Have you ever wondered why some local businesses seem to be thriving by marketing themselves only on the Internet? So did we. And we discovered that you must start with Google.
However, you have to go above and beyond it to make the Web a real game changer for your small local business.
There are thousands of different ways to market your business on the Internet. But we know you’re very busy so today, we chose these 10 tips listed below:
1. Google+ Local
Even if your business was founded under a cave and you only started it last year, it is likely that it will have a presence on Google+ Local. Your mission is to make sure that the information on your page is accurate.
To do that, you just need to claim it and make sure that you build a great listing. Google can guide you through the verification process. They will even help you make your listing great.
2. Check Business Data Aggregators For Accuracy And Consistency
Google, as well as almost every local search platform and a directory, uses business data from one or more of these data aggregators:
Don’t forget to check for any mistakes as they would be duplicated across the Internet.
3. Merge Your Google+ Business Page With Your Local Page
Unless you are a business that operates within a service area, you should merge your Google+ Business Page with your Local Page. If you do operate within a certain service area, then you can use the old Google Places Dashboard to manage your listing.
4. Remember That Bing And Yahoo! Have Their Own Local Search Platforms
Bing Local and Yahoo! Local might not be as big as Google’s local search platform, but they can still drive business your way. Check out Lisa Barone’s post about how to verify a Bing listing.
5. Spread The Word On Other Local Directories
You might think that you will not get any business from YellowPages.com or Local.com, but you are probably wrong. There are dozens of sites like these with hundreds of thousands of visitors – some of them, like InsiderPages.com, have millions of visitors per month.
As an added bonus, accurate and consistent presence will strengthen your rankings in Google+ Local.
6. Get Reviewed In As Many Websites As Possible
You can’t openly solicit reviews and you can’t fake them either. What you can do is integrate the “review process” into your daily business operations.
Include a message that asks for public feedback in your email signature. You can also make sure you get reviewed in websites other than Google. This will provide you with additional credibility and a ranking boost in Google+ Local.
7. Seize The Day On Twitter
It’s possible to build a following on Twitter even if you got your business license only a month ago. Your goal on Twitter should be to connect with other local business and people in your local market.
Don’t sell anything to your Twitter followers – help them instead. They will remember you when they need help with something you do or sell. Just make sure you don’t sound like a broken record.
8. Your Business Needs Friends On Facebook
You can start by making an awesome Facebook Business Page. However, don’t stop there.
Offer exclusive discounts and deals on your Facebook Page (be sure to follow the terms and guidelines), and promote them in your everyday business operations. Engage your Facebook community, but don’t suffocate them with dozens of daily updates.
9. Make Friends With Local Journalists
I apologize for misleading you. You can’t implement this tip today. But you can start your journey by commenting on a story that your future journalist friend wrote.
Be insightful. You don’t have to flatter them. Make them think. Add value. Send them a story idea that has nothing to do with your business. Have coffee with them. Write a blog post about something they covered and reference their writing.
Oh yeah – don’t stop doing newsworthy things that journalists care about the most.
10. Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
I know. This one comes with a price tag. Before you dismiss this tip completely, consider that there are only a few marketing decisions you can make today that have the potential to get you more business, save you money and provide a solid benefit in local search – joining your local Chamber of Commerce would be one of those decisions.
If you implement even just half of these tips, your local business is likely to grow. Remember to take care of your customers and engage with them.