September 7, 2012
Topics: Local Search
I see a wonderful chiropractor here in Traverse City – Big Beautiful Life. The owner, Jena, has tons of time to help patients with their health problems – but not much time to worry about marketing stuff in the meantime. When she asked me recently how she could market her business online, my first instinct was to point her towards my list of 10 Essential Local Search Tips.
While it’s a great article, it can also be overwhelming to consider all of the different things small business owners could be doing to market themselves online.
So what’s the low-hanging fruit? What could you maybe get done in a few hours?
1. Ask for Reviews.
I don’t care if you never have time to even go to the nearest computer. The best thing you can do is to ask for reviews. I even wrote a separate blog post all about how to get more reviews for your business. The easiest way is just to give loyal customers that you trust a postcard with more information, asking them to kindly review your business.
A recent study from the University of California (Irvine) found that when a restaurant rating improved by just half a star it was very much more likely to be full at peak dining times. STARS matter. REVIEWS matter. A lot.
2. Claim – and OPTIMIZE – your Google+ Local Account.
And once you’ve done that, be sure to round out your listing. It’s something you can do in under a hour, but it can make such a big difference to how your business appears to users in these important search engines.
- Add a link to your website
- Pick up to 5 categories for your business.
- Add great photos
- If you have them, add videos
- Add a basic description of your business
- Explore other ways to optimize your Places Page.
3. Consider A Few Other Local Review Sites Too
If you are a chiropractor like Jena, I’d recommend claiming your listing on Yelp. If you are in the hospitality business, then Zagat reviews will be important for your Google listing, as well as Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon. Head on over to GetListed.org for additional options. You may not have time to cover every local directory, but rounding out at least one or two additional listings can really help benefit visibility.
4. Put your street address and phone number on every page of your site.
An easy place to put this your address and phone in your website footer. For a detailed list of other updates you can make to optimize your site, check out my other post. Getting your name and address on every page, however, is the #1 priority.
5. Put Your Location in the Homepage Title Tag
Your homepage title tag is what appears at the top of the browser window and also in search results. You can greatly improve geographic relevance for your website by putting your location in the title tag, as well as a keyword or two about your primary service offering. As you can see, Big Beautiful Life already has a title tag that’s optimized for location.
You can also customize your meta description tag as well – another great opportunity to control how your website appears in SERPs.