Search Engine Marketing – Rage Against the Mega-Corp. : How Your Small Business Can Dominate Search

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Almost every business in the world today has a website, which means small businesses face almost insurmountable hurdles to claim one of the few spots on the first pages of search engine results.

Large companies already have a lock on most of the best locations. They have perks you probably can’t get, starting with enough content to fill a library and inbound links from every site on the web, from blogging moms with an audience of family members to the front page of HuffPo. and Forbes.

It’s quite difficult to compete with if you have limited resources and are new to the game.

Unless your product or service is a brand new invention, you’ll need an awesome strategy to cut the noise.

Here are three tips and tactics to help level the playing field.

1. Own the local market

Some 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. So while you may not be the first to search for gourmet cupcakes, local search means you can claim the top spot for gourmet cupcakes in your area. Walmart might sell delicious cupcakes, but you specialize in it.

Respect the pigeon. In 2015, Google started to deploy a new algorithm (Pigeon) which fine local search. Basically, local search is even more local now: The best listings aren’t just in a city, they’re in a neighborhood.

Monitor the lists. Dominating the local market requires careful attention to detail. Make sure your listings are detailed and up to date on all local and industry search engines and review sites, such as Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Trip Advisor.

Be part of the community. Join and sponsor local events, participate in charity campaigns, donate branded products for giveaways, and make sure your website is mentioned in event advertising and imprinted on your loot. Attending local events increases your visibility, gets people talking about your business, and generates organic backlinks from local media, bloggers, and magazines.

2. Be the voice of authority

Why do people search for businesses online? The Web isn’t just a phone book with a handy card attached, it’s a source of information consumers never had access to before. The information they find determines whether they can trust you.

Building authority builds trust, and trust is essential to an ongoing customer relationship. Your customers want to know where to turn for reliable information in your areas of expertise.

Post great content. If you’re a local business and you’re not delivering content, you’re not giving your audience what they’re looking for. They want to hang out with companies they know and trust. You can be the company that answers all of their questions online, tells them which products are best for their situation and why, and offers tips and reasons why they should buy.

Make it local. Content is a great opportunity to boost local SEO. The aforementioned gourmet cupcake shop might be talking about bestselling local flavors (tell me Key Lime doesn’t remind you of Key West), or flavors made with local fruits, for example.

Tackling local issues doesn’t just apply to food. Car maintenance is influenced by local road and weather conditions, any business related to homeownership could talk about the best plants for the area or the challenges of maintaining a swimming pool, and a mattress store could tout the benefits of a better night’s sleep when you are located on the flight path of an airport or near a busy shopping district.

Almost all companies have a local angle that they can draw on to build their authority. Know your local customers and you will know their concerns and then address those concerns.

Connect with local and industry bloggers. No matter where you are, there are influencers blogging about your area: what to see and do, where to find the best deals, how to have the most fun.

Don’t just ask them to write about you (how rude!); instead, romance them. Comment and share their blog posts. Offer to host local blogger meetups (if applicable). Ask if they would like to partner with you to provide their readers with freebies or reader discounts.

Bloggers build their audience on authority and trust. Their mentions often carry a lot of weight with very targeted readers.

3. Go mobile

An alarming number of small businesses seem to think they don’t need to build a mobile-friendly website. It’s something we hear all the time in business, and it’s mind boggling.

Consider the statistics. Google recently changed its search algorithm to exclude sites from mobile searches if the sites are not mobile friendly. Since 60% of all searches are done on mobile devices and 40% of customers will go to a competitor’s site if yours doesn’t load properly, not having a mobile-friendly website is like just giving your business away. .

Test mobile compatibility. Just because your website looks “good” on your smartphone doesn’t mean it’s actually mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes. To determine if your website is mobile-friendly, simply use Google’s free mobile optimization test.

Consult with an experienced digital marketing team. There are several ways to go mobile: you can choose to design a responsive site, a hybrid responsive site, a responsive site, or a separate mobile site. There are also all kinds of reasons not to rush to set up your mobile website. A fully-fledged mobile-friendly website should be designed to serve your marketing and sales goals. Do you want your website to be a lead generating machine? Do you want to encourage visitors to provide their e-mail address?

There is a lot of factors to consider when switching to mobile, so make sure your marketing and development teams have a solid strategy aligned with your business goals.

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There is no magic formula to getting your business to the top of the search page, especially if you are competing with mega-businesses, and almost all businesses are these days. Local search narrows the field and gives you a chance to grab the attention of consumers in your area. Your best bet is to focus on one thing at a time and become the only source in your area that people turn to for information.

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