Last Updated on April 8, 2016
Whether you’re a brand new business or one that has been around for many years, the need for an SEO strategy is immediate. Of course, this means that you already have a website. Ironically, many small businesses still do not have a website and have very little online presence elsewhere. They like to believe that since they’ve been successful so far without one, they do not need to change their marketing strategy.
Well, the time of organic customer growth is quickly coming to an end and local businesses must compete online if their business’s longevity is of importance to them. And just having a website will not suffice. Your website has to be fresh, rich, and, most importantly, search engine optimized.
SEO is the practice of enhancing your website’s exposure by polishing your website’s content, code, and architecture to make it as appealing as possible to search engines. Having an SEO strategy will greatly improve your website’s position on a search results page when a potential customer searches something related to your business. A higher ranking means a higher level of traffic to your site.
In fact, websites that appear on the first search results page receive over 90% of the clicks. This pertains to small businesses especially because nowadays customers almost always research a business before patronizing it. Therefore, your position on a search results page can be the difference between winning new customers and losing them to your competition.
Even if you are not familiar with SEO or building a website, don’t be intimidated. Implementing an SEO strategy is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Find a Domain Name
This can either be the most fun or most frustrating part of the process. Nowadays, with domain squatters and everyone else who has jumped on the online train before you, the majority of attractive domain names have already been claimed. This is where you can have a little fun and be creative. Granted, you’re not picking some abstract name for a blog about metaphysical ponderings, so stay somewhat grounded. An easy and somewhat informative option is to choose a combination of the name of your business and the city or neighborhood in which it operates.
Build a Website
Unless you were a computer science major in college or a self-taught genius, you will most likely need to hire someone to build your website. This will cost some amount of money depending on who you hire; however, the return on investment for building a quality website will make it well worth the cost.
Finding someone to build your site should not be difficult. You can hire a firm that specializes in building websites and is very akin your needs. A less expensive route would be to look in the classifieds for freelance developers who build websites. This route can be great or very difficult depending on the individual you hire.
Search engines prefer websites that have plenty of quality of content on them. Therefore, rather than build a simple and thin site that only displays the basic information about your business, you should maintain a site that provides valuable information about your business, area, industry, etc. A great way to do this is to add a blog to your website and make sure it is contributed to regularly.
Make it Search Engine Optimized
Once you have built a great website and filled it with loads of quality content, you will need to present the content in a way that is optimized for search engines. An easy, but somewhat expensive way to do this is to hire an SEO firm. When a search engine bot “crawls” or looks through a website, it has certain preferences to acknowledging and indexing content. A SEO firm will make sure your website adheres to these preferences. A smart way to find the right SEO firm that will fit your needs is to use FindTheBest’s SEO firms comparison. This will help you find a firm that specializes in your industry and business size. For example, here is a list of SEO firms for small businesses.
Although it seems that the internet is an unfair arena where big companies and popular publishers control all the search results and traffic, it can actually be a level playing field if you play your cards right. Playing your cards right starts with three easy steps: finding a domain name, building a website, and making it search engine optimized. Having an SEO strategy will greatly improve commerce for small businesses. Whether you want to attract new customers or just have a platform to explain your practice, having a website with SEO is how small businesses will win in the local market.