Are You Findable? Basic SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Samantha Robinson   •   January 31, 2018

SEO for Small Businesses

The permits are in place, the sign has finally been painted on the building, and the staff has been fully trained and is ready for the first customer. As a business owner, you’ve made sure to check off every little detail on your to-do list before opening your doors to the public. But how many of those items on your checklist pertained to your business’s digital presence? Ideally, any new business should have a robust social media, organic and local SEO strategy in place before the first customer even steps foot in the building. This, unfortunately, isn’t always the case.

At Reader Digital Agency, we’ve compiled a few key tips that any small business, new or existing, can use to become more findable on the internet:

1. Create and Verify Your Google My Business Profile

Your Google My Business profile is a free citation, or listing, through Google that allows your brick and mortar business to be found when people perform geomodified searches (search by location, such as “best pizza in San Diego”). According to Hubspot, 50% of local-mobile searchers are looking for information about a business, such as hours of operation or address. In order to appear in these search results, and capture these potential customers, a Google My Business profile must be created and verified. When you create a profile, you’ll be prompted to add your business name, website URL, hours of operation, and other basic information about your business. In order to verify your profile, and have it show up on Google Maps and in more search results, you can use two different methods, depending on your business’s industry. This video from Google explains each verification method:

2. Create Social Media Profiles

Even if you don’t plan on utilizing social media for your business, it’s still a good idea to at least claim usernames and URLs on the major social media sites. Like Google My Business listed above, social media sites can also act as directories, and can help increase your business’s findability when it comes to a wide range of searches. For consistency, it’s important to list the same business information on each of these sites (e.g. a full business name and not just a nickname). By creating social media profiles for your business and claiming usernames and vanity URLs, you also prevent competitors from snagging them up. Here’s a list of the top social media sites where we recommend you create profiles for your business:

3. Is Your Website Tired? It Might be Time for a NAP!

NAP is an abbreviation in the digital marketing industry that stands for “name, address, phone number” and every business’s website, unless it’s a service-area or virtual business, should have NAP information listed on it. Most people choose to designate a contact page for displaying NAP information. On this page, a business should have hours of operation listed, address, phone number, and a Google Map preview embedded. The simpler the layout, the easier it is for users, and Google, to read. Like with your Google My Business and social media profiles, consistent business information should be listed across all mediums. In reality, all of these digital marketing avenues are connected, and if one of these items lists incorrect or out-of-date information, it can signal to search engines that something is wrong and decrease the searchability of your business.

While these three simple tips can help ensure your business’s digital presence is off to a great start, there are many other local, search engine optimization, and social media optimizations you can do to catapult your business’s website and local listing to the top of search results. At Reader Digital Agency, we specialize in both basic and advanced SEO practices, and can help local businesses at any stage in the process. It’s never too late to improve your web presence, and we’re happy to help! Contact us today: (619) 235-3000.