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by RON STURGEON, AutoSalvageConsultant.com

What are you doing to move your business to the web?

How are you using the web to ensure that people using search engines to find parts find you and your business? My experience tells me that me that many yard owners still have a simple website, one that was done on the cheap by their nephew. Most owners know that they should have the website redone, but it is not a high priority.

If that’s your story, you probably have a website that is not getting much traffic from search engines. That’s a costly mistake. Prioritize the quality of your business site. Work with a person with knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO).

If you would like to see how close your current design is to being SEO friendly, send me an email with your business websites URL and I will send you free SEO audit report on your site. Please put free SEO audit in the subject line of your e-mail.

In the meantime, here are 10 things you should be doing to get more business from your website:

•You should have a list of key words that you want to “own” for your area. You should know the keywords. When someone types these words into Google, your business name should  appear near the top of the results. You should be looking at a monthly report to see how well your marketing efforts are working and to see how far you have moved up or down in the results for keywords.
•You should be using the keywords or terms in the text and titles for pages on your site. You should have pages with titles that match the valuable terms.
•You should be using relevant keywords in your craigslist ads and all other places that you are sharing content on the web. Make sure your eBay listings are helping your SEO by putting relevant keywords in them and giving them good titles.
•You should have videos posted that include keywords to make sure that they are found and lead potential customers back to your site and you.
•You should issue periodic press releases using the keywords. Put a link on the keyword and connect it to the page for that keyword on your site.
•You should be using the keywords on Twitter, Facebook and other social site, where you have content.
•You should make sure that your site displays properly on mobile devices. Can someone using a smart phone or tablet to browse your inventory find what they want and order it easily?
•Make sure your site has a large prominent button that says “find parts” on the home page. Folks came to buy something. Don’t make them scroll past pics of your yard and verbiage. Make it easy for visitors to find the parts they came to buy.
•Stop scrimping on the site. Your nephew is a sweet kid, but a good site done by an SEO pro will start at around $3,000. Most web designers say they understand SEO, but they really don’t, so seek out an expert on SEO. Be more focused on visibility and usability than on how pretty or slick it looks.
•You do not need pay per click (PPC) to be successful. Paying for visitors is a lazy man’s way to find limited success. It is a costly way to compensate for a crappy non-SEO-optimized site with no supporting strategy. Relying on PPC will cause you to spend $500 or $1,000 per month forever because you would not spend $6,000 the first year and much lower ongoing costs.

A robust web strategy is a must if you want to get move small business to maximum success. It will also put you ahead of some of your competitors. One of my consulting practices is helping business owners use the web to generate leads and sales. In many of my own ventures, we rely on traffic from search engines and SEO to ensure prospective clients find us. We own top positions for our keywords. You can too.

Published in the December 2016 Edition of American Recycler News