If you’re a small business owner that needs to drive traffic to your website, how do you compete with large companies who have money to hire online marketers to drive their online presence and SEO?
There are several good, local experts that do great SEO for small business. Though I encourage business coaching clients to hire experts and rely on them for their expertise, I know that sometimes as a business owner, your cash flow isn’t sufficient to hire experts like online marketers.
Because of its specialized, technical nature, SEO for small business owners is particularly difficult to try to do yourself. Worse, because there are so many small business owners desperate to improve their online presence, they’re prey to a large contingent of 1) SEO practitioners that deliver partial or short term results and 2) “black hat SEO” practitioners—online line marketers who sell aggressive SEO tactics that at best give you only short-term results and at worst, can get your website banned for illegitimate practices.
Fortunately for the small business owner, there are some basic things you can do to insure you have a strong online presence… until such time when you can hire an online marketer. I read a good article recently, by Chuck Price, that lists “5 Ways to Make Your Small Business Rock the Web.” Price’s 5 ways are good basic and solid SEO for small business practices.
I encourage you to read the full article but here’s a summary of the 5 ways you can do, with a bit of explanation and editorial:
- Claim local listings – It’s hard to show up on a Google search if you aren’t listed on Google so set up your listing, definitely, on Google and also on Yelp.
- Generate online reviews – Once you’re on Google and Yelp, customers can not only find you better, they can write a review of your company. Why is this important? 2 reasons: 1st, prospects want to see what others think of you—this is particularly an important SEO for small business practice. Positive reviews that boost your Yelp score by one full star can equate to a revenue increase of 5-9%. And 2nd, you want enough positive reviews out there to neutralize any negative ones.
- Have or build a mobile-friendly website – it’s not a majority, yet, but a growing number of people want to find you from their smartphones… and Google gives you points if your website is mobile-friendly.
- Build local citations – meaning, get your company name, address, and phone number on the web in as many places as you can. Also important is to make sure you write it exactly the same way each time.
- Master 1 or 2 social media platforms – I like LinkedIn best which Price doesn’t mention, but he does explain which ones are best for your specific industry types.
People expect to find a company on the web. Doing these 5 basic things will improve your SEO for small business rankings so that your prospects can find you.
SEO for small business is do-able. But having gone through these 5 ways with several clients, I’ll tell you that they’ll take some time and they’re not especially intuitive for the online novice. Delegate this to a young IT-literate employee or ask a young neighbor, friend, or family member and pay them an entry-level wage to do it for you.
If you can at least get your website ranking to a point where it’s generating leads that you can turn into customers, you’ll see a lift in profits. Then I recommend you hire real online marketers and SEO experts to boost your presence even more, customized to your business.
P.S. Create a business plan that leads to greater profits — Quarterly, I lead a fast-paced session where business owners discover the potential in their business by completing a 1-Page Strategic Plan. Then, they break it into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals, getting a line-of-sight from daily tasks to their 10-30 year purpose. Step out of your day-to-day business for just 1 day, get organized, complete a prescribed planning process, and walk away with an action plan that leads to greater profits and free time back.
For owners of businesses any size or industry. $247 at the door, $187 advance enrollment, $97 Early Bird Price through Sept. 21, and FREE to Inspire Results Business Advising clients.
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, Hilton Garden Inn, 8910 Hatfield Dr., Indpls, 46231, 9-4:00 pm. Hot lunch included.