My clients often ask, how do I rank high on Google and other search engines? This is an important question but you need to decide what kind of visibility you are looking for. If you are a small business, you need to ask how much you are willing to pay to be a top ranked listing on Google and other search engines. It is not just keywords now. There are many factors that play into where you are listed – relevance, cross linking from other sites, current content and more. The Google algorithms are changed frequently. There are many companies that specialize in SEO and will get you placed higher but if you are a local business, your time and money may be better spent focusing on the local search. Make sure your business is listed on sites such as Google Places, Yahoo! Local (there are free and paid choices), and Yelp. Ask your current customers to submit reviews on these sites to help your ranking in your local area. If you get a negative review, address it on the site and contact the customer to try to resolve the problem.
It is also important for small businesses to claim their names on the different social media platforms. Even if you are not going to use Facebook or Twitter, you want to be sure you have claimed your business name before someone else does. And who knows, you may decide to start using these platforms in the future. Social media is an important tool to help you stay top of mind with your customers. You do not need to be on every platform – pick the one that is most suited to your business. Are you an interior designer? Then a pinterest page for your business would be a great asset. Local restaurant? Be sure to have a Facebook page where you can showcase menu items and specials. If you are using Constant Contact, you may want to consider using Social Campaigns to increase your e-mail list and Facebook exposure. There are many ways to increase your exposure as a local business without investing a lot of resources strictly to SEO. Use the local tools and get the conversation started on social media by engaging your current customer base.