It’s no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for garnering greater visibility for your small business website and other Internet marketing efforts. As well-established a practice as SEO is, however, many entrepreneurs may still wonder if they’re realizing its full potential.
Charlè-John Cafiero, President and CEO of New York City-based CJC Strategists, and an expert in emerging strategies, says that while the sophistication of search engines continues to grow, small business owners need to give them some help in order to get “found.”
“You need a clear description of who you are, what you do, and where you do it,” Cafiero says. “And you need consistency. Develop key descriptive words and phrases for use in your blog, your website—all your communications. Together, they’ll create the viral reaction you’re looking for.”
Cafiero notes that a common misperception about SEO is that simply sharing links is enough. “You need those key phrases plus compelling content,” he says. “Educate customers with things that are important to them. And, make it two-way conversation. Encourage feedback by posing interesting questions and discussions. Otherwise, people won’t want to share it.”
Entrepreneurs should also be up to date on the continuing evolution of SEO, which includes local searches and the growing use of mobile devices. The starting point here, Cafiero says, is to see how your website or blog looks on a smartphone.
“Lots of sites use Flash, which doesn’t show up on all smart phones and iPads,” he cautions. “Also, take advantage of mobile services and apps. Investigate them, see what works, and pass them along to customers. And if you have brick-and-mortar store, make sure you’re on new Google Local.”
And while there are a host of SEO professionals who can help a small business develop and fine-tune an SEO strategy, much of the effort is still up to the small business owner.
“Do your homework so you can accurately tell these professional about you, the type of business you have, and your objectives,” Cafiero says. “That’s the only way they can do things that will really benefit your business.”
To learn more about how SEO and other technology trends affect your small business marketing strategy, contact Raleigh SCORE. We provide free, confidential business mentoring and training workshops to small business owners. To schedule a free appointment with our experienced counselors, go to http://raleigh.score.org, or call us at 919-856-4739.