By Narelle Fraser
Baffling huh? You have a beautiful website and you think you have done all the right things. You have listed it on the Yellow Pages website or industry websites where some fast-talking salesperson promised your site would show up high or even first, when potential customers searched for businesses like yours. But to your dismay, your beautiful website is producing crickets instead of customers. When you search your business’ industry and yours is listed on the 45th page, you just know NO ONE is seeing your site.
I won’t lie to you. It’s not easy getting your business to stand out on the king of search engines, Google. It takes time, practice, persistence and of course, expertise in SEO. Anyone who tells you they can instantly get your small business to rank high in organic searches is lying. Time is actually key when it comes to having your small business show up in Google searches. Having a digital presence for a considerable time means not only more people have visited your site, but it has also earned its stripes with the almighty powerful Google!
What does SEO mean?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. And it’s essential if you want your business listing to show up in Google or Bing or Yahoo searches organically.
What does organic traffic or reach mean?
Organic means you are not paying for ads to visitors to your website. However, no matter how good your SEO is, unless your website is having fresh content added to it regularly, it is inevitable your listing will slip down the search rankings!
Now you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know, that if you have a gorgeous & functional website but you have no traffic flowing to it, then it’s pretty useless, right? It would just be a waste of money if it weren’t being seen by anyone. And then of course, this translates to a lack of or drop off of customers/clients finding you meaning less revenue for your small business.
So then what’s the answers? How do small business owners continually get relevant & fresh content on their website to help their sites continually perform well in search engine listings? And how on earth do small business owners actually have time to do all these things? When they have so many hats to wear & are time poor already?
Owning a small business or being a sole trader is exhausting! Let’s face it. There are so many things for us to keep up with. Websites do get put on the back burner quite a bit, often because the owners are so exhausted trying to keep up with anything else it often leaves their creativity in tatters or they simply just don’t have the time to do EVERYTHING! Or writing blogs just isn’t their thing. Being a chef, hairdresser, disability service provider, beauty therapist, fashion store owner, selling alcohol is etc. Not being a writer and learning about how to best SEO websites!
Let me take away some of the frustration out of marketing your business. Here are 7 Hot Tips to get Your Small Business to show up in more Google searches:
Adding a blog section to your website and outsourcing blog articles to be written weekly, is one of the most simple ways to keep traffic visitors coming back to your site. Now, I know this can feel overwhelming, especially when you have to many other things to do as a small business owner.
However, if you outsource the writing of your blogs to a company who understands long tail keywords, SEO and how to get more customers to find your business online, then you will start to see a rise in the number of hits you are getting on your site. And of course, if your site is effective, that will convert to customers/clients/sales or whatever your goal is.
Find a savvy blog or ghostwriter. One that understands your business, how SEO is important and how to get more people hitting your site. Outsource the blog writing to them. It’s a way of being found online more consistently by your target market, keeps your website fresh, current & relevant and is so much cheaper than running Google or Facebook Ads.
Implement this, be consistent with it and you will organically attract more traffic to your website!
Beautiful pictures are my second tip to get your small business to show up in more Google searches. Google algorithms crawl through different website published to the internet. Eye catching images with alt text not only make it so visually impaired people can access your website effectively, but Google loves it too. Google wants more people to use their search engine. So the more accessible & inclusive your website the more attractive it is to rank higher. Gorgeous, scroll stopping & FREE images can be found on many websites. Unsplash is a favourite of bloggers and website developers. However, because the images are so popular, often they are being overused. If you want to stand out find images which are unique and will make a potential customer click to go to your site and stay longer!
Images are also a way of having your site listed on Google images. So, when someone searches for a particular image, if your picture has the matching alt text, it will show up in the search bringing more traffic to your site.
Use links to other website articles on the internet to drive traffic to your website. It could sound a little counterproductive to have links to another website on your site, because you may consider visitors will click on the links taking them away from your business. But links to other relevant articles work in your favor when it comes to ranking higher in Google searches. Make sure your references to other articles are relevant, supporting what your point is AND are credible sources.
Having a strong digital presence is one of the huge keys to your business being found online. But having a website is not enough. Unless customers are being exposed to your site from a number of different digital sources, it won’t be seen.
