It’s easier than you think to maximize your store’s visibility on Google.
We all know Google is the gatekeeper to massive amounts of traffic and leads, and that search engine optimization (SEO) opens the doors.
Unfortunately, many small furniture retail stores feel that SEO doesn’t fit into their budget. But SEO is more cost-effective than other forms of marketing, including pay-per-click and social media marketing.
While not every business has the funds to spend thousands on an SEO campaign every month, there are still several things you can do to give your search traffic a significant boost. Entrepreneur magazine offers five smart ways to improve your SEO on a tight budget:
1. Optimize your Google Business page
Small brick-and-mortar retailers should focus on gaining local exposure instead of trying to target potential customers located throughout the country. To improve your store’s local SEO, you should optimize your Google My Business page (previously known as Google Places; sometimes referred to as Google Map listing).
You’ll need to first make sure you own the page, so you can make edits to your business’ listing. Fill in your business information accurately, being as descriptive as possible. Be specific when choosing categories to describe your business. If you sell furniture you should select “furniture store” instead of “store” or “retail store.”
Don’t forget to add business hours, photos and other useful and relevant information. Taking the time to claim your My Business page and fill in your information will really pay off when Google users perform local searches.
2. Use long-tail keywords
More than half of search queries are four words or longer. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to focus your SEO efforts on long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are very specific to customer needs. If you own a small furniture store in Pocatello, Idaho, and want to attract shoppers who are interested in Amish furniture, you’ll want to create a long-tail keyword like “Amish furniture in Pocatello.”
While a shorter keyword, like “American furniture”, would certainly be relevant to your business, the long-tail keyword will be more effective because there might be other businesses that are targeting “American furniture” and you don’t want to go up against that kind of competition.
3. Use keywords strategically
Now it’s time to put your long-tail keywords to work for you! Place them in key spots on your website such as page titles, URLs, and in other content on your site. Just don’t get crazy and stuff your page full of keywords! A good practice is to use your keywords in the page header, as well as within the first paragraph of the content. This will help you grab Google’s attention without overdoing it. Another way to use long-tail keywords is to create new content around them. Whether you place your long-tail keywords on static pages or in articles or blog posts, using a specific page for the keywords you create increases your odds of ranking well in organic searches.
4. Frequently publish fresh content
Adding fresh content to your website on a regular basis is an easy way to improve your ranking in Google’s search results. That’s because every time new content is published on your website, Google’s web crawler analyzes your website and determines how it should be ranked in the search results. The more often you give the web crawler a reason to visit and reanalyze your website, the more chances people will have to find you on search engines. Keep in mind the content you publish must be unique, useful, and relevant to your audience. As you continue to post fresh, relevant content, the web crawler will come to realize that your website is valuable to people searching for your keywords.
5. Do some link building
One of the oldest yet still most important factors in SEO is link building. To search engines like Google, third-party links are viewed as a validation that you should appear higher in search results. While there are lots of ways to obtain links (many of them very time consuming), if you’re a beginner or you’re on a tight budget, aim for the low-hanging fruit by starting out with business directories, review sites, yellow page listings, local newspapers or publications, chambers of commerce and business associations.
This will allow you to build at least a dozen links in just a few hours.