It’s funny how ranking high in search engine results locally can often be far more challenging than ranking high globally. That may seem counterintuitive, but in many instances it’s true.
But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean that it can’t be done – and done effectively. In this article, we’ll share with you proven local SEO strategies that you can implement immediately to get your content or webpage to rank high in local search engine results in 2021.
Strategy #1 – Take Advantage of Directories and Listings
This is one of the more obvious steps to take when trying to rank high in local search results, but it’s a good place to start. You should list your company or website in as many relevant directories as possible. These directories will, more often than not, be national or global directories, but they serve as a search engine in and of themselves. They require you to include a local address, then they can filter queries for their users based on location.
In addition to this helpful service directories provide, the fact that your company or website is listed in several different directories is something search engines look for.
Strategy #2 – Set Up a Google My Business Account (GMB)
According to a recent study carried out by Search Engine Land, “GMB and reviews are the variables that have grown the most in their perceived impact.”
Setting up a GMB will not only help your company rank high in search results but will get you listed on Google Maps as well. You can also post social media engagements onto your GMB listening, which would be another good way to boost your search engine results ranking.
As valuable as the service is, you might be surprised to know that it is completely free to set up a GMB listing.
Strategy #3 – Solicit Reviews
Whatever you have to do to get your company or your product or service reviewed, chances are that it will be well worth it. Reviews play a major role in search engine results. Also, there are many users who, when looking for information about a company or a product, will only click on reviews or review sites.
The best way to get your customers or clients to leave reviews is to ask. Sounds easy enough. And in most cases it is. You should be engaging with your customers, and asking for their feedback in the form of a posted review is a good way to engage. But make it easy for them. If you’re engaging with your customers or clients via email or social media, attach a link to some review sites where they can post their reviews. You could also send them a simple review template along with the link so that they could write and post a review in a matter of minutes.
As a general rule of thumb, people love sharing their opinions. And when it comes to ranking high in local search results, that is definitely behavior you want to encourage.
RELATED BLOG ARTICLE: 5 Great Tips for Marketing Your Small Business
Strategy #4 – Solicit the Help of a Professional
While there is certainly the right way to go about it and plenty of wrong ways, there is no shortcut. The truth of the matter is that in order to get a high search engine ranking, you need backlinks – and a lot of them. Getting backlinks means creating a lot of content that features a link to your company’s website and then getting that content published on high-traffic sites. The process takes a good amount of time and manpower.
The good news is that there is no shortage of professionals willing and eager to lend a helping hand. A digital marketing manager is one of the top careers in IT in 2021. Along with SEO content writers you can find on sites like ProBlogger or BloggingPro, soliciting help from professionals can be a real-time-saver in addition to yielding results – for the right price; of course.
RELATED BLOG ARTICLE: How to Generate More Leads with Content Marketing When You Hate to Write
Strategy #5 – Publish Local Keyword Optimized Content
It’s more beneficial in terms of SEO results for your company to be linked to from an outside source (like a directory, reviews, or a blog). But publishing your own content that ranks high for certain local keywords then linking to your company from there (even if it’s internal) still has value.
The added bonus of this strategy is that it shouldn’t be difficult to find local keywords that are easy to rank for. You can use a powerful tool like Ahref’s Keyword Difficulty Checker to get an idea of what keywords you should target, then create and publish your content accordingly.
Strategy #6 – Optimize Headers and Meta Descriptions for Local Searches
In the grand scheme of SEO, this is a relatively small factor – though not inconsequential. However, it’s so easy to do it would be negligent not to. Simply include your location in headers and meta descriptions of your online content. It’s a quick fix and implemented along with other smart SEO strategies, it will yield results.
Strategy #7 – Partner With Local Service Providers
There’s strength in numbers. It’s possible to succeed on your own, but the odds are far more in your favor if you have help, if you are an army rather than an individual going into battle.
