For any size business, one of the most important marketing goals is to gain a high organic search ranking with search engines. Our primary target is the mother of all search engines: Google. Recently, Search Engine Journal provided an in-depth look at the 200 algorithms Google uses for website ranking. It covers every thing from page load to image optimization to affiliate links. If you would like a warm up, below are key steps to get you started.
1. “Give in” to Google. If you want to improve your Google search engine ranking, your first step should be to use their products. We’re very fortunate because their products are tailored to our needs and everything has been designed with us in mind. If you’ve been a late adopter of Google Plus, change that mentality. Create your Google Plus business page and begin making connections. Claim your link, set up a page that showcases your business, and verify your website. Add your Google Plus page as a channel on your editorial calendar. Learn why every business needs a Google+ page here.
Nearly ALL consumers search for businesses online (97%). Make sure you are online everywhere!
2. Claim your Google local page. Many people are concerned that setting up a Google Plus Local page limits them to only appear in searches specific to their local zip code. That’s actually not true. Your content will appear when it is relevant to the search terms, regardless of where you are located. However, if you set up a Google Plus Local page, you gain ranking with local searches.
If you are still worried, clarify your service area in the information on your website. Share about the many businesses and locations you have served in your testimonial page, about us page, contact us page, and website homepage. Add a simple statement like “we serve clients all over the world from beautiful downtown Chicago.” If your business has several locations, you also have the option to list them. To learn how to set up a Google Plus Local page click here.
3. Claim Google Authorship. If you or anyone one your team writes for the company blog, create authorship for every contributor and link their Google Plus profile to your website.
4. Optimize your digital channels with industry keywords. Your website and all of your social media channels should include similar descriptions in the About Us sections, with links back to our primary website. These sections should be written using relevant industry keywords about you and your business. This can be tricky because we want our descriptions to be what we want our customers to know about us, but they also need to include the terms our customers are searching. One of the best tools is of course offered by Google and it is through the Adwords program. Anyone can set up an Adwords account and use the Keyword Planner found in the menu bar under Tools.
5. Write for your audience, edit for search engines. For both your web pages and your business blog, optimize each page for search engines. Our past post If you want people to read your blog, read this shares specific areas where you need to focus your SEO strategy. It also includes a FREE SEO guide (excerpt) that you can keep handy on your desk to use when you finish a post or page.
6. Add your business to local directories. If you want people to find you, tell them where you are. Hubspot recently shared a listing of 70 local business directories you can submit your website and company information to. Submitting your information to these local directories is key to your local marketing plan.
7. Use channels that offer highly searched content. Videos and images are the most highly shared content online, therefore, they are also most likely to appear in searches. Many small businesses may struggle with how to use video with their marketing efforts, but there are many, many creative ways you can use this important channel. Use videos for customer testimonials, customer interviews, company updates, sharing good wishes during the holidays, host a video contest and curate videos from your customers, create a FAQ page with video recordings of the questions and your team answering. Think about every way you communicate through your business and ask yourself if there is a way to use a video. Follow the same process with images.
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