Even local businesses have to rely on the Google search results pages to generate leads and customers. When a customer does a search they are seeing local results first, especially when using a mobile device. Thus it is important for local businesses to pay attention to search metrics and what it takes to get to the top spot.
Here are 5 ways to improve your local marketing efforts.
Claim Your Online Listings
This is the first and most crucial step, start by claiming your listing on Google My Business, and Bing Local. You will need to fill out the details of your business nd verify the business. Typically Google sends you a post card to your business address with the pin number you will need to input to verify. You have options for a brick and mortar store, or a service based business where you travel to your clients.
Optimize the Listing
You will need to put in very accurate and detailed business information, make sure that your NAP (name, address and phone number) are correct. Input the opening and closing times, the days you are open for business and the area you service. You will want to include images and videos of your business and more images are better. This is what will help you show up on the map listings and it is important you leave nothing blank. It will help you rank and offer more information to any potential clients seeing your listings.
More and more people rely on online reviews before they make a purchase. Encourage your customers to review your business and post the reviews to Google as well as Yelp or other online review sites. Create a signature for your email with a link for them to leave a review on Google. Many business owners are too afraid of negative reviews, but you shouldn’t be. All reviews are good for business and as long as you handle any negative reviews professionally you’ll be just fine. Here is a video showing you how to handle negative reviews.
Optimize Your Website
Ideally you should work with your web designer or SEO agency to make sure this is done properly. You need to make sure that your phone number is displayed prominently. There are technical elements that need to be taken care so that search engines can properly read your site. Make sure that any NAP information is consistent with your Google My Business page.
Your business needs to be listed in all the online directories that have effectively replaced the Yellow Pages. The drawback is that there are many of these directories and the information needs to be consistent across all of them. Not to mention this is the most tedious task imaginable, let a digital marketing agency take care of the task for you. Your time is too valuable to waste with this.
These steps won’t guarantee you a first place ranking on the search engines but they will go a long way towards getting you there.