A lot of small business owners and professional freelancers may realize just how important it is to have a website showcasing their products, services, or expertise. But many of them fail miserably when it comes to positioning their online presence.
There is a lot of overspending (of money and time), a lot of under-optimization, and a lot of confusion.
But ranking your business website effectively so potential and current customers can find you is not rocket science. If you follow the steps below, you will be practically guaranteed of good ranking for relevant keywords within a few months. (Unless that is you are trying to rank for highly competitive keyword phrases, such as “make money online.” In this case, you may have to give yourself and your site more time and make more of an effort.)
Get connected to the Big G. Like it or not, if you want to be found online then you’ll have to deal with Google. They have a real monopoly on organic search that can’t be ignored, and performance in local search in particular can be a make or break factor for businesses with brick and mortar locations.
So, one of the first things you will want to do is get a Google Plus Local page. On this page you will post all your important business information, such as your business’s website, location, and hours. You can also include photos and videos and host hangouts and directly interact with your customers. Your customers on the other hand will have the ability to rate, review and upload photos related to your business. It’s kind of like Yelp 2.0, and it may factor very heavily in your site’s online visibility among the people who matter the most- your current and potential customers.
Create effective copy writing. Anyone who has been paying attention to the Google updates that have come our way over the past year, knows that Google has been trying (with mixed results) to weed out thin or low quality content from the top pages of its search results. In other words, if you don’t make an effort to put up quality content then you are taking a risk.
But Google aside, you’ll find it hard to retain visitor interest, encourage your visitors to return, or convert a sale if your content is not engaging or useful enough. We’ve all heard the saying that content is king, but trying to define “quality content” can get very subjective and murky. The question is, how does a business owner go about deciding what makes good content?
As a small business owner you are looking for content that not only informs and attracts potential customers, you also want content that gets you results.
Here’s a simple illustration to explain this point:
Consider the case of a small business that develops a Database Management Tool for chiropractors. Which of the following two approaches would work for you?
a) Award Winning Tool For Chiropractors
Here is an award winning chiropractic tool that has received great accolades. The tool is unique in many ways and very different from the other solutions available in the market. With this tool we now provide great management solutions that will make it easier for you to conduct your practice.
b) Make Your Practice More Profitable With the Award Winning Chiropractor’s Management Tool!
The Chiropractor’s Management Tool gives you more time to focus on your patients. Improve efficiency, increase customer retention, and have more money in your pocket.
- No More Messy paper work
- No Stress Of Managing patient files
- Easy and Simple Documentation for filing claims
What makes approach “b” better? For starters, the content is focused on answering any prospect’s key concerns. It steers clear of any throat clearing and gets straight to the point. The landing page’s headline and first paragraph focus on how the readers stand to benefit from the tool. The tone and writing are also such that they reveal what the prospect stands to gain and not what the seller has to offer.
Whether you decide to take the DIY route for copy writing or outsource it, knowing what makes content effective will help you maintain the quality standards required to gain valuable traffic, social sharing, and backlinks- all of which will help your site’s search rankings.
Strategic content marketing. There are several ways you can leverage the content that you are generating, but in all of them the goal is the same: increase brand exposure and awareness. Some popular content marketing strategies include:
- Start an official blog on your business website: Google likes websites that are updated with fresh content frequently. Maintaining a blog on your business site can help you improve your site’s worth and ranking.
- Bookmark all your blogs on popular social sharing sites: This is a great technique to create natural backlinks for your website and generate the right social signals that Google likes. Outsourcing social bookmarking to freelancers is quite economical. You can easily get experienced freelancers to bookmark all your blog content to several social sharing sites at $5-$6 an hour.
- Pitch some of your top quality articles as guest posts on authority sites: An inbound link to your business site from a high authority non-competitive site offers the advantages of:
- Valuable backlinks as Google values links from high authority sites in a similar or associated niche, more than links from article directories, low PR sites and/or general blog sites.
- Targeted traffic from the followers and subscribers of a popular site in a related or similar niche.
- More brand exposure, as most websites follow a practice of sharing all their blog posts with people in their social networks.
Create infographics. The big boys in your niche may have PR machineries spinning stories to keep them in news. You may not have the budget to hire a high profile PR pro, but you can certainly get yourself some low-cost publicity by generating informative infographics. People love incorporating statistics to add weight to their writing. If the statistics are presented in an attractive manner, even better! Generating infographics associated with your niche area can help you get inbound links and traffic from multiple sources.
The best part about releasing infographics is that you do not need to conduct your own surveys. Take statistics from authority sources, give proper citations, and hire a freelance graphic designer to develop an attractive infographic.
Just make sure you know how to effectively promote your infographic. There are several high-ranking infographic directories out there where you can submit your infographic. Some are free, while others may charge a small fee to be listed. Some sites to look into are:
You can also send out a press release about the infographic at the same time to maximize exposure and backlinks.
In conclusion, effectively ranking a new business website can happen within a relatively short amount of time with focused strategies and good content.