You probably already have associations with other businesses – suppliers or couriers, for example. The chances are that they, too, are looking to boost their local search engine results. Talk to them. See if you can’t find a way to work together toward these shared objectives. It could be as simple as a mention with a link on their website in exchange for doing the same for them.
The Bottom Line
Boosting your local search engine results won’t happen overnight, which is a further reason to get started implementing these strategies today. Optimize your website, target easier local keywords at first, take advantage of directories and GMB. Engage with your customers and solicit them for reviews, and boost your backlinks with the help of a freelance writer and local businesses you already partner with.
QUESTION: Which of the 7 strategies in this article do you think will yield the fastest results? If you implement all 7, how soon do you think it will be before your business is on page one? Share with us in the comments below!
One significant trait that stands out with successful businesses is the simple factor of having the right teams behind them. It means that they take their recruitment process seriously. They use well-thought strategies to evaluate carefully each individual who applies to work with them. They do these tasks to ensure that they get the right fit to join their teams not just in terms of skills but character as well.
Why is it necessary to have the right team in place for your business? Well, having the right team will positively transform your business in many ways. If you have always been in haste with your recruitment process, here are six reasons why you need to slow down and ensure that you hire the right people for your team.
Reason #1: Time-saving elements
Managing your team takes a lot of your time. A workforce that is dedicated to offer their best and display a good performance will facilitate your work. People who are self-starters don’t need you to remind them of what they need to be doing. The right fits in the team will collaborate well to ensure that they meet deadlines and drive results. It means that you only put a little time into managing them, giving you a chance to focus on growing your business the rest of the time.
Perhaps what can save you even more time is leaving the recruitment process to the professionals. If your business’ location is in Canada, for instance, you can partner up with a Canada PEO to help you find the best candidates in Canada. With their extensive network across the country, you can be sure that they can find the best fit for you in record time and compliantly. This strategy will save you the tedious recruitment task, allowing you to channel that effort to other elements of the business.
Reason #2: Maintains your good name
Building a business reputation is very crucial for any business. If you are to attract people to your service and turn them to return customers, you need to be mindful of the experience you give to them. Your employees act as the middlemen between you and your business. If you have the right people in place, they will portray professionalism when dealing with your customers. They will offer quality service that will leave the customers delighted and spreading good words about your business. This factor will grow your reputation significantly, drawing more people to your business.
Reason #3: Builds strong teamwork
Teamwork, communication, and collaboration are very crucial keys for any team to be successful. These aspects are important because team members have to work together in harmony towards a common goal. However, for this to happen, all members need to feel connected or at least be they should be able to work together in solving problems and completing projects. These results can only happen if all individuals fit well in the company’s culture.
When every team member feels at home with the rest of the team, working in that environment becomes pleasant. They can find happiness and job satisfaction, which are essential in growing employee engagement in the company. And when employees are engaged, you can be sure of increased productivity, sales, and profits for your business.
Reason #4: It is economical
How does hiring the right people save you money? Posting job ads needs money. Communicating with new prospects takes money and time. Training new employees requires money. The list can go on and on. When you hire the wrong fit, it is only a matter of time for them to leave your company. Once they leave your company, that will mean lost sales as you try to replace them, as well as spending additional money in recruiting a replacement.
On the other hand, when you hire the right people from the word go, you avoid going back to the drawing board for a very long time. Hiring the right people right from the start saves you employee turnover costs. But it also saves you the time you could otherwise be using going back and forth in the recruitment process.
Reason #5: Cultivates the best customer service
Hiring the right people will foster the best customer service experience. Employees who possess excellent interpersonal skills are the best fit for this section. And undoubtedly, giving the best customer service means growing your business success overall. The candidates must be aware that the top priority of your work delivery is keeping your customers content and pleased.
Reason #6: A trusted team gives you peace of mind
Think of all the data that you possess, the passwords, Slack channels, social media accounts, even customer contact information, would you trust all that info to someone that will later leave? When you hire someone, you are immediately trusting them with all this data. Hiring the right people means you won’t have to worry about what you are sharing with them.
