Happy Valentines day! The year is well under way and with the news forecasting doom and gloom for the rest of the year many small businesses are trying to find new ways to get new business. With people spending more time on their computers then ever before, online search is continuing to grow rapidly. As I have been saying for years now, “The Yellow Pages Are On Their Way Out!” People find what they are looking for online now, that is why you have a website for your business right? So has that website been working for you? Have people been able to find it? I would like to suggest a couple of ideas that you can implement for free that will help get your website more attention online and in the search engines.
#1 Run a check on your website at http://getlisted.org/. Getlisted.org will check to see if your business is listed in the four most popular search engines that have a local directory search. It is a good idea to run this free search because even if you are listed you can check to make sure if your listing is correct. Most of the directory search sites allow you to add a link to your website, images, specials and all sorts of other items to your listing profile. I suggest filling as much of it out as possible.
#2 Check for other Directories to be listed in. As a website designer and wedding photographer there are many directories that I can submit to have a listing in that are free (Decidio.Com, DesignFirms.Org). Some you can pay for better placement. I have tried paying on a few of them and never found that it returned anything worth while though being listed helps your website get listed higher in the search engines. The more places that Google, Yahoo, and the other search engines can find your website and information listed the more relevant they will find you and it will reflect in the ranking they give you.
#3 Forums. Most industries have discussion forums. I can tell you there are countless for website design and 100’s for wedding photographers but I have joined the first few forums that came up when I did a Google Search for “webdesign forum” and “wedding photographer forum.” I get in there from time to time and comment on things other people say, answer questions that people post, sometimes even post questions that I have. In all forums online you can customize your signature and usually profile. In the signature I always put my studio name, “Jerad Hill Studios” and a link to my website, “https://jerad.blog”. Every time I post to the forum my signature shows up under my post which creates a link to my website. The search engines see it.
#4 Blog. I know I preach this all of the time. If you have a blog great, if you don’t want to have a blog, that’s great to… There are a lot of blogs out there in your industry whether it be fitness, auto repair, cake decorating, etc. There are people out there blogging about their business, their ideas, products and suggestions. These people are not in your area and not competing with you but they have blogs, some of these people might even be celebrities in your industry. There are wedding photographer and website designer celebrities in the industry who blog and I read what they post. Search for blogs in your industry or any industry for that matter that you have an interest in. Start reading some blogs and post comments at the bottom. When you post a comment you can place your name and website address in the comment as well. This will help your ranking in the search engines. I post A LOT of comments.
#5 Post to the Social web. If you can take pictures of your work then do it. I post images of my work on my Flickr.Com account. I always post the city and location of the photo so if somebody happens to be searching for that location then I will show up. Try doing a search for “Historic Knights Ferry” in google and see what comes up.
There are many little things you can do that will add up to a better search engine result for your website. Some of you may have difficult industries to get ranked in (like insurance, restaurants, etc.), this just means you need to work harder to get listed. It can be done.