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The Use of “Barnacle SEO” for Small Business

Date Tuesday, 05 August 2014 , By: Adam Futcher , In: Digital Marketing

The Use of “Barnacle SEO” for Small Business

The competition for top positions in search engine result pages is huge, with an abundance of companies fighting it out for those all-important first page listings. This can make it extremely challenging for smaller businesses operating on a limited budget to compete with the large corporations for these places.

Although the internet is an excellent place for brand promotion and growth, it can sometimes be difficult for these small businesses to gain the same kind of visibility that companies working with huge budgets and SEO teams can achieve.

This is where “Barnacle SEO” can prove highly effective in gaining these small companies more exposure in the top pages of search listings.

What is it?

Barnacle SEO works by fastening a smaller website to a bigger website that has higher traffic driven to it and better search rankings. For example, websites such as Yelp or Google+ will more often than not appear within the top results of a search. In essence, you are using these sites as a means of transport on to the first page and taking advantage of the fact that larger sites with more traffic regularly rank higher.

So, when someone searches for a supplier in Wiltshire for instance, the website for a small independent business may not appear amongst the listings on the first page. However, it is likely that their business listing on Yelp or the category for their local area will be shown here. This local business will have successfully increased their chance of exposure to their target market by using this method of SEO.

Identifying Sites to Attach to

When attempting to utilise this technique it is important that you are attaching yourself to the most appropriate sites. Some directories or websites will be more suitable than others for certain types of companies or industries.

The most effective way to identify these is through carrying out searches related to your business, services offered and keywords you’d like to target. Keep a look out for the websites that are appearing regularly within the results and aim to attach your site to these.

Potential sites that you’re likely to see from your searches could include Google+, Yahoo Local and Yelp. These can vary between industry sectors so be sure to carry out a good selection of searches. Yelp generally is a pretty good bet, ranking well for the majority of business areas.

Making the Most of Your Listings and Profiles

In the same way that you should be optimising your business’ website in order to achieve the greatest results, you should place care and attention into the creation of content within your business listings and profiles on these websites and directories.

Information that should be included on the sites are:

  • Name of business
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Operating hours
  • Website links
  • Business description
  • Products and services offered
  • Photos, images or videos

It is important that you are careful in providing accurate and up to date information, in addition to ensuring that the details provided are consistent throughout all of your profiles, including your website. For instance, your telephone number or address must be written in the same format across all of the sites. If any differences occur it makes it harder for search engines to identify this business as the same across multiple locations. This will ultimately hinder your tactic.

Another useful element of these websites is the opportunity to gain user or customer reviews on your profile. Having a decent collection of reviews can help your business profile become more prominent on a site like Yelp, subsequently increasing your potential visibility within the search engine result pages.

Although barnacle SEO as a strategy can be time-consuming due to the need to create several profiles and listings, it is generally free to implement with no costs involved in attaching yourself to the sites. The return on investment that could come from using this method is certainly worth the work.

Barnacle SEO is a great process for gaining extra traffic and potential conversions. For a small business with tight budgets, it’s an approach that should definitely be considered for implementation as part of a local SEO strategy.

Adam Futcher

By: Adam Futcher

Adam has been a part of Blue Frontier since 2013, working in the SEO and digital marketing team. He has enjoyed developing his skills and expertise in this area, helping clients drive valuable online traffic to their businesses.