In today’s digital age, marketing your small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) has evolved significantly compared to just two decades ago. Gone are the days when customers would flip through phone books or rely solely on traditional advertisements to discover local businesses. Now, when a potential customer needs a service or product, they turn to the internet to find the right provider. As an SME owner, your goal is to ensure that your business is easily discoverable online.
While the process of establishing your business’s online presence might seem daunting, you don’t necessarily need to hire an expensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert to make your shop more visible on the internet. There are simple and effective strategies you can implement to have a significant impact.
Build Your Google Business Profile
When it comes to online searches, Google reigns supreme. Therefore, if you want to enhance your visibility on the internet, it’s essential to cater to Google’s search engine. The good news is that Google has made it relatively straightforward with Google Business Profile. This free service allows you to provide all the crucial information that potential customers are seeking, such as your address, services offered, hours of operation, phone number, and website. Google’s primary objective is to assist its users in finding what they need quickly, so the more detailed information you include, the more likely it is that Google will recommend your business.
By entering this information, your business can also appear in Google’s local search results. These are the results that appear at the top of a Google search alongside a map of your location. So not only will your business rank higher in regular search results, but potential customers can also see your proximity to them.
Tailor Your Metadata to Match Customer Needs
When you conduct a Google search and see a list of results, the text that appears in the blue title and the description below it is known as metadata. You can adjust how your business appears in these search results by modifying your website’s metadata.
Understanding how Google’s search engine works is essential here. It prioritizes search results based, in part, on how closely a website’s metadata matches the keywords used in a search. Securing a top spot in Google’s search results is crucial because over 25% of users click on the first search result, and clicks decrease significantly for results lower down the page. The second result garners about 15% of clicks, and if you’re not in the top five results, your click-through rate drops to 5% or lower. So, what should you write to land at the top of that list?
“Writing for web searches is different from other forms of writing,” says Kirk Etten, Senior Manager of Digital Analytics at Valvoline. “You only have a limited number of characters, especially if someone is searching on their phone, so you need to get your point across effectively and meet the customer’s needs.”
To create an effective meta description, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. Consider what they would likely type into Google when searching for your products or services and tailor your description accordingly. They are more likely to search for phrases like “oil change near me” or “tire shop in Kansas City” than they are to search for a broad description of your business. This doesn’t mean that the broader description isn’t important to have on your website, but when crafting your metadata, focus on answering your customers’ immediate questions: who you are, what you do, where to find you, and how to contact you.
If you’re unsure about what to write, try entering these common search phrases into Google and observe what your competitors are doing. If they consistently appear at the top of search results, they are likely doing something right, so take cues from them. Additionally, to measure the effectiveness of your chosen keywords, you can use Google Search Console, another free service that helps you optimize your website’s visibility.
Create Multiple Pages
Your homepage isn’t the only part of your website that can attract potential customers. To improve your visibility in search results, consider creating pages with well-crafted meta descriptions that align with user searches.
Do you have multiple business locations? Ensure that each location has its dedicated page to generate separate results in local searches. If your business offers various services, create a dedicated page for each service. This approach allows your business to rank higher in searches, whether potential customers are searching for “oil change near me,” “brake repair near me,” or “tires near me.” While this strategy may require more effort, it can significantly pay off in the long run.
In conclusion, SMEs should not be deterred by the initial challenges or perceived costs of SEO. When done correctly, local SEO can be a powerful tool for driving growth and increasing visibility in the highly competitive digital landscape. If you’re an SME owner contemplating your marketing strategy, investing in local SEO could be the key to unlocking your business’s true potential.
While local SEO may take some time to deliver noticeable results, SMEs that persevere often reap the benefits, such as cost savings in their marketing efforts, the establishment of a strong reputation, and the cultivation of a loyal customer base. Local SEO is a long-term investment that can help your SME grow and connect with more relevant customers in ways that other marketing strategies simply cannot match.
In today’s digital world, harnessing the power of local SEO can make all the difference for SMEs, allowing them to thrive and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to expand your online presence and connect with potential customers actively searching for your products or services in your local area.