Until now, newspaper ads, mailings and referrals may have kept your business growing. But fewer people are reading newspapers these days, and they’re doing more Twittering than actual talking.
So how can you connect with those “lost” potential customers? One great way is to have your company appear high up in the list of results when people do Google searches for your product or service.
Every day, 61 million local searches are conducted online. Clearly, if your business isn’t visible in search results, you’re losing out to competitors who are visible.
There are many ways to make your business search-friendly, including:
- Listing yourself on local search engines.
- Optimizing your entire web site to be more attractive to search engines (so-called search-engine optimization, or SEO).
- Buying pay-per-click services from AdWords or AdSense.
But one of the quickest (and free) ways to boost your search visibility is by making smart use of “tags.”
‘Tags’ and how they work
Tags—also called meta tags—are words you use to tell search engines what type of content is in the material you post online. Each page of your web site can have a tag (or title) that tells search engines what’s on that page. You can also add tags to blogs, photos, videos or even press releases.
Use the right tags, and search engines will pull up those links for any prospect searching for your product or service in your area.
Sound easy? It is! The only secret is using the right tags and using them everywhere. Tips:
1. Do not tag your home page “home.” Not a single one of your prospects will search for your services using the word “home.” If you run a lawnmower shop, use the words “lawnmower repair” or “mowers” as the meta tags and titles for each page of your web site.
2. Use heading tags, too. Use heading tags to create headlines and subheads in your text. Since these bold, larger phrases stand out, search engines weigh the words they contain very heavily. Make sure your headings contain keywords prospects may use to search for products and services in your area.
3. Tag all types of content. Example: If you post a press release on a service such as PRWeb.com, you can choose from a variety of tags to flag interest in your services, as well as audience-specific tags.
Not only does this help on local searches, many journalists and bloggers also set up “watch services” so they receive automatic notification of any news that matches the tags they’ve identified as relevant.
Bottom line: If you want your business to be “it” in local searches, try to play a smart game of tag!