Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine‘s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic“, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users, and these visitors can be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic. As of May 2015, mobile search has finally surpassed desktop search. Google is developing and pushing mobile search as the future in all of its products and many brands are beginning to take a different approach to their internet strategies.
How SEO affects Local Businesses
Now that you know what SEO is, how does it affect your business? Well, if you want to show up on Google map search it’s very important. As soon as you have a business address you will want to sign up for a google business account and get that verification post card sent from Google. This will not only allow your business to show up in desktop searches for your services, it will also make finding your business easier on GPS. As a military spouse I am moving to new areas frequently, and the first thing we do is look for new services including a dentist, or dry cleaner. Your new customers might not even have access to a computer yet, they are going to go on their phones or tablets and search for a local dentist. Even if your new customers find you in another search platform they are going to want directions to your location and if you are a verified business through Google then you will be on the map and easier to find.
For this reason we find Local SEO extremely important to local businesses and if you’re not on the map yet, or you’re not showing up in Google searches yet here are a few things you can do to get started.
- Create a Facebook page an post consistently
- Facebook page content can be found in Google Search easier some times than a new website. Just remember to use your business name correctly when you create the page. Also use your business name in a few posts or hashtags and you’ll come up organically when searched in your area.
- Google Maps
- Create a google business account and get verified. Start here
- Get listed in a few directories
- Are there local directories that list your industry? Maybe your local Chamber of Commerce or Newspaper. Any opportunities to share a link to your business website will be beneficial.