In 2017, boosting your online presence is about more than just SEO. Though on-page SEO is still important, organic ranking is the key to attracting the customers you want. With attention to a few key details, you are guaranteed to raise your profile and will be well on your way to better results.
Check your business listings for accuracy
There are numerous business listings which contribute to your online presence, a handful of which are imperatives, such as your Google Business listing. This is the extended content listing that shows up as a sidebar on the right-hand side of your browser, complete with address, map, phone number, reviews and an image. Your business won’t display in this space unless you have a verified Google Business listing.
Depending on what type of business you do, there are likely others as well: Yelp and Trip Advisor are just a couple of examples. Check what comes up when you search your business name online and go through each listing to ensure that all are current and accurate. For small businesses, this is an essential business strategy you won’t want to overlook.
Create fresh, engaging content
Content marketing is a proven way to promote your business. The more fresh, original content you are posting on your site, the higher your organic rank. Create content in the form of blogs, videos, or other sharable media. This will also give you a repository of content to share on your social channels, and ideally, should position you as an expert in your field. The more interesting and informative your content is, the more it will appeal to your existing and potential customers.
Other tips that help you rank higher include:
- A minimum of 400 words of content per page is a good guideline, but longer always ranks higher
- Avoid “keyword stuffing”, and focus instead on engagement
- Post regularly and consistently
- Outsource your blogs to freelancers if you can’t keep up
Try to keep it topical and don’t focus on sales. Establish trust and authority first – once you accomplish that, the sales will come.
Social proof is one of the most important gauges of customer engagement that there is. It’s not always about how many followers you have, it’s more about how responsive you are, and how tuned in you are to what your followers are interested in. It’s about how you interact with your customers, your followers, and your peers, and it’s a gauge of how you stack up to your closest competition.
Social proof is also about activity. For instance, if a potential customer finds you on Facebook, but your last post was made months before, that really sends a message. You don’t have to post incessantly, but being consistent counts for a lot. Share your blog posts across all your channels to drive traffic back to your site, and re-post or curate informative articles that you think your followers would appreciate or enjoy.
Lastly, post irreverent/funny stuff every now and then. People enjoy a good laugh, and you’ll win over new people by showing a sense of humor.
Reviews and ratings
There are myriad ways you can collect reviews and ratings: through Facebook, on your website, Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Trip Advisor, Angie’s List – there are niche ratings sites for just about every industry. Find out which ones are most relevant to you and encourage your customers to rate your products or services. Use the best ones as testimonials on your website.
Remember to be responsive to the ratings you receive as well. Respond to good ratings with a “thank you”, and respond to negative ones with a thoughtful response aimed at solving the problem. While you can’t often have negative comments removed, you can demonstrate that you take their comments to heart, and are working hard to solve the issue.
Update your page meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are the short blurbs that you see just beneath search engine results. Usually about 160 characters or less, it should adequately describe what people will see on the page and can contain keywords, as long as they flow naturally.
Your meta description encourages people to click on your result, so the better it reads, the more effective it will be. Each and every page on your site has space for a meta description. Take some time and create a unique one for each page.
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