Leverage social media to help get your name in front of potential customers. Think about all the different platforms you can list your business on. The more the better. It is really important to note here, your social media sites need to be kept fresh and up to date with relevant information. Nothing screams out of touch more than a Facebook page where it’s last post was 2017! If you are unable to keep up with constantly posting on social media then outsource. Social media content creation is not as expensive as you may think and the benefits are too many to overlook.
Do not fall into the Facebook ad trap believing it is the only way to get your product or service online. Facebook is only one way to market your business. One that should be used alongside the other different social media platforms appropriate to your business industry. For example, if you have a new product for women between 35 and 55, Facebook may be the best place to run ads to increase sales. However, if your target market is millennials, then Tic Tok may be the way to go. Alternatively, if you are a professional with a start-up business, LinkedIn is most likely be your best bet to network. Here you can build up the digital presence necessary to drive organic traffic to your website.
Digital testimonials are social proof your product or service is relevant, works or is worthwhile to consumers. It’s one thing for a business to blow their own horn with clever marketing & fancy words. But it’s another to have several reviews from real people testifying how amazing your business product is!
There are a few ways to collect online reviews. Start with your business Facebook page, Google reviews is another way to have your business collect social proof. LinkedIn is great for professionals to have their skillset endorsed by peers and clients.
If you are a business heavily marketing at tourists, Trip Adviser is fantastic to help your site get found easier online. When you are struggling to get your customers/clients to do reviews for your business, think about offering an incentive for them to do so.
One strategy a pub engaged was offering every patron a free drink if they put a review on Trip Adviser. Of course, the bar staff were trained to entice pub visitors to leave the review whilst they were still in the establishment. This strategy worked so well; the venue is ranked the number 1 place to visit in the town for tourists on Trip Adviser. And because of this, their website ranks organically high in Google! Now that’s what I call cost effective and smart marketing!
One of the reasons blog content is so important to have on your small business website is because key search terms can be weaved into the content. This makes your site more likely to come up when people search for answers to their questions. To find search terms people are typing into Google, go to a website like SEM Rush. Why is this important? Because then you know what people are searching for online. If your site has the same keywords as being searched on Google, your site will appear higher in rankings.
It is stating the obvious to say there are a lot of different businesses competing for customers online. If you are in a popular industry such as real estate, then you will be fighting hard to get noticed online. Single keywords have huge competition. But I have used long-tail keywords through website with amazing success at driving traffic to my sites.
For example, if your business is distilling gin and selling it online, a smart article to have listed on your website to help with Google rankings is “7 Ways to Prevent a Hangover”. Why? Because the long-tail keyword there are “ways to prevent a hangover”. This is a term which is searched a lot. If you have that exact phrase weaved into your blog article sitting on your site, you make your chances of showing up in searches a lot better.
Think about the types of questions or things people may be searching for on Google relating to the industry you are in and answer those in blogs. Long-tail keywords have a lower volume of competition and are relatively easy to weave through articles. Again, if this is something you find overwhelming, I cannot emphasise you find someone who you can outsource this task to.
This is a relatively cheap way of getting your business out into the digital sphere. Starting a Facebook page is a really good place to start, depending on where your target market is likely to spend the majority of their time. But don’t be fooled, Facebook is only one platform you can leverage to help build your online presence. The key here to is to understand where your target audience is playing. Are your tribe more likely to be on Snap Chat, You Tube, Tic Tok, LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora or Pinterest?
And which platform is best for your business to market on?
A word of warning. Facebook ads are tempting but, in my experience, can be a terrible money waster if the advertiser doesn’t know what they are doing. Most Facebook ads which are being showing up in your feed consistently, have companies behind them throwing at least $10,000 USD at the ads to get their product or service into the market place. If you are a small business, you won’t be able to compete. My big tip here is leveraging attraction marketing on your social media pages. And of course relevant hashtags on Instagram & LinkedIn.
Linking your website to as many social media platforms as possible is a great idea. The more places you have your business name online, the more likely it will show up in searches.
Well there you have it, 7 Hot Tips to get Your Small Business to show up in more Google searches. I hope this helps take your business next level online and leads begin coming to you organically, instead of you chasing them constantly or paying huge amounts in digital advertising to get them.