It’s easy to let the year slip past you. When you have to run your business, it might be difficult to keep track of everything you need to do, and sometimes the SEO for your website stays on the backburner. Suddenly, it’s the holidays. For most businesses, this is the busiest and most competitive time of the year. After Halloween, your search rankings are becoming a priority, but you haven’t had a chance to work on them at all in 2016! What are you supposed to do?
The first thing to note is, unless you’re lucky, you will not be able to set up a strategy to have your website jump from the bottom of page two to the top of page one. That will have to wait until 2017. What you can do is use tricks for some quick results to keep the boat afloat. Think of this like shopping for Christmas gifts on December 23rd. Finding anything decent will make the trip worth it.
Switch up your Keywords
When you have a whole year ahead of you, you can set up a budgeting strategy for the higher ranked keywords. At the end of the year, spending a ton of money puts you in competition with larger companies that have already made their place for the next couple of months. Instead of trying to rank high for a search like “General Contractor,” lead into something more specific like “Second Floor Contractor Miami,” or just “Contractor Miami” if the Google AdWords planner is telling you that is less competitive.
The point of aiming low is to go for the traffic that you can still attract. Focus on a niche and the best keywords associated with it. Don’t expect tremendous results out of this, but you’ll be able to keep the lights on while preparing for 2017.
Use Google My Business
Google My Business is a tool provided by Google that allows you to manage your online presence on the search engine, including extensions like Google Maps. After verifying, you can put more information on your business’s Google account to tell customers a story and help them find you. Verifying also shows Google that you are more of a “legitimate” business than those that haven’t been verified. Do this as soon as possible. It can take a couple of hours to set up a page and then Google sends a physical postcard to your address as part of the verification process.
Optimize Your Titles and Descriptions
Your titles are the big blue links that tell a searching customer what page on your website is relevant to their search query. A description is the longer, descriptive text at the bottom. Descriptions do not affect search rankings, but you should still optimize them. Not for Google’s sake, but in the interests of your potential customer. You want a description that will help them lean towards your website rather than a competitor’s.
A good description shows a customer that you have what they’re looking for while not showing your hand too much. For example, if someone is looking for a book to buy for their parents, they may only have a shallow knowledge of books themselves. Instead of having a title and description calling out specific books and their prices, lean more on the vague side, like “Best five books for the holiday season.”
Be Aware of Rankings on Other Sites
When you do a search for a business, it’s not just business websites you’ll be seeing. Chances are directories are going to be showing up before the businesses do. These include sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, YellowPages, and so on. While these directories don’t have as sophisticated of a search algorithm as Google, they are still being used by a large customer base. Otherwise, they would not be showing up so high on your searches.
Take time to see which websites are being used by your customers the most, claim your listing on those sites, and provide detailed information such as photos, contact info, and call to actions to help that one shopper choose you. You can also pay for advertising, putting your business listing above the organic search placements of your competitor’s’ listings. Keep in mind that if you’re comfortable with Google Adwords flexibility, many of these ad programs have more rigid payment plans and ad delivery.
Get Ready for 2017
Things are going to be a little crazy for your business in these last couple of months. Many of the strategies mentioned above are quick fixes, but if you’re looking to avoid the same rushed feeling for next year, it’s important to tackle your digital marketing plan as soon as January. Looking for help with your marketing efforts? Contact us today for a consultation.