PLEASE NOTE: I’ve kept this blog post from 2017 because it shows my evolution as an online service provider and trainer. It demonstrates my ability to teach others and explain techy stuff in a friendly, easy to understand way. I’ve often sat in pubs & cafes, holding informal presentations and chats to help my local business friends.
Some of the data and information in this post will be out of date, but I’ll update broken links etc.
This isn’t a topic I focus on anymore but still crops up with local business owners, and in general terms… it’s still true. It can still be easy to outperform local business owners by doing basic marketing.
This post shows I’ve been running my online business since 2010, and I’m very proud to still be in business. Things have evolved over the years but I’m still here!
Did You Know?
Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day
18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day
If you are a local business, then ‘local search’ is very important. Read on to discover some easy ways you can beat your local competitors in local search results.
A Local Group Talking About Local Marketing
The third Monday of the month was the regular meeting time of what used to be known as WEB Women In Enterprise & Business. We met at the Altisidora pub in Bishop Burton, East Yorkshire. The group led by Lynnda Worsnop evolved into The Sparkling Business Club.
Who are we? A group of East Yorkshire business women who help and support, and generally cheer each other on, as we work through the challenges and joys of working for ourselves and growing our varied businesses. We set a series of themes to talk about each month and a member of the group will lead
the discussion. I have led a few and I always really enjoy it.
Anyway last Monday (16/01/17) I had volunteered to talk about local marketing, and in particular about harnessing the power and opportunities provided by having an active profile set up on Google My Business. This has been called other names in the past – remember Google Places?
Setting Up Your Google My Business Listing
We talked about the importance of setting up and claiming (verifying) your Google My Business profile, and in making it as complete as possible. Make sure your categories and information are relevant and accurate. If you serve a geographical area such as a locksmith or a mobile hairdresser for example, you can highlight that too – there is a tick box and a radius to show how far from your home base you serve. There are particular challenges if you share a premises with fellow professionals who provide the same service as you but all as independent providers. An office building with 4 different individual accountants or dentists would be an example of that. That is not the same as 4 accountants or dentists working together as one business.
It is absolutely critical that your Business Name, Address & Phone number are absolutely identical and of course correct. These are known as NAP. Also make sure your website is referred to consistently. It is best to use the FULL url of http://www.yourwebsite.whatever. Using this format also makes the link clickable.
What Are Citations?
They are entries on other business directories – such as Yelp, There are a LOT of business directories. There will be ‘local’ directories and specialist trade related directories ie. ones for hairdressers & beauticians, others for therapists, and so forth. What you will be surprised at is that you will be on more directories than you realise. This is because directories ‘scrape’ other directories to fill them with listings. Go and ‘google’ your business and see which listings you are on. You can ‘claim’ each listing, prove it’s yours by following their verification process and then once again make sure all the information is completed in a consistent and accurate way.
Once you have claimed and fixed all the listings you are already on, then a good strategy is to research specific local and industry directories where you can have a listing. This is a good link building strategy as well.
Getting good reviews is also a highly important element in ‘getting found locally’. It provides good social proof to prospective customers is you have plenty of good reviews. It also does the same for Google. You will find plenty of articles and posts about good ways to encourage customers to leave you a review.
Here is a good article and video on exactly how to provide a direct link for your customers and clients to click on which takes them directly to your Google My Business review page.
https://dash.marketing/google-my-business-reviews-2016 (good aussie accent!)
here is a link to a tool that someone has created to do it for you. I haven’t checked it out as yet but it could be worth a try. https://supple.com.au/tools/google-review-link-generator/
Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
And we also talked about local SEO. That is where your website and all your social media activities are ‘optimised’ with your local search terms such as ‘hornsea dog groomer’ ‘hornsea dog grooming’ ‘dog groomer in hornsea’ and so on. You discover what the best and most relevant keywords are by keyword research. Keywords are those words which people are actually using to find things in a search engine such as google. They also have to be directly relevant to your business
and services. But that is a whole different business development and online marketing activity.
Is it worth doing all this?
Many local businesses are not well optimised and they have not done the work regarding their local business listings. By putting some effort into this you can fairly easily ‘overtake’ your local competitors. And what impact will that have on your business. Typically a higher position in the search listings will lead to more visitors to your website & business. What impact will extra customers have on your business income?
There are of course plenty of links and posts and articles on the web about this subject.
The ones I have included in this post are just a selection of those that I thought were well written and useful.
And finally if you find that you don’t want to spend the time becoming a local SEO expert, then consider outsourcing this task. I no longer offer services in this BUT I can still recommend others who do. Why not Contact Me and see how I can help.