According to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, it is estimated that there are 8.6 million women-owed businesses in the United States. Most exciting is that this number is increasing – a LOT.
Between 1997 and 2013, women-owned businesses increased by over 59%. This was much higher than the overall growth rate of businesses which was at 41%.
It’s also important to look at what types of businesses women own and for good or bad, they tend to be smaller and locally focused rather than large, national companies.
And this opens up a huge opportunity to provide search engine optimization (SEO) services on a local basis to these women-owned businesses.
Cairn Marketing is one such company that provides local SEO services in the Walnut Creek and San Francisco area. Here are a few tips they recently shared:
- Include your business’ name, address, and phone number on each page of the site. This can be in the footer.
- Include both the name of the service or product you are providing and your geographic location in the page URL.
- Create a Google Places page and make sure you link to your website
- Consider setting up additional pages on major directory and citation sites such as Bing Places, Yelp, Foursquare, and other similar sites.
- Make sure that your company name, address, and phone number (often abbreviated as NAP in SEO terms) is consistent and the same on every web page you create.
- If you belong to the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, or other local organization, try and get them to link to your website.
- Make sure your writing web pages and blog posts that include the cities you work in and the products you sell.
Google is making it easier for small businesses to compete with large companies when it comes to local SEO. They realize that products that people buy and services that people use are often done so locally from small businesses. So those businesses often show up in search results versus large, national, and especially online companies.
So it’s a great time to be a woman owning a local business. More and more of us are leaving traditional careers, or returning to the workforce after getting our family up and running, and turning to being our own boss as an alternative to going back to boring jobs.
And with good marketing, including effective search engine optimization techniques, the success rate of starting your own business has never been higher.