Why SEO is important for your online success

This year, Covid-19 forced businesses big and small to close their doors, some for a few months, others for the foreseeable future. As brick and mortar stores are adapting to this strange new world of remote working, it’s never been more important to build a strong digital presence to attract new customers. 

If you’re wondering how to make your business successful online, one tactic that can’t be ignored is SEO. Let’s have a look into what SEO is, how it works, and how it can help your business. 

What does SEO stand for? 

If you’re wondering what on earth SEO is, then you’re not alone. Short for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, it’s basically the art of increasing traffic to your website through organic search results. 

Still confused? Let’s dive into it a bit more and see what we mean by ‘traffic’ and ‘organic search’. 

Key terms: 

  • Traffic – refers to the visitors coming to your site. 
  • Organic search – refers to the search results of a search engine (like Google) that don’t appear as a result of paid advertising. They are ranked according to their relevance to a search term. So, if someone types into Google ‘what is SEO?’ The top results that will appear will be websites with information that most closely matches that search query. 

So, why is organic traffic important? 

Organic traffic is important because it is relevant. Visitors that land on your site from a search engine’s organic results are looking for specific products and services you offer. This means that they are more likely to convert. 

SEO uses a number of tactics to influence the position of your website in the search engine results pages to drive more conversions. And SEO works because lots and lots of people search for things on the internet.

How does SEO work? 

Google’s algorithm determines which websites are the most relevant and should appear at the top of search results. It looks for high-quality information that is relevant to the searcher’s query. 

Google looks at your website’s content to evaluate how useful it is in answering what the searcher is looking for. 

The simple basis is that Google provides the most relevant and useful information based on the search query. 

 

How can SEO help your business? 

SEO is one of the most popular digital marketing tools out there, and for good reason. Here’s how SEO can help your business succeed online: 

  • Relevant traffic – SEO puts your business in front of people who are looking for the services you provide, which means they are more likely to convert. 
  • Increases profit  – With organic search traffic driving conversions, your profit will increase and you won’t need to pay as much on paid advertising – win, win! 
  • Long-term gain Organic traffic doesn’t just come all at once and then stop – if done properly, SEO will bring you a steady stream of traffic for months (and even years!) to come.
  • Bypasses competitors – If you’ve ever searched for something on Google yourself (which you probably have), then you’ll know first-hand that most of us only click on the first search result. If there are two businesses in the same industry, selling similar products or services, then which one are you likely to go for, the first search result or the second? We know what our answer would be…
  • Brand awareness – Last but not least, increasing your search rankings is a great way to build your brand awareness amongst consumers. If your website appears at the top of Google or Bing, then customers will be more likely to trust your business – simple.

All this talk of SEO getting you in a wobble? You can hire an SEO specialist on Bark – they’ll be highly skilled in building your brand awareness and driving the quantity and quality of traffic to your site.

 

 

Get the right kind of publicity with
our new Bark Spotlight

Getting the right kind of publicity is the key to drawing hundreds (or even thousands) of new users, prospects and customers to your business.

The biggest companies in the world can spend millions of pounds trying to win positive media coverage, like Oreo did to pull off their “dunk in the dark” stunt during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout.

But flashy PR campaigns usually aren’t an option for small businesses. So we decided to build something anyone could use to enjoy the instant interest appearing on social media and popular online blogs can generate – whether you’re a wedding planner in Leeds, or a plumber in Watford.

It’s called the Bark Spotlight, and it gives our pros the chance to promote their services prominently on our site, completely free of charge.

Why being “in the spotlight” is great for your business

We recently added a short Q&A section to every Bark profile to give you yet another way to promote your business on our site.

Filling in the questions that are relevant to you will help boost your SEO ranking and promote your services to potential customers. (If you haven’t completed yours already, you can login and do so here.)

But this feature is a lot more than just another section for your profile. We’ll also be picking our favourite responses to be highlighted in our new Bark Spotlight feature:

spotlight-koco-ltd
The Bark Spotlight lets us highlight our favourite pros on our category pages

The Spotlight is a key part of our ‘new look’ category pages, designed to highlight some of our favourite pros to people who visit our site. Every time someone visits one of these new pages, our Bark Spotlight will be one of the first things they see.

We’re working to roll them out across all our most popular categories right now – and you can take a look at one that’s live already right here.

