Staff Writer: Nancy Mann
Regardless of size, all businesses need an SEO strategy in place to stay competitive. And again, regardless of size, all businesses are certainly looking for the most affordable SEO packages. This is particularly true for the small business owner, who faces a unique set of challenges. Without the same kind of cash flow, client base and in-house personnel available to its larger counterparts, finding affordable small business SEO services is critical to the longevity of a smaller organization.
A few years ago, Google gave small businesses a significant boost. In simple terms, it implemented changes that made it easier for small businesses to get noticed on searches based on geographic locations. Enhanced local search visibility was great news for small businesses, especially those with brick and mortar locations. However, this also made it even more imperative that small business find affordable SEO packages in order to full manipulate these changes to their best business advantage. By applying just a handful of SEO tenets, a small business’ rankings have the potential to soar. The most important tenet is acknowledging the concept of local intent.
Local intent plays a huge role for small businesses with physical locations. Basically, local intent refers to searches done with the intention of conducting business offline. With over 60% of online users looking for local businesses, a small business owner simply can’t afford not to get “found.” And now, Google’s changes have allowed searches to yield results that are based primarily on location, which makes for a more level playing field among small and large companies.
So what are the best ways for a small business to capitalize on Google’s newfangled local intent searches? First, it’s important that a business’ site displays consistent, accurate and complete contact information. Even better, it should also make mention of services offered and/or products sold. This information must be placed prominently, clearly and be easily accessible. This is not only important to how Google will interpret this information; it’s also been proven that when contact information is vague or hard to reach, consumers move on to the next stop.
Another related tip is ensuring that all business information is accurate on external reference sites such as Yelp!, Google Places (Google’s own platform) or other online business directories. If the contact information listed on those doesn’t match that on a company’s own site, Google crawls might get stopped in their tracks, hindering business exposure and potential profits.
Finally, business websites need to be not only rich in SEO strategy but also a place that users will enjoy visiting, prompting them to want to learn more. Testimonials are an effective addition, as are mini-tours – a great engagement object – and video messages. These elements really add interest and value to a business site, giving it an edge over its less appealing competitors.
By following these simple SEO-based tips, a small business can quickly convert a click to a phone call or visit, spelling more customers and increased profits.