Hi guys, Kim Benton here with you today, and I don’t know about all of you—but I feel like I spend SO much money on SO many things!! Not all of which prove to be beneficial to my business. And when it comes to advertising, a lot of what we do is trial and error. We throw some money at something to see if it sticks. Now hopefully, we’ve found a way to track our return—but the nature of some advertising just doesn’t work that way. So, today I’m here to talk to you about 6 completely free things that you can do to promote your business and improve your search engine optimization so that you show up higher on the page!
- First and foremost, you should have a fully built-out website—Make sure that you have an interesting about me section that truly does talk about you, your community involvement, and even the products you offer, as well as the areas you serve. Hitting important keyboards like “auto insurance” and “home insurance” etc. can really have an impact. Make sure that you have great photos to use on your page, that you have your team member photos and bios included, and that all your social media pages are linked—more on that in just a moment.
- Step 2 is to Update that website at least once per month. It can be something as simple as rearranging the order of items in a list. I use a calendar reminder to go in and change the order of products I have listed, as well as local areas that I serve to make sure that Google knows that my page is active and being updated regularly. It’s important to remember not to remove any content from the page, only make an addition or simply change the order.
- Another really important FREE thing you can do is to be active on social media! I know, some of you are groaning loudly when I say this— but it truly is an invaluable tool to get you FREE exposure to people in your community. If it’s not something that you are comfortable with, or something that you WANT to do for yourself—then hire a part-time high school or college student to do it. Just make sure that they know what content you want to put out there. After all, it’s your voice. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn are all approved for our use—so make sure that you are posting regularly. Now, full disclosure here. You don’t TRULY have to be active on all 4 ALL the time for it to have an impact. In our office, we focus on Instagram and Facebook for our daily posts, and use Hootsuite to schedule posts on the other platforms—just so that those pages are active, and again connect back to where we show up in search! While we all know social media can have its faults, the positive far outweighs the negative. It’s a GREAT way to highlight the culture in your office, the community outreach that you’re doing, and make you relatable to your customers and to the community. (Disclaimer here—make sure to read the rules on compliance because there are plenty of things that seem completely harmless that we aren’t allowed to do!)
- Fourth and something that a lot of people don’t think about is to see if you can backlink your website on other sites. Now—what do I mean by this?? If you are a member of a chamber of commerce or other organization that has a directory—see if they can include a link to your website on their page. If you sponsor an organization that is listing you online—ask them to include your site. It’s just another way of showing Google that your website is important, active, and utilized!
- Another huge item is to make sure your Google Business Profile is fully built out. Make sure that you list all of your products and have photos for each. You also should be adding photos and making posts regularly – it doesn’t have to be every day. Once or twice a week for posts and twice a month for a photo will get the job done. Another important item is holiday hours. Make sure that you go into your profile and update whether or not your office is open on certain holidays—it may save you a few calls to the office asking whether or not you are there that day!!
- Last but one of the most important things I can tell you is to Ask for Reviews!!! Google reviews are certainly the most popular but getting reviews on Facebook & Yelp helps too! Ask customers after positive interactions for their help! Think about how you search for a new business or service provider. I read SEVERAL reviews before deciding on a new product, a restaurant, you name it. Don’t think that your potential customers aren’t doing the same thing with you. And just as important, having more reviews (even if some of them are negative) makes Google like you more and their algorithm will rate your business higher than someone with fewer or no reviews—so don’t discount the impact they can have!
Listen, guys, a lot of these tips could be full-on topics of their own, so don’t feel overwhelmed. Start with the one that seems the least intimidating, learn about it, and build on it! You know we’re all about making small, incremental changes that are going to take you to that next level. So go ahead and take that first step today and move forward with something I’ve challenged you with!