Don’t get caught opting out of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because you think your business website is too small. If you’re not paying attention to key SEO strategies your visibility online is not growing. Here’s where to start investing your time.
SEO is an incredibly cost effective strategy to generating warm leads for your business (especially for companies with a low marketing budget), and if you are a local storefront company it’s even more important as Google continues to put more and more importance on local search results.
Let’s back up for a second.
What does SEO mean? It basically means any strategy, tactic or optimization to your online presence that pushes your website higher in search results.
Let me be crystal clear… there is no silver bullet to help you ranking on the first page of Google results. It’s a incremental process over time. If someone promises you first place in search results in 30 days, they’re lying.
Ok, back to the opportunity.
With Search Engine Marketing your small business has access to tools that connects you with your audience. You have a chance to drive traffic, generate leads and build authority in ways that didn’t exist prior to 1995.
We’ve spent time with hundreds of small business owners and generally the following two strategies are what propels most of our clients business growth and builds the foundation of solid SEO…even for the smallest of small businesses.
**Of course there are lots of technical SEO things you can do (page speed, broken links, sitemaps, Google Search Console, etc.), but the following two strategies have a big return on the investment and are things that most of our clients can tackle without being overwhelmed.
#1 – Develop a Content Strategy
This is the most time consuming strategy but it is absolutely worth it, especially for small businesses looking to establish credibility on the internet.
People are seeking authoritative answers to their questions. You have the opportunity to post content that grows your companies credibility. If you can provide detailed answers to peoples burning questions, then you will get notices and your browsers will start to trust you. Google works really hard to provide the best answers to the questions people are asking online, so providing relevant content to your audience is key.
Find the intersection between your product or service and what potential customers are searching for. Then get started!
Start with a blog.
It’s an easy way to launch a content strategy and cheap! To brainstorm ideas use answerthepublic.com to find out what questions people are asking about your niche. Disregard the creepy guy on that site and enter in keywords or phrases you think your ideal customers would type into the search bar.
Stick to a regular schedule. We recommend 2-3 blog posts a month for those just getting started. Try your best to stay on track for 6 months and you’ll be well on your way to creating a solid foundation that supports the rest of your digital marketing efforts. Great content that resonates with your browsers often turns browsers into customers.
Don’t forget to share your content on any relevant social networks for your business niche.
#2 – Grow Local Search Results on Maps
Are you an auto glass repair shop, nutrition coach, spiritual direction resource, massage therapist or any other business that is trying to attract new customers from a specific geography?
It’s time to get your business listed and ranked on Google maps!
Mobile phones have changed the way people are searching for services and products. Many SEO experts are arguing that Google is now treating the proximity of the business as the #1 search ranking value.
All you need to do is visit Google My Business and set up your business profile. Accurate information about your business in Google is huge!
You want to show up in map search results like our friends at Johnson’s Auto Glass right?
Or in the sidebar of organic search results like this…
It’s a fairly straight forward process. Once you’ve logged in all you need to do is create a new location.
Enter accurate information about your business and make sure you select “I also serve customers at my business address”. You will be asked to verify your address, usually by mail, although sometimes you have the option by phone. Then finish some final steps…
- Be sure and update your “Info” section with your companies name, address and phone number.
- Select the industry that best matches your company – Be as specific as possible.
- Add as many pictures as possible.
- Add a cover photo.
- Add a profile photo (usually a company logo or business owner headshot).
This will also allow you access the “insights” about search impressions and actions taken by browsers (i.e. how many people are seeing your business in search results and maps and are contacting you because of it).
There are lot’s of additional features available within Google My Business: Reviews, Posts, Q & A, Booking feature, text messaging, etc., but at the core of it is having accurate Name, Address and Phone number for your business.
At the end of the day you want to do the things that have the most impact for your business. If you start creating relevant content for your ideal audience and make sure you’re information is accurately displayed on Google My Business, you will be well on your way to establishing your place online.
If you have any questions about small business SEO or Search Marketing hit us up. We’re always willing to talk shop.