As a small business owner, you have plenty to worry about, so it’s important to find marketing tactics that give you the most “bang” for your buck. Fortunately, once you get your website in top shape, there are things you can do to drive traffic. Enter the SEO self-assessment for small businesses. This list will help you see where you stand, and what you can do to improve your search engine results so your potential customers can find you more easily.
What are your customers looking for? You may think the answer is abstract, but really, it’s whatever you do well. For example, maybe you own a plant nursery and carry lots of succulents. When people visit your nursery, they often buy succulents. This is your key differentiator, setting you apart from competitors. You know you can impress those looking for succulents in your area, so it’s a good idea to capitalize on long-tail keywords like “succulents for sale las vegas”, “las vegas terrariums” or “succulent gardens in las vegas”. These are the search terms potential customers will use to find what they’re looking for, so it’s important to feature them on your website pages.
2. Create thoughtful content
Putting your products and contact information on your website isn’t enough in the world of SEO, especially when you have stories to tell and a horn to toot (your own). For new site visitors, making a great first impression is key. Studies show that most people go online to check things out before committing to a purchase, so the first time they enter your site, is your chance to show them that you have exactly what they need and there’s no need to look elsewhere. Great website content, whether it’s part of your core content or in a blog post, makes their decision easier, and helps create a connection. Be sure to use your keywords when writing about your business, products and process.
3. Share that content
As a small business owner, social media is a great tool for promoting your brand, building awareness and excitement around your products and driving traffic to your website. People have compared online communities to farmer’s markets in real life, where the vendors all know each other. The floral vendor might not sell honey, but she can tell you who does and where to find them. That’s why you should stay active on social media, it helps build your community and gets people talking. Share your blog content, images and be responsive to those who want to engage.
This may seem obvious, but one of the biggest factors in local SEO is your local information or NAP (name, address, phone). Add these in code, along with your city, state and zip code. You can even include local information in your page titles. For example, Potted Succulents in Greater Chicago. When Google crawls your business website, it will make sure you use the same NAP details on your website and your Google listing. This is how Google determines that the two digital properties are related. It’s a good idea to include NAP details in your footer so it’s always visible for users.
It’s no secret that reviews mean something. If your business has good reviews on Facebook or Google, people will be more likely to click through to your website from these platforms. It’s important to ask for reviews. This is a good thing to build into your process. Email follow-ups or even printed cards are good reminders. Another way to show that you’re active is through links from related small businesses. For example, Crazy Egg, recently mentioned our case study on 360 videos in their article, How To Leverage Facebook’s Live 360 Videos.
In addition to reviews, social proof can be backed up with a few links from local directories, like Yelp, SuperPages or ReferLocal.com. It also helps to get some links from other related local websites in that directory. Google crawls the web link one link at a time, so if your business is linked to a website in the same field of business, that link is extra valuable.
Taking SEO action
You can increase your visibility by creating content optimized for the most appropriate keywords, and it helps to maintain an active presence on social media. Making sure your Google listing is up to date is key, as is asking for reviews. Lastly, try to get links from related small businesses and continue to optimize for “near me” searches as you expand your product portfolio and service offerings. These searches leverage each user’s location and serve up suggestions based on queries like, “plant nurseries near me” or “plant nurseries open now”.
And, as always, if you need a little help getting started, you can always find us here.