SEO For Small Business Owners 101: 5 Quick DIY SEO Tasks You Can Complete Today
While SEO is a complex, jargon-heavy land of uncertainty for most small business owners, you don’t necessarily have to be an SEO expert to give your small business a little online visibility boost. Truly healthy, sustainable (read: profitable) SEO is absolutely not a one-time, minimal-effort line on a business’s to-do list, but if you are a small business owner looking to start improving how your business looks and is found by customers online, we’ve got a few relatively easy tasks that you can complete today to begin to improve your business’s SEO health.
The 5 Actionable SEO Tasks for Small Business Owners we’ll talk about here include:
- Google my Business
- Meta Data
- Name, Address, Phone
- Social Media
Read on to learn how you can improve your business’s local SEO ranking in less than an hour!
Google my Business
It isn’t shocking that the biggest search engine ever favors their own branded tools in the Organic Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Google my Business, formerly known as Google Places, allows optimized businesses to have a complete card of business information available to searchers. Additionally, a claimed Google my Business profile can translate into more foot traffic to your brick and mortar location. A study from Google found that “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.” Read the entire study results here. That means that over half of users who search for your business are ready to make a purchase or take action! Here is what you will need handy to optimize you Google my Business Page:
Surprise, surprise – you will need to have a gmail account to create/claim a Google my Business profile. Just make sure that you use a gmail that you will always have access to!
Your Google My Business profile will need a description of who you are and what you offer. Using keywords that most important to your business, write a 300-500 word description of your business, your services offered, specific locations you serve (if applicable), and a link back to your website. You should include a link to your website, preferably your contact page, in both the description AND the links area of the profile. Bonus: use a voice and tone that is fitting for your target audience and is consistent with your existing website content.
One Address to Rule Them All
A critical part of local SEO health is ensuring that your business information is consistent across all web channels. Your business should have only one single business name, address, and phone number. Decide on one form of writing your address and be consistent everywhere you enter it. This means deciding on “ave” or “avenue”, “The Business Name” or “Business Name”, etc. etc. Inconsistent addresses appear to search engines as duplicate or even independent from one another, neither of which will do your local SEO any favors.
Links to Other Channels
Include links to other business profiles and accounts, such as your business’s Facebook page, Pinterest page, twitter profile, portfolio, or any other relevant channels that belong to your business.
Business Logos and Images
Upload a branded profile picture, banner/background image, and a few logos and business photos to your Google my Business profile. Don’t be afraid to get candid and personal! Including images of the inside of your space, your team in action, and past work will populate in your business listing and can assure your customers of your trustworthiness and authenticity.
Note: you’ll likely need to verify your business address via postcard before your Google my Business account can go live. This quality control step ensures that only real businesses appear in local search. Set a reminder in your calendar or smartphone 14 days ahead to remind yourself to verify your address with the pin found on your postcard. Follow the instructions here: https://www.google.com/business/
Another helpful link: Google my Business Resources and FAQs
Yelp is another local listing profile that can help your business’s organic visibility. Search engines put a tremendous amount of SEO value on business reviews, so being present (and consistent!) on both Google my Business and Yelp ensures that you remain in control of your business’s reputation. If you are an established business, chances are you can already be found on Yelp. Claiming your business allows you to respond to reviews, offer promotions, and drive traffic to your website.
The business claiming process on Yelp is very straightforward. You will likely need all of the information you’ve just added to your Google my Business page, so keep it handy! Follow the instructions at: https://biz.yelp.com/support/claiming
Meta Titles and Descriptions are how your business is displayed in the SERPs. If left unoptimized, search engines will populate a meta description from the content on your website. Write unique meta titles and descriptions for each of your websites, following character length requirements and using keywords that are valuable to your business. If your website is built on wordpress, you can add a plugin like Yoast to help you enter your meta. If your website is built using another CMS or is a custom developed website, you may need to contact your administrator and let them know you’d like to update your meta content.
As much as we would like nap time to be a part of the SEO process, we are referring to the “NAP” of your business – your business’s Name, Address, and Phone number. This information should be included not only in your business profiles and local map information, you should also include your business name, location (consistent with the style and format we decided on above!) somewhere on your website. The footer of your website is a great place to include this info.
Bonus: Ensure that the info is correctly displayed on mobile devices as mobile users are often searching for you to find your contact info.
According to Moz 2015 SEO Ranking Factors, social media presence is an extremely most important organic ranking factor for online businesses. You don’t have to be constantly posting and updating your social channels to reap the SEO benefits, either. Consistent posting of content that represents your business is critical to maintaining a strong brand presence and to ensuring that your brand stays in the forefront of your customers’ minds. Even 1-2 posts per week can be enough to power up your organic presence online.
Bonus: Images perform better on social media than links. Include both an image and a link in your content for an extra boost.
So there you have it! 5 Actionable DIY SEO tasks that Small Business Owners can perform today! Have any questions? Interested in a sustainable, healthy long-term SEO solution? Contact us today!