Not long ago I had a meeting with a client for whom we were doing search engine optimization (SEO) work. They had experienced a change in their budget and decided that, moving forward, they would need to do the next steps in phases.
I was asked to prioritize the SEO steps for them, so they could get a better understanding of what tasks would be coming next. If you’re faced with a similar situation, here is how I suggest you proceed.
Search Optimize Website
The first step should always be search optimizing your website. Many website developers include search engine optimization when they build a site. But just as many don’t. Be sure to ask if your developer does.
But getting your website ready to be found is vital if you want to rank well in search and that’s what search optimizing will do. To help understand it better, think of your car. Is the one you drive today ready to enter a NASCAR race? Probably not. It would need a new engine, new tires, breaks, shocks, etc. Search optimizing gets your website ready to be found in search much the same way as you would get a car ready for a race.
Without taking this step, Google will not recognize your site.
Create a Google My Business Page
The home for businesses on Google’s platform is Google My Business. This service was formerly known as Google Places. Google My Business allows you to enter business information such as the name, address, phone number, website and hours.
Your listing will need to be verified by Google. So when you sign up for the service, Google My Business will send you a postcard to the address you entered. When you receive it, enter the verification code at your Google My Business listing and your company will be verified.
Google My Business makes it easier for businesses to appear in search. When your company name is searched, verified businesses will be displayed in the search rankings along with a box on the right that lists your information.
Recently, Google My Business added a post feature, similar to what you might do on Facebook or LinkedIn. The posts you make on Google My Business will also appear when someone searches your business name.
Business Listing on Other Publisher Sites
The next step along the search engine optimization path would be to check your business listing on publisher sites across the internet and make sure it is uniform. There are over 70 of these sites. They include EZlocal, Foursquare and ShowMeLocal just to name a few. Google indexes these directories and if your listing is uniform across them, your website will get a better search rank.
However, if there are duplicate entries or mistakes in your listings, then Google will penalize your search ranking. So it’s very important to make sure your listing is uniform across the internet.
You’ve heard the expression that content is king. In the case of contributing to your search rankings, the saying is true.
Google rewards websites that update their content regularly with better search rankings. Blogging is a great way to do this. Create blog content that shares information about your product, service or industry and do it on a consistent basis. Over time, Google will reward your website with better search rankings. If you aren’t sure how to find topics to write about, call us.
Taking the steps necessary to be found in search is vital to any business today. A vast majority of consumers use the internet to find the products and services they need. If your website can’t be found, you’re missing out on sales. Do you have questions about search engine optimization? Call us at 513-237-5530.
Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio.