It would be an understatement to say that marketing has changed a lot in recent years. Consider that, once upon a time, the best marketing bet a small business owner could take would be to take out an ad space in the Yellow Pages—or perhaps even on a highway billboard! But those days are well behind us now. The way small businesses (and large ones, for that matter) market themselves, in this day and age, is online. Maximizing the visibility of your website is really the best marketing investment you can make for your company.
That’s easier said than done, however. Search engine optimization is part art, part science—and for many small business owners, it’s largely foreign. Read on for five battle-tested SEO tips that should serve you well, and ultimately enable you to expand your website’s visibility.
- The first step is to sign up for a local business page on Google. Google, of course, is the king of the search engines—and it is emphasizing localized search results more and more, all the time. Signing up for a listing here is one of the best things you can do for your company.
- Another tip is to put a blog on your business page—and update it regularly. Google is ever on the prowl for “fresh” and “relevant” content. If you have a static webpage—one that hasn’t been updates in months—then you’re not going to look as fresh, or as relevant, to Google. A blog is a great way to engage the search engine—to say nothing of readers!
- Another easy way to drive traffic to your site is to use social bookmarking. A social bookmark, on each page of new content you produce, can go a long way toward helping readers find you. Pick your favorite of the bunch—Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, and so on. Or better yet: Use all of them!
- In addition to social bookmarks, you should also think about social media. Social networks are great way to drive traffic to your website. Facebook is useful here, but Twitter may be the best one of all. Effective Twitter use can be a great way to keep your website hopping!
- Finally, consider adding your website to an online directory. A bit of caution is in order, as Google will penalize you for throwing your lot in with a disreputable directory. One that is relevant to your industry, and that doesn’t have spam cluttering it, can prove invaluable, however.
Optimizing your online content for the search engines is really just a matter of making that content more appealing—and more locatable—to human users! By following these simple steps, you’ll be moving in the right direction. Remember that SEO is a process, not a one-time thing—so follow these steps, then keep following them as consistently as possible!
This was a guest post contributed by Petter Martinsen of Telefonkatalogen. The company is based in Norway, and specializes in helping their clients find online success through an array of services and features. For more information, visit them at Telefonkatalogenmedia.com.