Search. SEO. Landing pages.
Do these words give you the heebie jeebies?
As a small business, there’s so much going on that it’s hard to step back and think about where you rank in a Google search. Without the money to hire an in-house SEO specialist, you’re on your own.
What’s a small business to do?
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure you’ll appear when someone is searching for your products and services…and they have very little to do with keywords and links.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn the basics of SEO. But if you haven’t quite found the time to pick up a book or read a guide…here are some things you can do:
Get A Website
The absolute best thing you can do for SEO is to get a good website. It needs to be fast, responsive on mobile, and full of relevant information that your customers need (if you’re a restaurant, you need to post your hours!).
Here are some things to think about for your site:
Information – Are you providing the information your customers and clients need?
Speed – If the pages on your site take too long to load, you’ll lose visibility.
Content – Do you have a blog or other pages where you can update content?
Responsiveness – Can visitors easily read and interact with your website on mobile devices?
If you’re not a web developer, these things may seem impossible. How is a healthcare consultant supposed to create a responsive site?!
Thanks to webites like Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Shopify, anything is possible. These hosting platforms automatically help you optimize your site for search, speed, and mobile responsiveness. They allow you to easily fill in title tags and meta-descriptions (that’s what appears when someone searches for you) for each page on your site.
It’s the age of the internet. You don’t need to get your business in the phone book, right?
In order to appear in search results, the world needs to know you exist. Update your online listings using Yext.
Yext helps you figure out if your business is listed on Google, Superpages.com, Bing, and a host of other sites.
Stake Out Social Network Profiles
If you search for most people or businesses online, the first things you’ll see are their social media accounts. That means the more accounts you have, the more visibility you’ve got.
Get yourself listed on Yelp, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin. Fill out information on each of your profiles, even if you don’t plan on updating them all the time.
Get Other People Talking About You
If you’re not in a position to create a blog, then why not get other people to write about you?
Sure, it’s easier said than done, but creating content on your own site isn’t the only way to get visibility. I recommend joining Help A Reporter Out (HARO) which connects small businesses with journalists who are writing about them. You’ll get an email each day with a list of topics so you can respond with your pitch.
Of course, you have to do something worth writing about. You might try…
Coming up with a video.
Hosting a local event.
Sharing your struggles, successes, and analytics.
Create A Resource Or Tool That People Need But Can’t Find Elsewhere
Generating helpful resources is one of the ways that businesses get visibility online. Helpful resources get organic traffic, links from other sites, social shares, and are good fodder for PPC and other paid campaigns.
Try creating a resource that your prospective and current customers can’t find elsewhere.
Find Some Partners
Building relationships is key to doing business right, so why not partner up with some other businesses?
This works especially well if the company you partner with has a huge presence online. If they link to your page, you’ll reach a new audience, which sends a positive signal to Google.
And Learn About SEO
Sorry, guys. If you want to be found online, you’ve got to learn a little about SEO. Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, so the field of search is always changing.
It’s in your best interest to be on top of the trends.
SEO is about a lot more than keywords and links. It’s technical, creative, and exciting. Mostly you want to ensure that your site looks good to search engines.