Most small business owners have no idea how to go about increasing their presence online in the Maps and Organic listings. Because of this, so many people fall into the PPC (Pay Per Click) trap, and spend absurd amount of money on campaigns. In this short post, I am going to share a few small business SEO tips, which will hopefully get your business headed in the right direction.
Before I get started explaining how you can use basic SEO to help your business, allow me to share a graphic that shows the advantage of SEO over PPC:
Let’s just put that debate to bed. Organic results are more trusted, therefore, more clicked. Even without the other factors, that is enough to make someone want to choose search engine optimization, or it should be anyway.
That being said, let’s move on. Now I will share some basic SEO tips that you can implement for your small business.
- Tip #1 – Don’t Over Optimize Your Site! There is a lot of free information on SEO online. That is great, however, 99% of it is outdated and will land you in the Google crapper if you follow it. Over optimizing your site, whether it is on page or off page is a HUGE no no, and is a sure fire way to get your site penalized by Google. What do I mean by over optimizing? In a nutshell, don’t force things you want to rank for anywhere on your site, especially in your URL or Site Title. Just don’t do anything that Google could view as unnatural.
- Tip #2 – Create a Blog on Your Website. There are a lot of benefits to adding a blog and creating content on a regular basis. I covered this in a different post, and if you would like to read that click here.
- Tip #3 – Get Social. Most of us are already on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Google loves seeing links shared from these website, and if you can get some traffic coming to your site from social properties like this, Google will love that. It’s easy, create a Facebook business page, as well as a Twitter account specifically for your business. This post is not going to dive deep into marketing on those platforms, but if you can get a little interaction going, and share the content you create, as well as other offers and specials you are running Google will like seeing that. Share your links often on as many socail sites as you can.
- Tip #4 – Google My Business. Have you noticed how when you search for a local service online, you see those 3 lucky businesses that are shown in the Google Maps section? Well, it actually isn’t luck that they are there, and being there is absolutely somewhere you should want to be! You must claim your business and set up a free Google My Business listing. After verifying your listing, you will want to add as much information about your business as they allow. Add a bunch of images, and if you can, save the file as different keywords that are related to your niche. For example, if you are a dentist in Birmingham AL, you would want to save your photos (the file name) like so, birmingham dentist, emergency dentist birmingham, family dentist birmingham al etc… Google can read those image titles and it can really help you out as far as optimizing that listing goes.
- Tip #5 – Citations! Wait… What the heck are citations? Citations are web 2.0 properties. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, FourSquare, YellowPages, HotFrog, and many more are all great places to add your business to. Read more about citations here. A few things to keep in mind when getting these citations are, citations provide powerful and safe backlinks to our website, The links are nofollow, but carry a lot of weight in Google. Those citations also help boost the rankings of our Google My Business listing. The more citations you have filled out, and filled out properly the better the chance of your business showing up in the maps listings. By properly, I mean all of the information you use to create your Google My Business listing has to be filled out EXACTLY the same on all of the citation sites. Do the same with images, name them accordingly, and upload as many as they allow.
If you follow these 5 basic small business SEO tips, you will be off to a great start. Of course, there is more to SEO than what is written on this page. If there weren’t, everyone would be #1, and that just isn’t possible. As I said though, these tips are great building blocks, and can allow you some freedom to be more aggressive with your off page SEO once all of this is completed.
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Til next time!