When starting your business, you'll likely spend a lot of time focusing on your online presence. One of the most important, but easily overlooked aspects of that is Search Engine Optimization. SEO is THE way customers find your website when they use a search engine, and if you don't use this tool to the best of its ability, your website could be lost in the crowd.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a way of improving your website to increase online visibility. Basically, when someone searches “Where can I get my car detailed,” or “Best lawn service near me,” on Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine, SEO can help your business appear at the top of the list of results.
There are several tools available online to help business owners kickstart their SEO journey. Google offers several options that can help businesses improve their SEO, including Google Business Profile. You can create a free profile and add in your location, hours of operation, type of business, and any reviews you might get—all of which are important steps in SEO. You can find more info for creating a Google Business Profile here.
Semrush is another useful site for businesses and has over 50 tools for SEO. Moz Pro also offers help with Search Engine Optimization, providing several tools to help businesses improve their results. These sites help with some of the more technical aspects of SEO, including keyword research, link research, and Search Engine Result Page (SERP) tracking. Both Semrush and Moz Pro offer monthly or annual subscription plans that can be changed or canceled at any time, making them great for small businesses on a budget.
Working on SEO can be overwhelming for any business, but especially a new small business. That's where we'd like to help! We've come up with a list of things to do to compete in the search results game.
The first thing you need to do is create a business website. The challenge here is creating a website the customer wants to stay on past that first click. This means it needs to have an easy-to-understand layout, quick navigation, and good pictures. The information written on your website needs to be FOR the customer, in easy-to-understand language. While it's still important to add in some of the words someone might use in their initial search, you don't want to throw them into a sentence they don't belong in! Ideally, your website will be fast, functional, and fun for customers to access anywhere on any device. Need help building your site? We got you covered!
This is arguably the most important part of Search Engine Optimization. Keywords are the words or sentences people will use in their search when looking for your product or service. Put yourself in the customer's place when figuring out your keywords. What would you search if you were looking for your products or services? Don't get too technical here! Slang that's used commonly, or simple words that describe your business are what you need. Using words like “best” or “top” can also help boost your results. When a consumer is searching for a product, there's a good chance they'll use phrases like “best burger near me,” or “top plumber in my area,” so don't be modest when it comes to those keywords! You can go to Google My Business, or your SEO website of choice, to type in your keywords list. Try to aim for a keywords list that has no less than 20 words that describe things about your business—specific location, services or products, business title, and anything that makes you stand out from the competition.
As a small business, you're likely to go through several changes throughout the years. Whether that's changes in your business hours, location, or even business title, you want to make sure all of that information gets updated online. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than looking up your hours and location on Google Maps, just to find out you've moved or are now closed on Tuesdays once they get to the location given. So how do you make sure that information stays up to date? One of the easiest ways for small businesses to do that is through Google Business Profile. As we mentioned earlier, this is how to get your business info put on all of Google's platforms, like Google Maps. You can also access important information on how customers interact with your business online through Insights on your Google Business Profile. Insights tracks things like how customers find your profile and if they visit your site or click through your photos. It's a great tool to see just how well your SEO is working or if you need to make any changes to create better interaction.
Now that customers can find your website more easily, you'll need to update it regularly with new content. The more content you generate, the more likely your website will perform well in search results. H Essentially, having a lot of content generates more click opportunities for customers, which means a more active page for you. We know that sounds time-consuming, but there are simple ways to add more content that will help improve your SEO results, and could lead to more interest from customers.
One easy way to generate more content? Add a section for customer reviews. Not only does it give you content you don't have to create, it gives potential customers a chance to decide if your business is the right fit! If you get a ton of the same questions over and over, why not add a blog section to answer those questions, or to share a behind-the-scenes look at what you do? Behind-the-scene looks can also be used for video content! You can also turn that into a video segment if you prefer! Linking to social media pages or updating the pictures and videos on your website are also great ways to keep your content fresh and improve your search results.!
While it may seem overwhelming at first, Search Engine Optimization doesn't have to be complicated. A few simple steps can help give your website a leg up in search results, and help grow your business!