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6 SEO Tips for Local Small-Business Owners

6 SEO Tips for Local Small-Business Owners

For a small business, the perfect search engine optimization (SEO) is an elusive dream. Years of hard work on online and offline SEO can go in vain with one change in the algorithm by Google.

Google constantly makes changes in its algorithms to provide the best search results to its users. Due to this reason, small-business websites continue to be updated to enjoy the benefit of SEO.

With limited resources and technical knowledge, it becomes extremely difficult. But the good news is, whatever the changes, there are some basic and universal SEO practices that should be adopted by small-business owners to appear higher in Google rankings.

I will be sharing with you some really interesting and cost-effective SEO tips for small business owners operating an online business.

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1. Get Local Citations

Probably one of the easiest methods to improve your online presence is to get an online local citation.

The online local citation is nothing more than the mention of your business name, address, telephone number, and fax, etc., on someone else’s website. In the local citation, a local website actually lists the name of your business and other details on its pages

Local citations improve your SEO visibility and are more relevant in industries that are non-competitive online, such as plumbing and other service providers. It makes Google think that you are part of the community and really exist.

You can easily get local citations through Five—a website where freelancers offer you their services for just $5. So for just $5 you can get 30 to 40 local citations easily.

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2. Get local and relevant content

Google likes perpetually relevant content, and you can get tremendous benefits from lively and evergreen content.

A lot of local small- or medium-level businesses are city- or statewide only. Denver, for example, has a buzzing small-business economy with great growth potential, so a Denver SEO expert familiar with this city and its local websites and services would be the best for delivering relevant contents.

3. Use Social Media

More than anything else, your local business needs a presence on social media. Whatever changes Google makes in its algorithms, online presence on social media gives you a tremendous SEO boost.

Make a Facebook page and share your business’s pictures through Instagram. Presence on Pinterest and Twitter is also critical for getting free traffic to your site and increasing the social signals for your website.

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4. Include Reviews

Strategically including reviews of your business is another tool you can use to improve your media presence and create social media signals for your small business

If you can use reviews effectively, the overall rank of your business website can greatly improve its ranking.

You can ask dedicated customers for reviews or buy reviews online. Though this is somewhat a black hat technique, however, some business do adopt it. Black hat techniques are techniques that are not considered as ethical but they are used practically to cheat the system to get desired results.

Small businesses look for affordable SEO packages offered by freelancers that can specifically cater to the issue of reviews. Buying reviews can be a cost-effective method to generate some buzz about your business, but make sure they are legitimate and from people with already published reviews.

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Getting good reviews from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and on Google can provide tremendous SEO boost to the website.

5. Use Pay-Per-Click Methods

Though this technique is mostly used for advertising purposes, any small business owner can invest in this to generate site traffic.

Pay-per-click methods are great to supplement your SEO efforts, as you can get targeted paid traffic to your website. Pay-per-click methods are good to get more traffic to your sites, and if you can leverage your social media buttons on your website, you can easily increase your social media followers also through pay-per-click methods.

6. Get Backlinks

Getting backlinks from your local competitors or websites is also a critical SEO step to improve your rankings. Getting links from local directories, classification websites such as Gumtree, or even mention on the local review sites can help increase your online visibility without investing too much on expensive SEO.

Small businesses can easily improve their online presence by making simple efforts and investment. Consistent efforts on SEO can rank you higher on Google and will result in higher sales and profitability.

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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