In a culture that is hyper-obsessed with DIY (do-it-yourself) it’s no shock that, as a business owner, you want to manage and do the SEO and online marketing yourself. Hey- we can’t blame you, it’s merely in your blood as an entrepreneur. Not only does doing some of the online marketing tasks save you money, the process of doing these things teaches you invaluable skills you must know to properly market your business online. But here’s the thing- there are a lot of things you can do, and honestly that you should do granted you have the time. The more you can get well versed in online marketing, the better for your overall business. However, there are also things you will need to leave to the SEO expert, or your marketing team because one wrong move could hurt your online storefront in a massive way.
So- how do you know what to do, and what not to do? We’re going to tell you! So grab that notepad (or bookmark this), so you can refer to the information as needed.
Things you CAN do to market your business online.
- Online Directories
This is like the phone book, but digital. And instead of one phone book- there’s a lot of them, and they all can add power to your website. Not only that, but they are always used by people looking for your service- they will read the review and gather as much information as possible using these directories. There are a top few that are an absolute must so let’s go over those and how to correctly get listed.
a) Google My Business (GMB)
This is, by far, the most important directory. This is what all other lists will be anchored to- all addresses, all phone numbers, and all information must match GMB. Make sure you enter all the info ACCURATELY and then hit “verify.” You will either be asked to verify by phone or mail- so make sure you have a physical address you have access to. Keep in mind they don’t often accept P.O. Boxes or UPS Boxes.
Tip: Google loves seeing interior photo’s of your office, and pictures of your staff working IN that office. There are a lot of GMB’s for businesses that aren’t real, so they are trying to discourage that by asking for a lot of proof you’re the real deal. Now, we know a lot of real businesses work out of their home and in their yoga pants- if that’s you don’t worry! Just simply take pictures of the outside of your house, your little workspace (computer and coffee mug of course) and call it good.
Chances are you’ve Googled for something, say a spa, and the first two organic listings were directories on Yelp. This is why you want to be listed on yelp! Even if your website isn’t quite ranking yet because it’s new, Yelp has excellent power and will get your listing out there. The best thing about Yelp is it’s incredibly popular among locals as they will usually have a representative that lives there locally and they will host events and marketing opportunities.
Tip: Make sure to get really good, honest reviews on your Yelp. There’s something about those stars that motivates people to buy (or not). Ask your clients and current customers to leave a review! Also, to make a business Yelp page you will have to use this link: https://biz.yelp.com/
OK, so you can’t do all this yourself. However, it’s vital that the content you do put on your website, directories, and anything requiring words is of the HIGHEST quality. This means your grammar, spelling, flow, and overall voice has to be perfect. The things with Google’s algorithm is that it is a robot, so it doesn’t have eyes or a heart. It doesn’t look to see how pretty the website is- it only see’s words and numbers. And can I tell you something? If the words don’t’ flow well, if it’s clear the content was spun or not from a native English speaker- the website will not rank. If you must write the website content yourself, make sure the grammar is impeccable
Tip: A blog is a great asset to any business website. Yes, even for Joe the plumber. The more words Google has of yours to grab, the better. Make it a goal to write one blog a week.
- Get All the Reviews
Whether it’s on your Facebook page, Google My Business or any other directory get reviews from happy customers and make them high-quality. Reviews that are a sentence or shorter are fine but getting a client to tell a story about why they love your service etc. it pure gold. More and more people are relying on reviews as they decide between two businesses- so having high quality, positive reviews are incredibly important.
Tip: Getting customers to review you can be like pulling teeth. We recommend offering a discount or prize for good (and honest) reviews. One thing some companies do is send handwritten letters thanking someone for their business- and then they provide their FB or GMB link asking for a kind review!
Now that we’ve gone over a few things you can do yourself to help your overall presence online let’s discuss two significant things you should leave to the professionals, and why.
Things you SHOULDNT do alone.
Just don’t, ok? Backlinks are a big part of every SEO campaign. What they are is other websites or blogs linking to your business site. They often are the different colored words in an article that you can click, and when you do, it takes you to whatever the article is referring to. These might seem easy enough- but let me tell you it’s an art form, and you MUST know what you’re doing otherwise Google could permanently sandbox your site (that’s jail).
For backlinks, SEO experts will pick the anchor text (the word that links out), the URL it’s linking to, and most importantly, they will plan when and how often. If not done correctly, you could leave a footprint- that’s a trail- right to you and your computer as the one doing ALL the backlinking. This tells Google you are purposely trying to move up on rankings, and they frown upon this. Everything has to be organic looking and natural otherwise it’s right to internet jail for you.
- Highly Converting, High-Quality Content
It’s okay to get the primary website content on there just to get started. But when it comes time to step it up a notch- you want writers that know how to turn readers into paying customers. The reality is, you have about seven seconds to grab a website visitors attention. Then, you have to work very hard (without looking like you’re trying very hard) to KEEP their attention long enough to funnel them through to a call to action (that’s clicking the, “buy now” etc. buttons). You need to be informative, convincing, entertaining, and relatable. Oh- and did I mention you still must know how to talk sexy to Google too? So leave the high-quality content to the experts- you’ll thank us later!
Check out this picture below. After months of doing nothing online this client of ours decided he wanted to pursue an SEO campaign with us in Minneapolis Minnesota.
What you are seeing in this picture is a number of indexed keywords that the entire website has. We started at about 320~ total indexed keywords and now sit comfortably at 1,800 and growing each month. This is the result of having high quality content the Google LOVES!
There you have it! There are things you CAN do to save money on your SEO campaign, and some things you just should never do without the help of an expert. We love encouraging the entrepreneur, DIY spirit so get going and have fun!