December 17, 2014
Search engine optimization can help build your authority as an industry expert.
By Maureen McCabe
This past October, Christine Muschi interviewed me for a Globe and Mail article about hotel rewards cards and how they can help small business owners save money. As a small business owner myself, saving money is of utmost importance to me, so I have indeed used hotel rewards to reduce my travel expenses when visiting clients and attending conferences.
I’m always enthusiastic to be interviewed in the media, since I know the impact this type of exposure can have when it comes to small business marketing. I was pleased to be approached by the journalist to add my two cents to her piece — but, of course, I wanted to know how she had found me! The answer? She simply Googled one of my top business keywords, “small business marketing company,” and found my website!
I took this as clear evidence of my success when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). The journalist had been looking for small businesses to interview, and I was able to put her in touch with some of my clients to assist with her piece. It was a win-win situation for both of us.
This just goes to show you that an SEO strategy not only brings potential new customers to your website, but it can also bring in other opportunities you may not have even thought of! In this case, SEO gave me an opportunity to build my authority as an expert in Toronto’s small business marketing space.
Had my website not ranked well for this important keyword, I may have never been found. If your site isn’t ranking well for your industry’s most competitive keywords, who knows what kind of opportunities you are missing. Over the past few years, my SEO efforts have been focused on improving my rankings for my top business keywords. Here’s how:
Developing a Customer Persona
Who exactly is your target customer? Carefully defining your ideal client is a really essential part of your overall marketing efforts. In my case, it’s a small business owner in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who requires consultation on their marketing strategy. Think carefully about who it is you would like to reach so you can start targeting your website towards these people.
Choosing the Right Keywords
Your SEO strategy should begin by choosing the right keywords to focus on. Think about how your ideal customer base might be searching for you. Are they searching for you locally? What words do they use to describe your business? What keywords are your competitors using? This is an excellent starting point to get thinking about the keywords you should be incorporating into your business website.
Next, use a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to find out how many people in your area are searching for those terms. Read this recent blog post for a guide to getting started with the Keyword Planner.
High-Quality Content, Optimized Content
Once your keywords have been identified, put them to good use on your business website. Take the time to create great content on your home page, service or product pages, and blog posts that incorporate these keywords in a natural way, without trying to stuff too many in. Don’t forget about each page’s title tags and meta descriptions — you’ll definitely want to make sure your keywords are there, front and centre.
For more small business marketing and SEO tips, check out these posts:
Free Canadian Business Directory Guide
Using a Keyword Search Tool to Create Great Blog Post Ideas
Small Business Marketing Tips: Is it Possible to Get a First-Page Google Ranking?
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