With the recent changes made to the way search engines work, local businesses stand to gain a number of benefits.
More and more people are searching for businesses, like bakeries and plumbing online, and search engines are providing tailored local results depending on the source location of the person making the query. Now if a person looks for a business online, they’d not only get search results but also a map indicating the closest relevant businesses in close proximity to their current location or to a search term (Figure 1 below).
This makes it even more important for local businesses to create and strengthen their online presence allowing your business to show up and other areas of the web. You can create your website, have your content posted on different sites, have your business listed on Google Maps, register yourself on online directories and post videos for your business, all with your company’s tags in order to ensure that the customers don’t just find you on the map but also find everything they need to know about your business through your content.
If you are looking to create a strong online presence, here are some internet marketing tips for local business:
1. Set up your business profile on Google Places For Business and make sure you fill out all the information accurately. Include photos, videos, product descriptions, coupons and other information relevant to your business, along with keywords. It’s FREE! You can similarly set up your business on Yahoo Local and Bing Places as well.
2. In your website content you are putting up, you should include geographically targeted keywords. As an example, if I am a restaurant in Toronto. I would want to put “Toronto and Resturant” within the website is several places. Don’t go overkill two mentions on each page should be enough. If you do to much, Google will look at you as keyword stuffing. Make sure the city name is included in the titles, tags and content in moderation.
3. Create pages like About Us and Contact Us where audience can find sufficient information about how, when and where to reach you. Make sure that business hours and directions to your business place are added on these pages as well to reinforce your location with that found on Google Places and other search engines.
4. Get reviews for your business up on professional sites and also get your business rated. You can ask your customers to review and rate your business by encouraging them through promotional rewards.
Review Sites: Google, Yelp , UrbanSpoon, Yellow Pages are a few examples.
5. If you have your business spread out across different locations, it is better to create separate landing pages for all these locations with the right keywords optimized for each one.
6. Most importantly, have a mobile version of your site created. In the next two years, the use of mobile internet users will far outreach the number of desktop computer users (if not sooner!) having a mobile compatible site is extremely beneficial for businesses.
By concentrating on local internet marketing for your business, you can increase the number of visitors to your business quite substantially since more people will be able to find and locate you on search engines.