If you want to market your business online and build a meaningful internet presence for your local or small business, without breaking the bank, then concentrating on local SEO could be the answer. Here are some simple steps you can take to help you to establish a dominant online ranking position in your local market.
Register your Business Details with Google.
If your business details aren’t registered with Google My Business then you cannot feature in Google’s local pack of search results. Ever noticed that map with the red dots followed by local business details at the top of your search results? This appears when Google detects that the search you are carrying out is for a local product or service.
This is effectively Google’s own business directory and provides a number of different advantages to help you to market your business online:
- Provides prime search result real estate for you to feature in
- Displays your company’s information in search results, Google Maps and in Google’s social media platform, Google+
- Provides your potential customers with quick and easy access to your vital information – address (with directions), phone number, website & opening hours
- Allows your customers to leave reviews. Reviews are becoming increasingly important as people turn to the internet to find local businesses
- Highlights the ratings from those reviews to grab searchers attention. Those gold stars look good in the above image, don’t they?
- Allows you to upload images and videos to your listing. This provides more opportunities to stand out from the crowd and inform your potential customers
- Provide for multiple locations – if your business is operating in different regions, then you can easily cater for that.
These are just some of the benefits that can be had by registering your local business with Google. Once registered, and just as importantly properly optimised, your business will gain premium exposure in Google’s search results. This added exposure will show your business details directly to potential customers right at the moment that they are looking for your product or service.
Don’t think just because you don’t have a physical bricks and mortar address for customers to call to that this isn’t for you. Google accounts for service businesses that carry out their work on customers sites.
Now take things another step forward….
Create a Facebook Business Page
Setting up a Facebook business page is well worth while and can be an excellent tool to help you market your business online. Even if you never intend to post any updates on it, it provides a valuable source of basic business information for people, such as your address, contact details, opening hours and provides you with the opportunity to talk about your products and services.
If you are familiar with Facebook from personal use, then posting as your business wont prove overly taxing. It is a great way of engaging with potential customers, of retaining existing customers and of course also provides another opportunity for your customers to rate your business and leave reviews.
Facebook business pages also regularly provide an additional entry into organic search results and can act as a surrogate website for those businesses that have not gone down that road yet.
Get Online Reviews
Getting customers to leave reviews is one of the most important aspects of any local SEO strategy. You may have noticed I mentioned it twice already above. Reviews provide an easy way to boost your online presence. Google ranks local businesses with reviews higher than those without. This provides potential customers with confidence in your business and provides you with important feedback.
Online reviews are quickly taking over from word of mouth as consumers primary source of business recommendations. Online reviews are so important because they:
- Help potential customers to overcome any hesitation they may have from buying your goods or services
- Show that other local people use and appreciate your business and that you are trustworthy
- Help you to establish a positive reputation. This is especially important if you are a new business or new to the area
- Increase search exposure. Google ranks reviewed businesses higher, using them to understand your business better and displaying you in more searches
So how do you get your customers to leave reviews? Well you ask for them of course. You can do this face to face, over the phone, via email, or any other way you choose. If only a small percentage of your clients leave a review it will prove well worth your while. The timing of the request will depend on your business, but asking costs nothing and it could prove very profitable.
Register with Online Business Directories
If you’ve gone this far, you may as well go a bit further. Online business directory sites can provide a great deal of value in helping you to market your business online. Similarly for review aggregators like Yelp, and Trip Advisor for tourism based businesses. It should take less than 15 minutes to submit your details, but take the time to do so accurately and completely. Remember that the whole point of this exercise is to make your business stand out from the crowd.
These website offer another means to market your business online and to get your details in front of your customers. This enables you to feature more than once in consumers search results. They also provide links to your website, which helps to direct more people to you. Also that backlink improves your site’s online ranking.
Despite old style paper directories being a thing of the past, Golden Pages also operate a high ranking online directory. They provide businesses with a basic listing for free. While the administration portion of their website is a little cumbersome, once your details are in you should get positive results.
As with anything in life, you get out what you put in. Taking the time to input your details correctly and completely will give its rewards. Take advantage of those listings that provide you with the opportunity to talk about your company. Not only does this inform consumers, but it provides extra context for Google to understand your business and display your listings in more search results.
LSB Marketing can help you to Market your Business Online
LSB Marketing is a provider of local search and affordable web solutions to local and small businesses in Ireland. We can assist businesses with all of the above solutions and many more besides. Contact us if you would like to learn more about how we can help you to market your business online. Visit our main website, our blog, or get in touch through the details at the bottom of the page . You can also contact and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.