Starting a new business in this day and age can be tough! What with the SEO, the Facebook, the Twitter thingy majiigy, LinkedIn etc There are many businesses out there that offer help with SEO, but what if your cash flow just doesn’t allow you to purchase these? I found with a little research – (got to love Google!) you can do a lot of it yourself and it’s not even too painful. If you are on a shoestring budget, like I was 3 years ago, or you need your dollars for other things in your business, I have tips right here for you!
Try finding as many online Business Directories as you can. Most will offer a free listing; it might just be a line of text and a contact number, but this helps tremendously. And you would be surprised to find ones out there now that almost give you a free mini website within their directory.
www.hotfrog.com.au is a great example. You can enter your –
- Details and location (if you’re a home based business you can opt out of this with a P.O box etc., but a street listing does boost your Google rating. I personally didn’t put my unit number and you can just put the street name if you like)
- A description of your business
- Your opening hours and web site
- Payment options and images
- And related keywords (keywords are extremely important for SEO, including the keywords you use to save your images under). It all helps.
Hotfrog now also offers –
- A longer 500 + character description of your business
- Your business type and products and services
- Discount coupons and business news and updates
- And your best work which also allows inclusion of an image
Another good one is www.aussieweb.com.au. They have offerings similar to Hotfrog –
- Your details including a link directly to your email, web site and ABN (giving you more credibility)
- Your Twitter and Facebook handles and payment methods
- Directions to your place of business
- Description of your business and categories for your business
In a similar vein is www.dlook.com.au that offers –
- Details and your description
- Email and web site link
- Trading hours and keywords and a map of your location
Then you have your www.bigroo.com listing that comes with your –
- Details, web site and keywords
And why not list with the www.yellowpages.com.au? Just add your –
- Details and category
- And you have the option of your details being sent to your potential customers’ mobile phone
Of course you aren’t limited to these and if you explore you might find ones relating specifically to your business as well.
Moving onto www.facebook.com obtaining a FB vanity URL also helps with SEO.
Mine is still in its infancy and by teaching myself via Google I’ve managed to set up my URL and create a vanity page for my business (please note that you may need a hand from friends with the first 25 likes to get your vanity URL) but I couldn’t quite understand all the coding required for the Welcome landing page!
Getting LIKES on your page is great for SEO and of course there is the advantage of being able to connect with your consumers and post up Specials etc
Please note that if you set up your vanity page URL yourself, please choose wisely because once it’s locked in you can’t change it.
www.linkedin.com is another great tool for SEO. You can add your –
- Education and schooling
- Web site, business description and title
- A photo of yourself (for personalisation)
- And your Twitter handle
But beware that if you link your tweets back, everything will stream live on LinkedIn. And it’s up to you how much personal information you’d like to share on LinkedIn, such as hobbies and whatnot.
And of course there is www.twitter.com – another great SEO tool. There is still a bit of conjecture on what it can do for certain businesses and it can be a bit daunting when you first start out, but try it anyway. My main words of advice here are don’t SPAM people or the Twitter stream selling your business. You will not get followers this way.
It’s an individual and personal choice as to what you want to share, but I have found a slow, steady approach works –
- Share links on business tips
- Follow people in the same genre as you
- Retweet things that you like and want to share
- Promote your business thoughtfully
- It’s also best to put a picture of yourself or your business logo, as using the Twitter egg as your profile picture will not garner trust.
These tend to be used most by spammers and are to be avoided if they follow you. When somebody follows you, thank them and perhaps offer a free gift such as a discount for your business or free eBook etc. Something else to remember here is that once you have your Facebook page you can link this to your Twitter stream, so your Twitter followers can see what ever you share with your Facebook fans.
You can also set up a blog about your business for great SEO results. It can be scarey! The first blog post that I did last July, I knew was in the ethers of the internet for 7 months before somebody read it and it gave me such a surprise! But it’s good to practise and if you link it to your web site and tweet it as a link you should get better results than my first meagre attempt. You can use www.wordpress.com as a free blogging tool also.
There are also Forums to consider where you can have conversations about your industry or what ever you like. The handy thing here is your email signature that can link back to your web site, blog, etc. dependent on individual forums.
P.S Don’t forget to include your social media handles in your email signature.