Nowadays, getting noticed in Google requires more than a top ranking. Google has pushed its organic search rankings roughly halfway down the page, giving above-the-fold real estate to knowledge graphs, locator maps, business listings, featured snippets and other elements intended to help users. While this might seem like a hindrance for SEO, it’s actually an opportunity. Play your cards right, and your business might someday land several first-page placements.
First things first – start a free Google My Business page. Be sure to include your website url and business contact information. Then, use that exact same contact information to start profiles in Yelp, Angie’s List and other online directory sites – those also frequently land first-page placements, and you can piggyback on their success.
3. Create Content to Get Backlinks
Few things boost your SEO like quality inbound links to your website. These links, referred to as backlinks in SEO parlance, are foundational in Google’s search engine algorithm. When people share links to your business on their websites, blogs, forum posts and social media pages, they’re essentially endorsing your site as trustworthy — and Google loves trustworthy websites.
Regularly updating your website with fresh content can lay the groundwork for building a network of backlinks. Focus on content that is unique and helpful to your customers while highlighting your brand and expertise. Share your content on your social media pages. If you have money to spend on advertising, you can even pay to boost these posts to reach larger audiences.
More importantly, think about how you might get your business featured in local news stories or by local bloggers, business organizations or trade associations. Offer to write articles or blog posts as a guest contributor in exchange for a link to your business.
4. Keep Your Website Clean
Websites tend to grow and change over time. Business websites often evolve as they add pages for different products and services, or as they restructure their site maps to better reflect their business models. These website changes are necessary, and updating your site with new content is good for SEO. However, blindly changing your website can lead to broken links and overlapping content that undermines your efforts. Google’s algorithm is designed to penalize websites with thin, low-quality content. Broken links and repetitive content are both red flags for Google.
To keep this from happening, either remove broken links from your site or use 301 redirects to send visitors to the appropriate pages.
All businesses should take their SEO strategies seriously. This is especially true for fledgling businesses that hope to gain footholds in competitive markets. Most people nowadays go online to connect with goods and services, and this trend will only accelerate as more people carry smartphones. To ignore SEO is to shut yourself off from countless potential customers. Don’t do that, unless you want your business to go the way of the phone book.
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