SEO can be overwhelming for many small business owners. It's easy to get wrapped up in the daily operations of running a company, and let your digital marketing sit on the backburner. However, every day that you're neglecting your customer reach, is another opportunity for your competitors to get to them instead. If you're looking for the basics, here's a few tips for optimizing your businesses search results, so you can bring in more customers and grow your company.
Grow Your Business Listings
A lot of people go straight to sites like Yelp, YP and Yahoo to find local businesses. It's important to make sure you are listed on as many of these sites as possible. Not only does it ensure that you're found by people using this platform, but it will also have a big impact on your Google search results. The best part is, most of them are 100% free to use. Of course, the number one listing to claim immediately is Google My Business. Here's a short list of some other ones that are also popular:
Get on Social Media
Don't spread yourself too thin with this one. While you need to get profiles on the biggest sites, you don't want to create a bunch of pages that you never post on, you'll be wasting your time and it will make it look like you're not active - which may deter customers from interacting with you. Be sure to pay attention to your target demographic and choose social media channels that will be used by that group. If you're selling geriatric medical supplies, you probably don't need to be on Instagram, but that platform is perfect for a local skate shop. Pick 3 or 4 social media platforms from this list of recommended channels and try and post at least once or twice a month.
Use Your Location as Often as Possible in Your Content
If you own a vintage clothes store in Austin, Texas, make sure that you state over and over again throughout your website's pages that you are located in Austin, Texas. Otherwise, when people type in "vintage stores in Austin - all of your competitors will show, and you'll be at the bottom of the list. It doesn't do much if your store is showing up in search results in Portland, Oregon but not in an area where people can actually visit your shop. Put your address and the name of your city on every page of your website, and preferably in the header and footer of your webpages as well.
Develop a Link Strategy
Links are an important part of the Google algorithm, but this is often ignored or neglected by small businesses. Make sure that you have internal links that direct users to other blog posts or sales pages within your site. You also need to have other websites linking to your site as well. This can be a little bit tricky. You can find local bloggers and influencers that might be interested in sharing your store with their audience. They are usually glad to have good quality products and information to share with their followers and will likely link to your site. You might also collaborate with local organizations by participating in events and have them link to your website.
Ask for Reviews
Don't be afraid to ask for reviews from your customers. There are many people who will not try out a new business if they can't find enough positive reviews. This is even more true for service based industries such as plumbing, roofers or dentists. You may need to come up with some creative ways to incentivize giving honest feedback on certain sites like Yelp. Make it easy for them by sending a follow up email with a direct link where they can quickly give you a rating.
Harness the Power of Local Media Outlets
A lot of business owners are intimidated by reaching out to local media. Don't be. You're not trying to get a spot on Good Morning America or a feature article in The New York Times (although that would be great). The reporters who work for your city's newspapers and local news networks need stories to share with their audience. You can reach out in multiple ways. Try to find their email address and send them a quick and polite email about your business and ask if you could be featured. Send out a Press Release, or use a site like HARO (Help a Reporter Out). What's great is that your local newspaper and news channel will likely put an article or post on their website as well and link to your site.
At iBoost, we understand that it can be difficult for owners to keep up, that's why we provide SEO services for small businesses, so you can keep on doing what you love and let us handle your online presence. We want you to succeed and that's why we are dedicated to working hard at helping you find new customers and boosting your earning potential.