Small business often means a slender budget, and we understand how important it is for you to make every penny count. But boosting your search engine rankings isn’t a luxury, rather, it is more a necessity – especially if you can’t command the kind of name recognition that national brands take for granted. In this post, we’ll give you some budget-friendly advice on SEO strategies that will produce big results for your business.
Optimize All Information on Your Website
Your website is by far your most significant and valuable online asset. Think of it as your digital storefront. It may even serve as a primary point of access for most of your customers. Ensuring that it’s optimized to appear high up on search results pages is key.
Each page title should incorporate your business, services, and location. Your company’s contact info – name, address, phone number (NAP) – should appear not only on your home page, but on each individual page of your website as well. Use the copy on your website to emphasize your vicinity to ensure that you show up for the right keywords in the right areas. High-impact references include your neighborhood, proximity to historic or shopping districts, local fixtures like museums or parks, and historical landmarks.
Create – and Update – Business Listings on Local Websites
This is another highly effective – and cost-effective – way to build SEO. Google and other search engines constantly scan business listings to refine their analysis of local web information and details of your business. When your business is absent – or when the information on third-party sites is outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete – you run the risk of damaging your company’s rankings in the SERPs.
Start by searching local listings websites to check listings for your business. Delete duplicate pages and correct any mistakes or obsolete details. Where possible, “build out” your listings with photos, videos, social media pages, and other information so that your listing has as much information as possible. In addition, check to see if your business is listed in all appropriate categories. If your business has multiple locations, create separate listings for each location on your website to boost your brand and each of your stores.
Develop a Goal-Oriented Link Strategy
Links to your website from other related sites play an important role in your company’s SEO visibility, because they establish the authenticity of your website and the credibility of your business. However, trying to game the system with a pile of irrelevant links will backfire. Over time, this will damage rather than enhance your visibility, as search engines realize that your links aren’t related to your industry or your content. In order to build genuine links, start with your own platforms. Commit to consistently sharing links to your website via your social media channels. Include links to your website in email newsletters, sales promotions, etc.
To inspire people to link to you, reach out. Host, sponsor, or participate in local events so that related publicity will include a link to your website. Be willing to backlink to other sites; it’s easier to ask for a backlink when you offer a link! Post links to local events pages on your site; an “events calendar” page is a great way to create organic linking opportunities. You can also create your own directory of community resources: restaurants, shops, music venues, and cultural attractions. Your blog is another excellent way to package links – but remember, the key to boosting your search engine rankings is to make sure that links are relevant to your company.
Encourage Customer Feedback
User reviews increase your visibility in local search results, but your engagement with them also has a powerful positive effect – so we advise you to be as responsive as possible. Encourage customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work – get into the habit of adding a “call to action” to each update. Customers tend to favor one review site over another – Google vs. Yelp, for example – so provide customers with multiple places to post reviews.
There are numerous ways to push for feedback – transactional and marketing emails, flyers and promotional posters, requests on your website, “call to action” posts requesting comments and reviews – the more positive, personal attention your company gets online, the better for your rankings in the SERPs. Be proactive about responding to all types of user reviews. Offer thanks for compliments and do your best to resolve any complaints.
Maximize Your Social Media Engagement
Social media presence is vital to SEO strategy, playing an important role in search result visibility, especially for local businesses. The more active and consistent your social media strategy, the more likely it is that your pages will attract followers and appear in search results. Develop a presence across multiple platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Youtube, and other popular networks. Shoot for daily updates: product info, reviews, promotions, giveaways, local news and history, upcoming events, industry news. It pays to build diverse content streams, so don’t be afraid to branch out and include personal interests and “fun” material.
If you commit to consistent engagement and relevant content, you should be on your way to enhanced search engine traffic in no time!