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As the year’s end draws close, savvy business owners analyze the year’s performance and compare it to the goals placed at the onset of 2021. The end of the year is the perfect time to do a final review of what marketing tactics worked and didn’t and create a strategy for the year ahead. 

One tactic that many less successful businesses forget about is improving visibility through the internet. Despite a business’s desire to rank on the first page of internet results, many business owners aren’t sure how to accomplish this short of running Google Ads. SEO or search engine optimization may be a vaguely familiar term yet can sound daunting and expensive.

The good news is that there are some things you can do yourself to improve your search engine ranking. Here are three of them.

Optimize your Google business profile.

Google is the king of search engines, garnering over 92% of all search traffic. And if your goal is to generate more local business, your Google Business profile is a great place to start. Below are six things you can do right now.

    1. Ensure your data is entered completely and correctly in your Google profile. This includes your address, phone number, category, and attributes, 
    2. Verify your profile and locations, so it is eligible to show up on Google. If you haven’t already claimed your business on Google Maps, do so now so you can begin managing the profile. 
    3. Ensure your hours of operation are correct and update them with holiday hours annually for the year ahead. 
    4. Respond to questions and reviews quickly and professionally. Every review counts – yes – even the negative reviews. By responding to every review you receive, you show prospects that you care. And if someone leaves feedback that isn’t good, respond with a thank you and then take the conversation offline. Never get into a back and forth conversation with a reviewer. It will only reflect poorly on your business. And be sure to implement any suggestions for improvement whenever possible. Nothing shows you care, like making a change that a customer recommended.
    5. Add photos. Your photos are often one of the first glimpses a customer has into your business. Depending on the industry you’re in, showcase different images, including your logo, photos of your business, and people who work there. Your photos tell a story; make sure the story is complete. 
    6. Add updates to Google. Whenever possible, provide updates on Google to include new employees, providers, awards, specials, and more. Keeping your profile fresh and relevant tells people you are in the know when it comes to internet marketing.

Regularly write a blog.

Blogs used to be the heavyweight champion of digital marketing, and then it got pushed to the back burner by busy business owners. But blogs need to be prioritized as they help keep your website relevant in the eyes of Google. You see, Google gives priority to websites that are updated frequently. Every time you write or hire someone like MindStream Creative to write a new blog, you get a new opportunity to be found online. Each blog is a new, searchable page, that if appropriately written, has relevant keywords. These keywords help Google match a search with your content. More opportunities to get found online come with blog writing. So, if you want to grow your business, write a couple of blogs a month containing at least 300 words of copy each. Google’s Keyword Planner can help you identify keywords to use in your copy based on how competitive and popular they are. 

Ensure the back-end of your website is set up properly.

We see it all the time. We mention the word meta tag or header tag, and our client’s eyes glaze over. But if you want your page to be Google-friendly, you need to ensure search engine bots easily understand it. This means that all images, video, and written content are appropriately tagged so search engine bots can easily match it to relevant searches. Google wants its users to have a good experience, and a good experience comes from getting search results that match the query. Tagging your content helps match your services with people who are interested in them. This last tip is a bit tricky, and we only recommend you do this if you’re up to the challenge. Otherwise, outsource help. 

Your website is one of the most essential marketing tools in your toolbelt. Keep your website relevant and updated, and you should notice that your ranking improves over time. If you’d like to recruit some help to make this happen a little faster, reach out for a complimentary marketing consultation