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Archive for local marketing

Being Found ONLINE

localsearchAre YOU Being FOUND ONLINE — easily?

Did you know that your online profile affects how people find you and IF people find you?  Many businesses have created a Google listing, but have you created all of the listings that you should have?

Your online real estate consists not only of your website but also your listings on search engines, social sites and directory sites. They all work together to create a powerful traffic generation strategy.

I’ve been doing several blog posts about local search and local listings this week and we got lots of questions.

When you are working to drive traffic to your programs and services you need to have a comprehensive strategy.  It is not enough to just do YouTube or just use Facebook…. but rather a complete online strategy includes both and more.

Local Directories Help Your Local Listings…

Do You Show Up In The Local Directories?

Online directories can help your business to be found online, especially for your local area.

Online directories are very beneficial for small businesses. You just have to know how they work.

Local Directory InfographicAn online directory is a website submission service that allows your small business’s website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested viewers. These searchable online directories allow their viewers to search for websites and businesses that they find interesting or that they want to learn more about. Listing your small business on an online directory increases your website’s visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business’s website. Online directories make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’s website from their home, office or even while traveling.

Local Search — What’s YOUR Score??

localsearchAre You Showing Up In The LOCAL SEARCH?

Local search for local businesses is critical in being found online.  It means that you need to have your business properly listed in all of the relevant search engines.  When you do, then your business can be found by people looking for what you sell.

Local search is important especially for locally based businesses such as restaurants, chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists, retail stores, lawyers, accountants, electricians, contractors, painting companies, roofers etc.  If you do not come up when your prospects are looking for you: ie…. YOUR BUSINESS TYPE + LOCATION, then you are missing many new clients or customers.

Check YOUR LOCAL SEARCH Score:

I just added a new local search evaluator.  You can enter your business and zipcode to run a complete report on your business.  Almost every business we have checked needs work!!  That is probably you too.

The report is totally free so don’t be shy.  We all are working to be found and now you can see what is helping and what is hurting your local listings.

10 Facts You Need to KNOW about Local Directories:

  • Searches within local directories account for a whopping 10 billion of the searches that are made every month. (GetListed.org)
  • YouTube is the second-largest social networking site in the world. While it’s still behind Facebook – the largest networking site with 1.2 billion active users – YouTube surpassed Twitter in 2014. (businessinsider.com)
  • At the end of 2014, Google+ Business had 540 million users. 240 million of those were active in any given month. (nydailynews.com)
  • 90 per cent of users on Yelp say that if a business has a positive review, they are more likely to buy from them. (mashable.com)
  • 79 per cent of users say that they treat positive reviews just as they would getting a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. (localvox.com)
  • Yelp currently has over 47 million local reviews. (localvox.com)
  • Despite that, there are still 87 per cent of small businesses that don’t use review sites such as Google+ Business or Yelp. (mashable.com)
  • When online consumers shop online, 73 per cent of the time they were also searching for a store location. (online-behavior.com)
  • Half of the users looking for an online purchase do not start their search with a search engine, but rather through a local directory. (AT&T Small Business Technology Poll 2013 – yola.com)
  • 90 per cent of customers who look for a local business through their smartphone call or visit that business within 24 hours. (online-behavior.com)

Checking your local search results can change your business.  NOW — it is of course important to have a lead capture system on your site as well as a compelling offer and the right messaging…. Effective online marketing is a combination of tactics.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.

Local Marketing Strategies for Your Offline Business

crconlinemonitor2Local Marketing: Is Your Offline Business Online? Is It Online Well?
offline businesses marketing online

Great info graphic on the advantages and benefits of bringing your offline business online. You probably recognize yourself in some of the statistics.

Critical pieces for developing your local marketing online presence are:

1. Web Presence and Blog.  At this point in the world of the Internet you must have a website.  We recommend a couple of different things.  One is a lead capture system using a squeeze page or landing page.  This enables you to capture the leads that are visiting your website.  You can see our lead capture in the upper right of this page.

But it is also vital to have a blog and be blogging regularly.  You can’t just create a website and hope people find it.  You need to be continuously engaging and educating your audience.  In the graphic above you can see that sales increase when a business blogs. People want to get to know YOU and your company.  They can do that through a blog. AND you also build trust and rapport through the process. These both increase your sales in the long run.

2. Social Media — 92% of all ONLINE adults use social media, but only 50% of small businesses are using social media to promote their business. Now these numbers aren’t totally comparable.  BUT there is a very good chance that many of your customers and prospects are online and using social media.  If you are not there then you are losing business.  Social media is another venue for engagement, relationship building and another place to build yourself as an expert in your field.

If you are not currently on any social media then you need to seriously evaluate why.  If you just have your head in the sand hoping that it will all go away, then it is time to pull it out and figure out how to best represent your company on social media and use it effectively for increasing your business.

Is it possible that you are leaving thousands of dollars on the table because you don’t like social media or you are afraid of it or you have another excuse to avoid being on….?

3. Local Search SEO — Using Local Listing Sites for More Exposure

Many local business owners are challenged in the same ways:  they create a website and their social media presence but they DO NOT succeed in leveraging them to attract new customers.

New foot traffic is the goal and the key is using local directory listings, but is often forgotten or missed in creating an effective online strategy.

The World Wide Web is like a HUGE phone book or yellow page directory. You have to stand out to be noticed.

Local listings are worth the investment of time or money (to hire out). The benefit far exceeds the investment. it means taking the time to fill out forms on different local listing sites. A few of the local listing sites are part of the social media sites you are probably already on, which makes it easier to complete.

Two of the really popular sites are offered by Google. This search engine is in charge of Google+ Businesses / Google+ Local. Other popular local listing sites include CitySearch, Bing Local and Yahoo Local Listings.

Yelp is also another site that you want to claim your profile on. This not only helps you attract web attention, but it provides a place for local customers to review your business. So it’s an effective way to convert potential customers into paying customers.

Be sure to completely fill out the profiles and provide as much information as possible about your company. Include things like: your office hours or business hours, phone number, contact info and website, as well as your other social media sites.  If you use a different URL for your mobile site, be sure that that is included too.

Completing a profile on these sites only solidifies your online presence and aids potential customers in finding during their business search.

Often the local listings that are found by web searches are perceived as more authentic and real than the typical web search results.  This is because here, they can access maps, customer reviews, videos, images and address verification to ensure authenticity.

Keeping this in mind, and actually taking the time to complete your local profiles can increase the business coming into you.

Comprehensive Local Marketing Strategy

A comprehensive local marketing strategy is needed for both online and offline businesses.  The Internet is a resource that is critical for both.  Increasing your online presence in ways that truly benefit your business just makes sense. Critical pieces of your marketing plan should include minimally — a website and blog (can be one in the same), consistent social media presence, local listings, mobile friendly website, keyword optimization and SEO.  Don’t be left behind. There are more customers out there for you!!

Pick up a copy of my Local Marketing Report!