These days, we are well beyond the point of “having a website online will get you found.” This may have worked in 1996, when there was a printed listing of all the websites online; an early yellow pages for the web. Now there are billions of websites out there and most likely you and your competition have websites, so how do you stand out and get found?
Everyone says keywords are the key. Fact of the matter is, unless you have the resources of a million-dollar company; you can target a keyword all you want and you still probably won’t get found. For example, as a shredding or storage company common sense dictates that you would target “Shredding Service” or “Storage Units”; well to that I say good luck! Those keywords are not bad keywords to target. However, the search engines are going to pull results that rank nationally and internationally. This means unless you have a surplus of resources going into your search engine optimization plan you will still probably never be found. There is an immense amount of competition for generic keywords like “Shredding” or “Storage.”
At this point it is best to look at your clients or customers; are they local? How many travel more than a hundred miles to use your services? None? Very few? Does this mean you need to target a national audience? Absolutely not! You need to target a local audience. This means targeting cities and counties in your keyword strings. Instead of the aforementioned search terms that you may target try focusing on one city you want to increase your business in. Now that you’ve picked your city try working keyword strings into your website that utilize the city, as an example the previous keyword strings would become “Shredding Service Parkdale” or “Storage Units Parkdale”. Try focusing on a city that you’re not located in unless it is a larger city with lots of competition.
Make sure you are natural and don’t overstuff the keyword string into your website, but you’d be surprised how many places you can work it in throughout the website. Check to see where you sit now on Google for those keywords and then in a few weeks check again; you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. While there’s no guarantee you’ll be on the first page, it is much easier to generate high search engine rankings for local keyword strings than it is generic broad keyword terms. Yes, people do search locally! You’ve probably done it yourself and not realized it.
Another important feature of getting found is utilizing tools that help let Google know that your site is there. Make sure you install Google Analytics; it is going to help you track visitors to your site, keywords and a whole bunch of other useful information.
Lastly, setup a Google Places page for your business! You’ve probably seen the maps that show up on the first page with businesses listed beside it and wondered how do I get on that? Well here is your answer. Establish a Google Places page for your company and remember to utilize some of your keywords in it. Then ask some of your clients to go on the page to give you a positive review and rate it on Google Places. It will take some time, but before you know it you could be showing up on those maps.
These are very simple measures to implement that often have a profound effect on your ability to be found not only by Google but all of the major search engines including Bing, and Yahoo!