Build Your Business’ Brand Using Local Directories and Other Proven Tactics

Build Your Business’ Brand Using Local Directories and Other Proven Tactics

Just because you own a small, local business doesn’t mean you can’t create a powerful brand that people within your market recognise immediately. Often, when we think of branding, the mega corporations come to mind because, let’s face it, their big budgets mean the sky is literally the limit when it comes to business advertising. Local businesses might not have the luxury of competing with the branding tactics employed by the likes of Coke or Apple, but there are still many things they can do to create a brand that’s widely-known and trusted.

Well-Branded Local Businesses Sell Products and Services with Ease

It’s true; those small businesses that employ local directories and other forms of online business advertising, which I’ll describe in greater detail below, have a much easier time selling their products and services than those local businesses that are not as well-known. Just think about it, when someone sees the Apple logo, it immediately brings to mind the products they offer and what the company represents. If someone is considering buying a new phone, which one do you think they’ll feel more confident buying? A phone by a little-known manufacturer or the iPhone?

So the key, then, is to focus your efforts on building your brand in the short term so that your logo and brand can do all the business advertising for you, in the future. Here’s how:

Create Citations in Local Directories–Be Found, Everywhere!

Most local businesses now know that having a presence in local directories online is pretty crucial. After all, these locally-focused results are what rank at the top in Google when  people from the area search for businesses or suppliers in their communities. When you consider that creating a listing in most of the relevant business directories is free, takes little time to do and has a considerable upside, this is an area of business advertising that’s worthy of your company’s attention. Brand building requires you to get your brand out in front of as many people in as many places you can, and local directories are an easy way to do just that.

When creating your listings in local directories, there are some things to keep in mind so as to maximise your brand’s reach. Check it out:

  • Use the same logo in all of your company’s listings in local directories
  • Add pictures whenever and wherever you can–business advertising that incorporates images of the people behind a brand or the workplace environment is more trusted than advertising that doesn’t include these types of visuals
  • Wherever possible, add short videos that also feature you and your staff to your listings in local directories. Doing so reassures potential customers that you are who you say

Consistency is Key in Business Advertising that Benefits Your Brand

The whole point of creating a brand is so that people know immediately what the company offers when they see their logo or business advertising. When listings in local directories contain different contact details, logos or images, it confuses those who see it and leads them to second guess whether they should contact you or visit your location. How you interact with local customers via social media should also be consistent, meaning the photos and videos you share, how you portray your company and its values should be the same across the board, whether you’re Tweeting or posting in Facebook to Instagram or interacting through your Google+ profile. When people know what they can expect from you and your company, that’s when you’ve got a brand that does most of your business advertising for you.

Manage Your Business’ Online Reputation

Getting people from your local community to interact with you via your brand’s listings in local directories or in social media is an effective way to solidify your brand in the minds of your prospective customers. Encouraging those who have already purchased your products or services to review your business is one way to give your brand greater authority and to build trust. But, not every review will be positive and it’s equally important that you quickly and tactfully respond when someone leaves a less-positive review.  Doing so will show others in your community that your brand is synonymous with quality service and customer satisfaction.

Local businesses, no matter how big or small, need to popularise their brand across the web if growth is their goal. Utilise the local directories and other free business advertising platforms that are readily available to make your brand the ‘Coke’ of your local area.

For more information on branding, or any other internet marketing query, please call 1300 88 55 57 or email us here.

Dominate Local Search Marketing while Stepping-Up Social Media Efforts & Improving Your Website’s Overall Visibility

Dominate Local Search Marketing while Stepping-Up Social Media Efforts & Improving Your Website’s Overall Visibility

What if you could kill a few birds with one stone by stepping-up your local search marketing efforts? I don’t know many local businesses who aren’t interested in saving time and/or money, and the following shows you how to take care of three search marketing tasks in an efficient and effective manner. Take note of these local search marketing tips, implement them and position yourself to be the local business customers find first.

Start by Optimising Your Website for Local Search Marketing

While moving your site up the search rankings for any search terms may give you the visibility you think you want, ranking well for local search is what you need. After all, it’s those local people who are searching for the goods and services your business sells who will be the most likely to visit your location and buy.

Start by targeting the right list of keyword terms, some of which include the names of the places in your local service area, and optimising your site’s title tags, meta descriptions and content with those terms. It’s not enough to slap ‘Brisbane’ on the end of a long-tail keyword term and call it a day, either. You need to target location-specific keyword terms that have buyer’s intent. When you write about your local area, you’ll not only be providing content that resonates with your local customers, but the keyword optimisation will give your local search marketing efforts a boost, as well.

