For any business to flourish, it is important that their marketing strategy involves building a veritable presence online. In this age of “click-to-get information,” a business needs to stay up-to-date to stay ahead. You should be able to effectively position yourself to feature on the top listings of major search engines. It is possible to dominate the results of user searches using content that you can control or heavily influence.
There are certain effective, yet simple ways to increase the visibility of your business on search engines. At the same time, you can increase marketing efforts in the form of ratings, social media presence, reviews, and media reach.
1. Properly Optimize Information on Your Website
As a local business, your most significant and valuable asset on the Internet is your website. It is the door through which you can usher in a large volume of potential customers. You need to make sure that your website is properly optimized for you to be ranked high on search results and thus, be noticed by the right people.
Here is a list of ways in which you can smartly optimize your website:
a) The domain name of your website should ideally describe your business and its location. Create a domain name that will help users remember as well as easily identify with your business and where it is placed.
b) Keywords are the basis on which search engines return results. Thus, you should add keywords to page titles that are associated with your business, its location, and its services.
c) Ensure that each individual page of your website contains the name of your business, its address, and phone number. Do not restrict this information to only the home page or the contact page. This will increase your recall value.
d) The content on your website should not only promote your products and services, but also include information about the locality. This helps people relate the business to the nearby vicinity. For instance, include information such as which section of the city your business is located in or what is the name of the park in that area. Including information of this sort will help attract customers, and also increase your visibility when customers look for businesses like you.
2. Update Business Listings on Local Websites
One of the best ways to improve your visibility on the Web is to ensure that your business is listed on various third-party locations online. Search engines such as Google constantly scan these locations to find information about your organization and the local business.
If your business cannot be found on popularly looked up listings, or if the information posted on these websites is incomplete, then you risk losing potential customers who get frustrated looking for you. Most of the time, customers will not probe further if they cannot find your information quickly.
What you can do:
a) Look up local listings on websites such as Facebook, Yellow Pages, Google, Yelp, Dexknows, YP and Angieslist. Ensure that you are listed on these websites and that your information and contact number is the same across these websites. Keep this information updated and remove duplicate pages.
b) Make your listing more appealing to potential clients by including photos, videos, and the URL of your website. With information of this kind, customers will be hooked and will be encouraged to look for more things about your business.
c) Ensure that your business is listed under the proper categories, so that the right kind of people are able to find it. There is no point in generating traffic if it is not the right kind of traffic that will lead to conversions. You can use relevant keywords in the business name as well to boost search results. However, if you use too many keywords, it may have a negative impact on your search results as the search engines will notice.
d) You can provide a fillip to your efforts by partnering with successful listings providers such as Acxiom or Neustar Localeze who can update and secure your listing across various websites.
e) If your business is located in multiple places, it is better to create listings for each location on your website. This will raise the visibility of your business as well as each of the different locations of your business.
3. Figure Out a Proper Link Strategy
By providing links to other related websites on your business page (and the other way round, too) will increase the authenticity and credibility of your business. But, if you use unrelated links, you will erode the genuineness of your business.
Here’s what you can do:
a) You should share links to your website through YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media websites. Encourage people to share information about your business.
b) When providing updates to customers via e-mail newsletters or other means, ensure that you add links to your website.
c) You can offer to sponsor local events, or host one yourself. You can also provide discounts for special groups of people. Then, you can persuade the local chamber of commerce, charity organizations, and neighborhood businesses to link to your website when discussing these events.
d) Build a local directory of community resources that includes stores, restaurants, and cultural attractions so that you can link them to your website and ask for the favor in return. You can also start a blog where you can write about your business and its location, along with the places of interest.
4. Repond to Online User Reviews
If your website has reviews posted by users, either negative or positive, it increases the credibility of your business. You should also encourage them and respond to them. Small businesses should ensure that the reviews are always external. Never post false reviews as it will only damage your visibility in the long run.
5. Be Active on Social Media
Being proactive on social media pages is always good for your business since it attracts more customers. Engage potential customers through popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google plus consistently.
Derek Fraser is an online Blogger. He likes to write about various articles related to Web Designing, Home Improvement, Internet Marketing, Business Tips and Eco Friendly Measures. Follow him on Google+.