SEO is more important now, in these uncertain times, than ever before. So is an informative, helpful website. That’s because, if you are like me, you are practicing a lot of “social distancing” these days, keeping your physical interactions with others to a minimum whenever possible. This may include going out to do just about any kind of shopping, errand running or eating out. You may also have stopped going to networking functions, where you can meet new individuals, introduce yourself, and let them know what you do. Many networking functions have been postponed or stopped altogether.
Instead of face-to-face contact, many people are going online to make purchases that can be delivered right to their door, whether it’s groceries, prescriptions, or that new book they’ve been wanting to read. Some are searching online for service providers who will come right to their homes (dog grooming, hair stylist, etc.) Others are searching for providers who can help them boost their immune system through acupuncture, or help them with their tax return questions.
That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO is what enables people to find your business in a Google search when they are looking for the services and products you offer. SEO has always been essential to a thriving business, but with more people now going online, it is more important than ever.
If you are a new business owner, SEO is especially important when networking opportunities are limited. Let’s say you’ve just started a law practice specializing in tenant rights, and you want to reach those renters who are impacted by California’s Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Or, you have a new CBD product you want everyone to know about. SEO enables you to get the word out online to those who already want what you are offering, without face-to-face contact.
And, don’t forget about the quality of your website. Once a searcher clicks to your website, it needs to be informative, helpful and easy to navigate, so they will reach out to you and purchase your service or product.
Google My Business
I have written in previous newsletters about how important having a great Google My Business listing can be. Google My Business is a free business listing from Google that better enables you to reach searchers who are looking for your products or services in your geographic area. You may have noticed that some businesses show up as a “dot on a local map” whenever you’ve done an online search for, say, “dentist in San Rafael” or “chiropractor near me.” That’s because those businesses have a Google My Business listing.
Amazingly, I see businesses every day that have not “claimed” their Google My Business listing. If that is the case for you, I encourage you to do it now. It can be a 15-20-minute process, if you have already collected your logo and images of your business. As soon as Google verifies your information (usually 3-5 business days), you will have increased visibility in certain local searches. Although no one can prove this, the SEO blogsphere has emphasized time and time again that a Google My Business listing can positively impact the visibility of your website as well. How can you tell if you haven’t claimed your listing? You will see a purple Own this business? right under your phone number in Google search results.
Free website consultation
If you want to know how you can create a more robust online presence, not only during these uncertain times, but beyond, I offer a free 30-minute consultation. Please get in touch by texting or calling me at 415-250-1347.
Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a healthy year ahead!
Carolyn Kohler is an SEO writer who specializes in helping businesses get found online. Her company is Website Wordsmith, and she is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.