Local SEO for Small Business
Getting seen on Google can look like a very daunting task. After all, you’re up against the best in the business. You are trying to get seen on the internet and you have as your competition THE WHOLE WORLD. Surely, they are spending more on their online presence than you are. Surely, they are using more cunning tactics and have a much higher budget than you do. What chance do you have?
Well, I have some very good news for you. If you are a small to medium sized business doing service in your local area, then there is a good chance that you can get onto the front page of Google and put yourself ahead of your competitors a lot more easily than you might think.
The truth of the matter is that you are not competing with the whole internet, you are just competing with the few competitors that are in your local area, and I can almost guarantee you that most of them are not doing their online marketing correctly.
Basics of Internet Marketing for Small Businesses
Internet marketing is now as necessary to business as having the lights on and the plumbing working. In fact, maybe more so, because you won’t be able to afford those lights and plumbing if no one knows you’re there.
It’s basic knowledge that you need a website to do business these days. But is that website done in a way that allows Google to tell what your business IS? Have you informed Google Business where you are and that you have opened?
Let’s use the plumbing analogy again. You know your business needs a toilet. Whether for employees or customers, you’re going to need one. Everyone knows that. So, you go to Home Depot and pick one up. Maybe you get a nice one because you want your customers to have a good experience. You bring it back to your business and you place it in the bathroom. Done!
But is it? Did you actually place it over the drainpipe? Did you connect the water supply in the back? Did you call the city to tell them to even turn the water on? Did you know you are supposed to put a wax ring around the drainpipe before you put the toilet in place to prevent leaking? These are the kinds of errors people make when they set up their internet marketing for the first time.
What You Need to Know
Here are the basics that most businesses don’t know or don’t do properly:
- Before you even make your site, you need to do a keyword analysis
- This tells you what words your customers search for. You need to know these because your whole site should be structured around these keywords.
- Your website needs to be properly structured for Google to read it
- This includes things like site layout, tagging data, creating readable site maps, etc.
- You need to connect all of the available Google Services (these are all free!)
- This includes Google Analytics, Search Console, Google Tag manager, etc.
- You NEED to create or take ownership of your Google My Business account
- When you do this Google is now aware of your existence, location, type of business, logo, opening hours and on and on.
- It’s totally free and arguably is EVEN MORE IMPORANT THAT YOUR WEBSITE
- It’s my favorite thing to bust businesses on when I take on their marketing work
Now I can almost promise you that the local businesses you are competing against aren’t doing all of these or aren’t doing all of them properly.
But here’s the even better news: even if a couple of them are, it’s almost certain that not all of them are. So you don’t have to beat everyone, you just have to be amongst the top three. In fact, there has been some data to suggest that people are more likely to click on the second ranked business more than the first.
So this is the bottom line, none of this requires great genius. You don’t have to be a marketing mastermind, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you don’t have to come up with some magical marketing campaign that’s never been thought of before. You just have to do the BASIC things CORRECTLY and that will almost certainly put you ahead of your local competitors and will definitely put you in the top ranks.