Many say that your employees are the facets of your business to the outside world. In this case, you need to have individuals who are motivated to invest in your brand. These are individuals who are willing to grow their roles as your business grows. Their dedication and engagement are essential to transform your business positively. If you have been hiring following a hunch, the above points should give you a reason to be mindful of who you bring into your business.
QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to finding the right person for your team? Share your comments and questions below.
Starting out in any business can be a challenge, and striking out to realize your dream as an entrepreneur can be even more complex. You have probably spent months coming up with the perfect idea to build your business around and taking the necessary steps to turn your goals into a reality.
Once you have the basics in place regarding what your company will sell and the work culture and policies you will put in place, it’s time to get clear on some of the most important aspects.
How you approach your financials is a big part of whether or not your business will succeed. For the best possible outcome for growth entrepreneurs, be sure to leverage the speed and ease of financial technology we have available today. These newer developments are the future of business and will help you get started on the right path.
Streamline Your Sales Platform
Generating sales is the main function that will determine how successful your business becomes. You will need a good plan in place to reach a broad customer base to showcase the appeal of the products or services that you offer.
You can get the help you need in manufacturing sales growth by using a software program to conduct all aspects of your marketing and sales functions. Consolidating all of your data and activities in one place will reduce time waste and increase revenue by offering support and resources to your team. This will help them to communicate with the right people while out on the road, have access to the information they need, and reach more potential customers.
It’s also a great way to store your customer data and track sales trends so you can make informed decisions on what products to promote. Your customers’ opinions and feedback give you insight on what is working and any areas that need improvement, so you can continue to expand in the right direction.
Use Mobile Banking
Every business needs to conduct many financial transactions. Mobile banking will make this easier and more time-efficient. Instead of carving time out of your day to get to the bank during business hours, mobile banking frees you from time restrictions and lets you choose when is most convenient for you. By using an app or website, you can make deposits, transfer funds to another account, issue payroll by direct deposit, and pay your invoices.
Beyond saving you a lot of time, mobile banking can reduce stress and confusion by keeping your financial transactions in one place. You can easily log in to your account at any time to print reports and review your current assets without the risk of misplacing any important information or tracking paper records.
Offer Mobile Payment Options
Mobile financial transactions aren’t just convenient for you, they also appeal to your customers. Give your clients the option to make mobile payments when they make a purchase. They will appreciate that this form of payment is simple, fast, and offers a greater amount of safety for their sensitive financial details.
Stay on Top of Your Profit
You don’t always need a certified accountant in order to track your profit and loss statements, especially if your business is just starting out. There are simple ways to track your profit every month, or quarterly, whatever your preference is. You do this by subtracting your expenses from your sales and there are plenty of apps or software that do this for you. A popular one for small businesses is QuickBooks. It’s even quite simple to set up your own formula in excel or google sheets if that’s your preference.
Stay Organized with Apps
I mentioned QuickBooks before, which is great for keeping track of your money, including receipts and other business write-offs. If you’re not familiar with accounting software, you might find it a bit confusing, but it’s nothing that you can’t learn. If you prefer a more hands-off experience, Bench is an app that keeps track of your expenses, categorizes them every month, and sends you reports to better understand your finances. What’s really important is that you find a method and supporting software that fits your needs and keeps you organized.
Using even a few of these financial technology solutions can help you to create a solid foundation for your business. Technology is a great way to save time and make your business practices safer, faster, and more lucrative.
Take it from the CEO of Jetsmarter (a.k.a the Uber of Private Jets), Sergey Petrossov: reducing time and effort wasted on inefficiency can revolutionize your whole business. He upped his company’s annual business by over seven times, simply by spotting an inefficiency.
Common inefficiencies stem from a lack of communication, getting stuck in outdated procedures and a constant search for something new (the shiny object syndrome). Therefore you have to root out these inefficiencies so that your business can run smoothly.
This requires shrewdness, a can-do attitude and professional coaching.
