Improving the visibility of your business all about putting your business on the map in local searches when customers are searching for a business like yours.
Running a business is hard work.
You might have a steady flow of loyal existing customers, but you always need to make sure we have a stream of new people.
Keeping your website up to date can be hard work, too. And your SEO might need a serious update — or maybe you’ve never done much with it at all, thinking it was too difficult or too expensive.
Because of this, we’ve put together several optimization strategies that we are currently helping our clients with.
All these methods are geared towards helping you rank as high as possible with Local Listings so that you can generate more sales for your business.
The two most valuable things you need to do for your local business is to create a reasonable amount of high quality content for your website and do the basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO optimization is the process of making your website’s page more attractive to search engines and users.
Search engine robots will rank highly optimized content higher on a search engine page than non-optimized content.
You should aim for quality over quantity, providing comprehensive information to your site visitors.
Search engines prefer sites that are regularly updated, this means that you can’t just create a bunch of pages and then let them sit for months at a time, hoping that your site traffic will improve.
On the other hand, if you are happy with the content on those pages, there’s no need to change them just for SEO purposes.
Instead, consider starting a blog. Even if you only post once a week, this will show search engines that your site is being maintained and updated regularly.
Today’s consumers want precision and they are used to immediate results, so the time you shell out to list your company on Google Maps is modest in comparison with the results you’ll get.
It’s very important to be found on Google and Google Maps.
If you are not there, your business will struggle to compete with other businesses in your industry, especially with those that are easily discoverable and do have a significant presence in Google Maps.
And to be found on Google maps, you need to either claim or create a new GMB Profile for your business.
Not appearing on Google Maps will mean that you don’t exist to a lot of buyers, therefore, you need to pay special attention to Google tools if you want to increase your sales and revenue.
If you are contemplating purchasing a certain product, would you rather trust the claims made by the manufacturer/seller or the experiences of people who have bought the product?
It’s likely that you’d be more influenced by the opinions of your fellow consumers.
It’s important to consider that your customers would also have this same mindset when they’re planning to buy something from you.
When they see that a large percentage of people who have bought the product are raving about it, it could compel them to make the purchase too.
Many small businesses shun bad reviews or delete for fear of getting a bad image, but consumers can see right through that.
Small businesses should embrace reviews, even if they are good or bad.
Good reviews can help boost your rankings with search engines as well as bring in more potential clients.
But at the same time bad reviews are also useful because businesses can take points from these to further improve their services and product effectiveness.
The more people talk about your company, the more popular you get.
The best way to use social networking sites to improve your SEO rankings is to use them to interact with your customers.
Tweet, post, and like other content on social sites that make sense for your business.
Creating clear, good content that relates to your business and getting people excited about your product or helping solve their problems is the best way to turn browsing internet users into loyal customers.
We know this is a difficult time for people everywhere, including small business owners. We want to help. We’ve gathered some useful resources to help your business navigate these challenging times.
After securing the health and well-being of yourself and your staff, nothing is more important than protecting your company and the jobs it provides.
From simply keeping the lights on today to growing tomorrow, we’re here for you. You might bookmark this page as a reference.
A Google My Business description is a 750-character summary of your business and its offerings. This description doesn’t have to remain static.
In fact, your Google My Business description offers an additional platform to speak directly to current and prospective customers regarding the Coronavirus outbreak and changes to your business operations.
Your description can be amended to update all interested parties. Here’s one example:
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our branch hours are varying. Please call the branch for our current hours.
Customer behavior is changing with new regulations, so you may be wondering what your specific customers need from a business like yours right now. Consider asking them directly via your social media channels.
You may also be looking to shift some of your products or services online. Start by thinking about what value you offer your customers. Are there ways for you to offer that value in a different format or online channel? For example:
With many people hunkered down at home, previous needs disappear, and new ones emerge. Businesses that are quick to identify and adapt to these changes will have significantly better odds of riding out the crisis.
So, what can you as a small business owner do to adapt your business?
One good way to start is to analyse how existing or potential customers’ needs, behaviour and preferences have changed due to the current situation. Make sure to talk to your target customers to understand:
There are few situations more vexing to a customer than looking up the hours of operation for a business to discover that the information is inaccurate.
