Improve Your Local Search Presence
If you’re a small business owner, and especially if you are working to get visible in your city, odds are that you’ve heard of the term Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. What does that mean exactly? It’s making your website search-engine friendly, so that when people are looking for your brand, products or service, you can easily be found. SEO is a very challenging and technical skill to acquire that is best left to professionals. Think of it this way – you don’t hire your house painter to work on your car engine do you? When an SEO company is doing is job for you, and doing it well, they’ll take certain steps to ensure that your website is well written, has lots of high quality, original content, and gives all three major search engines what they’re looking for. The big three search engine companies are of course Google, Yahoo and Bing. Generally speaking, what works well on Google will work well on other sites, so ask your SEO company to focus on making your company’s website Google compliant.
The main page of your company’s website should have a clear explanation of who you are, what you do, what products you offer, and what your hours are. Be sure that you have your Email address and full phone number, including area code, clearly visible on the top of your page. For an added bonus, ask your SEO company to include your address and place it in Google Maps. For example, there is a men’s groom business in Leawood, Kansas that has their location embedded in Google Maps. You can see an example of how they did this correctly by looking at their site listing here: http://thegentsplace.com/locations/leawood-ks: that red pin that you see on the Google map was placed there by the business and then verified by Google so that they know it’s a real and legitimate business. Instead of taking anyone’s word about a business listing, it might surprise you to know that there is a human being that verifies each business entry so that they know it’s a valid location and address. When doing a map listing, you should also include some good quality photographs from outside or from across the street that displays the front of, or the most prominent looking angle of your establishment. And don’t worry, the photographs don’t have to be done by a professional. No need to hire an expensive photographer for this task. Most modern smart phones have cameras that are good enough for what we’re working to accomplish here. So, use that phone to snap a few pics and use those when creating your Google Maps listing. It will show that you are a real business and your account and addition to the maps should be approved in short order.
More Ways SEO Can Help
Another way that you can have your SEO company make sure that you can be found, that your customers understand how and where your business operates, and that the big three search engines understand your particular company well is to include services areas. Service areas will define where your business operates out of, how far it will travel, etc. For example, if you’re a painter, and you’re located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you’d do well to let potential customers know how far away from the city you’d be willing to travel, if at all. A great example of quality SEO work done to a website, showing the service areas can be seen at ColorWheel Painting. They have a map, and how the various service areas they work in. You can see how they did this by clicking here:
Another example would be if you are a plumbing company, and you were to tell people the cities and towns that you will come to from a major metropolitan area. A great example of this is a company that is located in Overland Park, Kansas. This plumbing company must have a great SEO agency because not only do they let potential customers know about all of the different services they offer, but they have done a fantastic job of showing all of the cities that surround Overland Park and Kansas City, Missouri that they will travel to for service. For example, they’ve even gone to the trouble to talk about a very small suburb that goes by the name of Martin City. That city is most famous for being home to one of the best BBQ joints around, but they also have a growing residential population. And with residential homes you can be sure that there is plenty of plumbing work to go around.
Not only do they discuss what services they offer, but they also let you know some information about area, so it’s informational as well as educational.
When it’s all said and done, make sure the SEO company that you’ve chosen to work with will accurately represent your company, services and products. The better job of “painting a picture” of your company that you can do online, the better the chance you have of connecting with your potential customers and letting them know what you’re all about. And if you do a good job of that, Google will reward you by ranking you higher in the search engine than your competition. It’s generally assured true that the the big G is the leader, so if you do things right with them, you should see similar results when people search for your business in Yahoo and Bing.
EDIT: We found a nice little video that has some good tips as well.