This is a guest post contribution by Joel Cordle.
Running any business be it local or global is hard and we need to make sure that we attract new customers besides keeping the existing ones. Keeping your website and its content fresh and updated can be a daunting task sometimes. And, most of the times your SEO might need a serious makeover which you have been hesitant about due to a myriad of reasons ranging from finance to lack of time.
According to Yodle’s research 80 percent of US customers are into local businesses and this usage is more than their utilization of national chains.
Yodle’s data gives you a fair idea about what consumers want from these local businesses and if you follow the listed tips below, in no time you will see that you are giving a stiff competition to your competitors and attracting more and more clients to your website.
#1. Make Your Website Easy To Use
You need to check if your metadata is error-free or not before you advertise your website through various online channels. Also, see to it that your website sticks to the Google Webmaster guidelines. Know that meta descriptions and page titles are a part of on-site optimization and the latter should definitely cover the name of your business and a few keywords that will help your clients to find you.
#2. Research Keywords
Here, you need to understand the language that your customers use when they are searching for something. In an excel sheet, note down all the keywords that you think are important. Focus on specific terms and don’t worry about Google not recognizing them. Google is much smarter than what you give it credit for and it very easily identifies terms which are related to one another.
#3. Get your Business on Google Local
Google+ Local is an important technique which you need to put into action because it helps in your interaction with customers and provides you more exposure. These days’ people mostly search for businesses online and adding your business and information and website there will surely get you noticed.
#4. Optimize your Social profiles
Do not just stop at Google plus because there are other social media sites where you can get attention from potential customers. Say for instance you create a business page in Facebook to get more work. What you need to do is group it in the local business category and include important information like your location, name of your business and a URL link to your website.
Also, if you can convince people to check in, then the chances of your page appearing in the top search list of Facebook increases.
#5. Analyze and monitor your results
AWR Cloud is one of the tools which will help you to keep track of your keywords and Moz Insights is one of the best tools out there which will guide you in monitoring your website’s rank. Make sure that you don’t forget Google Analytics as it is one of the most reliable tools out there to examine the organic traffic and note down its improvement.
If possible, get a review monitoring tool too to assess your shortcomings. If you are in the right direction and are using these tools correctly, you will see that your traffic rate has gone up by leaps and bounds.
#6. Ask your customers to provide positive reviews
Do not make the mistake of including fake reviews in your website because sooner or later your customers will find out. And, since it is a question of ethics here, you need to be extra careful. Be patient and produce quality services, and you will see reviews coming your way sooner than later.
#7. Email Customers to Keep the Business Top of Mind
Do not take your current customers for granted. Keep in touch with them through email and remind them about deals and discounts that you are currently offering, give them news about fresh products launch and other helpful information which will encourage them to stay with you. Research says most customers prefer to interact through mails and so make sure that you keep them satisfied because it would benefit you in the end.
#8. Social Media
A great way to market your business online is to spread the word about your goods and services through various social networking sites. These are sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google plus, Foursquare, etc.
The biggest advantage of doing this is not only exposure to new clients but also getting to interact with them at absolutely no cost. Start with your friends and family, and invite them to like and follow your page and gradually ask others to check out your social media page.
#9. Use Images and Videos
Your website will be ten times more attractive if you include videos and relevant images there. Also, this convinces your potential clients that you are a genuine business owner and they do not need to worry about any fishy business while dealing with you. Make sure that the images are not only relevant but also attractive and unique in their own way.
As far as the videos are concerned, hire a professional to teach you the ropes of this mode of communication.
#10. Don’t indulge in Online Arguments
Sometimes businessmen get touchy if they see a customer reviewing them in a negative manner or arguing with them about a particular product. Even if you don’t like the tone of the customer, never lose your temper and always be tactful while dealing with them because tact and diplomacy shows that you are a true professional and mature enough to handle a business.
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