More people than ever are using the internet to find businesses, retrieve information, and research a business’ credibility. Being invisible in a web search is a huge weakness. With a little work, any business can boost its internet presence.
Here are 5 surefire ways to get your company found in web searches and boost your visibility in a few simple steps.
1. Google Yourself
The primary step to improving your ability to be found on the web is to first have a baseline understanding of your current position. First, type in the name of your business and see what pops up. If your company is not the very first listing, it really ought to be. Next, see what you find when you search your own name. Are you on the first page? Is the information about your business positive? Next, search keywords or phrases associated with your business. Are these key terms accessing searches to your page?
The abbreviated term N.A.P. stands for the three most important bits of information you absolutely must have online:
- Phone Number
Without these three pieces of vital information, your company will be extremely hard to find on the web. Be sure to include the name of your company, DBAs, and LLCs, as well as your own name and the names of any other business partners.
Without an address, the company may appear shady or fraudulent to skeptical, prospective customers. Also, it will be completely impossible for the advanced search algorithms to help searchers find you by proximity to their location. And unless you expect customers to walk through your doors or send you a letter through the mail, you had better have a phone number listed wherever possible.
You want to post as much information as possible to build a web of associations that search engines utilize when performing searches. Be sure this information is posted to every free site, directory and all over your webpages to maximize your ability to be found.
3. Know What You’re Up Against
There is no rule that says you can’t check out your competition. Spend some time researching your competitors. Browse the pages of the other listings that appear in your web searches from step 1 above. Note appearances, ease of navigation and usefulness of content. Understanding what your customers are seeing will even the playing field when you work to develop your web presence. You may even find that you had competition you never even knew existed.
4. Shop for an SEO Provider
If you choose to use an SEO provider to boost your Google rating, be absolutely sure to shop around. Prices providers charge are all over the board and can range greatly. By discussing what different companies offer and what they charge, you will be able to develop a better idea of what you need as well as what kind of results you can expect. Be sure that you are not being gouged on price.
Also, all SEO providers are not created equal. Ask in-depth questions to be sure that you will be getting your money’s worth for their service. Be sure to ask if they use original content or recycled work. How often will content be refreshed? Do they track results?
5. Increase Your Web Vocabulary
In order to successfully maximize your SEO and really boost your ability to be searched, you will have to be sure that you are using the right terms. When it comes to SEO, you need to be sure that you are utilizing industry specific keywords and using them a lot. Note: some search engines penalize for “spamming.” Be conscientious about this in your Search Engine Optimization.
Many companies don’t take advantage of common words, of which they may not normally think. This is the disadvantage of “being on the inside looking out.” It is important to take a step outside and brainstorm terms less familiar with your industry. There are probably dozens of terms people will use to search for services your business provides. A more advanced tactic is to use hidden script on your website, which includes the keywords you have already identified, but misspell them. You’ll want to be sure to keep these invisible because misspellings are ghastly when representing your company. Nobody is perfect. Some potential customers who commonly search the web will likely misspell a word every now and then. Take advantage of this. Your competition may not have thought of this strategy.
Your marketing budget is intended to boost your company’s visibility. If you don’t have the budget for optimal internet marketing, discover the necessary pathways searchers need to find you, and do it yourself. Find a book or tutorial, which will enable you to quickly and affordably boost your internet presence. It will be time and money well spent. The closer to the top of any internet search page your site is, the more customers you will attract, and the more credible your company will appear. So get Googling!
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.