While you may think you’re the only combination comic book-coffee shop in town, there could be several similar businesses in your area with a similar concept. Once you become aware of your competitors, you try everything to get customers through the door. That same need to stand out from the crowd is even greater online.
Whenever someone gets hungry for a pizza, their first action is to pick up their iPhone. A quick Google search can bring up dozens of pizzerias within a locality. These businesses don’t just appear because they exist, but because their owners optimized themselves for local searches.
The art of local search engine optimization is not as hard as you might think. These days, it’s only a matter of common sense. Here are just a few steps you need to take in order for your local business to get recognized.
All smart business owners should claim a directory listing. Decades prior, you would’ve needed to place your listing in the local Yellow Pages. Now you can do the same from their website, YP.com.
If you already have a Google+ account, keep it up to date with accurate information on your business’ location and hours. Don’t forget to add enough appealing photos of your storefront and products. When people Google your brand, you want them to see your best.
People may get their news online, but the relationship between local press and commerce never changes. When opening a new business, contact as many local news outlets as possible. Ask them if they would be interested in writing a story about your venture. Be ready to explain how your business is unique to the area.
Another source you could pursue is area bloggers and critics. Tell them you would be glad to have them interview you in exchange for backlinks.
Target Your Audience
A loyal customer base is the life blood of every small business. The best way to do that is through posting content high-quality quality websites.
You can also create a social media profile that keeps the public up-to-date on new developments. