You want Google to fall truly, madly, and deeply in love with your small business. Why? Well, your small business is deserving of passionate commitment. Oh, and if Google loves your small business it means that Google will tell all of its friends about you. And Google has more friends than anyone else out there, including Yahoo and Bing.
How can you get Google to love your small business? Let us count the ways.
1. Google + is increasingly a force to be reckoned with, and a space that your small business should definitely connect with.
Google’s CEO, Larry Page, recently put out the word that Google + has about 90 million users worldwide. Hooking up with Google + not only lets you reap the benefits of being exposed to that market, but also bumps you up on that all important Google search rating list. That’s right, a Google + connection elbows those with no Google + connection out of the line.
2. If you have a struggling vegan restaurant in a small town, you need to make sure that you are turning up in the right Google search results. Google Keyword tool can help you decide what keywords your business should be using to get online attention as a small business owner. Post content on your site that includes keywords likely to be used when searching for a business like yours. It is an easy tool to use and should result in you getting more hits.
3. Thin text that is written just so that it contains popular Google keywords can do more harm than good. Sure, include smart keywords, but make sure that all content on your site is worth reading; that is, it is engaging, logical, clever and presents information. Always write to improve your user experience first and for the search engines second.
4. Include your full address, including your street number and postal or zip code on every page of your site. And when you’ve done this, create a “Contact Us” page that houses all of your contact information. Why? The more connected your particular small business site is to your local community by way of posted online address information, the more likely it is to be identified as a search result for a local searcher.
5. Google Adwords Pay Per Click ads may help your small business to get some online attention. Pay Per Click ads can yield
results, particularly if your current strategy is not being as effective as you’d like. Remember, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, and you can set a daily limit on clicks per day so that you don’t break the bank playing for your Google Adwords campaign.
6. Conduct a thorough review of the landing page of your site. It should be of a clean design, contain limited text and not overwhelm visitors. If you have an off-putting landing page, you might lure browsers to click on your site, only to leave it almost immediately.
7. If your small business site is linked to on other sites, it bumps it up on that Google search rating system. So, how can you get the link to your online site posted in more places? Become a linker extraordinaire. Be vigilant in your search for reputable and relevant links that you can post on your site; links that add value for your clients. The more you link, the more you will be linked.
8. Take interactivity seriously. If your well-designed website is a one-way vehicle, if you are putting lots of content out there but not taking a lot in, take steps to change this. Perhaps adding a chat function will provide your clients with a way to tell you what they want. Importantly, you should listen to the feedback you receive, and turn into a valuable marketing tool. Creating a site that is responsive to its visitor’s needs and fuels an ongoing conversation is more likely to be loved by Google.
9. If you don’t have a Google map embedded on your site, embed one. More of your site visitors are looking as at your site on a smart phone screen: Take steps to make your site friendly to these small screens as well.
These 9 things should see you improving your relationship with Google. Take a balanced approach that is focused on increasing traffic to your site, and giving them a worthy space that they will be happy to visit again. You can have the proper keywords, be linked to other others sites all over town, but if you fail to give your site visitor a satisfactory experience, they will quickly be on their way. And they are not likely to be back.
A clever, fresh, inviting site that has been designed in the spirit of your small business, and that works as a true hub of communication – and not an afterthought – is crucial.