Do you want to improve your visibility as a small business in local search engine results? Then this is the article for you. Even if you can only apply three quarters of these tips, you can improve your local rankings.
Let’s get started:
Make sure you have a physical address that has been verified by Google in the local town that you are listing in. Without an address you won’t be visible in that area. You will rank for localised keywords, but this is not enough.
Google+ Google+ and Google+:
First things first, you will need to create a Google Plus profile. If you use Gmail as your preferred email address then this is already done for you! If you do not use Gmail then you will need to register with Google+ and get your address verified by them. This is easy to do. All you need do is click on this url: plus.google.com and register. There is an option in Google+ to have your address verified. They will then send you a document in the post with your own pin number. Once you enter this pin number you will be verified and Google will know that your business is legitimate. Also, make sure you don’t have several Google+ or local pages – delete these.
Creating your verified business listing:
Once you are all registered and with verified email address in hand you will need to login and on the top left hand look for the “Home” button and Icon, click on this and you will see a menu item for “Pages”, then simply follow the instructions.
Ensure you have a good description of your business on Google+ – 300 or more words, including keywords, your services, contact details and opening hours. Photographs and videos are highly effective as a visual aid for customers to pique their interest.
Decide which page on your website you want your customers to visit. Whether it is the Contact Us page, About Us page or your Products/Services page. Don’t forget to have descriptive title tags, header tags, url and keywords that complement each other for optimised SEO.
Google+ provides a variety of categories that will reflect your company’s services. Make sure you choose accurate categories that reflect your business and use as many appropriate ones as possible.
Once you have done all of this, you will be asked to Verify your listing. T0 do this Google will send you a post card with a Pin Number on it, once you get it simply verify your listing and hey your listing is live!
SEO for your website:
It is a good idea to have your contact details on every page of your website. Place them in a visible position so that they don’t have to search for them (above the scroll line). Make sure you have a contact form for people to send enquiries – use the sidebar or footer.
Very importantly have a map on the location of your business. Do this by searching for your business address on Google Maps, then find the ‘link’ button, which will provide you with the embedded code for the map. Copy and paste the link to your website.
Choose your focus keyword for the title, header and content that you want to rank for for each particular page. Breaking up large pages of content with specific information and using effective keywords is far better than having one long page of content. Think of it like a good story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Tell a story, but tell a story that is informative, worth the read and answers your readers underlying search problem!
You have heard it a thousand times before – USE UNIQUE RELEVANT CONTENT!
Make sure your website is readable across all platforms, i.e. mobile phones, tablets, etc. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to navigate a site easily and you will probably get high bounce rates if you don’t do this correctly. Paying a web designer to do this for you is well worth the money spent.
If you going to advertise your business on other websites, use well-known, authoritative websites to get your business out there. Make sure they have the same name, address and phone number as what is on your website and what is on Google+. Consistency is Key.
Encouraging customers to leave reviews about your business and services on your website is a great way to improve SEO and encourage other customers to give your business a try. People like to know first-hand what they can expect from your company.
Study your competition:
You are not going to be able to compete in the business world if you don’t know what is going on in the business world that you are in! Find out what keywords they are ranking for – preferably try to use keywords that are not so popular because it is easier to rank for these. Also use long-term keywords – they are readily available and your competition with the other sites will be less.
Don’t become disillusioned if you are not ranking as highly as you would like to be because you are a new website. It takes time to get established. Just make sure you are updating as regularly as possible and using all the SEO tips we have provided you with.
Constantly educate yourself about search engines and adapt to algorithm updates. Research is invaluable when it comes to keeping your website active. Search for information about SEO and register with reliable websites to constantly get new information. Or you can get advice from Google themselves: support.google.com/webmasters/ (Webmaster Tools Help Centre).
Another great tool is Google Analytics. Make sure you register and then you will have access on information such as how many visitors you have, the types of keywords they are using to find you, and what pages prove to be the most popular.
By applying all of the tips above, as well as the other information we have provided you with in this series of SEO for your small business, we trust your company is well on its way to making a name for itself on the World Wide Web.