Establish Your Small Business Online in 10 Easy Steps

Do your customers know you have a website? Does it help you sell your products and services? Do you even bother to update it at least once a month? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, you need Search Engine Optimization for your website. SEO makes your website – and, in turn, your business – easier to find online. Here are 10 easy steps to help you get started.

1. Smarten up your website

When it comes to your website, remember that less is more. You can make a splash with frames, Flash, and Ajax but search engines cannot read them. Therefore, they cannot crawl or index the content. Some of your consumers do not have the necessary applications or plug-ins to see them. Make your website simple, attractive, and easy to navigate.  You can also visit our post on Building a Google friendly website.

2. Make everything consistent

Your company logo and contact details should be prominent and consistent on every page. Use your signature color or distinguishing font style. When promoting your website on other media sites, make sure the marketing materials are consistent each time.

3. Whip up a keyword list

Think of the keywords your potential consumers will use if they search for your product or service on Google. Will they use something generic like ‘homemade cupcakes’? Or something specific like ‘strawberry cream cheese cupcake’? Ask your current customers for suggestions. Consult keywords tools if you can. After coming up with list, try them out and get creative. See which ones are successful and use them often.

4. Create compelling content

Creating fresh content for your consumers will keep them coming back. It gives you a reason to reconnect them regularly, encourage customer loyalty and retention, and ultimately build your brand. Online visitors can also share your content if they find it interesting. This gives you free publicity and more exposure. Fresh content is also search engine-friendly. It keeps you from being tagged as spam and helps your website rank effectively and easily.  Does your copy cut it?

5. Register with search engines

Registration allows you to build a strong reputation. You should submit your site to Google, Yahoo! And Bing.  This will let the search engines know that your site exists.  Once they have indexed your website, you will begin to show up in the search results.

6. Geo-target a group

Internet searches are becoming increasingly localised. Target the market in your city or suburb. You can easily convert visitors from your website to your brick and mortar store. Focusing on a particular group can be more effective than expanding immediately.

7. Go global

Apart from registering on search engines, you can get your business listed internationally on information portals and directories. Millions of users subscribe to websites such as CitySearch, Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages. It only takes a few minutes to register yet the reputation it builds is long-lasting. Receiving positive reviews and updating your page regularly helps your website rank better in search engines and your business build its brand faster.

8. Receive reviews and recommendations

Most consumers these days would rather hear what others are saying instead receiving a pitch from you. Ask your current customers to give a review you can post on your website. Ask them to recommend you on information portals and directories. Have them share their positive experience with your products and services. This encourages curiosity among your potential customers and establishes brand reputation for your business.

9. Reach consumers in social networking sites

Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Your business must have pages and accounts on the major social media networks. These sites enable you to interact with your customers on a more personal level. Social media networks help you communicate your brand message and build a big market community. These sites also help your business creates trust, allowing you to tap easily into your customer base anytime.

10. Leave it to the pros

You can always do SEO yourself. Setting up a website, creating social media accounts, and targeting consumers online can be done by anyone with the time and knowledge.  Professional SEO companies, however, have the experience and expertise to deliver the results you need for your business. They can even go beyond SEO and create and execute your complete online marketing strategy. SEO professionals let you focus on your business while helping you successfully build your brand online.