6 Simple Tips to Help Improve Your Business’ SEO

As a business owner, you might have heard the term SEO thrown around a bit. It sounds technical and intimidating, but don’t let it scare you. SEO simply means “search engine optimization,” which is the process of directing digital traffic from search engines towards your content on the web.

Here are six simple tips to help improve your business’ SEO:

1. Use the Right Language and Give it Meaning

Search engines like Google and Bing run off of algorithms that look for certain criteria to determine which websites should rise to the top. Having the right keywords on your site is a critical component to that process, so make sure you so do some research to find the right ones. There are plenty of helpful resources around the web—like Google AdWords—but, remember, it’s not just having the right keywords that’s important. Search engine algorithms are getting smarter and smarter and they can see through websites that dump keywords onto their site simply to get traction. Make sure they’re placed inside intentional content that serves a purpose.

2. Use Keywords In Your Page Titles and URLs

Page titles are the most important location for your keywords, but those page titles should also be represented in your URL’s. For example, singleplatform.com/page-title-with-key-words carries a lot more weight than singleplatform.com/4839rhosna9x as far as search enginges are concerned. If every URL on your website is clearly marked with specific language, it will make an enormous difference for your business’ presence online.

3. Create Cross-Connectivity Between Your Pages and Others

No matter what page your customer is visiting, they should be able to find links to your other pages easily. Link out to other websites that might have relevance to your customers as well. Not only will those websites appreciate the recognition, but they might even return the favor—and the more relevant pages that link to your website, the better. Creating a web of inter-connectivity helps boost your customers engagement, creates more hits, and adds the street cred your website needs to get recognized by search engines.

4. Create Original, Quality Content

Search engines take note of pages that are updated regularly with new content. Not only that, but fresh content is a great way to vary your language, introduce new keywords, create cross-connectivity opportunities, and incentivize your customers to re-visit your site time and time again. Whether it’s a blog or a weekly campaign on social media, start making content and you’ll see your web-traffic skyrocket.

5. Have a Strong Social Media Presence

Having a strong social media presence and following is a great way to get recognized by search engines. It’s also a great place to implement many of the tools we’ve already listed. Look into some dynamic ways to make your social media presence stronger, put them into action, and watch online engagement reach an all-time high.

6. Make Sure Your Website Runs Smoothly

It’s as simple as that. Fast, well-designed website are more likely to get recognized by search engines. Look for ways your website can run faster, and the algorithm masters will be pleased.

Incorporate these six simple tips and your business will be reaching new customers at a rate you never thought possible. For even more tips and tricks on running your local business, sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter below:

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5 Easy Ways Your Spa or Salon Can Give Back This Holiday Season

Your promotions are in place, you’re getting some great reviews, sales are good, and the holidays are around the corner. It’s time for your Spa or Salon to spread the cheer and give back this holiday season. 

Charity work doesn’t just create good karma for your business—it can stir up some seriously positive PR, cause an upswing in employee morale, and forge important new connections with other local businesses and leaders. 

Here’s five easy ways your spa or salon can give back this holiday season:

1. Start a Youth Apprenticeship Program 

Donating your team’s time and talents is an amazing way to give back and show that your business cares. Teaming up with local high schools to create a youth apprenticeship program not only gives young students the opportunity to get hands on professional experience, but it gives your business some great word of mouth from the students, teachers and families in your area. It can also lead to easier recruitment when looking for new talent. 

2. Plan an Event to Benefit Locks of Love

Locks of Love is an amazing organization that uses donated hair to make hair prosthetics for children suffering long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Register at a participating location and plan an event at your Spa or Salon to see just how many heads you can shear for a good cause (the hair does have to meet their standards). It’s a great way to create good will for your company, build camaraderie with your staff, introduce your business to new people, and bolster your PR. 

3. Make People Look Good

Donate your time to an organization like Dress for Success to help prepare women for interviews. Once they’re economically independent, you might have some customers for life. You can also help highlight the beauty of cancer patients and survivors through organizations like Look Good Feel Better. What a wonderful way for your staff to bond and make a difference. If those opportunities aren’t in your area, plan a visit to a local nursing home and give out some free manicures and pedicures. The residents will love the attention and when their family visits, they’ll be so excited they’ll be sure to give you a referral. 

4. Designate a Day Each Week for Charity 

Pick your slowest day of the week and advertise that a percentage-of-proceeds will be donated to charity on that day. Talk to your staff and customers about the types of organizations they’d be interested in supporting and watch as business picks up with customers trying to support your efforts.

