It’s a great time to be a small business! Websites are easier and more affordable to set up than ever before. Social media has greatly leveled the playing field between big business and small. Search engine optimization allows the independent, local shops the chance to be ranked at the top of search results with all the major, big box players.
Once you’ve completed your keyword research, added title tags and meta descriptions to all the pages of your website, made sure all of your images have ALT tags and created a sitemap, you’ve done all that you can do to optimize your online presence, right?
Let’s talk further about why your website is only part of your SEO strategy, and what other steps you need to take to more fully optimize your online presence.
Why Your Website is Only Part of your SEO Strategy
Optimizing your website for search engines is definitely a must, but a fully-optimized website is only part of your brand’s SEO strategy. That’s because your website is only one online property for your business. And if you have more chances to rank well on Google because of those additional properties, why not take full advantage of all they can do for your small business?
Below are 4 additional ways to populate Page 1 of search engine results for your small business, make certain your business is listed in the places that matter most, and increase the number of links back to your site.
Other Ways to Optimize your Online Presence for Search Engines
- Social media accounts Many social media platforms are highly ranked by Google. Your Facebook Business Page, Twitter account, LinkedIn Profile, and Google My Business listing are likely to be found on Page 1 of search results. Individuals who have profiles on sites like About.Me, BrandYourself and SlideShare will probably see those profiles listed on Page 1 as well. (High-ranking social media profiles is another reason why it’s important to complete all social media bios and description fields, including the use of relevant keywords.)
- Industry-specific review sites Popular sites like TripAdvisor for travel, and Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor for contractors and repairmen are examples of industry-specific sites that are well-known by the masses and highly-ranked by Google, where your business can claim their presence. It’s also important to claim and build out these profiles from a reputation management standpoint as well since customers may be leaving reviews, uploading photos, and leaving comments and questions without you needing to have first set up a business profile.
- Local directories These vary by business type, and the easiest way to know which – if any – local directories are highly ranked would be to perform a few searches yourself. For example, a Google search for “Memphis Commercial Printers” demonstrates that the Commercial Appeal newspaper has a business directory list for commercial printers that appears on Page 1, Spot 2, and that YellowPages has a business category listing for commercial printers that appears in Spot 4.
- Business blogging Along with building trust between you and your customers, showcasing your knowledge, and giving customers a reason to continue to return to your website, business blogs keep your otherwise-static small business website chock full of fresh content. Each new blog post is a new link back to your site. Each new blog post is a new chance to rank on a new set of keywords related to your business. And the more search phrases you can rank for, the more often your business will be found.
This 5-pronged approach to SEO (your website plus the 4 optimization tasks listed above) will provide you and your small business a solid strategy to position yourself well in the online marketplace.