5 Reasons Local Businesses Should Be Utilizing SEO

It’s no secret that search engine optimization is a very powerful marketing tool in today’s world.  These days, almost every consumer does an online search before purchasing a product, so if a consumer comes across your product or service during their search, it can put you ahead of your competition. Here are five reasons you should be utilizing SEO to reach your local customers:

1. Easy Customers

When your get your business to the top of page one on search engines such as Google.com, Yahoo.com, and Bing.com it puts you directly in front of your target audience.  So if you have the time, manpower, and budget to aim at getting your website to page 1 on major search engines for specific keywords and key phrases, this can result in very easy conversions for your business.


2. Greater Brand Awareness

As a consumer, I can’t tell you how terrifying it can be when you go to search for a business online that you are considering purchasing from and you can’t find anything about them online.  Today, if a business has nothing online that you can find using search engines, that’s a big red flag to most consumers.  Even if you have a Facebook page or Twitter account that shows up in the search results, it’s better than nothing.

3. Low Cost

Search engine optimization is relatively low cost to actually do.  Most businesses (especially small businesses) don’t have the time available or manpower to not only LEARN SEO, but actually perform it on their own business website.  So it’s best to utilize SEO firms either locally or you can easily hire a firm online.  You can easily find a firm online (more than likely a firm overseas) who will charge you anywhere from $200-$900 per month for SEO services and usually they can provide a turn around time of 3-6 months depending on the competition for your key words and key phrases.

4. Get Ahead of Your Competition

Utilizing SEO is a great way to get ahead of your local competition.  For example, let’s say you operate a flower shop in Santa Monica.  If you can get your website to the top of page 1`on Google.com for “flowers Santa Monica”, “Santa Monica flowers”, “Santa Monica flower bouquets” – this automatically puts you ahead of your competition because any time a consumer searches for those key phrases, they are going to see YOUR website first.

5. Hitting Your Target Market

One of the best aspects of search engine optimization as a marketing strategy is the fact that you are targeting your audience HEAD ON.  With other forms of marketing such as direct mail or social media marketing, you market, market, market, with the hopes that you reach SOME of your target audience but wtih SEO, your target audience is in essence, searching for you.

5 On-Page SEO Steps for Your Website

If you aren’t already utilizing the powerful advertising strategy of search engine optimization, now is your chance to learn more about how you can begin a search engine optimization campaign for your website.

The first step is to complete ALL on-page search engine optimization first, and then once that is complete, you can begin the more involved steps of completely off-page tactics.  Here are five steps for you to follow to complete your on-page SEO steps:

Step 1:  Complete Title Tags

While some say that title tags and heading tags are no longer relevant, I’m a strong believer that they can’t hurt your SEO campaign.  So think of keywords and key phrases that users will be searching for in order to find your website.  Use these keywords and key phrases in the title tags, meta tags, and heading tags.

Step 2:  Create Meaningful Content

I’m a strong believer that just because you have an article that contains 27 of the keywords or key phrases for your website, if the article has no meaningful content, then it’s completely useless to the visitor.  You want to include keywords/key phrases (don’t over do it though – include about 5-10 keywords/key phrases per 500 words), and use these opportunities to show off your knowledge in your field.

Step 3:  Utilize Internal Linking

Linking to outside sources is a great way to improve your SEO rankings, but that is an off-page SEO tactic.  One on-page strategy that most don’t consider crucial is to link internally within your website.  This is a great way to improve your SEO campaign.  Link blog posts to other blog posts within your website.  Just ensure that none of the links are broken links, as this will harm your rankings.

Step 4:  Plan a Clean Navigational Structure

You want to aim to provide a clean looking website and that includes having it structured so that the visitors can easily navigate through it.  You want to have a menu at the top that is simple to understand and easy to navigate.  Keep your header menu as clean as possible, and any links that there isn’t room for in the header, you can put in the footer menu.  Don’t forget to create a Google XML Sitemap – VERY important for your SEO campaign and good for navigation.

Step 5:  Always Use Image Alt Tags

Many SEO professionals shrug off this task, but it’s KEY.  Using image alt tags is a huge issue because some visitors who have image-disablers on their browsers won’t be able to view images on your web page – therefore, they depend on the image alt tags to get an idea of what the web page is discussing.

Still not convinced you should be utilizing SEO as an advertising channel for your business?  Check out this blog post, 5 Reasons Local Businesses Should Be Utilizing SEO.