Since the majority of people who use the Internet search for local businesses online, it is important that local business owners employ effective small business SEO tactics as a part of their marketing strategy. If you own a small business and you do not have an Internet presence, it is likely that you are losing customers and therefore revenue. However, there are a number of effective small business SEO tactics that can ensure that you are easily discovered through search engines.
One of the biggest advantages that small businesses currently have over large companies is that Google is now promoting localized search results. Google is now giving top search engine results to businesses that are closest to the geolocation of a person doing a keyword search. This means that even if your website is not as optimized as the websites of larger companies, you can still achieve top search engine rankings.
Some of the most effective small business SEO practices include mentioning your location on every page on your site or simply listing your address on the side or bottom of your page. Another great way to ensure that Google and other search engines realize you are localized is to have your Internet marketing consultant implement a plug-in that provides directions to your address using MapQuest or Google maps.
Outside of keyword content, one of the biggest factors in determining the rank of your website is how popular it is. Up until recently, Google based this on the number of backlinks to your site from other sites. However, many people began abusing this system, which led to the development of link farms that existed only to improve backlink numbers to websites but did not contain any content. After a recent Google algorithm update, backlinks from link farms can actually count against your website.
Along with this change, Google has also made social media activity a large part of how it ranks websites. This is excellent news for small businesses because it is much easier to develop positive social media feedback than to build large backlink numbers. Everything from sharing your website, to posting positive comments about your website to “Liking” your website counts towards your Internet popularity metric. Therefore, effective small business SEO plans should involve incorporating social media into your site and developing a social networking presence for your business. It’s also a good idea to check with your SEM consultant about running paid ads across exclusive social networking pay per click platforms.
Local Review Sites
In addition to searching for local businesses online, many Internet users are also looking at review sites before they spend money on goods or services. Therefore, you should try to be as active as possible on local review sites and encourage satisfied customers to leave positive feedback about your business. Since Google indexes these websites, it can help ensure that your website is recognized as being local. Another reason that being listed on local review sites is an effective small business SEO tactic is because it can lead to people discovering your business, and since these sites also use social media, it can improve your Internet popularity metric as well.
We are currently accepting new clients for our SEO consulting service and look forward to discussing how we can improve your small business’s online visibility.