I assumed that everyone knows how important a website is to any business’s online marketing strategy. Whether your target market is local or global, you absolutely must have an online presence to reach potential buyers. But strangely enough, my assumption was wrong! According to a recent survey, provided by 1&1 Internet, up to 40% of small-to-medium sized businesses still don’t have a website.
Even if you think you have it covered because you’re on a few social media platforms, operating without a website is just insane. A website is the foundation of your online marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking to create your first website, or feel your existing site just isn’t getting the job done, I’d like to provide you with a solid strategy so you know what it takes to develop a powerful, producing website.
Getting Found: Building Your Inbound Links
Off-Page SEO is all about building as many inbound links to your site as possible. Search engines measure how many sites have links to your site, so they can establish the page authority of your site. The more inbound links you have, the more important your site must be, therefore helping you to rank higher.
You’re probably thinking, “So where do I start to accomplish this?” I’m a firm believer in going after the rulers of the jungle. Since Google is the undisputed ring leader I suggest starting with G+, and then working your way around using the example I’ve prepared below.
Where To Begin Building
In this article, I’ve only listed 9 platforms for you to begin to establish your Off-Page SEO strategy, and for a very good reason. That reason is because I want you to get your business profiles setup completely on each of these platforms. To do it properly could very well take you 20+ hours. It’s about quality, not quantity.
This is where I see many businesses and organizations fail horribly. If you take the time to completely setup each of these platforms your web presence will rank in the Top 10%, keeping you from falling into the abyss with the other 90%!
Think of your Google+ page as your brand hub. Your page, along with your profile image and recent posts, is eligible to show on the right-hand side of their search results when relevant to a customerâ€™s search. Relevant posts can also show up within search results for your page’s followers.
YouTube holds a powerful authority in the eyes of search engines. And if you regularly upload new videos, by creating a channel and target your niche, chances are that your videos will start popping up in search engine result pages. Video raises the likely hood of user engagement by 120%, versus text. Bear in mind, 100 million people take action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week.
List your business on Bing. Use Bing Business Portal to claim your listing and be found on Bing for free. Stand out from the competition by including compelling online content such as photos and logos. Add your business hours, services, and other relevant information.
Just like Bing, listing your business with Yahoo adds one more path to your destination, your website, increasing the certainty that it will be found. Display your website, URL, hours of operation, phone number. Add descriptive info about your business services or products.
People are talking and sharing their thoughts online, and if you’re not responding when they are talking about your industry, you are simply out of the loop. Having a presence on Facebook, weâ€™re talking about a Facebook Business Page, will put you where the conversations are happening. Facebook is fast becoming the preferred communication channel for an ever growing number of people. According to Pew Internet, 67% of online adults say they use Facebook. Do you think some of these might be potential customers?
LinkedIn is a fantastic way to promote your business online and connect with other professionals. There are over 160 million professionals using it every day. LinkedIn offers a great opportunity to reach people who are already interested in your business.
Twitter is a useful way to build relationships with people or businesses you normally wouldn’t communicate with. Useful connections can include customers, journalists and industry experts. With the right mix of messages, you can build up a reputation of being an expert in your industry.
Having a Citysearch listing is another must have, to enhance your online listing visibility. Citysearch reviews are fully searchable on all the major search engines. Over 4 million users per month utilize this service.
I would consider Yelp to be the dominant force of all the social review sites out there. Over 20 million people have posted reviews about various businesses using Yelp and 3rd party reviews. Reviews can be a very powerful persuader when it comes to making a decision about using any company.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here. If you find yourself overwhelmed by these tasks, or struggling with any particular component, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer a FREE first time consultation to help guide you in the right direction.
In Part II, we’ll be covering your On-Page SEO strategy.