There is not much doubt that today’s small business owner must be up on social media to get ahead. With approximately 50% of American’s using smartphones now and the number increasing by about 7% every year, anyone who leaves social media out of their business plan is leaving money on the table.
One of the most important bits that a small business owner needs to be aware of is how local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works. Making use of local SEO is what makes your website move up in ranking for Google search results. And being high up in the ranking for Google search means you’ll draw more traffic to your website than those who rank lower – as in anything that doesn’t make the first page of results.
Have you ever wondered if anyone tabs through all the pages of results that come up from a search? Research indicates that they don’t. In fact, it is a documented fact that consumers make their choice out of the first few listings that come up in any search. This is as true today with web searches as it was in the past when looking at Yellow Pages ads and listings. The number one reason many businesses named themselves “AAA” was that they would be one of the first listings that potential customers would see when paging through the listing categories. They would get the lion’s share of new business in most cases.
Local SEO users who employ this feature well and make sure they are high up in the Google search rankings have taken the place of businesses named “AAA”. It is in understanding this strategy that small business owners truly get ahead of the curve. One of the ways that you can use local SEO is by filling out business profiles for the search websites that are most highly ranked. These websites, like Yahoo, Bing, and Google have business directories built into their search engines that help connect customers to businesses based on location.
Generally speaking, the profiles are relatively easy to complete and just require the company name, address, hours of operation, and contact information. So if you run a landscaping business and a potential customer does a search for “landscaping”, the search engine is going to pair that query keyword with the business profiles that match based on the customer’s location. When the search results display, the ones that most closely match will show up and provide these basic pieces of information at first glance.
Keep in mind that it becomes really important to make sure and keep your business information updated based on these types of searches. If you have hours that change with the seasons, like most landscaping businesses would normally have for example, it is uber important to make sure your business profile gets the updates as the changes are made. If not, potential customers could become frustrated by trying to contact you during certain hours and not being successful. They will go on to the next business from their search, as a result and you lose the potential new business. So build these kinds of updates into your business plan to keep growing.