This isn’t an article dissing SEO as a way to generate massive traffic to your website. However, this only happens IF you can get into the search results listings on the first page. That’s a big IF. It’s become such a sophisticated strategy that website owners are paying a lot of money to SEO “gurus” promising first page results. Some can even get it to happen, but it is often due to tricks that Google will eventually figure out and ruin. So, is there a better way?
This isn’t about online businesses or e-commerce wanting wide geographic exposure. These tips are about a local business, one that wants local walk-in traffic or callers to purchase your products or services in your area. You can beat your brains out and spend money to get the top results for “your town bakery,” “your town real estate,” or “your town anything.” The chances are that if your business doesn’t have a huge amount of competition in your area that you’ll end up getting some decent search engine exposure anyway if you have good content on your site. This is about dragging in the site visitors to generate more local business.
Market the URL Link (Domain) Everywhere
What advertising are you doing now? Is the URL, the web address of your site (yoursite.com) on every printed piece and in every ad you’re running?
• business cards
• newspaper & classified ads
• magazine ads
• radio and TV
• promotional items like pens, magnets, etc.
• bus signs
• product labels
• direct mail
In short, if you advertise, whatever it is you should have your website there. People like to check out a business online before doing business with them.
Get Listed on Google Maps
According to Google’s statistics, around 60% of all searches are now done on mobile devices. Often it is when the searcher wants to locate a destination, usually a business. You want to be certain that your business is showing up in the right location on Google Maps. Here is how Google’s support says to do it:
1. Open Google Maps and make sure you’re signed in.
2. Zoom into the map where you want to add your business.
3. In the bottom right, click Send Feedback.
4. Click Add a missing place.
5. Drag the marker to where your business is, and add any relevant information.
6. Click Submit.
Depending on your local competition, you could show up in those mini-maps at the top of search results. At the very least, you will have a higher chance of showing up when they search for your business type on their mobile device.
Use an Offer or Marketing Edge
What does the Meta Description of your site say? This is the background text that search engines use in various ways, not just positioning in search results. The Meta Description or Meta Name is very important for a reason not really SEO related. Go to your website home page in your browser. With the cursor anywhere on the page, right-click and choose the “View Page Source” option.
You will see the background source code that makes up your page, including the basic Meta information describing the site. Here is where you will see something like this:
This text serves two main purposes for your search listing.
1. It serves as the text snippet that shows along with your site name in the search results. It carries more weight than random text on the page/site.
2. It is what searchers see in the listing and can entice them to click and go to your site.
Here is where you have a little SEO ability, but you really have some marketing power. How about changing the Meta Name tag to something more punchy that could deliver business? Maybe you want to grow your takeout business.
This is just an example of a business owner who realized that she saved overhead when people use takeout instead of occupying a table and using wait and cleanup staff services. The point is to make this text snippet both a good description and an irresistible offer they’ll see when they’re searching on their mobile device in your market area.
Instead of trying to “beat the game” with Google using black hat or temporary search engine gimmicks, get more traffic to your local business website using these methods and you’ll be happy with the results.