Top 8 things every small business should do, but doesn’t

I’m just payin’ some bills with these ads

Each and everyday I talk to business owners that have not done the basics to be successful online, yet they say to me “I show up on Google.”  I’ve got news for you – NO YOU DON”T!  The really sad thing is, most of “the basics” are FREE.

If you Google your name, and you don’t OWN the homepage of Google, you are NOT doing it right.  If you can’t even show up for your own name, what the hell makes you think you are showing up for keyword searches related to your industry?  If you are not showing up for keywords related to your industry – you are missing a lot of your business opportunities!

 Take, for example, “Denver Dustless.”  They are a hardwood flooring company in Denver Colorado (and a long time client).  Check out this screenshot when I searched their name.  I didn’t even put the city they are located in into my search.  This is highly relevant because Google uses the searchers physical location to determine the results they show.  Since I’m located in Gig Harbor, WA, a search for Denver Dustless (without their city entered) could have potentially showed me no relevant results as there is not a Denver Dustless anywhere near my physical location.  But it didn’t – DENVER DUSTLESS STILL OWNED THE FIRST PAGE! 

Running an AdWords Campaign?  

If you own the first page when you search your name – you don’t have to bid on your business name in your AdWords campaign.

Now take a look at what happened when I searched “Denver Dustless” but with the city the business is located in. Notice anything different?  The top 4 results are all pages from their actual website!

Are you a “word of mouth” business?  Then you definitely better own the first page of Google when someone searches your name.  If you don’t, the competition will be showing up for your name, and YOU ARE LOSING BUSINESS!  

Are you paying to drive business to your website?  Then you better own the first page of Google when someone searches your name because if you don’t – someone else does.  Especially if the main keyword for your industry is in your name, I.E. “Bill’s Plumbing”.  I guarantee your competitors are showing up for your business name search.

8 things you should have done by now:

I don’t know why it is that business owners don’t do the things on this list, but they just don’t. The fact that you are reading this should give you a leg up on your competition, because if you do these things, YOU WILL INCREASE YOUR WEB TRAFFIC.

  1. Build a QUALITY website
    • A Quality Website does not have to cost you a fortune, but you also should not go with the cheapest person out there.
    • Do not just focus on how the site looks – often the people who build the prettiest looking sites don’t code it properly.  Find someone that can make it look good and code it right.
    • Basic coding should include, at a minimum, appropriate title tags, heading tags, image alt tags, page names that match the subject, and relevant content.
  2. Install Google Analytics – and regularly look at the reports
    • This a free software that most business owners never look at.  You can see your visitors, where they come from, how long they were on your website and a ton of other valuable information.
  3. Install Google Webmaster tools – and link it to your Google analytics
    • Another Free software that provides insights into your website performance.  What keywords does Google see when it looks at your page, errors, dead links, sitemaps etc.  A must do for anyone that cares about their website’s performance
  4. Claim your Google Listing
    • Again – totally free.  Notice the information about Denver Dustless on the right side of those screenshots?  Valuable info like phone number, hours, pictures all right there on the first page of Google?  If a customer clicks on the Google Listing, they will see pictures, video’s, a short description about the business and what it does – ALL TOTALLY FREE to list on Google.
  5. Setup a Facebook Page – and keep it active
    • Completely free to setup.  You should be asking EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER to “like” your Facebook page, to “plus one” your Google Business Page (aka listing), and to leave you a review on Google.  This will help you immensely.
  6. Claim your Yelp Listing and add info to it.
    • Referrals from Yelp may not be in the thousands per month, but I have regularly seen that visitors who find your website through yelp convert at a much higher percentage than visitors from either Organic or Paid traffic.
  7. REGULARLY add content to your website
    • Now that you have a website – add a page or two per quarter.  Google Love’s content that changes and is current.  Your business will not be the same in 2 years – neither should your website, since it represents your business.
  8. Advertise your website and TRACK the advertising
    • If you Advertise – watch your reports like a hawk.  One of the things that large Pay Per Click companies like Dex Media, Hibu, and Reach Local do to ensure your budget is spent is they will bid on your business name.  I just showed you 5 things you can do to OWN THE FIRST PAGE of Google for a search of your business name.  There is no reason to pay for clicks on your business name.

Short on time?

See just how INEXPENSIVE it can be to OWN THE FIRST PAGE of Google when someone searches your name.

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