The Internet has made it a vital tool for any business. It isn’t able to keep the government away from it, but it does magic in creating buzz, brand loyalty, new business, referrals, and building brand awareness.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I think about my coworkers, friends, family, and me when I need to find a solution. This can be for any reason. For example, my stomach is grumbling and I don’t feel like cooking. What can I order or eat around here? or “My back is really hurting from the accident in my car.” I will need to see a chiropractor. Let’s have a look at some facts. f
All this data shows that the Internet is making it easier to find local businesses. Local search tools, as well mobile devices such a smartphone and iPad make it easy to locate local businesses online.
Internet commerce continues to be a major source of e-commerce. However, it has also been driving local sales. As more people move online and are connected via mobile devices, their reliance of online tools for searching local information, local businesses, as well as everything else local, will only grow. Without an Internet marketing strategy, local businesses could be missing out of Archers of Diamonds. Let me be very clear.
You will see that a high local conversion rate is very beneficial. Most people don’t want to search for a local dentist, lawyer, yoga studio, plumber or accountant unless it is something they will use. Most people are motivated to buy if they can find a local seller.
The new way that consumers “shop around” is to use the Internet for local searches. Instead of driving around looking for the best value, they now search the Internet to find it. Many times, they are referred to an online friend to help them make their purchase.
Let’s take a closer look at Google. Did you realize that Facebook is second on the list for daily traffic? They also have their search function and advertising.
If you are logged in, visit Facebook and Google. Search for your product or services in Google. Use Facebook to search for your company’s name. Are any top search results linked to your business in the top search results? Does it shine a spotlight on your business? Local search engine optimizing for local business is a huge plus for the bottom line.
Most of the Internet, such as Google, Facebook or Twitter, is free to access. This saves thousands of dollars in advertising and builds long-term leverage.
The marketplace is undergoing significant changes and local SEO is here for the long-term. It’s still in its infancy. However, local search marketing can drive significant growth for your local business. It can open up the doors of every customer who lives in the same area as you. There are so many possibilities. E-commerce websites can be used to sell products and/or service that can be delivered electronically or shipped.
This is just one glimpse at the power and potential of the Internet. It’s an important tool for local businesses. Once you are aware of the potential, you can now choose from a variety of options.
Do Nothing: Don’t think about it. Keep doing what you’ve always done. While you wait for your competitor to take over, you can do nothing. Even though you might have a website, it is not as effective as a billboard at the side of an abandoned road. Remember this:
Do It Yourself – Spend hours and hours trying this stuff by yourself through trial and errors. While you get confused by keyword research and fail to communicate in the social realm, you also waste money messing with the ad programs. End result: You cross your fingers and hope all your hardwork will pay off.
A Google search result will now show the local map on one side, while the organic search results will include the local listings. Local listings are a valuable tool in local marketing. You can follow the evolution since 2007 by following the search engine results.
The sad truth is that the majority of businesses have not yet tapped into this local advertising tool. The industry is ahead of other businesses by 3 years, but businesses that depend on the local geography for revenue are not certain if they can actively manage these listings and not just passively watch them.
First, a company that is located in a large city is not considered a small-business. While this will be covered in greater detail in future articles, we must remember that national chains and local businesses are dependent upon local economic activity for their income. Local listings will be of benefit to any size business, regardless how big or small they are.
The Google recent change is a sign that this is related both to Business-ToBusiness (B2) but also Business-ToConsumer, (B2C). B2B businesses won’t allow customers to leave reviews. This is a big surprise. B2B companies that require revenue from local marketing must also tap into local listings in the same way as B2C.
Google’s recent search result change displays not only the regular organic search results. If there are local listings relevant for the requested search, they appear above fold and tend display more results than the natural website results.
In addition to providing a lot information to local customers and consumers, the results of local listings are very informative. You will find the basics information like the business name and address as well as phone number, number of telephones, website link and whereabouts on the map. But, it is important for the person who searches to see the number of customer reviews as well as the average star rating. Translated, it means the customer or consumer can quickly see if he or she would like to click on your local listing and call you.
Now, businesses have two marketing tools they need to optimize: their websites and their local listing. Businesses need to actively engage with the local business listing instead of passively viewing it.
You must first claim your business listing. After your initial update, you should then consider managing and monitoring the local listing.
It is possible to have a local business listing as a site, however it is more beneficial to use it in support of your primary website. For your local business to show up in search results, it must have the correct information about you and your products.
Next, photos, videos as well coupons, offers and discounts are added to this page.
Local business listings management includes managing customer reviews and engaging them to not only secure positive reviews from satisfied clients but also to foster positive public relations towards any customers that are not satisfied.
Finally, optimizing your local business listing requires you to monitor the analytics separately from your website and make decisions about how to optimize it.
There are generally two types for local business listing services. The first provides data only services. This is not very helpful as they don’t take part in the claiming process. They also offer marketing services but they may not have the staff necessary to handle anything beyond Google.
This is just like getting professional SEO help for your website. Expert help will be needed to optimize your local listing. Additionally, someone must monitor for duplicates, customer reviews, updated marketing information, and analyze analytics.
Google Local Business Center helps business owners better connect with potential customers when they search for local business information on Google. It allows business owners to control their business listings. This helps them to provide accurate, helpful and timely information about businesses.
Google’s Local Business Center makes it easy for small businesses to have a local business listing.
Five key reasons should make signing up for an LBC Account a top priority:
Google Local Business search engine – which you can find at either map.Google.com, or local.Google.com – attracts more than 50,000,000 unique users every month.
Even though it’s important to open local business accounts at Yahoo and Bing, a Google Local Business profile should be your top priority. Google has more local business search market shares than yellow.pages.com (maps.yahoo.com), maps.bing.com (maps.bing.com) and maps.pages.com together.
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Despite Google’s best efforts to promote LBC – and the utilization maps.Google.com – many millions still use the Google.com Website even when searching local business information. That gives local businesses an opportunity for some of the best “traditional” Web searches results.
Google’s May 2007 introduction of universal searches meant that Google Images content, Google Local/Maps content, Google Video content, and others could all be integrated into their “traditional” Web results pages.
Google will often show local business listings in search results.
Google Local Business Listings can be found on the first page, and often the top, of search results. It is called the “Google Local Business Seven Pack” (a reference to Google showing the top seven local business results in a group of seven).