POSTED BY BENJAMIN TOMKINS FRIDAY, MAR 20, 2009, BMIGHTY.COM
You may have the greatest product or service offering in the world, but that won’t mean jack for your revenue stream if you don’t let customers know about it. Here’s how.
Online awareness is crucial to bringing in business and that conversation starts and ends with search. And small and midsize businesses can go toe-to-toe with much larger competitors in the search game. As author and search engine optimization (SEO) expert Rebecca Lieb says, “Search really levels the playing field.”
So search is important, but how to claw your way to the top? Estimates place the number of daily Internet searches upward of a billion. Cutting through all that traffic requires employing some search strategies, such as those suggested by SEO expert Scott Wilson, the CEO of RankHigher.ca. He points to three ways that smaller companies can increase the odds of ranking high in their customers’ searches:
- Get Read — It’s important search engines are able to read your site content. Create content that is easily read by creating your Web page in HTML. Avoid creating sites entirely in Adobe Flash as search engines like Google have difficulty reading the content and it may not appear in search results.
- Gain Trust — Until your Web site has earned the trust of the search engines, it will not rank in search. Earn trust for your site by receiving links to your site from other trusted Web sites. Getting a trusted Web site to post your link is like getting an academic citation; the more citations (links), the more trusted your content will become.
- Get Focused — Often a single Web page will contain information on many different products or services offered. This can pose a problem, if the web page is about ten different things, then the search engine will rank it for all ten. For example, the first product could appear on page 100, product two could be ranked 1,000, and so on. This keeps your Web page from appearing on the first page of a search result. To avoid this, each page on your Web site should be dedicated to a specific product or service as it will attach a specific keyword to your page and result in better search results.
Advice and strategy, like Wilson’s and Lieb’s search strategies are well and good, but it’s a bit abstract until you put it into action for your business. Well here’s an example: Avante Gardens. A Southern California floral shop that’s played the SEO game to perfection. The proof is in the screen shots, but click through to the full story to learn more about how Avante Gardens’ owner Cathy Hillen-Rulloda did it.
Avante Gardens is a case of local search success and smaller business should never overlook at the importance of local. That’s the point that David Mihm, a Portland-based Web-designer and local SEO pundit made in his Search Engine Land column. He outlines these 4 steps small and midsize businesses can take to maximize presence on local search engines:
- Check to see where you’re already indexed using GetListed.org
- Claim and verify your information at the major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Live.
- Submit or verify your information with as many different data providers as you can (click through for a list).
- Stay up-to-date on current trends and techniques in local search engine optimization by reading and subscribing to many of the SEMMY-nominated blogs in the Local Search and Small Business categories.