How to Differentiate your business online. Tips and an Outline by a Search Engine Optimization Consultant, CT
With SO much competition online these days, and everyone fighting for the same valuable online real estate (such as the first page of Google), how does one company stand out from the competition? It's an even harder question to answer when it's likely that all of one's local competitors offer many of the exact same products and or services. Take a Pest Control service for example. They all work to eliminate pests. To be even more specific, I'm pretty sure that when it comes to termites, they all offer termite removal as a service. So, by definition, when it comes to a Pest Control Company's Search Engine Optimization campaign, it's increasingly more important to make sure that you differentiate your products and services quickly and decisively.
Here is a short list of techniques that can go a long way to increasing your visibility and targeting your specific customer profile.
First: Actually differentiate yourself. I know it sounds silly, but what are the actual differences that you can point out between yourself and your competitors? Are you attracting price shoppers? Service oriented Shoppers? Are your products more "green" than your competitors? It's important that you take the time to make sure your keywords, phrases, and most importantly your content reflect why a customer should consider you. And then you should to integrate with your SEO campaign.
Next: Focus Locally Depending on the TYPE of business you run, it may be a benefit to be neighborhood specific. Clearly, a restaurant has different online marketing needs from a dentist, but if you're in a business and a location (How many restaurants are there with a 6 block radius in New York City, for example) it may not be enough just to target the city within the keyword phrase, you may want to consider really focusing in on the "long Tail" keywords and phrases that will specifically drive people to you and be far easier and quicker to gain higher rank on Google with.
Then: Stay in touch If you start using social media NOW, you can still be ahead of the curve in many vertical markets. Many businesses have been slow to adopt the use of social media as a weapon in the marketing war, and you can use this to your advantage. Businesses that are active and actually engaging with followers for detailed discussions are having the most consistent success. Keeping in touch with clients, customers, visitors, resellers, etc., via social media will directly increase your Web sites traffic, boosting referrals, increasing search engine exposure and ranking, and giving a much higher overall sense of engagement.
And Lastly: Get reviews . Have you taken the time to visit a review site? The BB Online, Yelp, Google Reviews, and other newly formed review sites typically focus on local businesses, and reflect buyers sites primarily focus on local businesses. While positive reviews can always contribute towards a businesses success, it's how a company responds to a negative review that often separates one company from another. With increased frequency, consumers now scan review sites before making a purchase, book an appointment, or hire a business for services. Happy customers, when prompted, will often write a review online. And while you're at it, don't forget to include reviews and testimonials on your Web site!
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