With COVID-19 state regulations constantly changing, maintaining accurate and up-to-date business hours may be too difficult to accomplish, especially for multi-location businesses.
To avoid causing confusion to consumers, you can disable your business hours in Google My Business.
This measure addresses customer confusion and will negate customer’s showing up at locations when they are closed.
By removing your business hours, but keeping a phone number accessible, it will prompt customers to call your business for updated hours and any additional information your customers are seeking.
We live in an era of constant social-local-mobile interaction. Every local business is bound to receive its share of negative reviews. As a matter of fact, a profile of nothing but glowing reviews can actually look suspicious to your customers.
Over the past few years, the prevalence of review sites has grown exponentially. This is why negative reviews are a constant threat for more and more business owners.
If you’re one of them, this article will provide some insight.
In simple terms, the practice of reputation management involves replacing undesirable content with new content that paints a given business in a better light.
The only thing that’s worse than under-engaging in online media is handling social media badly. No one can damage you as seriously as you can damage yourself (or one of your employees) if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Regardless of your niche, just know that managing your business reputation is no longer optional. You need to do it - If you want to grow, of course.
In what follows, we’ll walk you through several important reputation management subcomponents that you need to be actively maintaining for your business.
We’ve been in this business for over 10 years now, and one thing that we can tell you from the get-go is that customer service is always the front line against a bad online reputation.
Before spewing bad things about your business, most unhappy clients will take things up with you. If you do a good job of alleviating their problems, only a very small portion of them will decide to denigrate your brand online.
Customer reviews generally cover only three things:
Knowing the customer experience is necessary for providing great customer service. Get personalized feedback from your customers and from your employees (if you have any).
Also, there are a lot of industry-specific practices that you can implement to improve the process and make things easier for the people that bring money into your business.
The bottom line here is to make it easy for the customer to get help for you and your business. And the easiest way to do this is to hire someone that really cares about your clients. Or do it yourself.
Building a healthy social media presence on the social networks your customers use is a powerful and effective marketing tactic that any small business can benefit from. Even if you don’t have the time and know-how, or just aren’t ready to start, you still need to participate on a basic level.
At the bare minimum, you need to protect your future social media efforts and your online reputation by claiming your business and personal names on social media sites.
The same way social media sites help small businesses be found online, review and local directories show up high in search engine rankings, providing more exposure for your business.
With this in mind, claim your profiles on these high traffic sites:
Provide your locations, photos, business hours, description of your services, payment options and categories to provide all your information to potential customers and build citations for your business.
When responding to online complaints or bad reviews, seriously consider that there may be some weaknesses in your process that need to be addressed. Especially if you get frequent negative feedback about a specific thing.
The popularity of the phrase “the customer is always right” is your friend here. When dealing with clients that have already purchased something from you,
don’t be inflexible. Come up with a creative way to give customers what they’re wanting without creating friction.
Over the years, we’ve certainly tried business processes that were just working or service fees that just made customers feel like they’ve been gouged. But just because you can pressure people into paying more doesn’t mean that you should.
Before you treat your clients badly, consider that you could be driving existing or potential customers into the arms of your competitor. The extra money you make on that annoying fee could be canceled out by business lost from those who see numerous complaints about it online.
There may be many cases where your customer is in the wrong. You will find it is only natural in those instances to argue back in an effort to protect yourself and set matters straight in front of others.
But usually, the more heated an argument becomes, the more likely you are to say something that you will regret. These types of comments can be impossible to erase, especially if they are made on public forums such as social media profiles.
It is very difficult and takes a great deal of maturity, but it is far better to simply apologize sincerely and shut down any potential debates before they have a chance to damage your reputation.
Some of your customers are going to write an online review whether you ask them to or not, but most won't think to take the time to write one.
Unless they're business owners themselves, they just don't realize how critically important those reviews are. But as we know from the research, most of your happy customers will do you this favor if you just ask, assuming you do it at the right time and in the right way.
Always use your face time with your customers to show them just how responsive, conscientious and competent you are.
Then get in touch with them later on, while they're still thinking positively about the interaction and in a good head space to write a favorable review.