Ever wonder how to get started with SEO for your small business? A lot of small businesses may not have the resources to outsource their SEO work, but may also be hesitant to try and tackle it themselves. Personally knowing a few small business owners, I know that your time is limited. Here are a few tips to jump start your SEO efforts.
There are currently 29.6 million small businesses in the U.S. (SCORE). 63% of consumers and small business owners use the Internet to find information about local companies and 82% use search engines (Webvisible & Nielsen). – TopRank
Content Creation | Search Engines love unique content. One great way to consistently add new content to your site is to start a blog. You can blog about anything from new employees, to new company or industry developments and upcoming company hosted events. For tips on starting a small business blog, check out TopRankBlog. For tips on optimizing it for SEO, view slides from the Search Mojo 10-minute micro webinar “5 SEO Tips for Your Blog.”
Local Listings | Establish your small business within local listings in Google. The Daily SEO Tips blog makes the recommendation to claim, update, and monitor your local listing. Claim your small business local listing to protect your brand. Update your local listing; be sure to have accurate basic information, and upload coupons, events, pictures, and videos to promote your business. “The added information helps your ranking position amongst local listings and the consumers have more information to entice them to your business,” points out Melih Oztalay of SmartFinds. Also be sure to sign up with Yahoo! Local to have coverage on Yahoo! as well. Note: Both Yahoo! and Google’s basic service offerings are free to use.
Google Sitemap | Registering a Google Sitemap is considered a best practice for SEO. By registering your sitemap with Google, you are ensuring that Google search engine bots can crawl all of the pages found on your site. It is not required to register a sitemap with Google to achieve rankings in Google. It just gives engine bots another route to navigate and find (index) the pages on your site. For detailed instructions on creating and registering XML sitemaps, see Janet D. Miller’s post from our Sitemap Series: Creating a Google Sitemap. You will need to create an account with Google Webmaster Tools (free), before getting started. Through this outlet, you will be able to see how often the Googlebot indexes your site, and find any errors it may come across during the process, along with other stats regarding your site.
Social Strategy | Even if you don’t have the resources to constantly update your profiles, you should still go out and get a few accounts so you claim your brand. A few of the accounts we like to recommend include Facebook, Google Profile, Twitter, and LinkedIn (Check out KnowEm to quickly create multiple social accounts at once!). By establishing your small business accounts through these social media outlets, you can promote your brand over a larger space, as well as give you more coverage on the SERP (search engine result page). This means that if someone searches for Search Mojo, we not only rank for our main site and our blog, but all of our social profiles come up as well. This helps us own the SERP for our brand, and push any other results to the second page. If you actually have the time or can devote someone to manage your profiles, you can promote events, coupons, new content, or provide customer service as part of your social strategy. Here’s a good Social Media checklist to get you started. If you have any social media specific questions, feel free to reach out to our Social Media Specialist on Twitter: @ReneeRevetta.
If you don’t have time to implement all of the tips above, choose one and run with it. A small step in the right direction can go a long way.