Beyond Web Presence:
How Your Business Can Dominate the Local Market with ‘5 Star Buzz’
Consumers today are very aware of the many different options available to them and wish to be informed about the services or products they purchase over the internet. Seventy-eight percent of consumers conduct some form of research before committing to purchase. The message to businesses is clear: “Ignore local online visibility at your peril!”
In response to this message from the public, business owners have tried to embrace technology by starting websites and utilising search engine optimization techniques such as those offered by Google. The question is, are these measures enough to bring customers in? Might you be missing a more effective tool to ensure the day to day success of your business?
Limitation of SEO
It would be foolhardy to ignore the success and high usage of search engines such as Google. Success on the internet is determined by your visibility and 90% of online users utilize various search engines such as Google to assist them in locating goods and services online. Businesses concentrate a lot of their time and energy toward employing SEO techniques that can maximize their online presence and increase their search engine ratings.
This works great for generating traffic to your site, but not so great for building awareness of your brand, goods, or service locally within your community. Another element is needed in order to receive maximum benefits from your efforts. Professionals such as 5 Star Brand can help to get you noticed. If you own and operate a business, your local community is where a lot of business can be generated.
You wouldn’t consider advertising only in New York if your business is in California and that’s what “national” SEO without local promotions is like. In other words, geography is another element that needs to be added to the campaign. This is not limited to including a geographic location in your SEO or keywords. This means that your business must be at the top in local search results. It is not just enough to generate general interest.
You must generate interest, excitement, and awareness of your business locally, which is close to home where it can increase and generate revenue for your business. This can be seen when actual customers visit your store to buy your goods or services.
Local Visibility Improves SEO Results!
A study done in 2013 by Moz on Local Search Ranking Factors lists five areas to be considered for local search engine optimization techniques to be effective.
- Business Type (19.6%.) It is important to include information such as the type and category of the business.
- Correct Business Information (18.8%.) Must include essentials such as name, address and phone number (NAP).
- Consistent Business Information (16%.) NAP information must be identical in all locations online.
- Customer Reviews (10.3%.) Quantity and quality of reviews is critical.
- Social Media Presence (6.1%.) Likes or shares of Facebook, followers on Twitter and Google+ Authority.
These are the signals that industry experts agree can lead to improved ranking in local online search results. However, in order to achieve optimum local domination of any market, more is needed.
Generating ‘Local Buzz’ for Your Business
In addition to SEO work you need to implement location-targeted tactics:
The importance of name, address and phone number (NAP)
This information is critical and vital and should be consistently listed. Research done by Marketsherpa shows that only 58% of websites used by businesses place their address on their site. This is indeed a common mistake. The web is a vast marketplace where a local address may not seem necessary. What about your local community? Failure to include NAP means that your business will show up less and rank lower in local search attempts.
Also, users of smart phones and other mobile devices will not be able to capitalize on the information you provide on your site. Research done by Moz shows that individuals who searched for information online using these devices usually follow it up by a phone call, a visit, and purchasing some goods or services. In fact the figures show that 7% called, 17% actually went to the location, and up to 17% bought something. Without NAP listed prominently, none of these customer actions would have occurred!
In addition, consistency is important. You need to be listed on as many directories as possible (there are over a hundred in most local regions) and massive presence is a huge help in search engine rankings. But if even tiny differences exist between these listings (something as simple as different phone numbers, small typos or even differences in punctuation) you will receive negative marks and it can damage your local rankings.
Avoid duplication of listings in any one service. There should be only one listing for your business online on any listing site, but especially on the big ones like Bing Local, Foursquare, Google Local, and Facebook Places. Make it simple and easy for search engines and local users to find your account every time.
Reviews and ratings are Important
Try to get published on as many review and rating sites as is possible. A local consumer review survey done in 2013 by BrightLocal, found that more than 80% of online buyers read reviews. This is very often the only information they have to determine the value and quality of goods or services. Only a minority of 15% do not utilize this medium. A whopping 65% of the people surveyed indicate the contribution that these reviews make towards determining their decision to buy from local companies as opposed to only 50% as recently as 2011.
Get reviews on social media sites
If a website is recommended on a popular social media site such as Twitter or Facebook then 58% percent of consumers looking for information online are more likely to use or purchase goods or services from that local business. A survey done to look at local search usage for 15 miles/Neuster Localeaze by research company comScore also showed that 50% of online searchers read and use reviews and that up to 41% will write a review for goods or services received.
Online check in
Use services like Foursquare to facilitate online check in for your business. This can provide valuable information that can be seen monitored and measured by the network. There are several avenues that can be used to attract and encourage web check in, such as loyalty rewards and bonus programs.
5 Star Brand can help you to use all of the tools you have at your disposal. Local listings, directories, social media, Facebook, Twitter, review sites, blogs, and maps. Effective usage and monitoring of the signals combined with high rankings and improved flow of traffic from other external sites can lead to better results. This is because your site shows up much more as a result of local searches and help to improve your local online presence marketing.
5 Star Brand specializes in generating “local buzz” for your business. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today at 1-951-821-8659so to schedule a free consultation.