If you have a business that relies on walk-in customers, you can’t ignore local search marketing. With more choices being made based on research done not only on the Internet but specifically on mobile devices, it is now a fact of life for you.
While traveling recently, I was reminded just how poorly many businesses manage this aspect of their marketing and advertising. It’s even more critical if you own or run a business that depends on seasonal vacation traffic. And if my vacation travel is any indicator, there’s a good chance that you can do more with your local search marketing efforts.
Local Search, Here and There
Gone are the days when vacations were planned exclusively around the kitchen table with a stack of maps and travel brochures. Now, so many vacation choices are made on the fly with web and mobile local searches. What’s the best brunch place nearby? What are the top attractions for a rainy afternoon? What’s a kid-friendly spot for dinner and entertainment?
In fact, more and more, most family decisions are made in this same manner – from doctors to birthday party venues. And while many businesses get that they need a web site or social media presence, they don’t understand some of the fundamentals of local search marketing – how to end up in local search results or even get some local search results in terms of store traffic.
Getting Some Local Search Results
While we can’t map out a one-size-fits-all local search marketing strategy here, we can provide some tips that will help ensure that you’re going in the right direction. Most of these tips apply to anyone – whether you’re a local attraction, boutique, doctor’s office, or a brunch spot:
- Google My Business
Make sure you have a Google My Business (formerly Google Places) account that is accurate and up-to-date. This is the first and most basic step. You’d be surprised how information gets populated in these local entries that is inaccurate and affects your walk-in traffic.
- Link It Up
Link to your Google My Business information from your web site. You can leverage the free resources that Google My Business provides – like mapping and navigation capability. This directly affects how easily your customers discover and (if they) show up at your location. Plus, you don’t have to seek out web design services to build this from scratch.
Offer rewards or incentives for positive reviews and check-ins on social media and Google.
- Manage Your Reputation
Actively monitor reviews on social media and Google and respond to them in a timely manner. Customers are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you address criticism diplomatically and directly.
- Use Those Good Reviews
Call attention to those good reviews by sharing, retweeting, quoting, and thanking on social media. This also relieves some of your burden in generating fresh content.
Now, off for a bite to eat. Know a good place?