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.

Thought a Presence in Local Directories was Optional? Here’s where You’re Missing Out

Thought a Presence in Local Directories was Optional? Here’s where You’re Missing Out

For a long time, people have viewed local SEO, or specifically optimising a site for location-specific keyword terms, as an ‘extra’ for any SEO or internet marketing campaign. Times have changed and if you’re a local business that doesn’t have a profile in all of the relevant local directories online, you’re missing out—guaranteed.

There are dozens of business directories in which you can create profiles for your business, however, some come for a fee and others may not be worth the time you must take to create a profile. With that being said, you absolutely, without a doubt, must have a Google+ page for your business (Google+ Local). Although it would be terribly short-sighted to do so, if you were only going to have one directory profile for your local business, this is where it’s got to be.

Google+ Page for Business

What used to be called Google Places, the Google+ page for business is still as important as it was before and here’s why: Whenever a person does a search for a specific type of business, product or service that’s offered in their area, Google reserves the first seven positions in the rankings for these search results.

How does Google decide which seven businesses will appear in these coveted top ranking positions? For starters, these are businesses that have a Google+ Local page, and secondly, these are the sites that Google has decided are most relevant to the search being performed. How does yours become a relevant business? With a properly optimised Google+ Local business profile and a good smattering of the same location-specific keyword terms on your site.

Getting a Top Spot in Google Rankings Could be Easier than You Think

Considering this, it goes without saying, then, that every local business should have a properly optimised profile at least in Google+ Local and preferably in all of the local directories that are available online and in their area.

Sure, listing in business directories takes time, but if you have the chance of ranking at the top for the searches your local clientele are doing to find the goods and services you provide, this is time well spent. If you’re ready to take your local business to the next level, get in touch with us to learn more about our complete local SEO solutions. You can’t afford not to.

Local Directories versus PPC: Which is Better for Ranking Locally?

Local Directories versus PPC: Which is Better for Ranking Locally?

When it comes to business advertising, especially internet marketing, finding the manner in which you can attract the most attention while investing the smallest amount of time and money is key. So, on the topic of ranking in search engines for location-specific terms, is listing your business in local directories and employing location-specific keyword terms in your profiles, site copy and blog posts best? Or, are your business advertising dollars better spent on PPC?

The seemingly continuous stream of algorithm changes has scared some people away from using organic methods for ranking local businesses and their websites online, but despite the fact that algorithm changes can be frustrating and undoubtedly annoying, using local directories and location-specific keyword terms is still preferable to PPC, when it comes to ranking locally.

So Many Benefits to Going Organic

When you take the time or spend the money to have your business listed in the free online local directories, you’re not just getting your company listed with the rest of the local businesses in your area in directories that may or may not rank your site well when people use the locally-based terms in their searches for the goods and services you offer. Instead, you should look at a good local ranking as a bi-product of the work you do to make your brand known in your local area. So, for instance, getting your site listed in these online business directories and writing posts and guest posts about the topics that matter to prospective local customers has an effect that will grow exponentially over time.

When you write a blog post, for example, you’re not only creating content for your website, which site visitors will appreciate, but there’s a good chance that article will get shared, as long as it’s interesting. Sharing then creates a series of links and greater brand awareness, all of which will work in your favour when Google and others go to rank your site.

With PPC, on the other hand, in order to take your local business advertising further, you’ve got to spend more. The only way your efforts can grow exponentially over time is by investing more money. Not all local businesses have the type of advertising budget that will allow them to get all that far with PPC, and so the organic method is preferable.

Free Online Local Directories

If you haven’t already, now is the time to give your business a presence in as many free online local directories as possible. If you don’t have the time to create location-specific, keyword optimised profiles for each of the directories, consider hiring someone else to do this task. The SEO Company offers comprehensive local SEO services, including the creation of directory profiles for local businesses, unlimited profile updates and more. Get in touch with us to learn more and never miss another opportunity to attract the attention of your local clientele.

A Local Business with a National eCommerce Site: How to Tailor Your Internet Marketing Efforts Accordingly

A Local Business with a National eCommerce Site: How to Tailor Your Internet Marketing Efforts Accordingly

When you already feel a little uneasy about internet marketing, you may be unsure as to whether or not the business advertising and site optimisation tactics you employ really are helping your business’ site and aren’t unknowingly causing your rankings and traffic harm.

We often talk about how important it is for brick and mortar businesses to use free, online local directories to attract the attention of local customers. But what if you have a physical location, and wish to use business directories to draw in your local customers, but you also market and sell to a national market via your website? This is one of those situations where you can find yourself fretting about whether or not you’re really doing the right thing. Will optimising your site and your listings in local directories hurt your efforts to also attract the attention of customers from locales across the country, online?

The answer is no, but that is, of course, if you know how to optimise properly. In order to improve your rankings and draw the attention of those both locally and nationally, you would need to have landing pages devoted specifically to the local areas you target and service, in addition to the rest of the pages that market your products and/or services, albeit in a more general manner.

On these location-specific landing pages, you would have information like your store’s hours and local phone number, a map and directions to your physical location, as well as any promotions or coupons that are reserved for local customers. When setting your local business up in online business directories, you would link your listings up to these location-specific pages and optimise your business description and information accordingly. Having separate pages for each locale you target allows your site to appeal to your local market, providing them with the information they want and need, without detracting from your efforts to reel in the customers who don’t live in your local area but who will purchase your products online.

By employing these location-specific landing pages, you will be in a much better position to dominate for keyword terms that appeal to both a national and a local clientele, all at the same time.

To learn more about building location-specific landing pages for your business’ site or about our local SEO services, contact us. Give your business the edge it needs to beat your competition!