In my last blog post, I talked about where a new business should begin with on-site SEO. However, on-site alone will only make you a player in the game. There are many more strategies and tactics when it comes to ranking well in search engines. In this week’s post, I will discuss the steps a new business should take for off-site SEO tactics.
Make Sure You Have a Local Address and Phone Number
Now, you might think that having a local address and phone number wouldn’t affect your website’s SEO, but it sure does. It is actually one the biggest factors when it comes to getting your website to show up in local search results. For many businesses obtaining a local address is easy, because it is the location of your business building. However, if you share the same building with multiple different businesses, make sure to include your suite number on your website and on all your citations across the web. Getting a local phone number for your business is important too. You don’t want to associate your Grand Rapids area business with a Detroit, Michigan area code.
Creating and verifying your Google My Business (GMB) listing is especially important in SEO. A GMB listing helps your business show up in the map results and lists your business information on the right side of search results. You can learn how to verify your GMB listing here, but always make sure to include:
- Business name, address, and local phone number
- High-resolution, quality profile image and cover photo
- Business hours
- Categories for your business
- Reviews from past customers
Start Submitting Citations to Online Directories
Submitting your business to online directories is a great way to get your business information out on the web. This includes submitting your name, address, and phone number (NAP), email address, website URL, and all other important aspects of your business. Citations are an important factor in SEO because with more accurate citations you have on the web, it can help establish brand consistency and validity for a business. YellowPages, Whitepages, MapQuest and local Chamber of Commerce are all great places to list your business. Here is a full list of the major online directories.
Build Links to Your Website
Link building is one the most important tasks you’ll want to work on once your new website launches. The basic idea of link building is reaching out to other websites and getting them to place your website URL on theirs. However, there is strategy behind link building. You’ll want to reach out to websites that relate to your business and have a good trust flow and citation flow. The more quality links you have pointing to your website, the better chance you’ll have at ranking at the top of search results. Websites with a low trust/citation flow can actually hurt your rankings.
Acquire Online Reviews
Now more than ever, online reviews are playing a big role in SEO. Reviews can help improve organic and map rankings for local SEO. A business that has many positive reviews will typically rank better than their competitors because Google finds credibility and trust with that business when compared to one that has no reviews or bad ratings. Business reviews are available on many different platforms such as Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Yelp. An effective way to ask past customers for reviews is to send them an email that links to your Google My Business page that asks them what they thought of your business services.
Get Active on Social Media
Not only are social media platforms a way to connect with your audience, but they can also better help you rank in search engines. Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many other social platforms are all indexed by Google. SEO and social media are two great partners in the world of search engine marketing, and incorporating both into your strategy can help your business overall.
Start a Company Blog on Your Website
This is more of an on-site SEO strategy, but is another effective step to take when starting a new website for your business. Creating a blog page for your website is a great way to deliver fresh, new content on your website – even if it is just once a month. Search engines like to see fresh content on websites because it shows that the website is active.