Creating a website and business pages on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are basic requirements for owning a business in today’s world. However, just having these isn’t enough to make an impact. To maximize these tools and increase your chances of being found in local searches online, you need to enhance them through SEO (search engine optimization).
SEO is an ongoing process and not something you do once and simply forget about. It’s also important to acknowledge that first-page ranking results aren’t something that will occur overnight — it takes weeks, sometimes months depending on the market and industry, to achieve.
To help get you started along your SEO journey, here are four fundamentals that we think every small business should include in their SEO strategy.
Titles and Meta Tags
Titles and meta tags are what search engines use and display to users during search results. They are quick, bite-sized pieces of content that let potential customers know what your website or content is about. Each page of your website will incorporate these elements.
If you are using a platform like WordPress or GoDaddy, there is typically a place in your web page creation template that will allow you to enter this information. Here are few things to keep in mind when you are creating these elements:
- Your title length should be between 50 and 60 characters
- Your meta description length should be between 160 and 200 characters
- You want to incorporate key search terms that relate to your page topic and that a user will recognize when they are scanning search results
As you’re creating your titles and meta tags for your web pages, keep in mind that consumers skim search results, so you want to make your information concise, easily readable, and digestible in order to grab their attention.
Be Socially Active Daily
One of the least available commodities a small business owner or entrepreneur has available is time; however, when it comes to creating a strong online presence, you need to carve out a little bit of uninterrupted time each day to achieve success.
Even if it’s just 30 minutes a day, spend time creating content and engaging with your online followers. Here are a few ideas of things you can post about each day:
- Photos of daily life at your business (this creates a more personal relationship with your followers)
- Posts about what’s going on in your local community (events or good news)
- Share local or industry related content
- Share a funny meme
- Post about upcoming events or promotions
- Create a post thanking your customers for their loyalty and support
- Create a survey about your business or a local event
- Like or respond to what your followers are saying about your posts
When you engage daily, search engines will reward you and will include your activity in their search ranking algorithms. Basically, the more active you are, the higher you’ll appear in search results and the more likely you’ll be to be found by potential new customers.
Create Local Content
One of the most honest mistakes businesses make online is to create content that only talks about themselves. While you want to convey a sense of who your business is what you’re all about, you also want to show that you’re a part of your local community and you care about others. Additionally, showing interest in your local community is one of the best ways to gain exposure, build relationships with your audience (current and future customers), and show a different side of your business.
See something amazing or worthwhile happen when you were out and about this past weekend? Then write about it! It shows you’re personal side and it also lets your customers know that you truly are a part of the community and that you’re out there engaging with them.
Whether it is a post or content you create or it’s a post or article you simply share to your page, make an effort to promote local activities, events, and good news in your daily social postings.
Reviews and Online Directories
This is an easy win and one that many businesses simply overlook — online reviews and directories. There are so many online directories already out there, so take advantage of them. Getting your business listed on these platforms will yield huge rewards in your local search rankings. Here are a few to check out:
- Angie’s List
All of these directories include reviews, so make sure you ask your customers to leave feedback for you. Not only will it impact your rankings, it will also lend a sense of credibility to your business to potential new customers who are doing research online.
Finally, claim your business on Google My Business. The verification process is a simple one and, like seeing reviews from other customers, it will legitimize your business with future customers.
Do you still have questions about the right way to position your business online or how to maximize your SEO strategy? Then drop us a line and we’ll coach you through everything you need to know about search engine optimization and online digital marketing for your small business.