[Tweet “Having a successful local business does not always equate to success online. Some businesses have spent years building up their reputation in the community, but their lack of an online presence leads to stagnating results. “]In most cases, simple improvements to a small business marketing strategy can make all the difference, increasing visibility and growing traffic. The following methods can be implemented immediately to help a local business become more visible online.
Build a Mobile-Friendly Website
Most local businesses will have a website, but they can often feel dated. If your site has not been updated in recent years, it may also suffer from a poor user experience. Google introduced the mobile-first index, recognizing the huge numbers of searchers using mobile devices. For most businesses, using a responsive design will help alleviate any issues and ensures your site works across all devices.
Set Up Google My Business
The majority of local businesses will rely on Google for traffic. In many cases, though, searchers don’t even need to leave the search page as they can find information like opening hours, business address, phone number, and reviews from any relevant search query. Google My Business is a free tool that lets you control your own business listing, ensuring everything is correct and helpful. Complete every aspect of the listing, adding quality images and video to help promote your business. Also, Bing might not have the same level of traffic as Google, but you should still verify and update your listing with their service.
Build a Social Media Network
Social media can play an important role for a local business. Facebook is the most popular platform, with a broad user base. You should have no problem finding existing customers and new leads on the site, using your feed to promote offers, highlight products, and generally promote your business. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can all help build a following and keep people engaged. To get the most from social media, though, it can be worth investing in paid advertising, increasing the numbers of relevant people who see your profile.
Submit to Data Aggregators
Directories, maps, and search engines collect local business information using data aggregators. Services like Neustar, Localeze and InfoUSA collect business data, which is syndicated with numerous sites across the web. If your business information is wrong, this will provide a poor service for customers and can also damage your chances of ranking highly in the search engines. Check that your business data is consistent across all sites using a service like Moz Local or BrightLocal to monitor everything from a single dashboard.
Reviews can make a big difference to the success of a local business. Many local searches are done to research a business, often taking place while a searcher is in the local vicinity. A selection of positive reviews can make the difference between a new customer or someone who goes to your competitor. Start to make it a habit to request clients leave a review, while also encouraging long-term customers to add their opinions. A visible rating in Google can lead to more clicks after a search, while Facebook makes it easy for people to add a quick review to your page.
If you already have a successful business, building your online presence is not too difficult. You may find some tough competition, but most searches based around a location will have limited results. Ensuring you get your business listed on every major platform will be a good start, but you can expand your reach further if you choose to advertise. If you haven’t yet dedicated time to building your online visibility, now is the time to begin.
Need help with getting started? Reach out to us and lets discuss increasing your visibility in the local market!