Every year about this time we hear about best practices and what small business should be doing the rest of the year for marketing their business online. Business owners are focused in 2015 on how to make their business stand out online. And competition is only increasing.
This is the time when we take a look back to see what worked and also a look forward to the trends and forecasts of what will work to get your business ranked in the search engines for 2015.
The SEO tips below are what we believe will be the Top SEO Tips for Small Business in 2015.
Citations are any listing online that includes a business’s contact information, type of business and possibly further information. Building local business citations (like Yelp, Google+, Yellow Pages, etc) are one of the most important things businesses can do online. It helps customers find you through multiple websites and also builds your brand and authority with search engines. Many times a business gets listed automatically by any number of online citation sites without their knowledge. Its a necessity now to check your citations online, claim them and fix errors on them. This is one of the foundations of good SEO in 2015.
Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP)
Nearly every business that gets listed online and has business citations (above) will have any number of errors. Sometimes, it was due to changing addresses, phone numbers or name of the business. Adding websites addresses (URL) or changing your website address also results in errors online. Also, inconsistencies in how your name, area code, suite number and other information are displayed can effect rankings. NAP errors can be the one of the biggest reasons why your business is not ranking well in search engine results or map listings.
Map Listing Rankings
Have you notice that for many searches the first thing you find are these 7-pack map listings? Ok, some only show 3 or 5 listings depending on the business type. But the point is that for many shoppers that is the first thing they see. So if you are not ranking on those map listings many shoppers will not even find your business. And with mobile search rising this year, you have to know how to get your business ranked in that highly competitive 7-pack map listing. Being listed on the most popular map & GPS services will be a necessity in 2015 with both mobile devices and vehicle GPS services usage increasing dramatically.
Search engines find your business based on text search queries, so choosing the right words (keywords) to highlight your business and market to your customers will continue to be one of the most powerful things you can do for your online marketing plan. You need to know not only the best keywords for your products and services but also any other search terms that your customers may use to find businesses like yours.
On-page and On-Site Optimization
Once you know the keywords you want to rank for there are many basics you need to cover on your website and online properties. Setting the META Titles and META Descriptions, keyword placement on pages, correctly formatting your contact page, having your address in your footer, images with unique filenames and alternate attributes, having your pages structured and linking in certain ways. Actually, there are as many as 200+ elements that search engines such as Google can use as a ranking factor.
Creating content and updates that can get customers to want to take action but also build brand awareness will be top of mind in 2015. Planning your content mix so that customers and the public get a view of what your business offers and also what your brand is about will be very important. Businesses that can plan their content mix and distribution will have the edge against competitors. Once your plan is in place – you must have a solid network of social media, web 2.0 and other online properties to distribute that content to your customers. Search engines will not only be able to rank your website but also your content pieces.
Optimizing and Sharing Images & Video
The popularity of image & video sharing sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube are giving small businesses a great opportunity to not only reach customers through these websites but also increase the rankings in organic search results by posting on them. Also, did you know that you can optimize the photos on your website for the keywords you want to rank your business for? Or the name of the file you upload to these sites is also very important? Don’t worry, many business owners don’t.
Google and many search engines will be paying a lot of attention to how businesses display their websites on mobile devices. Not having a mobile optimized website in 2015 will probably mean you will be start to lose valuable online rankings which = losing the ability for your customers to find you online. Having a website that adjusts for different mobile devices (responsive) will almost be mandatory. Google is already recognizing sites that are responsive by marking them as “mobile friendly” on mobile searches.
Paid Advertising (PPC) & SEO
Combining your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising became increasingly popular in 2014. PPC advertising like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads can be an affordable and effective method of advertising if done correctly. Facebook Ads have made it very affordable to reach your customers with some very detailed demographic information offered through their site. Implementing a solid PPC campaign with knowledge of your website SEO will be a successful combination for your businesses online marketing in 2015 and beyond.
Keep Informed & Stay On Top
This list of best practices and tips for your search engine optimization and online marketing should keep your website and business in front of the customers searching for you online.
Good luck and have a great 2015!
Please visit the rest of our website for more information on Small Business SEO tips and advice.