Search engine marketing is often thought to be the sole preserve of the market’s biggest players.
We mistakenly assume that’s it’s only the established players in the market that have the time, inclination and budgets to promote their enterprises online.
However, there’s room for everyone in this game.
Even start-ups and small enterprises can make search engine optimisation work for them. You don’t need massive budgets either: all you need is the inclination to build your online presence and a few helpful tips to point you in the right direction. So to that end, here are 3 basic search engine marketing tips that can help even the smallest business build or enhance their presence on the web; keyword research, page title and Meta descriptions and blogging.
We know this has become a mantra amongst marketers and can be irritating, but finding and using the right keywords is critical, and will determine whether you get noticed or not. Keywords and keyword phrases are the essential building blocks that small businesses should be constructing their websites around. They are what drives the search engines, and are the essence of what customers are looking for. If you’ve got a pretty good idea of what keywords you want to use, then it’s worthwhile checking these on Google AdWords, and weighing what sort of competition you face. The most popular ones in your niche market will probably be taken by those businesses with the largest budgets, so try to refine your own keywords so they are unique, or as close as possible to unique.
The aim is to make your search term crop up as regularly as possible on the search engines, so put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what terms they’re likely to search for. If your business is predominantly local, you’ll also need to hone your keywords for locality by giving them a geo-location.
Page titles and Meta descriptions: what are they all about?
Every small business needs to ensure that every page on its website is unique and deals with one subject only. Google and the other search engines frown on duplication. However, unique page content also has another advantage: by avoiding duplicated content you’ll make it easier for the searcher to find the precise information they want, and also make it easier for the search engines to index your pages. Stick with the tried and trusted formula of a home page, about us page and services pages and keep the content of each of these separate.
Obviously you can have as many pages as you want, but the same rules will always apply. You’ll also need to write a page title and Meta Description for each page. These should be unique and include a summary of the content as well as a keyword or two from your research.
Blogging and content marketing.
The final step you’ll need to take is to start writing short informative articles, using your chosen keywords, and the share them with customers, friends, colleagues, and anyone who you feel might find them useful. The important thing is that this content will have to be unique, fresh, and importantly, relevant to your particular business. You might love sport of all kinds, but if you’re promoting an online delivery service, then your interests are hardly relevant.
If you’re struggling for ideas, start with simple subjects like how using your products can improves the quality of people’s lives, what makes your products better than anyone else’s, or even tell the customers a little about your business: what it does and what each member of staff does with his or her day.
Blogging is a valuable marketing tool, and will bring your business to the attention of potential customers and the search engines. People will not only directly pass the information (and thus, your website details) onto other potential customers, but the process will also produce a ‘trail’ of links and content across the internet that can further increase your website’s rank in Google’s results