Technology and the Internet continues to evolve.
“There are now 2.3 billion internet users worldwide, which is nearly a third of the world’s population and that number is growing at 8% per year,” according to a recent Forbes post.
And a large portion of Internet users engage in search activities when it comes to learning more about people, places, products and companies.
Multinational corporations, such as Google, which provide Internet-related products and services (including internet search) are focusing their attention on delivering the best search results to online users. Through various algorithms and techniques, Google and its competitors attempt to push popular and legitimate businesses that meet respective search queries to the top ranks of their results.
For a company to achieve a high search engine page ranking when queried, it must build a strong brand online and off-line to enhance favorable SEO signals.
As a small business owner, both online and off-line business promotion should include branding signals designed specifically for search engine optimization. These signals could include a physical (or virtual) business location, accreditation’s, public relations efforts, customer base loyalty initiatives, reputation management, content strategies with both text and visual components, generating referral leads, offering expertise and so on.
Here are 10 areas every small business owner can focus on to drive online and offline promotion that yields favorable search engine results.
1. Business Location
If your small business is e-commerce based, brick-and-mortar, or both it’s important to list a physical (or virtual) location. Promotion of your company’s location can include listings on various third-party sites including Google Maps, Foursquare, Yelp and others.
The more ways available to online users to find your company online – the better. Ensuring physical or mailing address visibility, telephone verification, and more can help drive traffic to your company website. If your place of business is a brick-and-mortar location, your website should never appear it as a generic site without an actual office, mailing address or valid contact information.
2. Talent Acquisition
If your business is recruiting for new talent, consider posting available jobs online.
Search engines use this information to support the legitimacy of your business. Job and internship listings can be posted on a variety of sites including Career Builder, Simply Hired, Indeed, and others. Additionally, you and your team members can list your company in the work experience portion of social media networking sites including Facebook and LinkedIn.
3. Industry Accreditation
Acquiring accreditation’s for your industry, joining trade associations and receiving awards, can help your company reinforce trust in the marketplace. If your small business profile is prominently located on third-party websites and online directories, this type of social proof can help build customer, client, supplier and public confidence.
When you receive reputable accolades in business, make sure your company information is posted in trade association directories and other organizations including the Better Business Bureau.