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How to Use SEO to Get a Small Business Off the Ground

Are you starting a small business? The hardest part can be getting those first customers in the door. It can take years to get a business off the ground, but the faster you can start bringing in customers and increasing your brand awareness, the less time it will take for your business to turn consistently profitable.

Local SEO can help. Optimizing your website for local search means you’ll garner more traffic from local searches, and it makes it much more likely that you’ll make it to the top of search returns for your local keywords. You need to make sure your new business is listed correctly in all online directories, and that your site is optimized for use with mobile devices. You’ll need to put in the work to build a presence on social media, and use the right keywords to optimize your website and the content you should share regularly.

List Your Business in Online Directories

Listing your business in online directories like Google Maps, Bing Places, and Apple Maps ensures that your business will come up in local searches on the various search engines. Registering for other directories like Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List can boost your credibility and show search engines that your site is authoritative. Contact your local chamber of commerce to list your business in any city-sponsored local directories. Make sure your business information – name, address, phone number, and so on – are correct on every site where they’re listed.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Google has prioritized mobile-friendly websites in search returns for some time now, so if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re way behind the times. Eighty-five percent of adults in America now use a smartphone, according to Pew Research, and eighty-two percent of people who use their smartphones to shop conduct local searches. Local searchers are usually ready or almost ready to make a purchase, so you want them to be able to not only find your website but navigate it easily and find the information or products they’re looking for.

Get on Social Media

Social media can do your local SEO rankings a lot of good. Plenty of people don’t even search for local businesses on search engines like Google or Yahoo!, but instead they turn to the search functions on their favorite social media apps. Build a social media presence to reach those users, and then reach out to customers who want to engage with your business online.

You can build stronger customer relationships, and you’ll generate more buzz about your products by talking about them online and convincing your online followers to talk about them using hashtags. You can share content to your social media profiles to build backlinks to your page, and encourage customers to share that content on their own profiles to further improve your local SEO.

Identify Good Local Keywords

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any SEO strategy, but you might need to hire a good Phoenix SEO agency to perform keyword research for your business. The trick to good keyword research is to find keywords that are popular enough to bring in good traffic, but not so popular that your website will struggle to make it to the top of search returns for that keyword. Local keywords are great for this, since they target people in your area who are searching for local businesses.

Optimize Your Website

Optimizing your entire website for search is another job that might be best left to SEO professionals. You first have to identify the right keywords to use on your site, and then you have to make sure those keywords appear on your site in the right places – in your title and heading tags, and in your metadata, as well as in the body of any copy or content, in hashtags attached to video or image content, and so on.

Create Plenty of Optimized Website Content

You absolutely need to be constantly creating new original content for your website – that’s why a lot of companies these days have blogs. Each blog post is an opportunity to add new keywords to your site and bring in a new type of customer.

Blog posts should provide content that is both relevant and valuable to a local audience. Post about your company events and collaborations, or local events that your business will be participating in. Share informational posts and videos. Adding more local keywords to your site will draw in local searchers, and making your content valuable will keep them around, both of which can improve your local SEO and your business bottom line.

It’s never easy to get a new small business off the ground, but SEO can help. Build a strong local SEO strategy, and reach the people who are looking for a business like yours.

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