Don’t forget to include your local address and phone number on every page of your site; the easier it is for people to find you, the more likely they are to visit. Plus, it conveys to Google that you are one of the local businesses their customers want to find through search.

Local Businesses with Profiles in Local Directories Get Found

I know, this is a dead horse I’ve flogged repeatedly, but I can’t stress it enough: Local businesses that want to do wonders for their local search marketing need to create and claim listings for their companies in local directories. To rank well in these directories, complete your profiles, use your keyword terms and ensure your business’ address and phone number are consistent with the information provided on your website and across every other listing on the web. Share pictures and videos and encourage people to write reviews of your goods and services. Just like social media, this local search strategy gives your business the credibility it needs to succeed online.

Don’t Underestimate the Good Social Media Signalling Can Do for Your Local Search Marketing

Having a strong presence in social media goes hand in hand with great rankings in local search. The more content you share, questions you answer, followers you have and buzz you create around your business in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like, the more likely yours will be the business Google chooses to display up top in search results. Be sure to share any business news or updates your local followers may find interesting, especially information on the in-store promotions and sales local customers will want to get in on.

Other Local Search Marketing Tips for Local Businesses

  • Responding to good and negative reviews in local directories gives your business more credibility
  • Search results for media sites almost always rank at the top. Create some business buzz the local media will want to cover and get a leg-up in the rankings. Invite food critics to your restaurant, host a special event for charity or anything else that will get your business a media mention
  • Quality link-building from the content you share with your followers in social media sites to your website will also help catch Google’s attention

With the popularity of mobile search growing by leaps and bounds every day, local businesses have really got to step-up their game on the local search marketing front or get left in the dust. Attract and convert more of the local business you need with a web presence that’s optimised and properly executed for local search.

To learn more about becoming an authority in your local market, call us on 1300 88 55 57.

Local Search Marketing & Mobile Sites More Important than Ever for Local Businesses

Local Search Marketing & Mobile Sites More Important than Ever for Local Businesses

The results of a recent study performed by Local Search Association in the U.S. shows that it’s now more important than ever for local businesses to do some amount of local search marketing, specifically for the mobile sites that consumers are increasingly using via their smart phones and tablets.

If you’re at all in-tune with website SEO or internet marketing, you know that even small-scale, local businesses need a powerful online presence if they hope to grow. No matter how incredible your service offering or your charming personality, you will never be an industry leader—even in your local area—if you aren’t doing some amount of local search marketing for your website. Your local surf shop might have a small loyal clientele, but if your competitor is the only one appearing in the search engine rankings when local surfing enthusiasts are looking for the types of products and services you provide, they will reap the rewards of a well-marketed brand and you will, well, still be waxing boards for the same small list of locals.

Online Directories + Location-Specific Keywords + Your Mobile Site

We’ve talked at length about the benefits of giving your website and your business a presence in online local directories, but the Local Search Association’s research, Local Media Tracking Study, found that it’s now more important than ever to optimise your mobile website for local search. Don’t have a mobile site? Going forward, this will likely be one of the best investments you can make for your business. More and more, local people are searching for the products and services they’re ready to buy from their mobile devices, like smart phones and tablets. If your website isn’t compatible with these devices, those locals will likely move on to your competitor, whose site they can search quickly and easily when they’re on the go.

Mobile Users Who Visit Online Directories are Ready to Buy

So what does local search marketing for your mobile-friendly site entail? Optimising with the right location-specific keyword terms and marketing in all of the relevant business directories, for starters. The study also found that the people who visit online directories from their mobile devices are ready to buy—makes sense. This means that when your mobile-friendly site ranks well for those local search terms, you will be set to dominate in your local area. And if you thought having a mobile app for your site would be enough to satisfy this growing group of searchers, the study also found that users prefer mobile websites over apps.

Now’s the time to establish a powerful local presence not only for your business’ main website but also your mobile site. Local search marketing, including optimising with the right location-specific keyword terms and creating profiles on online business directories is a must. Invest in the future of your local business today—get in touch with us.

Local Search Marketing: Ensuring the Correct Information for Your Local Business Appears in Local Directories

Local Search Marketing: Ensuring the Correct Information for Your Local Business Appears in Local Directories

It’s no secret that one of the best ways for local businesses to market themselves online is via the dozens of regional business directories and universal local search marketing sites like Google + for businesses (Google Places), Manta, Hot Frog, Yelp, et al. A local campaign is one of the best SEO tactics local businesses can employ if they want to increase brand awareness and draw more customers to their locations.

