Maintaining your Local Business Reputation Online has become part of the formula to running a successful business in today’s world. Billions of people are turning to their computers, laptops, tablets or smart phones to get online to research who they should hire to perform a service, where they should go for lunch, what company has the highest quality product.
This is good news, you can now gain access to an even bigger ‘pool’ of clients by engaging in local maps and directories… These are online ‘tools’ that will give you the ability to uphold the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build!
Maintaining your reputation online begins with ‘set up’. By setting your business up online in a few specific places (I’ll get to that in a second) you will be able to compete and start to get business reviews and recommendations.
Social signals come in many forms: reviews, star ratings and recommendations have been going on for a few years now. By listing your business in Maps and Directories allows you to start gathering your own reviews, star ratings and recommendations and start the process of building a solid reputation for your business online (people make buying decisions based on these reviews – seriously!). If your business has been on the sidelines, it’s critical to jump in ASAP (you’re leaving a ton of money on the table!)
Another approach is to “not do anything”, and the reality is you’re only making it harder on your business by waiting… Get involved with Local Maps and Directories so you can have an active role with your online reputation (something every Small Local Business owner should be taking very seriously).
QUESTION: Does your local business currently show up in the maps sections on top of the Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines? If your business is not currently listed in these maps on the Internet and the mobile web, then it would probably be in your best interest to pay close attention to the following statistics so you can understand how vital a little strategy called “Local Maps Marketing” can impact your local business’ bottom line…
• According to Google, 73% of all searches are related to local content in one way or another.
• While Internet purchases are rising, according to MIT Technology Review, for every dollar spent on the Internet, five are spent offline on products and services that were influenced by online research.
If your business continues to spend ad dollars that yield little return with Yellow Pages advertising or your business suffers from a lack of visibility, especially on the Internet, then leveraging powerful techniques such as local maps and directories should be a top priority for you and your local business.
First we must optimize each listing (fancy word for ‘maximizing each search engine’s algorithm’ of these local business listings) for your local business in order to fight for your position on the first page results for the specific local keywords that you most desire to be on. (A simple example is a plumber who serves the Phoenix, AZ area would want to show up for a search term / keyword phrase like “plumber in phoenix’ because that’s exactly what his business is.)
Second, we help our clients build a strong system for capturing business reviews from your satisfied customers. Reviews have major influence on rankings of your local business listings, especially on local directory giant Google Places.
If you think about what the Yellow Pages ‘used to’ provide, you can start to understand the purpose of directory sites. These are sites that have business listings just like the Yellow Pages do. By listing your business in various online directories, you are improving the chance for your business to be found online.
The opportunity to get in front of consumers and other businesses (if you’re B2B) is simple, but most businesses only take advantage of a few directory listings. This is a MISSED OPPORTUNITY if you’re only signing up for a few directories when there are tons of Local Directories! Cogent Marketing will list your business for you in the top 30 local business directories.
Getting your business set up on the major Social Media sites like Facebook Business Pages, Google+, Linkedin, YouTube and Twitter are also simple steps you can take to improve your reputation online. Learn more about getting started with a complete premium reputation management package that includes Social Media Set Up and Local Maps and Directories Now check out out Local Social Domination Package.