As a twenty-first century entrepreneur, you know that your potential customers and clients need to be able to find you online if you want to succeed. In today’s digital world, if you aren’t searchable, you might as well not be in business, which is why so many business owners are spending a lot of time, effort, and money on SEO (search engine optimization). So what can you do to improve your business’ search rankings when your potential customers go to Google to find businesses like yours?

LIST YOUR BUSINESS WITH SEARCH ENGINES

You can get free online business listings through Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places. Ensure that you have a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) in every listing you make online and that you have the same NAP on your website and social media sites, as well.

Listing your business with these sites and then listing it with review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List will help you get more hits on local searches conducted on mobile devices. This can have an immediate and direct impact on customers choosing your business over others in the area. Having consistent listings across all of your online presences will “convince” Google that you are a real business, so make sure that you don’t overlook any typos or changes of address and phone number when you set your listings.

POPULATE YOUR SITE WITH QUALITY CONTENT

Next, Google and other search engines still find results with keywords, but you cannot ensure that you’ll show up in the results just by adding a bunch of keywords to your website’s content. Google’s algorithms have been changed to do what’s called a semantic search. This means that the search engine looks for quality content that will help users, and keyword stuffing simply won’t work.

So, instead of just trying to fit keywords in wherever you can, populate your site with quality content that includes keywords, relevant places, and details whenever they work naturally.

CREATE A BLOG

One of the best ways to do this is to start a blog on your website that covers topics about your niche or industry that your customers will be interested in reading about. Don’t just talk about your products or the deals you have going on right now, either. Include relevant information and links to quality sources. Also, Google and other search engines prioritize pages with videos and images over pages that only have text, so it makes sense to include more media whenever you can.

HONE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING SKILLS

Search engines have also begun looking for social media activity to get their results, as well. If you have active Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts, you may rise higher in the rankings when people search for keywords related to your business.

Just like with your blog, you’ll want to post relevant and entertaining or informative information in your social media posts, as well as advertisements for your products or services. The more engaged you are with your audience, the more Google and other engines will take note.

EMBED A GOOGLE MAP ON YOUR SITE

Embedding a Google map of your location on your “Contact Us” page will not only give your customers a convenient map to find you, but it will also tell Google that you’re actually located at the address you supplied in your listing. This will further help you rise in search results.

With these five tips, you should notice a significant improvement in your business’ search rankings, and you should notice more traffic to your site and more activity on social media, as well.

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