Telling the truth about SME life today

SEO: Five no-brainers to get your business found

In the absence of an SEO consultant there are a few things you can do yourself tonight, tomorrow night or over a weekend to maximise the chances of your business being found online.

And, apart from your time, they cost nothing.

Make the most of online directories

Registering your business on sites like Google Places, Qype and Yelp helps to provide more ?real estate for you business outposts that can link back to your website and have every chance of showing up when someone searches for you online.

Register with Google Places and your business could potentially appear at the top of a search results page ahead of organic listings even for relevant searches. A Yell listing can also aid search engine optimisation for your business name – Yell provides free listings for small businesses, and these can include a website link and even a promotional video. All good for SEO.

Look at social media

Another tactic is to create profiles for your business on the social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. These do require ongoing thought, but again can appear if someone is looking to find out more about who you are and what you do. Ensure you link back to your website, as this is another “vote of confidence” something the search engines like to see.

Ask your customers to review you

Once your business is listed with the online directories, tell your customers you are there and that they can review you. This not only builds trust with people searching for a company like you, but it also means your profile (where the reviews appear, on sites like Yell) will be updated with fresh, user-generated content. Something else the search engine spiders like to gobble up and can help boost your search engine ranking.

Encourage those spiders into your home

You can now submit your site URL directly to Google so why not do it” This is like giving the spiders a sat nav you’ve given them the destination of a new site so it doesn’t need to be found all on its own.

A picture paints a thousand words?

Actually that’s not strictly true when it comes to SEO, but if you have a video showcasing your business or are thinking about making one, this can be great for getting on the first page of Google. In fact, if you are searching for something online, a video is 53 times more likely to pop up on the first page of results*.

Once you have a video you can upload this to YouTube and link it to your various online profiles.

*Forrester Research (UK & US study) 2008

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