Lead Generation

Lead Generation, Small Business SEO, Targeted Traffic — By on January 8, 2012 12:00 am

Once you have a website for your small business, the next step is making sure people find it.  These days, potential customers primarily find businesses online through search engines.  You know how this works—after all, you probably visit Google.com at least once or twice every day, right?

Well, potential customers do too… and when they search for businesses in your industry, your company better show up near the top of the results!  How do you make sure this is the case?  The answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is the process of optimizing and promoting your website so that it shows up high in search engine results for your keywords.  For instance, if you own a carpet cleaning company in Philadelphia, you want your website to show up high in the results of a search for “carpet cleaning Philadelphia” and similar keywords and phrases.  Unfortunately, SEO professionals can often be very expensive… so what is a small business owner supposed to do?  Below are some SEO methods that don’t cost a dime:

1)      Make sure your keywords appear on your website.  You cannot expect to do well in search engine rankings for your keywords and phrases if those keywords do not appear on your site.  If an important key phrase for your company is “Chicago hair salon”, that phrase should appear prominently on your site!

2)      Create a blog.  Search engines look for content, and a blog is a great way to produce lots of content!  You can create a blog for free through sites like WordPress.com and Blogger.com—just make sure that you include links back to your website.

3)      Exchange links with other websites.  The number of links pointing back to your site is important for SEO—but it’s critical that the links are from reputable sites.  Browse the internet looking for websites that would be of interest to your website visitors (and vice versa), and email the owner of the site proposing to exchange links.

4)      Create Social Media profiles.  At a minimum, your company should have a Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn account.  Each of these profiles should contain links back to your website.  As we discussed above, links to your site are very important—and Social Media profiles are a great way to get free links.

Search Engine Optimization is critical for small business owners—after all, if potential customers cannot find your website, they are not going to visit it.  The above tips will help you improve the search engine rankings for your website, which will lead to more traffic… and ultimately more business.

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