Local Marketing with Google+ Local and Yelp

As important as global SEO efforts are for small businesses, local marketing can be even more so.   It’s great for your website to be viewed by lots of people, but as a local business you are really only interested in the ones who are nearby.   Searchers who are looking locally are also more likely to be ready to purchase rather than just doing research.    They are looking often, too.  51% of people who search locally do so daily.  Mobile device users are big on local search.  They perform local searches an average of 21 times per week. (yp.com)

Users are most likely to use Google+ Local (formerly Google Places) for a local search, followed by Yelp.  The combination of business information and customer reviews is useful in selecting a local business to frequent.  People can post about your business without your having listed your business with either Google or Yelp, so claiming your business and monitoring it is extremely important.  The top things people are looking for in a local search are directions, hours, and phone number so it is vital that they are accurate.

Once you have claimed your listings, make sure to optimize them with your keywords, which will help your search ranking.  Use keywords liberally in the title and description of your business.  It’s important that the title and description still represent your business, not just your keywords, as it will be shown to viewers.

Now that your listing is complete and accurate, make the most of it.  Make offers to entice people to come in to your business.   This will also give you an idea of the amount of business your listings are generating.   Encourage patrons to submit reviews and, of course, address any negative reviews.  Engaging unhappy customers in a dialogue and showing your willingness to work towards a solution can have a very positive impact on other viewers’ impressions.

Local on-line marketing does not take a lot of time, or SEO knowledge, and best of all costs nothing, so it should be part of your strategic internet marketing plan.  If you are looking for SEO advice, contact us and we can help you devise an on and odd page SEO strategy to bring more traffic to your business.