Are you ready for it?
#1: Know Every Inch of Your Business
Knowing every inch of your business means observing what you are currently doing and asking yourself:
- Do I have a clear understanding of what’s important and what’s not?
- Am I simply focusing on each task or crisis as it comes along?
- Can these tasks be systematized?
Observe your current patterns to determine your strength. Then, apply those useful principles to the rest of your business to systematize the entire process. You can‘t really be objective about your company’s situation if you’re constantly carrying out daily tasks, as the ‘doer.’ You have to step back, zoom in and observe.
“Those who are most successful are capable of ‘higher-level thinking’ – i.e., they are able to step back and design a ‘machine’ consisting of the right people doing the right things to get what they want.” – Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund
This is the only way to create a system that allows you to remove yourself and let the business take care of itself. Principles by Ray Dalio is a great resource to learn more about this approach. As is Work the System by Sam Carpenter.
Once you’ve built your machine, improve it over time. Create a solid diagnosis of your goals and the problems blocking their path so that you and your team can stimulate creative solutions.
Google was famous for empowering their employees with ‘secret’ information and involving them in Q & A meetings where they could openly discuss anything with anyone. A clear and open communication flow can help you identify bottlenecks, generate better ideas, and build an effective business machine.
Would you agree? If so, you may benefit from a mastermind group that allows you to brainstorm core business challenges with fellow CEOs. Get that conversation started.
#2: Determine What Your Communication Strategy is Lacking
Don’t just say: “I can’t transfer my knowledge to my team.”
Instead, Ask yourself:
- Which team member, and why?
- Is it a problem of time or a lack of shared language?
- Poor follow-through?
- Lack of clarity?
It’s Only when you’ve identified a problematic pattern can you get to work designing a solution. Get your team in the habit of raising issues and risks that they feel are out of their control or impossible to deliver.
Communication is a tricky problem for most organizations, but it is absolutely your responsibility as a business owner to get it flowing.
So, Make your vision and your values available to your team in file that is accessible to everybody in your company. This way your employees and contractors can keep coming back to whenever they are unsure of the direction of your company. Having a set of principles accessible to everyone means you don’t have to constantly re-exert effort to explain yourself. Document everything, including common Q&As, guidelines etc. Have them organized and updated, often.
Good ideas come from all places. If you have a team that understands company goals, encourage them to ponder and speak up. Let them bring their disagreements into the open where it can be discussed and settled logically.
Are you taking advantage of communication tools like Slack, Basecamp or ProsperWorks? Use communication technology to automate internal processes while decreasing inefficiency, human error and unnecessary delays.
Bonus tip: Outlaw long and complicated emails. Communications should be razor-focused on a task, an update, or a process.
#3: Remove Bottlenecks with Technology
Leveraging technology is the best thing you can do for your business. The benefits are endless: smoother operations, greater customer experience, increased productivity and higher profits.
Jetsmarter made it easy for customers to access technology and information by letting them directly schedule their flights through an app.
As a result, agents were removed as a booking bottleneck and re-directed towards other tasks.
For better or worse, every company is now a software company. There are hundreds of applications that can be used to run business tasks. It’s all about connecting people, processes, technology and data.
For your business to run smoothly and be highly adaptable to market needs, it needs digital integration. Use the proper tools to get you from knowledge to action in a systematic way.
How can you empower your business with technology?
Every industry has different needs.
Companies with manufacturing, transport and large investments may need to improve operations and take advantage of their infrastructures.
Other companies may want to focus on customer relationships and platforms.
Use technology to support your own goals, decreasing the amount of time and effort that you as a business owner need to focus on daily operations.
#4: Get Help So You Can Focus on the Big Picture
This means passing along some responsibilities when it becomes highly problematic or time-consuming. In other words: seeking help.
Escalation is not a failure — it’s recognition of responsibility.
Your business is meant to grow and run smoothly without your constant input. Because it becomes successful only when treated as a separate entity worthy of investment.
If time is the problem, get a virtual assistant to help you in a variety of areas, including administration, research, invoicing as well as marketing, sales and operational support.
If you have a core business challenge, consult a business coach who can “shift your mindset and perspective on your business which then allows for powerful breakthroughs in the strategic direction of your company.”
#5: Define the Roles and Responsibilities of Your Staff
Did you know that there is a significant relationship between employee performance and clarity about roles and responsibilities?
According to one study: “Role ambiguity, which is absence of clarity for the roles, is considered to be one of the great bottlenecks for the effectiveness of the team.”
The research went on to indicate that employers who are clear about performance, evaluation and delivery improve their business tremendously. Not only are employees happier with their own performance; they uplift the entire organization.
How clear are you about your expectations?
If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of employees across different sectors lack role clarity. With start-ups, the problem stems from a fluid environment where everybody has to do everything. However, For larger organizations, it’s due to poor communication.
We’re talking about goals, priorities and boundaries.
Your Employees need to understand not just how they fit into the puzzle but how the other pieces fit in, too, and how the whole thing comes together.
There is a freedom and passion that comes with clarity.
This includes you as the employer, CEO or business owner. The only thing you should be focusing on is making the best decisions for your business. Remove all the other noise from your head – you’d be amazed at how many different tasks there are that you can get someone else to do for you.
Seriously – here’s 84 examples!
Are you ready to find out what it means to run a business that is so effective that you can pursue bigger and better goals? It’s possible. Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session today and find out exactly how you’re going to do it.
QUESTION: What inefficiencies have you found in your business that have allowed you to pursue bigger and better things? Share with us in the comments below!
Katrina McKinnon is a leading online innovator with over 20 years’ experience building and operating high performing businesses. In a market hungry for skilled online professionals, Small Revolution powered by Katrina McKinnon’s proven insights, is the fastest, most effective way to get the expertise to tap into this growing opportunity.
The proven process of scaling a business is a slow and winding one, and is more involved than basic growth. As a small business owner, it can be difficult to remember that every Fortune 1000 company started just as you are. And while it may be tempting to seek out shortcuts and quick schemes that promise to speed up growth, your results will likely be as fleeting as the path was to get there.
To ensure you’re taking the right steps for long-term success, we’re highlighting six essential tools for strategically scaling your business.
Also, remember that you don’t need to overwhelm yourself – Work Less and Achieve More Growth in Your Business.
Success stems from customers. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers, and oftentimes can also be your biggest advocates.
However, given that business growth is only sustainable with a reliable customer base, a decline in customer satisfaction can have a significantly negative impact on your growth plan. Keeping this in mind can make all the difference in the speed at which you scale your business.
For this reason, establishing a strong customer service model is essential. This allows your team to provide the service your customers have become accustomed to, while also catering to new customers.
Many small businesses, particularly ones with plans to scale, have begun implementing chatbots. This eases the workload of increased customer queries and also maintains high-quality service.
As chatbots become increasingly more advanced, more and more businesses are relying on them for the bulk of their service requests. This not only enables businesses to successfully grow their customer base (and, thus, take on larger workloads), but it also meets modern customers’ requests for on-demand service. In fact, more than half of consumers would rather talk with a chatbot, than a human, in order to save time.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
A dedicated CRM system can be a big help as you grow your customer base. It cohesively manages all of your company’s relationships and interactions with new and existing customers. This allows your team to effectively work toward improving business relationships as you grow.
Along with the increased customer connections, a CRM system can also aid in user data management and improve team collaboration—particularly between your marketing and sales teams.
CRM software for SMBs
When selecting the CRM software best suited for your small business, there are a few key qualifiers to help you make the right decision.
- Budget: Seek out cost-efficient options capable of growing with your business without breaking your initial budget.
- Customization: Certain datasets are more relevant than others in the early stages of growth. So, tools that allow you to look at the bigger picture can reduce the sense of overwhelm.
