Shops of all stripes source at least some portion of their customers online which makes having a basic search presence an absolute necessity. While the field of search engine optimization (SEO) or marketing (SEM) is a fairly broad field of digital marketing, there are several simple things that any business can do in under 2 hours to improve their search rankings. So really, there are no excuses not to at least get the basics right! Let’s dive in:
1. Google My Business: No matter which retail sector you’re in, you can't ignore Google as this is where 95% of all Singapore internet searches start. Claiming your Google My Business listing (or GMB for short) is fundamental as it’s a critical ranking signal across google services. Good news is that it’s relatively easy to set up. Just create an account and go through one of the verification processes. If you don't own your own domain, the most straightforward is to either request a post card or phone call. If you don’t have a website, you can use your Fairmart store page too. Lastly, be sure to download the app once you’ve set up your account as it will come in handy later. Setup time: 20 minutes.
2. Apple Maps listings: One of the great things about GMB is that it will get you listed on Google Maps quickly. However, Apple has the largest market share of any mobile handset vendor with approximately 35% market share. Apple’s Maps service is actively used by iOS developers as an alternative to Google Maps, which you can see in popular apps such as Grab and HungryGoWhere. You can list your business directly with Apple Maps with the listing going live in about a week. Setup time: 15 minutes.
3. Reviews: This is becoming an ever more important ranking signal for search engines and one no shop can afford to ignore. Good news is that if you’ve set up your Google My Business account you’ll be able to respond to reviews directly there. Yelp and TripAdvisor are two other review services that come up often in Singapore. If a lot of your customers are tourists, then TripAdvisor is definitely a good place to start, but do check to see which is the most relevant to your business category. Responding to reviews can take a lot of time but focus on those that matter, especially very negative ones. While you may not agree with a reviewer, showing empathy is very important here and demonstrates you are an engaged business. For more information about how to respond to reviews, check out this guide. Setup time: 30 minutes.
4. Mobile friendly website: Over 60% of all web traffic is mobile, If your business operates a website it's critical that it works well on mobile devices. Over 60% of web traffic today comes from mobile devices and a poor mobile presence is as sure to turn away customers as a poor shop front. You can quickly check whether your website is mobile friendly with this nifty tool. If you’re getting poor results, consider linking your Fairmart page to your listings, or invest in a modern website builder such as SquareSpace or WIX. Setup time: 30 minutes.
These are just some of the things you can do to improve your online presence quickly, and it should only take you 90 minutes! As your business grows, it’s important to make the necessary investments to either build your own capabilities to manage all this yourself, or utilize 3rd party tools that can automate much of the work for you.