Building a small business from the ground up is a bit more complicated today than it was a decade ago. Then, it was mostly a matter of good placement in the Yellow Pages, maybe a larger sized ad as well as a listing, and if you were really motivated some direct marketing through flyers or fax blasts. Now, though, we have social media. And while social media may seem like a one-stop-shop, it is vastly more complex when you consider all the separate outlets that are not automatically linked together.
There is, of course, your website – you must have a landing place for all the traffic that the other outlets can generate and send your way. You need to make sure your website is appealing and filled with excellent content, information, tips, and links. All of this is geared toward increasing your ranking for online search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
It would be hard to find someone these days that hasn’t said “Google it” at one point or another. A Google search has become synonymous with looking up just about anything you can think of on the Internet. Finding someone under 20 years of age who’s even held a Yellow Pages phone book in their hands would be harder still. The Internet has become the epicenter of information dissemination and will likely hold that place for the foreseeable future.
So making it to the top of a search listing should be at the top of any small owner’s to-do list. It is the number one guaranteed way to generate more traffic to your website and therefore more traffic through your door. One of the best ways to rise in the rankings of a Google search is to utilize local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local SEO takes keywords and other types of information the search engine pools for from your website to know when to display your site as a result of a search query performed by the Internet user. The more interrelated key words, informative content, links, etc., that the search engine hits from your site, the higher up the list you will go when results are displayed from the user’s search query.
Another way to help make sure you are available for new business traffic from Google searches is by using Google Adwords. These remarkable small gems are those little ads that show up on the top and side of the page when you’ve gotten your search query results. Adwords use keywords or phrases related to your business that you specify when you create the ad. When search queries include those keywords or phrases, your ad is displayed on the results page. Again, there are rankings with Adwords, so the better your keywords and phrases are, the higher up your ad will appear. Potential customers who click on your ad are already interested in what you have to offer, so it is a more concentrated and focused result.
The sum total of your efforts in keeping up-to-date with local SEO and things like Google Adwords will generate business for you and keep you heading up the ladder of growth.