You can help people find your business online by optimizing your local listing for search engines. You may have have seen the abbreviation SEO before. If you are not familiar with it you, you should be! SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and you do not need to be web guru to take advantage of it!
Help People Find Your Business: Search Engine Optimization
“Hello, can anybody hear me?”
Customers need to be able to find your business online before they can consider making a purchase at your establishment.
There are some important things you can do to optimize your local listing and to make sure your potential customers can find your business.
Claim Your Business!
You already own your business in real life, but you may not own your business’s online presence, yet. If your website has your business’s physical address and your contact information is listed on it than it is likely it may already exist in a number of search engines. The search engines may, however, not have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Take control! Claim your businesses online to keep information accurate and to respond to customers’ feedback.
When claiming your business there are number of important attributes you can take advantage of to make sure your customers can find your business when they are in need of your product or service.
Your name should reflect your real-world business name. If your business name describes your products or services, you are already one step ahead of the game. If not, you can leverage your business’s description and category to help your business be found. If you think your real-world title is limiting your business from being found, you may want to consider registering a DBA (‘doing business as”) to align it.
Use words in your description that are accurate, but also reflect what your customers search for when they are looking for the product, food, or service your business offers. Google Trends is a great resource when determining what the best words to use are. You can compare various words and phrases on Google Trends to determine which term is searched for the most. Try to avoid just a list of high ranking keywords in your description. Your description must still describe your business to be accepted by most guidelines. Instead, describe your business with the high ranking keywords in a sentence of phrase that is still human readable.
Your business category is one of the most important ranking factors when search engines determine what businesses match a user’s search. You can often choose more than one category. Aim for two to five categories and make sure your category choices reflect the products and services that your company offers.
Nurture your Social Media Presence
There is still, and may always be, a fair amount of mystery of how social media effects your business’s search results. There are some agreements of opinion and a lot of speculation. One of the consensuses, though, as described by Jayson DeMers or Forbes’ blog, is:
The total number of followers and connections your social media profiles contain does have a significant influence on your rankings.
He goes on to explain that the quality of the followers is important. Concluding that organic followers built over time weigh more heavily that purchased followers.
Build a Following
Our blog and social media accounts are dedicated to providing ways and strategies to building an online following. The topic is dense, but it can be boiled down to creating good content, sharing it, and engaging in the conversation with your audience. At the very least, you should list your social network accounts on your menus, brochures, and at your establishment. Check out out other blog posts on how to create good content and attract more followers. You may also want to check out our homepage to learn how to put your WIFI to work to help build followers, as well.
If you are spending money on traditional outbound marketing, such as TV and radio commercials, print advertisements , and emails blasts but are not spending money on inbound marketing, such as search engine optimization, you should reconsider your strategy. Inbound marketing costs 61% less than outbound marketing and is easier to track and monitor.
You are in Control, Now!
Now that you have claimed your business on all the major listings you have control over the accuracy of the information. You can also respond to customers feedback. This is especially important if any customers post negative feedback. We will talk about how to manage your online reputation in another post.