Why Small Businesses Need to be Utilizing SEO.
Today let’s talk about utilizing SEO and why you should be doing it. Large corporations across the globe actually have employees that focus on nothing other than making sure that their company lands at the top of every search engine- small businesses however often fail to realize how crucial landing on the first page of search engine results truly is.
For instance- let’s say I wanted to purchase a new Mattress; what are the first links that pop up in Google? Sears & Costco. Why? Is it because Sears and Costco are superior to their competitors? No. It’s because these conglomerates have made sure that they would be at the top. Now, personally, I would rather buy a mattress from a small family owned mattress store in my area, I’d also rather deal with friendly faces who know their stuff vs. corporate employees who are just there for their paycheck every 2 weeks; I’d also like to think that most people feel that way- yet the majority of people will still buy a mattress from one of the national giants. Why? I will tell you why: it’s because they’re easy to find, because it takes very little effort and people these days have very little time. Being at the forefront of a search engine results page gives you the easy customers, the customers who want to purchase something swiftly and quickly and don’t have time to sift through 17 pages of search results to find the PERFECT company to buy something from.
So how do you compete? SEO!
- Start by optimizing your website to include KEY WORDS that search engines use.
- Utilize backlinks- when other sites are linking back to yours search engine algorithms take notice.
- Make sure that your website is UPDATED, eye-catching, streamlined, and user friendly. You can’t imagine how many small businesses haven’t updated their website in over a year! Your site is the face of your online presence, it is your first impression- so make sure that it’s a good one!
- Be sure to tag your location. Local searches are becoming more and more common- for instance when I want a latte I would type in “Coffee shop, Santa Monica”- chances are Starbuck is going to be the first thing that pops up- but if you own a trendy coffee shop YOU want to be the second listing because the odds of your business catching my eye are pretty good. Especially if you have something delicious like a Nutella latte on the menu that Starbucks doesn’t have. This can be done by registering your location with Google and enrolling in apps such as foursquare.
- Build awareness of your brand in your local area and don’t be afraid to ask past clients or customers for positive reviews or check-ins on social media! You can even offer an incentive to do so- for instance if you own a restaurant you can offer a coupon for $5 off their next meal if they post a positive review or offer a complimentary appetizer for checking in on foursquare or facebook. When people are talking about you on the internet search engines hear about it.
- Keep your social media profiles interactive! The more you interact with others on the internet the more your name will come up in search results.
At the end of the day utilizing SEO tools can help your business generate new leads and it is a very cost effective way to make sure that your small business gets the attention that it deserves!