When a consumer searches for your company, it’s a fairly safe assumption that you want your website to show up first organically. But how do you make sure it’s super easy for customers to find you, no matter what (or where) they’re searching online?
To do that, you’ll need to double-check your online presence to make sure that you’re optimizing all the places you could show up online. From business listings to social profiles, here’s what you should focus on to boost online visibility for your small business.
1. Check all of your business listings
Make sure that, not only are you listing your business in the first place, but you’re also providing each listing with consistent, up-to-date information. It’ll make your business much easier to find online. Plus, if it’s easy for consumers to find your number or address, then they’ll be more likely to call or visit.
Keep in mind no search engine wants to deliver incorrect information to its users. So if your business listings vary or have missing information, search engines assume it’s incorrect (and that can hurt your ranking).
Create standards for all your business listings so that essential information is spelled and written out exactly the same across all listings.
2. Create shareable content
Whether it’s a blog post, how-to guide, infographic, image or instructional video, the more shareable your content is, the more people it’ll spread to.
People share things that they enjoy or find helpful. If your content is a wall of solid text, or really serves no purpose, then it’s not going to get shared. And if no one ever shares your content, hardly anyone will see it.
Shares drive traffic, which help search engines see that your site is reliable and helpful, which can boost your SEO ranking. And the higher you are on a SERP, the better your website’s visibility will be.
3. Tune up your content
Aside from shares and traffic, search engines also use keywords to determine how relevant your content is to search queries.
Create a list of appropriate keywords and search queries you want your content to rank for. Give it some thought, too. What words do your customers use when describing your company? What do they search for when they’re looking for a company like yours? Then, go through your content and tune it up to match.
Make sure your keywords are in the body text, but no more than five times. If you overload your content with a keyword, that’s considered keyword stuffing and it’s actually bad for your ranking.
You also want to put your keywords in the titles, headers, image alt text and ideally, in your URL. (Don’t manually change existing URLs though. That’ll break any backlinks.)
4. Ask your customers for reviews
Building up a collection of good customer reviews is essential for any company, but especially for a small business. Positive reviews can help you stand out from a crowd.
Plus, for many consumers, what your existing customers say about you can make or break their decision to shop with you.
Good reviews will also show search engines that you’re a trustworthy and reputable business or source of information, which will help boost your visibility.
5. Build up your social strategy
If your small business doesn’t have the time or the resources to manage an in-depth website, then you definitely need to utilize social media. Social profiles will still show up in search results, they’re easy to use and they promote sharing (and therefore more visibility).
Use your social profiles to interact with customers, list your business information and share any content that you might have.
If you do have a well-built website, add social share buttons to your content, and include links to your social profiles throughout your website to make it easier for customers to connect. If consumers like your social page and interact with your posts, there’s a better chance their connections will see your content, too.
6. Place more value on building relationships
Building relationships is a much better tactic than other SEO tactics, such as buying backlinks, because you’ll most likely earn them more naturally by getting others to talk about you.
Consider guest posting, or having other industry experts guest blog for you. It’s also a good idea to send out press releases or any other announcements regarding changes or news in your company.
Most websites focus solely on SEO, but increasing your online visibility involves more than that. You need to get people talking, and focusing on various PR aspects can help with that.
Originally posted on entrepreneur.com