Why have I written this blog post? 100% of the time, when talking to business about increasing traffic to their website, the question of SEO and a “Google Presence” gets raised.
As a local business I definitely recommend setting up a google places account, or as it is now called “Google My Business”. It is completely free and can get you on the front page for local searches without too much effort. Go to https://www.google.com/business/ to set up your account.
Additionally as a local business with a well set up website you should be able to rank organically on local searches so there is no need to pay for SEO. For example with a combination of Google My Business, a great website and Facebook you could rank in three places on the first page for a local or targeted keyword search.
The challenge is ranking in competitive searches for example “Gippsland Accommodation”. You will find yourself competing against what I call the big boys, you will see in the attached screenshot the top searches for the google keyword search “Gippsland Accommodation”. Unless you have a large marketing budget forget it. The Google algorithm means these sites will always rank well. They have tons of content on their sites and people spend a large amount of time searching through the sites, which Google loves.
Which of course brings us back to Facebook as a powerful tool for small business. Through social networking you can get free advertising on Facebook, when you share your content on other relevant pages, or they share your content or even better, your audience engages and starts sharing your content.
According to Sensis: The uptake of social media by Australian businesses is still not as pronounced as for consumers. 33% of businesses have a social media presence compared with 68% of consumers which means more than twice as many consumers appear to be engaged with social media than businesses.
The social media space continues to offer real opportunities for businesses seeking to better engage with customers and potential customers however quite a few are missing out on this opportunity by not having any presence. Businesses using social media should have a strategy and invest the necessary time, money and resources implementing it and measuring its effectiveness to maximise the benefits for them and their stakeholders.