Monday, August 11, 2014

Are You Locally Plugged-In?

As a business owner, it’s easy to think about link-building, SEO tactics and engaging your customers. If you’re a local business, one of the major things you may be neglecting is your local online business stats. Having multiple social media accounts and the like, and staying relevant is a good thing, but at the end of the day, it’s the local business opportunities in your area that could make or break your company’s bottom line. Using local-based maps or campaigns will increase your visibility while helping you stay relevant in the market.

Yahoo has updated its local search results algorithm, which now gives detailed information about a business when you click on the results. That could prove very effective, especially when trying to get business or reviewing tips from organizations that help small businesses. Yahoo’s take on local search results and their redesign of the Yahoo mail system is directly from Google’s blueprint, which has been providing effective, local search results for quite some time. Only available in the U.S. for now, you can expect Yahoo to capitalize on this opportunity.

Why is it important to have local search results for your business? Here are a few reasons:

Credibility - You have a tangible location, a tangible product, and consumers can find you. This is crucial to the longevity of any business that has a footprint within a localized area.

Mobile Opportunities - You will be able to be found in mobile search results. If your location is closer than your competitor from someone who’s driving and looking for someone who offers your services, chances are they will visit your location FIRST.

Reviews - Consumers love the power of the internet and will quickly post reviews about their experience, whether it was online or at a live location. If your reviews are positive, this will drive traffic to your location.

Competition - You always want to stay ahead of the game with your local competition. If they have local search presence and you don’t, who will get the customers? The impact is far greater than companies initially realize. Unfortunately, once they do get a grasp of the effectiveness of local marketing, it’s usually too late.

Search Engines - It’s a good thing when you show up in the search engines, especially if you have both an online and local presence. That gives your company an extra sense of credibility and opens up opportunities on both ends – locally and digitally with potential clients and other businesses.

Local marketing is just as important as online marketing, and should have its own strategy. It’s easy to forget the grassroots methods once you become an online business entity, but staying true to your foundation can help you have an even bigger presence. Never discount the power of networking and the value of local relationships. Your “small” relationship with another company or provider could be the catalyst that will make you worldwide.

There’s value in maintaining your local search results. If you change locations, make updating your information a high priority. You never know who’s watching.


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