5. Hold a “Salon Marathon” 

Hold an event where you and your staff work extra-long hours to raise money for charity. Whether it’s all-proceeds, or a-portion-of, marathon events are always great for PR and employee moral. Reach out to local newspapers and stations and new faces will be sure to show up to help—and they just that might become new regulars. 

Show your community that you care this holiday season by following any of these ways you can give back. As long as you’re passionate about what you choose, it will be fun, rewarding and profitable for you and your business. Get more tips and tricks for running your local business sent straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter below:

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4 Helpful Ways Your Pet Service Business Can Give Back This Holiday Season

You’re up on the trends, your online business is booming, Halloween was a huge success, and the rest of the holidays are right around the corner. It might be time for your Pet Service business to spread the cheer and give back this holiday season. 

Involving your business in charity isn’t just an investment in others. Giving back can lead to PR opportunities, upswings in employee morale, and new connections with other businesses and local leaders that benefit your business in the long-run. 

Here are four easy ways your pet service business can give back this holiday season:

1. Partner With a Local Adoption Center

No matter where your business is, there’s sure to be a shelter nearby with animals waiting to be adopted. You and your employees can partner with your local adoption center to help find pets permanent homes. Incentivize people to adopt with coupons to your business—that way people will be even more excited about the new addition to their family and your business will be their first choice for purchasing all their pet necessities. 

2. Pet-Therapy 

Chances are you and your employees are pet lovers and have pets of your own. If that’s the case, you can screen your pets to see if they can be used as therapy animals through organizations like Pet Partners. With a team of registered therapy animals, you can take them around to any number of local causes, spread the love, spread the healing, and spread awareness of your business. 

3. Do a Charity Walk with Your Pets

There are so many charity walks out there supporting amazing causes, but there are also walks specific for pets like Strut your Mutt. No matter what cause you choose, your animals can come with you, so pick a cause that’s close to your heart and rally your employees together to raise money and awareness while you walk. Print some team t-shirts and deck your pets out in some swag from your business and you’ll be creating goodwill for your company, building camaraderie with your staff, and introducing your business to new people—with your pets as the star models. 

4. Donate to Charity Once a Week

Plan a day of the week where your business gives back by donating a portion of its proceeds to charity. This allows you and your employees to choose any charity that is close to your hearts, and having passion for your cause makes all the difference when asking others to support you. If you plan it on a day of the week where business is typically slower, you might be surprised at how much business can pick up.  

Giving back with your Pet Service business can be both heart-warming and profitable. Follow any of these ways your business can give back this holiday season and you’ll be able to see the benefits for yourself. Get more helpful tips and tricks for growing your Pet Service business sent straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter below:

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4 Smart Ways Your Fitness Center to Give Back This Holiday Season

You’ve introduced some cool new technology, waves of new people are signing up for memberships earlier than expected, sales are up, and the holidays are right around the corner. It’s time for your Fitness Center to spread some cheer and give back this holiday season. 

Charity work doesn’t just create good karma for your business. It often leads to opportunities and connections that can help your business profit in the long-run. 

Here are five easy ways your fitness center can give back:

1. Run for Charity

There are so many runs for charity out there. Pick a cause that’s close to your heart and rally your employees and clients together to race, raise money, and raise awareness. Invest in some personalized racing gear for your business and see how many races your team can complete in one year. You’ll be creating goodwill and good PR for your company, building camaraderie with your staff, introducing your business to new people, and your customers will love that they’re supporting a company that supports others. 

2. Sponsor A Community Team

Many schools have faced budget cuts that have caused them to make some hard decisions in regards to their extracurricular offerings for their students. That’s where your fitness center or gym comes in. Your gym can sponsor a team in your community that needs the funds. Not only can you put your branding on their uniforms for some increased exposure but you are also helping to instill a love of physical activity in the youth. 

3. Sell Gear for a Good Cause

If your fitness center offers gear like tee shirts and headbands, consider adding in some merchandise from your favorite charities. Livestrong bracelets and water bottles are good choices for your active clients. A percentage of these sales will benefit a good cause and it will also be an 

4. Collect and Donate Gear

Organizations like Nike Reuse-a-Shoe collect old running shoes and recycle the materials to make running tracks, athletic courts, and playgrounds. Others donate them to kids around the world without shoes, like Soles4Souls. Whatever the cause, your customers will appreciate the ability to pay-it-forward. After donating, they might also be on the look-out for some new gear. Offer discounts to anyone who donates clothes and your athletic gear will be flying off your shelves while encouraging sustainable and charitable causes. 

