These days, not having a website for your small business is unthinkable especially if you are looking to grow your company. Even small local businesses have an online presence and it can be hugely beneficial to harness the power of a well constructed and executed marketing strategy to boost the online profile. Obtaining a high position in the search engine rankings is the goal of many businesses but achieving it can be fraught with difficulties. Being in control of your own content is key and there is so much you can do to ensure that it has a very positive effect on your brand, even if all you want is to promote yourself to a local audience.
A good way to start is to have a domain name that includes your business name, perhaps the type of business and where it is located. Use common sense, do not have a domain name that is so long it take ages to type in or that could be confusing, if possible, short and snappy. When setting up your site, make sure that you include a map showing your location so that people can find you easily. You might like to include information such as parking or public transport links, this can make it an easier decision for prospective customers to visit you if they know they can get there easily.
Making use of local business directories is essential but do ensure that you choose sites that are relevant to your niche, do not be tempted to add your business to a directory that specialises in particular businesses that have got nothing in common with yours. Spend some time choosing carefully and then when your business is listed, update the details when necessary and delete any duplicate pages. Ensure that all details are correct, so your company’s name, address and telephone number, also, your website URL and email address need to be accurate. Mistakes here could be very costly indeed.
Make use of social media to enhance your brand and also to interact with people. Many local businesses have used several social media platforms very successfully to obtain new customers, so think about the social media your existing customers use and harness that power. Twitter, Facebook Pinterest and so on can be a great friend to local business. You might be able to offer discounts or coupons to people who wish to do business with you on a particular day or time, depending on the type of business you run. For example, if you run a cafe, you might want to provide an offer during a known quiet time of the day, this could increase custom by a significant amount and you won’t have that ‘dead’ time.
Whilst we are talking about social media, encourage and respond to reviews left online. People are interested in reviews and how you respond can make a big difference to whether they choose to use your services or buy from you. So, if you get a negative review, try to turn it into a positive, why was the customer dissatisfied, how could your company have done better, is there anything that would make up for the shortcomings? It is actually very important to be proactive when it comes to reviews, if someone is particularly glowing, thank them.
Make use of media coverage that includes your local business, this can result in a positive impact on your business standing and the search results. If your business is involved with any local events or charitable functions, make sure the press knows about the event so that it is covered. Press releases are another string to your bow, use these when you have important news to share. Any PR efforts can result in a higher ranking as well as boosting your company’s reputation.
A game-changer is about to hit the social marketing world. Well-known blogs are claiming that beacons are going to be a revolutionary way for customers to search. In fact, Search Engine Watch is even calling 2020 “The Year of the Beacon.” They are predicting this is going to be a major change in searching function and capability, so it is definitely important for us to start talking about how this might impact SEO strategy. It got me thinking: Are beacons going to be as influential as they sound?
What are Beacons? Before we start talking about how Beacons are going to change SEO in the coming years, we might want to address what they are and how they work. Beacons are small, Bluetooth-enabled hardware devices that are installed in physical locations. Beacons can be used by any brand, business, or institution to set up notifications for those who “op in” and want to be alerted by that institution directly on their phone (via Bluetooth).
What do beacons cost? Beacons are low-cost and can be purchased for as low as $30, which is really great for businesses looking to implement them into their marketing strategy. They are also small and can easily fit on a counter/desk or can be mounted on a wall.
Where can Beacons be used? The possibilities of where Beacons can be used are endless, but some examples include retail stores, airports, events, restaurants, festivals, and even entire cities. The sky is the limit with purpose and location, but the important aspect is that they are tied to a physical locale. They silently broadcast a message to any Bluetooth-enabled devices in their proximity. One of our past articles said it perfectly when they claimed that Beacons are like “a lighthouse with text.”
How might a business use a Beacon? Let’s take, for example, a store that is having a sale. If a customer with a Bluetooth enabled device were to walk past the store, they could receive a notification about the promotion with the details. This is kind of like an advertisement that directly pops up on the consumer’s phone. This sounds like a pretty great way to gain access to passers-by or market to customers in your immediate location, right? Well, the truth is that there are some obstacles that need to be overcome before this takes off, but more on that later.
Let’s turn to how Beacons can directly impact your online marketing and SEO strategy.
How Beacons Could Impact Your SEO Strategy
- More Ratings: People seem to like the concept of Beacons and have rated the app highly. Since many businesses have not implemented Beacons yet, you could be one of the first, and this could bode well for things like business ratings, which of course, positively impacts your SEO.
- Website Landing: Since Beacons give you the ability to reach out via Bluetooth, they also give you the opportunity for more people to land on your website or content-related pages. This boost in new visitors will certainly increase your landings and help your overall standing with Google.