But that’s not the only way we’ll be promoting the pros on our site using the new Bark Q&A. We’ll also be using the quotes you provide us with in our regular blog posts and on our social media pages to promote your business to hundreds of thousands of potential customers nationwide.

In short, completing your Bark Q&A is an easy way to get your business promoted heavily online with Bark. So, if you haven’t already, click here now and fill it in.

An easy guide: How to build an online presence for your small business

We are surrounded by media. From when we sit at the bus stop in the morning to when we chill out in front of the TV in the evening, we are constantly targeted by large companies and brands who are desperate to gain our attention. This has become increasingly prevalent in the age of social media, which has provided another avenue from which brands can target us, even drilling down into our demographics and interests. With that in mind, small business owners now need to make sure that they are developing an online presence, to make them stand out in industries that are already heavily saturated.

It’s common knowledge that online presence means brand awareness. Nowadays, how you present your brand online is similar to meeting a customer for the first time. Your online brand is essentially what people think of you when you are not available. Online presence is often a test of credibility for many technologically savvy consumers, who would rather connect with businesses online first before making a purchasing decision. This poses an opportunity to impress and capture the attention of potential customers. These days the first port of call when looking for information about a product or a service is to ‘Google’ it, meaning online presence is crucial if you want to make your business a successful one.

So how can you become a major player in this competitive age? Here are 5 ways to effectively maximise your online presence:

Branding 

No matter how big or small your company is – branding matters. From word go a clear and consistent branding strategy should be developed, which can be pumped across all online channels to create brand recognition. According to the founder of The NY Brand Lb, Mary Van de Wiel, “without a brand you ultimately lack an identity, a presence – and a purpose.” You should think about your tone of voice and your values, as well as your visual aesthetic. Not particularly creative? Don’t know where to start? Then maybe you should find a graphic designer who can help you pinpoint what your business is about in a visually appealing way.

Communicate your brand
Shout loud about your brand

Website Design and Development 

You never know who will be knocking on your virtual door at any time of the day or night – so make sure your home on the Internet is kitted out for new visitors! Creating and more importantly maintaining a website is a useful tool for every business. Here, you can shout loud about your portfolio of work and maybe even offer your tuppence-worth via a company blog. Your website needs to be functional and user friendly, and this is where a professional with experience in website design and development may come in handy! Once you find the right web developer, start thinking about optimising your website. This will make sure that your website performs well on search engines – just like the aforementioned Google! Be front and centre of the online world, and drive traffic to your website with the help of an SEO professional.

Web Site Design
Build a user-friendly website!

Social Media

You’ve developed your brand, and mastered your website. But how can you enhance the visibility of your brand even further? The key is to make sure you are on social media – which is both effective and cost effective. Social media not only helps you to grow your customer base by reaching a wider audience, it also helps you to promote brand recognition and loyalty. Find a social media marketer who can help you maximise channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although not the most widely used social network, G+ should also be maximised. Effective use of G+ can determine your inclusion and ranking in the carousel of businesses that appear at the top of the Google search results. As well as aiding your SEO, there are also advanced features available to businesses using G+. Check out G+ for yourself and add Bark.com to your circles!

If you’re feeling particularly competitive, you might want to also get set up on new and emerging social networks like Snapchat and Periscope. The opportunities are endless!

Be active on social media
Engage with your customers via social media

Email Marketing

In this day and age, almost everyone has an online presence in some form, even if it is just an email address. Email marketing is a sure way to stay on the radar of potential customers, and it can definitely allow you to establish profitable relationships in the long term. This is to be used wisely, and should not be spam abuse. Instead your emails should offer something to the consumer – be it special offers, industry news or company updates. Feeling a little confused? Then find an email marketer to help you get the job done.

Build a customer database
Build a targeted email marketing campaign

Online Directories

Regardless of how strong your online presence is, you won’t be able to sit back, relax and let the cash flow in. You need to get ahead of your competitors, who are battling against you with extensive advertising budgets. If a customer can’t find you when they are searching for a product or a service, then you simply won’t get the business. Joining an online directory like our very own Bark.com ensures that you are placed directly in front of the right people, often for a very minimal spend. No matter what service you provide, learn more about joining Bark by visiting our Pro-Centre.

Incorporating a targeted email marketing campaign with your slick new branding, user-friendly website and engaging social media strategy will set your small business on a path to success, all with the added help from an online directory like Bark.com!

Do you have any other tips for small business owners? Let us know!

For more Bark.com tips and insights, why not check out our other blogs?