Small Business Big SEO
As a small business owner you pour you heart and soul into your profession. It is somewhat disheartening when you realize that on the Internet you need to compete against huge multinational corporations with giant Internet marketing budgets. Small business is the heart of our economy and rest assured that most people would prefer to patronize small business when given the choice, so it is your job to get on their radar. Over 90% of people who seek to buy goods and or services from a brick and mortar storefront check the Internet first, so the question becomes; what can I do to stand out from the crowd?
1. Find your unfair advantage. As the owner of your business you are always going to have more liberty to provide great customer service than your “big box” counter parts. If a customer comes in with a problem you can go above and beyond to create a raving fan and when you do, don’t be shy about asking for a positive review on your Google Places profile. Internet reviews matter, if you provide great customer service why not asks that your customers return the favor with a great review. You can even incentivize great reviews with discounts or recognition of some type. You have local friends and you should have some social media outlet where you can keep in touch, don’t be shy about asking your friends to share your latest updates (just be sure not to over do it).
2. Get a web address that has the local area in the title. If you own a garage where you service BMWs get a URL that reflects that. Instead of “gerrysbmw.com” gets “BmwMechanicInStanford.com.” a more descriptive URL will give you a huge advantage when people type in the search for your services. Your page can still say “Gerry’s BMW” but by going from general to specific you will catch more impressions.
3. A newsletter is an absolute must for any small business and when used in combination with a blog it can become a powerful tool for engaging with customers. The big objection to a blog or newsletter is always the same, “I don’t have the time!” well, if you can’t dedicate an hour a week to your internet traffic strategy then you may need to outsource it, but if you can find an hour a week that is all the time it should take. Search engines eat content; it is the fuel that drives them so you should try to produce content to get noticed. The new changes to the Google engine algorithm (Panda and Penguin) has put a de-emphasis on old content and gives a bonus to new fresh content so if you can afford that hour per week it will be well worth it.
4. Make videos of you conducting your craft, share them on your social media and even YouTube. People love to watch others do their jobs masterfully, which is why there is so much reality television about people at their place of work. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world so don’t discount it off-hand. Plus making videos is a great way to get your kids involved with what you do. Be sure to have your URL in the description of you video and pass some SEO juice to your web site.
5. Be active locally. On the surface this may not seem like a SEO tip but if you leverage your volunteer work you can get links on other relevant pages in the local area and all that will help. By doing local work you will be more inclined to get news coverage or pop on more social media outlets. I would also mention that karma is alive and well on the Internet so don’t be surprised if your good deeds make a huge impact on your local SEO campaign.
Obviously these tips aren’t the end all be all of local SEO but they may be a few things you haven’t thought about before and giving some little known tips that have worked for me in the past is what this whole article is about. I really appreciate you reading this post and thank you for your comments.