Small business owners have known that consumers’ main source of discovery has been the internet ever since Google first became a verb. I know what you’re thinking, “You mean to tell me the word Google hasn’t always been a part of the English language?” I know. Hard to believe. What’s easy to believe is that potential customers are searching for a business like yours daily, and it is up to you to stick out among the crowded search results.
An easy way to gain visibility online is through social search engine optimization. It may sound scary at first, but by the end of the post you’ll have the ability to optimize your social SEO for greater exposure within search engine results.
Depending on the span of your online presence, there can be many platforms, profiles and networks to revisit. We’ve put together a list for you to tackle specifically tailored to store owners. So leave the stress behind and start scrolling below.
We realize that the epicenter of your social media engagement begins with your business page. There are a few steps you can take in order to ensure that your page can be found online easily. First and foremost is your Vanity URL. In order to set a custom URL for your page, navigate to www.facebook.com/username, choose your page and add a username that best fits your business. Begin with the name of your store, and if that’s not available try adding a location to the end (i.e. facebook.com/usernamePittsburgh).
Once you’ve created an attractive URL, the next component to edit is your page’s information section. In the “About” section of your page, be sure to include these items:
- Your business’s address
- A category and subcategory that is clear to your customers
- A short description – TIP: include your website URL
- A full description of your store – Include the story behind your business and what makes you unique
- Products – include all of the consumer-branded products you carry
- Phone number, contact email and website
Once all of this information is included in your Facebook business page, you are past the hardest part. You now you have a great reference point and can optimize additional profiles with ease. It is important to keep your store’s information consistent across all online profiles as it plays a key part in social SEO.
You can follow similar steps taken on Facebook to optimize your Twitter profile. Click on the gear in the upper right-hand corner of your Twitter page in order to edit your profile. In the profile section of your settings, be sure to include the following items:
- Store name – if possible, keep the same name as your Facebook page
- Bio – include a short bio of your business in 160 characters or less. This can be the same as your short description on Facebook
Who the heck is on Google+!? Before discriminating Google’s own social network you should be aware of its implications for businesses. Google+ profiles’ are weighed heavily in search, giving your content and store the opportunity to show up on the first page of a potential customer’s search results. You do not have to update and post content as regular as Facebook and Twitter but you should create or claim your business page in order to optimize your information. Once you are signed in as your business you can begin editing your information:
- Contact Information – phone and email
- Website and other links – link to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other pages
- Tagline – use the same tagline as your Twitter bio and Facebook short description
- Story – include the same information here as in your Facebook description
See, that was easier than you thought it would be. Now that your information is included on your most effective profiles, you’re linking back to your other sites and you’ve made it easy to locate your business, you’ll be sure to hear the bell ring on your store’s front door more than usual.
Remember that it takes more than just optimizing your social profiles for search. Be sure to post product images, conversational topics and entertaining content to your social community on a regular basis to keep your store at the top of your customers minds.
Picture courtesy of Metspundit.com