Owning a business can be a very overwhelming experience. There’s a lot to navigate, especially in today’s marketing environment, where consumers may (or may not) find you based on a quick and admittedly unscientific way of searching for you on the internet. It’s just not quite as cut and dry as the yellow pages used to be.
For those of you < 30, the yellow pages was a printed (yes, printed) book that magically appeared on your doorstep once a year. It contained business listings as well as poorly done ads that helped people find businesses.
Now we have search, which sometimes takes place on your computer and sometimes (more often than not) takes place on your phone.
The interesting thing about search is that instead of turning to “P” for plumber, a consumer (and potential customer) may write I HAVE A PIPE LEAK into their search engine of choice (probably, Google).
What’s important to you as a plumber and as a business owner is that you show up first when the consumer types in I HAVE A PIPE LEAK in the search bar. (Stay with me here as things are about to get weird.) In very simple terms, you could show up if you’ve purchased this specific search term in its entirety: I HAVE A PIPE LEAK (no capitalization required). If you purchased the term PIPE LEAK you may also show up. If you purchased the term I HAVE A, stop reading and call me immediately.
But wait, there’s more.
You might show up organically if your website is properly optimized to this specific search term or terms relative to it, also referred to as search engine optimization or SEO. So, if you recently wrote a blog entitled I HAVE A PIPE LEAK or you have a well-written section on your website about WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A PIPE LEAK, you may also appear on the first page of the search results and accomplished a very important and valuable feat in the world of marketing.
That seems so very simple, doesn’t it? Why, then, is SEO a $65 billion dollar industry annually?
Well … because it’s not that simple. Whereas I appreciate everyone who weathered the first five paragraphs of set up on this blog (Hi Steve! Hi Kent!) I do want to assure you that there is a pay off of sorts coming. Here it goes …
Optimizing your website for search is typically done by marketing professionals. This is very much dependent on the size and/or complexity of your business. A plumber, for instance, is a highly competitive industry reliant on search as the need arises. (I HAVE A PIPE LEAK) What do you do if you are a small business owner that doesn’t have the money to pay someone to optimize their site?
You do these four very simple steps to help your business be easier to locate for people who may type any number of things into a search bar when looking for your product or services:
- Keep your website properly maintained. Websites are like cars … you need to keep them running properly by keeping everything updated. It’s not that difficult to do, take a little time each month to make sure your load speeds are not hindered by broken links or other issues that can happen to aging websites.
- Don’t host your site on a cheap hosting platform. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of them out there. Bad hosting negatively impacts the searchability of your website as bad (aka cheap) hosting platforms slow down your load speeds which is off-putting to search engines.
- Make sure you are creating fresh content for your website. This can be done by writing a blog or refreshing copy on your site to include terms that consumers use to find you.
- Answer common questions in the fabric of your site that consumers may be looking for answers for. This is where a FAQs page becomes a valuable component of a simple portfolio site serving a small business.
You literally don’t have to call us or help to make Erin’s mortgage payment so that new customers can find you. You do have to practice some sensible tactics that will keep your site running smoothly and make yourself more visible in the search space.
Need more help or have questions about anything we talked about here? Ask Steve Melde or Kent Earle … they read every blog I write and are super smart guys. If you can’t find them, send me an email at email@example.com. I’ll get you the answers you need to keep your website optimized for free!