BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 2, 2015: A tablet computer with the
Credit: BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 2, 2015: A tablet computer with the Google Web Search homepage in its screen with the new Google logo, launched in September 1
Showing up on the first page of Google is like a dream come true when you’re starting your digital marketing efforts for your small business. When we mean “show up” though we mean organically, not the pay per click version. And yes, there is a free way to do it. What’s the caveat? It’s not a quick solution and it’s ongoing – and it takes a while even when done right. In this post, we will show you the main ways you can rank well on Google.
Strong on-page SEO
You can’t deny it anymore. SEO is necessary for any small business. That is, if you want to be found online. Check your current website and ensure that you are doing the best SEO strategies possible. Even the smallest things like your pages’ URLs can make a big different (e.g. instead of xxx.com/about-us use xxx.com/about-insert-keywords). What else do you need to look out for? The keywords on each page has to line up with the keywords you use for your website. Try not to use the same keywords over and over again because that’s not good for your site, too. It helps if you have a list of the keywords you use for your small business beforehand. That way you can base your SEO around that. If you’re using photos, don’t forget to add keywords on the alt tags and title. Small business owners tend to overlook the photos but it helps with your SEO.
Ongoing fresh content
What exactly does fresh content mean? Fresh content refers to the blog posts you add to your website at least once a month (if you can do weekly or fortnight, that’s even better). Posting fresh content regularly can sound quite daunting especially if writing isn’t one of your strengths. However, having a blog on your website has many benefits. Aside from the SEO aspect, it also provides useful information that your customers can use. And then there’s the fact that well-planned blog posts give you credibility and emphasise the fact that you are a subject matter expert. Take some time to plan out your content strategy so you’re not struggling for ideas each time you post. It is worth creating a content strategy for at least three or four months – even a year if you can do it.
Listing on online directories
Having your small business on online directories is what’s called as off-page SEO. Search engines pull data from many places on the Internet and collate it before deciding how to rank your small-business website. Pick at least five free online directories and add your small business to it. Sites like Local Search, Search Frog, Pure Local, Yelp Australia, Star Local, and, of course, Google My Business. It is also worth doing some research on various business chambers and industry directories that relate to your small business. Most of the time they have their own directories where you can add your small business. Just make sure to check whether they are free or paid. If it’s paid, have a look at what else you get aside from the local directory listing (and for how long).
The whole search engine ranking seems daunting at first but it’s not going to be always like this once you get the hang of things. Just be careful when hiring an “SEO guy” because there are plenty of dodgy ones out there, too. Check out proof of their work first before taking them on.
Brenda Gaddi, Digital Marketing Specialist, 3C Digital