur either via the online directories themselves or many of the directories actually dominate the local search engines top search results themselves.
Take the time to fill out your information on all the top 20 local citation sites and more if possible.
They’re free and it just takes some time to complete your information. Many of your competitors aren’t doing this and if you do, you’ll help your business rank higher in search compared to them.
SEO TIP 2: Make sure when completing your online citation that you always use the exact same name, address and phone number. This is known as NAP (name, address, phone number) and having the information consistent is key.
Your business has to be found on Google Maps.
Unfortunately many owners still haven’t completed their information completely, if at all.
Go through and complete your information under Google My Business.
Google My Business helps you connect with your customers in search, maps and Google+.
Doing this isn’t difficult and again puts you well ahead of your competition.
SEO TIP 3: Make sure to keep updated images and promotions under your Google My Business. This is all rich data which will help you dominate search locally.
Make it a habit to provide quality fresh content to your website on a regular basis.
You can’t just create a website and forget about it.
Consider starting a company blog even if it’s only once a month.
SEO TIP 4: Having a tough time coming up with content? Create a FAQ area on your website and write content around the frequently asked questions about your business. Also involve your employees by having them share with you what they hear from customers and write about that.
Links are made out to be much more difficult than they really are and unfortunately there have been many negative SEO strategies used by those trying to manipulate search rankings.
Links can be either inbound or outbound and you want them both. An inbound link points to your website from another website and an outbound link points to to other websites from your website.
Both types of links help build trust and both will improve your sites rankings.
With inbound links you want to make sure that they are natural links pointing to your website. Buying links isn’t natural and will penalize your site. If you produce quality content other websites will link to your site. Also if you participate in local organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce for example, you’ll receive quality links from them.
Remember it’s quality, not quantity.
SEO TIP 5: Consider partnering with other service based businesses locally and linking to one another’s websites by creating content around each others businesses in a blog post. Lastly don’t forget about completing your citations as mentioned above.
To conclude there are many SEO tips and tricks, but these 5 are the basic that you should focus on to help your business be found online:
By focusing on these 5 strategies your business will be assured of not being the best kept secret and will be found online.
How does your business currently show up in search and what are you doing to help increase your visibility online?