Published on Thursday 18 October 2012
Today I am going to be looking at way to market your local business online to help you get more exposure and more trade through your door.
1/ Rely On Reviews
Think back to when you last booked a hotel, most likely you searched for it online and you were given a bunch of reviews from other people that have stayed there on sites such as trip advisor or similar. The same can be said for restaurants. They heavily rely on reviews made by existing clients. The great thing about reviews is that they are searchable and Google loves them. The more reviews Google can find on your business the higher it will put you in it’s search rankings. Try to incentivise customers to leave reviews. For example if you are a restaurant why not ask if your customers would like to leave a review and if they do you will give them a free glass of wine next time they are in.
2/ Google Places
If you haven’t already, claim your Google Places profile. Google Places is the hub of all your Google placement. Make sure you put real time into this. Add photos, opening times, videos and your menu if you have one. Make sure your address is put in here too as this will place you onto Google’s mapping feature, uncannily named Google Maps.
Have you ever typed in something like “Plumber in Tunbridge Wells” and come up with a little map and pins at the top of your search? This is information supplied by Google Places.
3/ Check Your Directory Listings
When searching for you company name, you will no doubt come across a number of website that have your details. Make sure you go though these sites and make sure all your details are correct. Most directories let you claim your profile and add information or replace inaccurate data, make sure (if possible), you add your website address as this will provide a back link to your website, something Google loves. Don’t forget to go register for sites too. Kent Venues is a great example of a site which will help you get more exposure for your business in this manor.
4/ Use Free Advertising
Don’t ever forget about your local free ads that you can promote your business on. Websites such as Gumtree and Friday ad offer free business listings where you can promote your services to hundreds of people a day completely free. In some cases you may need to do this often, in fact as much as twice a day. This is where you might want to look for a SEO company to do this for you as you won’t want to be chained to your computer everyday posting adverts!
While on the subject of free ads, have a look at what you sell? If you sell fridges, why not list some of your products on the free listings. If people are searching these sites for your products why not list them?
5/ Embrace Social Media
Although daunting for many, using social media to maintain relationships you have with your customer and potential customers is a huge benefit. You are able to tell them about your special offers, new products you have and maintain a relationship with them between sales. Using Facebook you are also able to use Facebook advertising to promote your business and perhaps special offers you have. This can give you a huge advantage over your competition and what’s more it can be highly focused right down to the town in which that person lives. A great example of this is businesses that sell prams. With Facebook advertising you can target your ads to expecting and new parents with a 20 mile radius of your shop and your advert will only show to people who match that criteria.
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