Universal search will change all that. It will look for content across a broader spectrum. Rather than searching blogs for the specified content, universal searches will scan blogs, videos, news and even catalogs for relevant information.
If you’ve already implemented SEO techniques into your site based on the vertical search model, that doesn’t mean all your efforts have been in vain. Small business sites that have been optimized for vertical search will still be included in the search results. However, you may find that—as universal search becomes more common—your site rankings may drop a bit.
How can you make sure your small-business SEO is ready to meet the universal search challenge? Here are five tips from Caroline Melberg, president of Small Business Mavericks marketing team:
1. Don’t skip the basics. Keywords and phrases are still extremely important, as are meta tags, descriptions, keyword-rich title tags and quality in-bound links. Provide clear links to all your content throughout your site, particularly from your home page and to new pages as you add them.
2. Add a blog. No longer is a blog simply on online diary that anyone can read. Soon blogs will be essential for small-business SEO and online marketing.
With a small-business blog, you’ll be able to delve into information about individual products or services that your company offers, answer questions and form a relationship with clients. Also, adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis will increase your page ranking.
3. Include more images and videos on your small-biz site. Many small-business sites have been designed around providing information. With universal search, however, the videos that you use on your site, along with photos and other images that are relevant to your products and services, will help to draw additional web traffic.
4. Press releases. Get your news releases into Google News and Yahoo! News, as well as the variety of press release directories available online. Not currently doing press releases? Start now! It’s one more way to add tons of quality, relevant in-bound links to your site—and maybe grab some PR, too.
5. Add location-specific info. Include specific information on your small-business site that’s relevant to your location as well as your services. That’s particularly relevant if your small business operates in a brick and mortar location as well as online. As universal search takes off, more people will look for businesses that are near another location.
Bottom line: Your best bet is to remember the basics, and then add new content—in a variety of formats—to your site.
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