How do your customers find you? Potential customers have many options when it comes to find the product or service they are looking for, and it’s your job to make sure your business can be easily found. Boral Branders will explain step by step how to make your business stand out from the crowd.

A recent study made by eMarketer compared how often people used search engines opposed to yellow pages, print directories, store circulars and newspapers to find local business. As a result, all age groups under 55 years old used search engines more frequently. With that in mind, it’s obvious that small business should manage their online presence. The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making a website as visible as possible in search engines. So here are 10 steps you can follow to increase your website’s SEO:

  1. Do an online search for you company – First you should understand where your company information is on the internet. Search for your company name in any search engine. Look for common misspellings of you company name and abbreviations. Once you find the listing, check them for accuracy and completeness.
  2. Remember to NAP – The most important information you put online is Name, Address and Phone Number. If you want to be found you must have this information listed and it must be consistent in every result. Also, when you add your address to your contact information paste it into a map website to make sure that the correct address is displayed. This is exactly how your customers will try to locate you and if the mapping is incorrect you might just have lost customers.
  3. Know your business’ vocabulary – Search engines look for common words when matching websites up to searches. So understanding what words your customers use when they try to find your products or service is a very important component of SEO.
  4. Don’t try keyword stuffing – “Keyword stuffing” is entering keywords of terms associated with your business in the company name field, or overly repeating those words in descriptions in an effort to get more visibility. Not this only breaks consistency but it looks very unprofessional to prospective clients.
  5. Optimize your website – One way to direct people to your website is to build links to it. You can do it through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) advertising, online directories, or through newspaper or magazine articles written about your company or industry.
  6. If you invest in an SEO provider, shop around – When selecting an SEO provider, you’ll find there are a lot of them, but not all offer the same services nor provide the same results. One key thing to understand is that you should not expect immediate results. If someone promises you that or guaranteed rankings, be concerned.
  7. Look at your competition – Look up your competition online. Start with the search engine. What are the results when you search their name? Their location? What words and terms are they using? Are they effective?. Take in all you learn from the competition and apply to your web strategy.
  8. Set up Google Alerts for your company – Google offers a free service called Google Alerts that automatically emails you when it finds new results for topic that match your search terms. It alerts you when it finds your specific keywords in web pages, articles, blogs, etc. Google alerts help you find mentions about your business and you can also use it to respond to both negative and positive reviews online.
  9. Consider Social Media – Before deciding to join any social media web page, you must determine if it is a good fit for your business. Two things to consider is the demographics of your customers (Is your audience on social networks?) and also do you have the time and ability to create the content required and to participate in the conversations?
  10. Be responsive, get positive reviews and referrals – You want visitors to be pleased with their experience. So if you get an email or inquiry from a prospect, respond to it as quickly as possible. This immediate attention will show that your company is responsive, cares about its customers and is progressive in its use of technology. This will not only satisfy potential customers, but hopefully can lead to referrals. If those prospects become clients ask them to give you a review. 70% of Americans say they consult products reviews or customers rating before making a purchase.

We hope that this steps will help your company be the first that search engine’s think about when giving customers results!