In the world of the online business, traffic to your website is the most valuable of assets. In addition, in today’s tight economy, business owners are constantly looking for more efficient ways to market their products or services without breaking the bank. One of the most effective ways to market your business online is local SEO. People tend to trust local businesses more than they do, for example, one on the other side of the globe. Local marketing online is one of the most cost-efficient yet easy methods of which to market on the Internet. What is marketing you say? Here we attempt to break it down for you in a simple way.
Top 10 Tips for Marketing your Business Locally:
– Claim Your Profile on Merchant Circle. Sign up online with Merchant Circle, sign up and within 5 minutes, you can get your business more exposure on the Internet. Be sure to include correct and relevant information such as your legal business name, street address, hours of operation, and business categories. Categories are important because they help ensure your found easier by searching customers. Add deals and promotions to your Merchant Circle listing. Deals include coupons, sales and offers and are a fantastic way to encourage browsing customers to visit your website.
– Claim your business to get started with Google Places setup. In a previous blog entry, we outlined the steps necessary to get your business listed on Google Places free. Ninety-seven percent of consumers search for local businesses online. Because the power of Google, many of your potential customers could be looking for the products and services that you offer online at Google Places. Be there when they are looking for you with Google Places for business. Again, this is a free local platform from Google.
Help your business stand out by adding photos, videos, and offers to show customers why they’ll want to choose you. Display special promotions, post live updates, and respond to reviews from your Places for business account.
– Claim your business on Yahoo Local. Potential customers from your area visit Yahoo! Local every day and could be searching for your products and services. Yahoo Local is easy to setup and gives you the ability to add descriptive information about your business and upload images from your computer. It is simple to manage. You do not have to bid on keywords and you can edit your listing at your convenience, twenty-four hours a day.
These are the building blocks of getting your business found online. These top three sources of website traffic are easy to use and- best of all – they are free.
Next, we will detail some other strategies for building visibility to your business online. Some of them are free, and some of them require an initial deposit to get started. However, all of these sources are excellent ways of which to build website traffic, which as we all know equates to more sales!
– Add a Business Listing. Add your business to CitySearch by completing their online form. You need a CitySearch account to submit a new business to them.
– Add a Local.com Business Listing. Setting up your free Local.com, business listing is quick and easy and takes just a few simple steps. Get started by entering your business information, preview your listing and edit it with details and special offers to enhance your visibility.
– Promote your business with Mapquest. The MapQuest Local Business Center listing is free. You can add your business listing within minutes to Mapquest.com by creating a Mapquest Merchant Account. AOL local search is powered by MapQuest. You can also buy advertising on MapQuest that is on Yahoo, Yelp and SuperPages business directories.
– Also called SuperMedia – and is an excellent resource for business owners looking to gain instant access to the millions of potential customers that view the SuperPages business listings each month.
– With a YellowBook360 listing, you are adding your business to one of the top 50 Internet properties on the web. Put your business in more places and reach more customers with YellowBook360.
– The tried and true method of adding your business to the YellowPages is still a strong business strategy. YellowPages has re-branded their business as YP.com, but make no mistake, this directory is still as solid a business investment as ever. Your business can advertise with premium ads and if you are just getting started or are on a strict marketing budget, YP.com offers free business listings.
– This website has grown into one of the fastest expanding user communities for reviewing and researching local businesses. Businesses can advertise on Yelp.com with any size budget. Yelp is an excellent website for advertisers to reach an actively engaged audience. A word of caution…. negative Yelp reviews can be harmful to your business if left unanswered. Addressed correctly, you can turn a negative review into a positive review. The trick is learning how to respond to negative reviews.
By incorporating each of these steps into your local marketing strategy, you can build a more successful business. Look at these steps and follow through with each one, as your budget allows, and in time you will see more traffic to your website, which will result in more business and sales.
Starting to get the picture? Yeah, you can build traffic, visibility and sales! Give yourself every advantage. Give yourself a better chance to achieve success on-line. You can dominate local SEO in your geographical area . It is possible… even for a novice.
Oh, and do not forget – go green!