As a small business, you should start your SEO campaign off slow. You also need a healthy dose of patience, since nothing ever happens fast. Here are some simple SEO tips that will help you out along the way, even if you don’t have a lot of internet marketing experience.
Start a Blog
The old saying still rings true – “Content is king.” This is because Google’s algorithm is programmed to favor websites that contain unique, relevant content that visitors will find useful. The best way to take advantage of this is by starting your own blog, since Google’s search algorithms also favor websites that are regularly updated. There are so many things you can write about in a blog (e.g. new products, industry trends, helpful advice) as you establish your business as a local authority. Once you’ve written your content you can then share it on social media, which will get you some great backlinks that will also help your SEO.
Create a Google My Business Account
Your small business needs to have a Google My Business profile so that it shows up in the local “maps” results, especially if your business has walk-in customers. When you stop to think about how many people use their smartphones to find nearby places to eat, shop and run errands you’ll understand why this is so important.
Start Building Backlinks
You can also establish your business as an authority in your field by building a network of backlinks (hyperlinks to your website from other sites). This will result in a higher search engine ranking for your website. To get this started you’ll want to create business profiles on sites like Yelp, Bing Places, and Foursquare. You’ll also want to build a company page on LinkedIn and create a YouTube channel where you can offer informative and instructional videos. As you do this, make sure you list your business information exactly as it’s listed in Google My Business, as this will give your SEO efforts an extra boost.
Use Good Titles, Headers and Meta Description Tags
Your title and header helps Google decide which search terms are relevant for the different pages throughout your website. You’ll also need to include a variation of your keyword phrases in the H1 header. Also, don’t forget that your meta description appears with your website in the search results. All of these things play an important role in determining where you’ll land in the SERPs.
Have Customers Write Reviews
Positive reviews are also really helpful for small business local SEO. This is why you should always ask your customers to post reviews to your Google My Business page and any other online review sites you’re a member of. Ultimately, it should be your goal to have profiles on as many of these sites as possible. Angie’s List, Yelp, and TripAdvisor are the most popular though.
Mention Your City and State
Frequently listing your company’s city and state throughout your website will also boost your local SEO. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it, but you do want to put this information in your meta tags, your home page H1 header and throughout the rest of your content. You should also create articles in your blog, about how your business is relevant to your city and region. This will influence Google to favor your website in local search results.
Make Sure Your Website Works on Mobile Devices
Since most people use their mobile device to search Google today, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices or your mobile search engine ranking will take a hit. Remember, Google’s algorithm is tuned to connect people with sites that offer good user experiences. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile it won’t display correctly, and may not even function as you’d intended. This is why WordPress and other online publishing tools offer free website templates for mobile users. When you use this kind of content management systems, you’re probably in good shape. Otherwise you’ll need to enlist the help of a web developer to convert your site to mobile. Although this could be expensive, it’s well worth the cost, because otherwise you may lose over half of your potential online customers.
SEO Can Really Boost Your Small Business
Getting started in local SEO takes a lot of time and hard work. While even the small things you do for SEO will pay off over time, you don’t want to do something wrong. This can leave you feeling inpatient and overwhelmed. If you want to make more progress so you can climb the SERPs faster, contact us! We can help your small business website get high-quality traffic that will convert.