Following on from our post on the mobilization of local search we want all local business owners to grasp the opportunity that has arrived. There is a mini revolution happening in online search. Its not only social media that is continuing to change the face of online marketing. The mobilization of potential customers is driving a change that greatly benefits local business. The growth of smart phones and tablets is at the center of the change. They are portable; and so consequently is marketing. Businesses can talk to potential customers while they are actually out shopping.
Talk to your customer on the move
Geo targeting in online marketing has evolved with the advances in portable digital communication devices. If you have a smart phone you are already using it to target your next activity. You can use Google Places to find any business you want close to you. You can use Facebook Places to say you are somewhere and tag which of your friends are with you. People are turning more and more to their mobile device for information.
The Mobility Opportunity
In this move to on the go interaction is an opportunity for local business. National companies cannot compete with the local business physical location. We detailed in an earlier local search post that distance is an important component in the Google algorithm for returning search results to a searcher. There are millions of people ready to buy looking for the nearest outlet. To take advantage, a local business must work to increase its local prominence online.
First start with the major local business directories:
Visit each of these directories to claim and verify your listing. This is important, the major search engines will list your business whether you claim it or not. People will be able to write reviews on your business and unscrupulous competitors can maliciously edit your listing. It is best to be in control of your online presence. Once you have done the major three (they control about 95% of online searches between them) you can move onto other directories. All the business directories have premium positioning for a monthly fee. Our recommendation is not to spend the money. If you must spend it on the major three for the best value. There are literally hundreds of free directories consistently promoting your business by listing in these directories adds to your online prominence. Skilled use of the correct terms and words when completing your directory listings will also help increase the relevance of your business to those local searchers.
Once you have progressed your business directory presence move onto social media to develop your local search presence. We will post next week on some of the Social Media steps you can take to ensure you are prominent in local search.