How SEO Can Work for Your Local Business? Many businesses use the power of SEO to promote themselves in the virtual world, but there are many local businesses that are still struggling to figure it out.
It is crucial that you use SEO for marketing your local business. It will help improve the visibility of your website in major search engines, as well as local search engines.
SEO is an art; you’ll need to understand the way search engines work and use that knowledge to rank your site higher.
As a small business owner, you probably thrive on your regular customers who have known and worked with for years.
You see them as your main source of income.
But is it really smart to stop there? Don’t you need new customers to keep your business flowing and growing?
A lot of businesses only get new customers by referral, drive-bys, or sheer luck.
They are not actively doing something that will steadily generate a new stream of customers.
This will not cut it today where customers are shopping smarter and wiser; and it usually starts online.
So it is time to market your business using newer, more innovative means – such as using your website – to draw customer attention.
When you paid money to have your website created, you wanted a new, powerful marketing tool that would help take your business to new levels.
You may be disappointed in the fact that you haven’t seen those results yet.
But with a little SEO, you can finally start to generate the type of traffic you need.
Local businesses that have a vibrant online presence can have all the prospects that they need from the internet because potential local customers are browsing through search engines for products and services every day.
By the way, how does SEO Work?
Understanding how SEO works is important to every business professional who is seeking to use their website to draw customers.
When implementing SEO, all of the content and information on your site is closely related to your business, your products, and your services – at least it should be.
When a search engine user types a term into a search engine, a list of websites containing those terms come up. If you use those specific words effectively throughout your website, it will show up in the results as well.
The problem is that you may be way down on page 25 of the results.
As you know, most web searchers don’t go past page one when looking for a product or service.
So page one is where you want to be. That can be accomplished with proper SEO.
But why stop at page one? Most businesses today strive for the FIRST POSITION on page one…
This is where you REALLY want to be!
You’re probably wondering, “How can I get there?”
SEO is based on a mixture of “on-page” and “off-page” techniques that should be followed in order to increase your webpage results rankings.
SEO is based on the following 4 main principles:
- Identify the Right Keywords: Identifying the right keywords is the most important step of Search Engine Optimization. You have to figure out the right set of keywords so that you get the desired traffic to your page. Your keyword list can be created by you or they can be obtained from online service companies.
- Optimize Your Website: Make sure your website has keyword-rich page titles and metatags.
Also keep in mind that the search engine bots cannot view the images and videos that you have on your site; they can only read the text.
So choose the right text content for your website – and use a lot of it!
You want to be certain that your content is appropriate and strongly relates to your business.
Your content should be structured in a way that captures some of the local keyword terms that your local prospects may type into the search engines.
- Backlinks: Backlinks are the inbound links that are directed to your website.
You want to get links from sites with high-authority as well as sites that are relevant to your niche. It is a form of determining how many websites think that your site is important.
The more ‘important’ your site is, the better rankings you will have. The better rankings you have, the more visitors you will have.
- Site Structure: From an SEO perspective, the site structure is also a factor to determine the rankings of the website.
The structure of your site is based on how easy it is to navigate and the way that you utilize the content you are sharing with your viewers.
As simple as it sounds it is extremely important to remember SEO when you are creating content for your website.
Think of the terms that your prospects will be searching for online.
For instance, if you have a plumbing company, don’t fill your website up with information about electricity.
That’s unless you want to attract consumers who are looking for electricians.
The content of your website should always be centered around your specific product or service; especially if you are planning on using free SEO as a form of marketing your business online.
SEO for Service Professionals
If your local business offers services to consumers, such as a roofing company, a party planning firm, or even a catering company, you have to think about how you can attract visitors to your site and make them want to call you before anyone else.
You especially want to speak to the specific services you offer and anything that you have received “specialized training” in on your site.
This is optimization.
This way, you have a better chance of capturing new visitors who are looking EXACTLY for what you have to offer.
Your website must be comprehensive; one that explains your services, your rates, customer testimonials, any other information that your target market would find useful.
Many businesses in the service industry also find it beneficial to include a little information about what their mission and the quality of the services that they provide.
No matter what type of information you include on your site, be sure to include keyword terms that are likely to be typed in by your target market.
If you have a house cleaning service, and you operate only within a certain city, you will want to tailor your information to “house cleaning” and in your city.
You can include a little bit of information about the products you use or the process you use when you do certain cleaning jobs – just to give your visitors extra information that will sell them on your services.
However, the basis of your information should always be directly related to house cleaning and the city that you work in.
When done properly, your website will show in the results when potential clients type in a variety of related terms such as ‘house cleaning in Los Angeles’ or ‘Los Angeles housekeeping.”
Specifics as to the type of services that you offer are also useful in SEO.
For example, if you own a window replacement service company you would want to include specifics on the types of windows you replace.
So if you offer “windshield” replacement, use this keyword terms throughout your site instead of focusing only on “window” replacement.
This will allow those who are searching for windshield replacement in particular to find your website as well – which is extremely targeted.
SEO for Product Sales Professionals
The product sales industry differs from the service industry in that you are not going to be able to list all the products that you sell on your website, unless you are a smaller specialty store.
Therefore, it is important that you speak to your particular niche and include information on that in your website.
If you own a bookstore, there is no way that you can include every book that you sell on your website.
So, your next best option is to include information on your site about the genres of books, or perhaps the quality of these books.
As always it is important to include the city that your bookstore is located in, so that you gain the customers in your area who are searching for the products that you offer.
You want to include information that is revealing to your prospects and identifies your store as a place that they would like to purchase their next novel from.
Now, let’s say you are visiting a new town and are really looking for a great coffee shop nearby.
You would go to your favorite search engine and type in the town you are in and the term “coffee shop.”
The results yielded will be specific to that town and specific to the type of business you are looking for, which in this case is a coffee shop.
On your results page, you will have a list of coffee shop websites in that town.
If you are a coffee shop owner, you would want to make sure that your website is properly optimized to capture terms that people will type in using your city name.
Optimizing your service or sales website with SEO content is a reliable way to ensure that your website will obtain maximum exposure on even some of the most popular search engine sites.
Creating content that is relevant to your consumers is crucial to success in this type of marketing endeavor.
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