Throughout history, we have been transformed by the technology we use. The objects we invent shape the way we communicate, the way we interact with each other and the way we do commerce.
The spectacular ramping in the use of mobile devices for surfing the web, for socializing and more and more for buying (especially through dedicated Apps) is shifting the way people search online and becomes a great opportunity for savvy small and micro business owners today.
Search Engine Land’s recent Local Consumer Review Survey looked at the way consumer behavior has changed since 2010. One of the key findings was that most people surveyed were just as likely to turn to the internet, as they were to ask for personal recommendations about local businesses.
For small business owners, this is a good indication that now more than ever, it’s important to have a strong online (local) presence.
Google puts a lot of emphasis on where a business is located when reverting results, even when the location hasn’t been specified in the search box. If you are on a desktop machine, the platform detects your ip address and suggests relevant results within your area.
It gets even more interesting when you’re on the go, as search engines will recommend you business and activities in your precise area with the help of geo-location technology. The possibilities for local businesses are uncountable.
It’s child’s play to convince you that a strong local presence online is important, but what can you start doing right now to improve your odds of being found by your local customers?
We have selected 3 simple and efficient strategies that will put you on the map and will guarantee you better ranking on search results.
3 LOCAL SEO STRATEGIES TO PUT YOU ON THE MAP
In today’s social local and mobile internet, platforms driven by location content and customers reviews are the ultimate marketing tool to literally put you on the map:
1. Create a Google + local page
Google+ was launched not long ago, and it is today the biggest social media platform after Facebook. Google’s take-off plan was to make people (especially small businesses) understand that Google Search Engine loves the local content and customer reviews you get on your Google+ Local page.
The plan has worked. If you do not have a Google+ Local Page yet, create one!
Brian Sly-Haley helps locally owned businesses find more customers using simple online marketing strategies. Check his video on “How To (quickly) Setup a Google Plus Local Business Page”:
2. Create a Contact Page on your website that replicates your Google+ Local Page
If your small business doesn’t have a website yet, get one quickly!
Now that Google has already reached the expected number of members on it’s social platform, it’s putting less importance on your Google+ Local page as an SEO tool, and more importance on your website (read here about Google’s “Pigeon Local Algorithm Update” But don’t panic yet. Having a Google+ Local page still gives you a much better ranking than having a Facebook or Twitter account.
The secret is to link the powerful local content and customer reviews you have got on your Google+ Local page to your company website. If you know nothing about HTML and have no idea how to optimise your website, ask for help. If you are one of those who enjoys a good “Do It Yourself” advise, below are some links to help you get started:
Beginners Guide to SEO:
Google SEO Starter Guide:
After you have created your website and optimized it as per Google Best Practices, create a Contact page and replicate your Google+ Local Page on it.
- Add a Google Map plugin
- Add links to your reviews (on Google+ as well as on other social media websites such as Foursquare or Facebook)
- Add relevant Local keywords
Below a successful contact page to illustrate the above:
3. Get a YELP Business Page, even if you are not a restaurant
Google+ Local is still a great place to have positive reviews and improve your local SEO, but Yelp is a second!
The “Local Consumer Review Survey” has outlined that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Yelp is one of the first places consumers look when they need a review of a local business or a suggestion for a new, unique restaurant. This is a resource that small businesses can’t afford to ignore.
Lisa Barone at Small Business Trends did a terrific post on Yelp’s use and value for the SMB owner: Check the article “Yelp Data Shows The Power of Mobile Marketing”.
And because not everything is about Google, Yelp is establishing close relations with Bing Search Engine And Apple Maps.
Apple Maps and Yelp Integration ,to be released on iOS 6 devices, places Yelp as the hottest local search engine for Iphones and ipads.
Watch the School of Yelp video below to quickly learn how to create your Yelp Business Page:
And check some common question about Yelp platform on the company website:
To conclude our quick social local and mobile advice of today, bear in mind that your digital presence needs to be taken care of frequently, and it shouldn’t be isolated from your physical marketing efforts.
Customer reviews can be either good or bad, and if your company is not doing a good job, you will get negative reviews. So taking a good closer look at your company before you invest in your online presence might be beneficial for you.
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