Social media and marketing

The days of posting fliers around your neighborhood are dead and done. Now, it’s all about Search Engine Optimization, a set of practices for improving your search results (mostly for Google users).

In 2015, you need to know how to create an SEO branding strategy that works for your small business. Unfortunately, if you were born before 1986, SEO and HTML might feel like a second language. On the plus side, no one will ever refer to you as a Millennial, so you have that going for you.

So where should you start? Here are some basic steps to create an SEO branding strategy that works.

1. Make Social Media A Priority

Chances are your business is already on either Facebook or Twitter. Posting links and getting friends, family, and customers to mention your business on their favorite social media sites will help boost your SEO rankings.

What about Google+? Well, rumor has it…

2. Set Up A Profile On Google+

Google+ may never have reached critical mass in quite the way the company hoped, but some local SEO experts suspect Google gives sites a visibility bonus for their Google+ profiles. Here’s something we do know is true: Google+ can be a great way for local small businesses to find customers.

Remember: Small businesses with physical storefronts should sign up for “Local Google+ pages,” while organizations, like bands and artists, should sign up for “Brand Google+ pages.”

Once you create a local Google+ page and verify your small business, you can start showing up on Google Maps, which is how tons of consumers search for nearby services and products. According to Pew surveys, 58% of U.S. consumers research products, brands, and services online, and that percentage is even higher for young customers aged 18 to 34.

3. Your Site Needs To Be Mobile Friendly

Some business owners might think a mobile version of their site is a luxury, but after Google’s latest updates, it’s non-optional. Not only are 51% of consumers more likely to patronize a mobile-friendly site, but one in two local searches are performed with a smartphone.

Now, Google penalizes sites without a mobile design, meaning your brand will be less visible to mobile searchers. Local SEO strategies that don’t incorporate mobile updates are behind the times.

Our last advice to create an SEO branding strategy: do your homework. Google yourself frequently and gather as much data about your brand as you can.