If you’ve already started to do this type of search marketing, you may have noticed that some of these directories already have information listed for your business and that you simply need to claim the profile. Seems great, but the problem is that sometimes the information listed for companies can differ from directory to directory. Sometimes, the business details are just plain incorrect, with everything from wrong phone numbers or addresses to even business names. The goal of local search marketing should be to make it easier for prospective customers to find local businesses, not to downright confuse them.

When there’s conflicting information about your business floating about on the web, this can not only confuse those people looking for local businesses like your own, but it also won’t do anything to help your search marketing or rankings. Why is there different or incorrect information and how can you fix your profiles or prevent this from happening in the first place?

How Local Listings are Created

The reason one directory could have information that varies from another is because Google and others collect details for their listings in a variety of different ways; many pay major information collecting companies that rake websites for business details and combine this information with customer reviews and information they collect from business owners. Sometimes, local businesses have inconsistencies in the business details on their websites, like different phone numbers, email addresses, short forms or acronyms of company names. In one instance, a company listed their corporate name above the address on the contact us page, instead of the name that appears on their website and their storefront and that’s used by their existing customers. This made it appear as though there were two separate businesses located at the same address. This isn’t helpful when you’re trying to build brand awareness or improve your site’s rankings.

Inconsistencies Create Confusion, Hamper Rankings

If you’re about to build a new website, take this as a word of warning and make sure there aren’t any inconsistencies that could crop up to bite you, and your local search marketing efforts, later. If you know there are some details that could be confusing, by all means change them straight away. The problem, however, is that it could be too late and those searching for local businesses like your own might find that your company is listed at one location in one place, or by a different name in another. How can you fix this? Either by going in and updating the listings for your business yourself, or by hiring a team of website SEO experts like ourselves to help you do it. Unfortunately, it may be impossible to fix every listing in every directory as there are dozens and dozens of small, lesser-known directories floating about. The good news is that if you don’t see these directories, chances are few potential local customers are finding them too.

Local search marketing is vital to the success of local businesses online but also at their brick and mortar businesses. This type of search marketing helps build brand awareness but also benefits your rankings, making it easier for local clientele to find you. Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive local SEO solutions.

For Small Businesses, Google Places is a Must: Local Search Marketing Made Easy

For Small Businesses, Google Places is a Must: Local Search Marketing Made Easy

Whether you like it or not, your business must have an online presence if you hope to be successful. The internet has made all previous methods of finding the businesses that can satisfy your needs redundant. Why would you need to look anywhere else when the internet is brimming with options after just a few clicks on the old keyboard?

But if you’re like most small business owners, you know your business inside and out but aren’t necessarily well-versed in internet marketing. Searching the net to try to discover where it is that you should focus your attention when it comes to website SEO can leave you feeling more than overwhelmed, as SEO gurus and bloggers swamp you with information about social signals, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, organic search, Google +, Places and others.

So here’s where you learn what’s most important to the brick and mortar local businesses; local search marketing, and more specifically, Google Places. If you had to focus your attention and your SEO marketing money on one thing and one thing only, it would be to have a profile for your business in Google Places. Here’s why:

If you have the type of business where you need local customers to come to your store or office in order to make a sale, then the primary objective of your website should be to make your business known to more people from your local area. This is where Google Places comes in.

By setting up a profile for your business in Google Places, you have a much better chance of being found by the people in your local area. Let’s say, for instance, that you have a mechanic’s shop in Brisbane. You fill out your Google Places profile completely, using the keyword terms that you deem most important and most often used by people to find the types of services you offer. When prospective customers do a Google search for ‘Brisbane mechanic,’ if your site dominates those in Google Places for this search term and ranks in the top 5, all the information a person needs to find your business or to at least call to ask for more information on the services you offer, will be right there, front and centre.

Of course, there are local search marketing techniques that you can and must use to make your profile stand out within Google Places. If optimising your profile and your site’s content with quality keyword terms is beyond you, this is where a team of SEO marketing experts comes in. But, with that being said, Google Places is a much smaller, more targeted space within the World Wide Web and so dominating the search results and being found by locals is a much easier feat for the small business owner to achieve.

Once you’ve properly created your Google Places profile, prospective customers can find and learn about your business offering at home on their computers or on-the-go from their smart phones. But then why stop at Google Places? Carve out a presence in the dozens of other local directories online and your business will be positioned to profit from its online presence in a very big way.

Now’s the time to dominate your local market. Be found with local search marketing. Contact The SEO Company for more information.