According to a study from Forbes, 9 out of 10 consumers go online when they’re looking for products or services—and of these, about 90% never go past the first page of search results. That means achieving a high ranking in search results for your small business website is critical to your success. The question is how do you best achieve that? What you can do, right now, to improve your rankings in Google and other search engines?
Hubspot recommends these 6 strategies you can use today to improve your search engine rankings to increase website traffic, grow your small business and boost your sales:
1. Build a Professional-Looking Small Business Website
Your website is the face of your small business. It’s the first thing customers and prospective customers see. It’s how they evaluate whether they can trust your company and the products and services you offer. If your website looks amateurish or it’s buggy, customers will conclude that you don’t know what you’re doing. They will assume your website is a reflection of your products and services.
For the technically proficient, you can certainly create your own website using one of the several CMS tools on the market. If not, you can partner with a strong marketing agency or freelancer. You can find freelancers and agencies in your area using online tools like Upwork or Freelancer.
2. Optimize Your Small Business Website
Search engines like Google use algorithms to find the highest quality content that matches the keywords people type. There are several proactive steps you can take to make sure your website appears high in search engine rankings when people type in keywords related to your business. Search Engine Journal summarizes some of the most important of these, like identifying targeted keywords, creating useful content, and building high-quality backlinks to your site.
3. Create a Blog
Publishing a blog with useful content is a great way to improve your site’s SEO. It also helps to build trust in your brand. According to Hubspot, businesses which blog 16 or more times a month get on average 3.5 times more website traffic than those which don’t. Make sure your targeted keywords are weaved organically into your blog posts. Also make sure your content answers questions your customers have. It should help them make smart consumer choices.
4. Have a Consistent and Compelling Brand
Branding is a hot topic. For some, branding is about logos, taglines and color schemes. For others, it’s about the promises you make to your customers, and the extent to which you keep those promises. In the end, branding is really about is how people perceive your business. As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon describes it, branding is “what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” To get started, check out Hubspot’s “How to Brand Your Business on a Budget,” with useful tips on creating buyer personas, developing an identity and voice, and making customer service a top priority.
5. Embrace Email Marketing
Email marketing remains among the most effective tools small business owners can use to connect with customers and boost sales. In fact, according to a 2013 report from the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields on average a 4,300% return on investment for large and small businesses in the United States. You can expand your email database by giving prospective customers incentives (like valuable content) to provide their contact information by filling out forms on your website. Once you have your email database in place, send customers information they can use on a regular basis, perhaps through a weekly or monthly newsletter. Email marketing will increase traffic to your website, and that helps improve your SEO.
6. Get Active on Social Media
Engaging customers on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is one of the best ways for small businesses to increase traffic to their websites. You can get started by creating a Facebook business page which includes your location and business hours. You should also create a Twitter account and learn how to use Instagram for your small business, Finally, you need to learn how to get positive customer reviews on sites like Yelp.
According to Neil Patel writing for Forbes, 90% of small business startups fail. The ones which succeed find innovative ways to make sure customers can find their products and services online. One of the best ways to do that is by joining an online marketplace. To learn more about the ways our online marketplace will get your business online and mobile in minutes—and make it easy for your customers to interact with your business, contact us today.