One of the most exciting things about online marketing is that way in which it evolves. Myspace evolved from the place to be to a niche music network. Facebook grew from a small network for Ive-League college students to a trendsetting, social network. People went from saying, “What’s a search engine?” to using the phrase Google so much Webster even added it to the dictionary.
With the huge increase of mobile phone usage, consumers are transforming online marketing yet again. With geo location apps and location based search, businesses are having to step up their game in local search engine optimization. As you develop and engage your local search marketing plans, keep these tips in mind:
1. Submit your business to search engines.
Having a profile on Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing Local should be step one of local marketing strategy. If you are already represented, claim your profile. If you aren’t listed, create one. Include as much information about your business as you can: hours of operation, payments accepted, pictures, categories, etc.
2. Submit to directories.
Consumers not only look for businesses in search engines, they also utilize directories to find what they need. There are several general directories that you can use to gain more local attention such as Local.com, SuperPages, AskCity, YellowPages, and InfoSpace. In addition to these directories, the majority of industries have directories you can submit to as well.
3. Be consistent.
As you start implementing your tasks, make sure you are consistent in all that you do. Use your exact address, the same business name, your local phone number, and your website.
4. Every location deserves its own page.
If you have multiple locations, you should have a page for each location. Make sure to point out any differences between the locations in the profile. For example, if you are technology business and you have one store that focuses on TVs and another that focuses on mobile phones, make sure the profile reflects the difference.
5. Encourage interaction by consumers.
Whether it is on location based search or mobile apps (Yelp, FourSquare, etc.), encourage your customers to share about their experiences: remind them in conversation, add a note to your receipts, or offer incentives on the apps. One of the best ways to inspire your customers to share a review is to give them better service than they have ever received. How can you go out of your way to make shopping at your store better than any experience they’ve ever had?
6. Think like your audience.
The best way you can reach your customers is to think like them. What will your customers search for when they need your service? What category? Do they want to see pictures in your profile? How can you improve your customer service to really impress your customers?
These tips will set you on the right track to securing your spot on the Google map. Still have questions or need some help getting started? Let me know, I’d love to help!