A big part of every small business owners jobs is to Attract Local Customers to your business, and creating an online presence is a great way to do that. So, here are 10 easy things you can do today to Attract Local Customers:
1. Claim Your Profile
Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local all have a place for you to advertise your small business, it just takes some setting up and getting verified by each to prove your you. They may do this by calling you on the phone or sending you a postcard in the mail to your business address, and don’t worry if your business in ran out of your house, it works for most home businesses too.
2. Update Your Information
When you’re in the process of claiming your local page you may find that the search engines have already added your business and started you out by adding some information about you that they have found on the web, which might be out of date or not even your information. Ether way make sure to make it your own by adding your own photos, videos and information.
3. Ask For Reviews
Make sure to tell your customers to visit your local search pages and give you a review, but make sure to read the local services Terms Of Service first, so you don’t violate any rules about asking for reviews, some like Yelp don’t allow it, but if they do it’s a great way to boost your credibility and move up higher in the search engine rankings. Tip: Ask for a review in your email signature and other client communications.
4. Bad Is Good
Don’t sweat it if someone gives you a bad review, that can happen and looks normal to the visitors of your local pages, but always reply to any bad reviews if you can and make things right with the client if possible. This can go a long way with your credibility and show customer you care.
5. Easy Ways To Make Contact
Make sure your Phone Number, Website URL and all the other ways to contact you are easy to find. Not just on your local pages, but on everything your small business sends out to the public. The point of this after all is being found and after they have found you, I bet you will want them to contact you to buy your stuff
6. Not Just Maps Anymore
Gone are the days where people get out a paper map and hunt you down, they use GPS Navigation systems and this means you must get your address correct for them to work properly. Tip: When adding your address make sure to use your complete address as if you were mailing to you making sure to use your zip code.
Put yourself in your customers shoes, what words would you use to search for you? Put these into your local pages Keyword / Key phrase area when creating your profile on your local Google, Bing and Yahoo pages.
8. More Than One Business
Most of the local pages now can handle more locations for a chain of businesses owned by you. Some like Google Pages will have a way to bulk add multiple locations. Just make sure it’s OK with the search systems terms of service.
9. Promote Your Products & Services
Some of the local search pages will also have ways to add Coupons for specials like Google Pages along with other add-on services to promote yourself online. Some like Google Pages have downloadable QR Codes to help tell prospects about your business.
10. Customer Service
Please don’t do all this work and forget the number 1 thing of all, “Customer Service” this will not only keep existing customers but word of mouth on and off the web will attract local customers faster than anything or repel them faster than anything, remember it works both ways.
Local Search Systems are one of those things that are hard to control at times, (like herding cats) so, be as correct as you can and remember no one can control every aspect of their local listings, just do your best to take the steps to make sure what gets listed is the best representation of your company.
For more information, please check out some of our Hot Topics in our blog that might help you with marketing your small business to attract local customers.
Until next time,