The big bonus Small to Medium Business has with the internet and having an online presence is that Google can be a great leveller.
Google do not really care if you are a huge, multi national mega store or a small, working from home, business. As long as you build and maintain your website in a way that is Google friendly you can rank as high, or even higher, than your much larger competition.
As a small business there are a number of things you need to do:
- First, and foremost, you need to be aware that Google are very, very smart. You cannot take short cuts with SEO or try and trick the system for your advantage. People are always trying to get their site ranked high through means that aren’t best practice (Black Hat SEO). There are no short cuts – initially you may see some improvement on your site if you pay for “dodgy” links but this will not last. Not only will it not last but you will be penalised for your efforts. Your website is an asset that you needs to look after, don’t take short cuts that will effect the value of this asset.
- Google love a site that is helpful, informative and unique. To facilitate this the thing that every business should have as a major part of their site is a Blog. The number one tool for generating traffic is a really well maintained blog – Google have a few rules about how they would like to see a blog displayed and authored, but whatever you do make sure your site has a great blog.
- A well-built site is very important. Google look/crawl all websites and make a judgment about their worth and how they will rank them. If your site is messy, has errors, broken links, no ownership etc. they will rank you lower than a well-built, well-maintained site. Have you ever walked into a really messy house and immediately wanted to leave? Google look at a poor website as a messy, run down house.
- Your website is a business tool that should be generating traffic/business/income for you. If it is not you are missing out. More and more people are searching for their products or services online – are you getting your share of the online pie? If not you need to do something about it.
There is no reason that your business should not be generating income through your website. In reality a website should exceed the value of employing a salesperson but cost you a fraction of the wage of a salesperson. An online salesperson (your website) works 24 hours a day 7 days a week, worldwide. Your website never takes a holiday and can help thousands of people at the same time.
For a small business a good website should be one of your highest priorities.