You’ve most likely heard the term ‘SEO,’ but what exactly do those three little letters mean? And, more importantly, what can they do for you and your business?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of getting your website listed in major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). SEO is a fundamental key to getting your business seen by the public when they search for something related to your services, and the higher up your page ranks on a search engine, the better it is for you. How can you get to the top? We’ve got 8 simple tips to help you:
Tip 1: Claim Your Business Listing on the Major Search Engines
Most businesses are found online through a “local search.” By claiming your business with search engines, you can update business information, add photos, connect with customers by responding to reviews and increase your exposure across the web. These listings are 100% free, with options to advertise.
- Google: http://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/
- Bing: https://www.bingplaces.com
- Yahoo: http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/local-listings/
Tip 2: Claim Your Business with Yelp and Other Review Sites
After Google, Yelp is one of the largest drivers of traffic to local businesses. Consumers regularly base their buying decisions on Yelp’s community feedback and reviews on anything from restaurants to shops. Claiming your business with Yelp furthers your reach to customers, provides the ability to update and add to your company profile, create Yelp Deals to convert customers as well as track and respond to reviews.
Tip 3: Get More Positive Reviews!
Did you know that Google ranks your business in part by the number of reviews found across the internet? The more reviews you receive on sites like Yelp, Insiderpages and Google, the higher you generally rank in search results. One of the biggest business drivers? Positive reviews! If a customer has a great experience with your business, let them know they can share that information online.
A big “don’t”— No one appreciates fake reviews, and Google has a strict policy about paid or manipulative reviews. Make sure you only receive unforced, positive from actual customers.
Tip 4: Connect Your Social Accounts
Claim your business in as many places as possible, including social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and GOOGLE+. Since these pages are often shown in search engine results, it’s important to keep your accounts updated. Link to your most important accounts by adding buttons or links on your website. Having a strong social media presence expands your reach on the web and increases your marketing channels. So get social!
Learn more about social media marketing:
Tip 5: Verify Your Website with Google Webmaster Tools
Ok, this one is a little advanced, but give it a shot! Google Webmaster Tools gives you the data and diagnostics for a successful, Google-friendly site! When you claim your site with Google Webmaster Tools, Google will alert you to any crawling problems (problems with html, hyperlinks, etc.), website suggestions and even notify you if they find spam on your site.
- Google Webmaster Tools: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en
Tip 6: Include Your Address on Every Page of Your Website
Not only does this help your customers find you, but it also sends important signals and data to search engines regarding your location…all extremely helpful for local searches!
Tip 7: Ask Customers to Link to Your Website
Search engines rank websites in a number of ways; one of these being popularity. Popularity is judged by the number of websites that link back to yours. For instance, if a local newspaper features your business in an article, ask them to include a link. Blogs are another valuable source for links; get connected with some of your local news or neighborhood blogs. But again, keep in mind- Google cracks down on paid or “unnatural” links.
Tip 8: Use Words on Your Website; Don’t Rely on Images
Search engines may be clever, but they aren’t up to speed on reading images, so make certain that the important information on your website is in text format. A good way to test this: Highlight the words with your mouse, then copy and paste into another application. If this works, you’re set!
Try all or any of these SEO tips to get your business seen! If you are looking to take your SEO efforts to the next level, check out this Beginners Guide to SEO.