No matter what way your fitness center chooses to give back, you can do it with peace of mind knowing that you’re creating a positive impact on the world and on your business. Get more tips and tricks for running your fitness center sent straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter below:

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5 Simple Tips to Help Build Your Spa or Salon’s Referral Program

Building a successful referral program for your Spa or Salon is a great way to drive more customers through your door. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways there is in the health and beauty field. Referred customers are also proven better customers—they spend more and remain loyal over longer periods of time. 

Make sure your business is getting the most out of your referral program by following these simple steps: 

1. Build a Database

Hand out a survey to first-time customers that is fun and personal while asking for their contact information, birthday, and other important dates. Having a database of that information helps your business advertise your promotions, keep in touch with your customers, and give them the personalized attention it takes to let them know you care. 

2. Incentivize Referrals

Entice customers to refer your business with discounts, coupons, and free products. Talk to some of your trusted regulars and ask them what would motivate them to refer your business. Better yet, tailor your gifts to your customers and watch as new customers come looking for personalized gifts of their own. 

3. Reward Loyalty

Loyalty programs are another great way to build relationships with your customers. Offering a  free service after a specified amount of visits will help turn walk-ins into regulars.  You can go with a traditional punch card program or a new high-tech app. Either way, you’ll be increasing your customer retention rate for a minimal cost.  

4. Track Your Success

Keep track of your referrals. There are plenty of programs out there for referrals, like Referral Candy, Ambassador, and InviteBox. Being able to track the success and challenges of your referral program will help you to optimize the process and keep you motivated. If you’re having trouble capturing more referrals, consider investing in some help. 

5. Promote Referrals on Social Media

Now that you’ve created a database of customers and are reaching out to them regularly, engage with them on social media. Remind them about upcoming deals and discounts as well as highlighting exemplary service that you’ve provided to other.  Keeping your salon or spa at the top of their minds means they are more likely to recommend your business to others. 

Follow these tips on building your referral program to help find and retain new customers for your small business. Stay in-touch with the latest tips to help your spa or salon by signing up for our newsletter below: 

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4 Important Signs Your Business is Ready to Open a Second Location

Opening a second location is a significant step for any owner looking to grow their business, but, like most milestones, timing is everything. Here are five signs that your business might be ready to expand:

1. Your First Location is Running Seamlessly

Having a rock-solid foundation for your company is key. It will allow your attention to move elsewhere without fearing repercussions. If your sales are not only consistent but on the rise, your employees are well-trained, happy, and capable, your customer satisfaction is outstanding, and all of the operational kinks are worked out—it just might be time to start considering.

2. Market Trends and Demand Are High

It sounds obvious, but it’s important to have your thumb on the pulse of market trends. If you’re unable to keep up with the demand at your current location, that’s one really great sign. Do some research to see just how much demand is out there for what you’re offering—and where. Opening up a second location nearby might be an option if your product is trending and competition is low, but if you find that you’ve tapped into the majority of customers in your area, look to see if there are any neighboring towns or cities where your business could fill a need. If your research comes back positive, it might be time to start looking for a broker.

3. You’re Confident in Maintaining Quality

A new and unique business plan is necessary to cater to whatever population and area that you choose for your second location, but having trust in the staff for your new location will be essential to maintaining quality—especially if someone else is running it. You’ve already set the standards for quality at your first location so it’s important to have those standards upheld by people who believe in them and are driven enough to make the second location as successful as the first. If you’ve got driven professionals who you can trust on your team, the next steps for your business might be closer than you thought.

4. You Have Sufficient Cash Flow

There’s no harm in seeking outside funding, especially from investors who are more focused on growing your business than seeing immediate returns, but taking on debt with high rates of return is always risky and something to avoid—especially when your new location likely won’t be turning a profit for the first couple months to a year. If you have enough cash flow to be able to fund a second location without having to look elsewhere, you’re likely prepared to open a second location.

If your business meets all of these credentials—congratulations! It might be time for a new and exciting chapter for you and your business. If not—don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to grow your business without expanding. Learn more about how SinglePlatform can help that happen by improving your business’ presence online!

Small Business Saturday: How to Follow Up [VIDEO]

Once you conquer Small Business Saturday with your expert planning and flawless execution, it’s time to keep that momentum going through out the holiday season. Learn how to turn your first time customers into lifetime regulars with a few simple tips and tricks from SinglePlatform:

SinglePlatform is dedicated to helping local business owners like you succeed. Learn more about how we can help you get discovered everywhere that matters online and get chosen by new customers today.

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