- Integration: Make sure the system you choose integrates well with other tools.
- Customer support: Overall, SMBs have smaller teams. Therefore, a reliable support system helps get you up and running with the new technology.
HubSpot CRM is a popular free option for small businesses, thanks to its easy to use built-in interface. Since everything is deployed in the cloud, there is no need for complicated installations and/or navigational training.
Salesforce CRM is another excellent option, for it’s easy integration with external business solutions and sales assistance tools.
3. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System
Organizational software can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your business scaling goals. Generally speaking, small businesses can get away with simple record-keeping processes, and basic accounting solutions. However, as you scale, you’ll likely grow out of these preliminary tools. Therefore, an ERP can help automate and coordinate the growing number of complex business processes that your scaling business will inevitably accumulate.
Since the introduction of cloud-based systems, top quality ERP systems, once only available to large corporations, are within reach of smaller companies—both financially functionally. A modern ERP cloud solution can help streamline operations, ensuring your entire organization is working in sync, and on pace with technology.
For business scaling in particular, software that you can both, trust to update autonomously, and grow with your business, is essential. You can avoid any unnecessary complexity by choosing a solution that is specific to the cloud, as opposed to the on-premises solutions that have been rewritten to service in the cloud (for instance Infor ERP products).
Today’s industry leaders recognize the power that small businesses hold. As a result, they are increasingly targeting small and medium sized businesses with cloud-based versions of ERP software. Depending on your specific business environment and goals, there are several available options to help you meet your scaling goals.
4. Inventory Management Software
Increased volumes of business are expected when scaling. As is the amount of inventory and information you need to keep track of. Although a spreadsheet may have been suitable as a small business, the larger you scale, the more difficult effective management becomes.
Inventory management software relieves this pressure by simplifying the tracking process of whatever it is that makes your business function. Comparing inventory management software, based on their offerings, pricing, and your specific business needs, can help you make the right choice for your business.
5. Email Automation
A digital marketing strategy is fundamental in modern business success. As you scale, however, your traditional marketing efforts will likely need a reboot.
Automation is a lifesaver when it comes to scaling a business. Extending your reach without additional effort is possible through the many tools designed to help automate marketing tasks. Mailchimp, for example, is an easy-to-use platform for email automation.
To build your customer base, it’s important to put adequate effort into spreading your message. This means alerting all potential and existing customers of your latest offering, and generating new conversion whenever possible.
6. Social Media Automation
A strong social media presence is critical to successfully promoting your business. However, in the early days of your scaling, you probably don’t have a dedicated social team.
Not to worry, though. Social media automation tools have made it easier than ever. They can pre-schedule content to share across your various networks and profiles, track performance, collaborate with fellow social media users, and manage a consistent reposting schedule.
Tools like AgoraPulse and Hootsuite are very popular platforms that can help you improve your social media presence while also saving you time.
Ultimately, There is no one-size-fits-all method to scaling a business. As you go through the process, you’ll recognize what works for you, and what your business needs to achieve success.
QUESTION: Which of these tools interests you the most? Let us know in the comments below!
Running your own business is hard. Running your business all alone is even harder. 😩
There’s so much advice out there it’s hard to know what to do and what to focus on first. You’re worried about following the wrong advice, or just as bad …. The right advice at the wrong time.
You can commit to working harder …. But, what if you’re working hard on the wrong things? You’ll easily waste months and even years spinning your wheels. 😭
Your friends and family don’t know what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. They don’t understand the challenges you face running your own business or how to solve the problems that keep you up at night.
Right now, you have no one to talk to who can give you meaningful support and actionable advice.
📍You need to FIND YOUR PEOPLE.
Take the first step … right here … right now.
✅ WHAT IS ONE DECISION YOU NEED TO MAKE IN YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. By sharing a decision you’ve been delaying to make or a challenge that’s got you stuck … not only could you receive some 💡great ideas 💡 to help you … you’re also helping so many others who are facing the same challenge in their business.