Who loves to eat? Everyone loves to eat! What a silly question.
Let’s say you and your friends are on vacation and you’re looking for a hamburger restaurant. You saw a McDonalds down the road, but you want real food so you head to Google.
Assuming your phone doesn’t freeze (like it always does when you need something), your search for “restaurant hamburger” is likely to bring up numerous options scattered across town. You’re hungry and a 21st century consumer, so you’re unlikely to scroll past the top five or six listed on the page.
In fact, it’s likely those at the bottom didn’t even cross your mind. They go as unnoticed as a guy selling umbrellas in the Sahara Desert.
Online businesses and startups are all competing for those coveted spots and the only people likely to scroll and scroll till they find your business are your mother and grandmother, and maybe not even them!
But how do you make sure you're able to drive traffic to your website so your online business gets noticed? How can you make it stand out in a crowd?
How can you ensure your business lands on the front page of any search engine?
Make a Google Business Page
Google My Business, actually a business page and not a command, is your first step to drive traffic to your website and make your business legitimate and noticeable.
It’s going to make your business pop out locally while also providing the key information like the phone number, website, hours, location and more. It will also make it easy to update any information as well.
See where this is going? It’s about making it e-a-s-y for any consumer.
The best part is, it’s completely free and serves as a compliment to your business. It doesn’t replace your website nor is it a be-all, end-all tool for your business. Think of it like a digital business card that you’re handing out freely to any internet user.
If your business is long in the tooth but you’ve never made an account, don’t sweat it. If you start sweating, that’s OK. Your business likely has a page but all you have to do is claim it.
Even though you may not realize it, the advertising game is changing. Growing up, everyone had a TV in their living room. Maybe one in the dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and shower (why?) as well. Nowadays, more and more people are ditching cable and the TV altogether.
What does this mean for advertising and putting your business out there? Less and less people are turning to traditional advertisements. But don’t you worry… there’s a better way to do ads anyways! One of the fastest growing ad outlets is social media, and it is much more cost effective.
THE FUTURE IS NOW!
Having a social media strategy is incredibly important for any business owner. Once again, creating a social media page is free which means you’ll be putting your business in front of thousands of eyeballs for almost nothing. And what will that do? Drive traffic to your website for free!
Many businesses find a social media manager to provide and monitor feedback, update social media pages, and look for ways to promote the business.
You’ll want to keep your page updated so it keeps attracting people. That means posting information about sales, links to your online store, relevant articles and more. The more interaction you have, the better.
Playing the Search Game
Let’s go back to our first example of searching for hamburger restaurants (i.e. not McDonald’s). Have a look in your city, village, metropolis, or planet and see which places pop up first.
Taking a look at one of America’s fastest growing cities, Nashville, and their selection of burger places.
One of the first things you may notice, besides all the burgers looking delicious, is that all of the places have tons of reviews, ranging from 800-4,000. One of the ways to up your search relevance is by encouraging people to leave reviews online.
Now this will take plenty of time and is not done overnight, but it’s part of playing the long game.
Secondly, all of these restaurants have their own Google My Business page, where they can interact with customers and update information.
Another reason these restaurants show up is because they’re all practicing solid SEO, by making their domain names relative and using smart keywords on their page descriptions.
That means using location, city name, what they do, etc. on their page so Google and other search engines locate them quickly and easily, which will drive traffic to your website.
We all know the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day but it crumbled quite quickly when the 5th century AD came around” or something like that.
The last tip isn’t going to help boost you to the top immediately but it’s an important guideline to follow. Being patient and level-headed is important for making sure your business maintains its online presence and relevance for the foreseeable future.
Even practicing all the above tips perfectly isn’t going to change your website’s ranking or visibility overnight. Just stay the course and be positive as you watch your business climb up the front page and start bringing in that valuable google traffic!
Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m a freelance writer and small business coach living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
I love small businesses (backbone of America!), helping them setup processes for customer support and growth, and working on creative marketing messaging.
I have always loved to write, so now I am combining the passion for entrepreneurship with my love of writing to build my own small business!