One of the most invaluable marketing tools for your business is easy and free: SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS. With the constant evolution of local business listings on search engines it is imperative that you take advantage of and notice the little map to the right of the search results that shows the local map (Google places) and your location in the organic search results.
Most businesses are unaware of how to manage these results and leverage them to convert lookers into customers. If your business is dependent on the local economy to maintain and grow your revenue, the information you are about to read is crucial to the health of your business.
Local business does not equate to small business. National chains are listed as local because geographically they are in that locale just like you. So no matter the size of your business, you need to know how to use this local business listing to your advantage and stay ahead of your competitors.
Search Engine Journal recently reported that new Google changes are electrifying for local businesses. Here is what they are saying:
The recent search results change at Google not only displays the regular organic search results, but if there are local business listings that are relevant to the requested search they are showing up above fold and tend show more results than the organic website results.
The local business listings results are also interesting in that they show quite a bit of information to a local customer or consumer. Of course the basic information like business name, address, phone number, telephone number, website link, and a location on the map is pretty standard. However, the number of customer reviews and the average star rating is prominent to the person searching. Translated this means the local customer or consumer are very quickly see if they want to even click on your local business listing or call you.
How does this effect you? Why is this so important to my business? Basically, it means that now you have two things to optimize and maintain, website and now local listing. (See our previous blog on SEO optimization for your website). The local listing is the new yellow pages and is the way most of your customers will locate you so you need to actively take control of this marketing tool.
Step 1: Take control of your listing by doing an initial update. You will not even show up if your information is not current.
Step 2: Monitor the listing and make corrections as necessary. Pay attention to the ratings and make appropriate resolutions where needed. Good and bad comments handled rightly can bring in business.
Step 3: Use it as a mock mini website and make sure all of your contact info is correct, (I have heard of competitors actually inserting their contact info into your listing.
Step 5: Add photos, coupons, your logo, and other things that will sway customers to use your business.
Whew! That’s a lot! You may want to outsource all of this optimization, reviewing, and listing responsibilities to an outstanding web design and optimization group like CI Web Group. We have trained professionals that will work with you to not only ensure that all of your local listings are correct and monitored regularly but also will use SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to see that you rise to the top so that customers see you easily and quickly.
Don’t neglect this important marketing tool. Contact us now to set up a free consultation and get this off your plate. If you are not taking advantage of these local listings, your competitors are going to get the calls you should be getting