If you own your own business, then you clearly understand the importance of customers. While you may already have a steady flow of existing customers, finding new customers is vital for the success and longevity of your business. Today, thanks to the Internet, your company’s website is an effective tool to use in order to improve your visibility in search engines and to attract more customers.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself, ‘when was the last time you updated your search engine optimization (SEO)?’ I understand that SEO can be daunting if you don’t have the know-how as well as the time to dedicate to testing, analytics and keeping up with one of the fastest moving industries on the planet. To help you get your local business onto the map and to assist you in improving your search rankings, here are 3 easy steps to apply to your SEO plan and to bring customers to your door.
1. Keywords Are Key
The bottom line is, if you want the customers to find you, you need to be using the right keywords. For example, if you own a hair salon in Atlanta, Georgia, then ‘atlanta georgia hairdressers’ will be an important keyword phrase for you. Or if you own an SEO company in Austin, then your main keyword phrase should be ‘seo company in austin’ or ‘seo company in Austin texas’. While it is quite difficult to rank for your head term or for your most important keyword phrase, it is normally easier to rank for longer tail keywords. Your core focus when selecting these keywords, is to clearly understand what your local customers are most likely to be searching for when they are looking for the services and products you are offering. Before you panic, there are many tools available online to help you create your keyword list and you can even take it one step further by checking what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
2. Site & Content Optimization
Top quality content is important for search engines as well as for your customers so make sure that you are creating the kind of content others want to read. Simply stuffing an article with your keywords isn’t going to cut it anymore. There is a wide selection of online companies that will provide you with the necessary tools to enhance your writing skills and your content marketing success. Also, take the time to customize your meta title and meta descriptions. Today, most platforms will use these meta titles when content is shared on social media sites. Also, Google may publish your meta description on the SERP (search engine results page) so make sure this text is unique, inviting and strongly related to your business.
After your home page, your website’s Contact page is the second most important page on your site. For this reason, make sure you include the name of your business, a physical address and a local telephone number. If you want search engines to access your site with ease, make sure to also embed a geo sitemap. Other important elements for search engines are FAQs, customer testimonials and information about the company and the staff. Before you rush off to your nearest Internet marketing agency or PR firm to do the content optimization for you, remember that if anyone knows their business best, it is you. As long as you follow the key guidelines that your content needs to add value, to be informative and entertaining to read, you will definitely be on the right road.
3. Google Local Is A Must
If you have not yet created your Local Google+ page, then create one today. Thanks to Local Google+, you can easily generate more exposure for your business as well as communicate with your customers. With this added social interaction, you can respond to customer reviews as well as create post updates. Make sure to also add your business to Google Places for Business. The information you provide here is what Google will display in Google maps as well as in Google search results. In this way, potential customers can find you easily as well as obtain important information about your business such as your address, contact details and your opening hours. Don’t limit your business listing to Google only and make sure to create listings on Yahoo Local, Bing and any other local directories.
Let’s Get Started
If you have had a mental block against SEO until now, it’s time to take the bull by the horns and to make it happen. Simply follow each of the above steps and help to improve the search rankings for your local business. I’m not asking you to give up your fulltime job and dedicate it to maximizing your SEO efforts. Instead, schedule some time daily and get your business onto the map. The results will definitely be worth it.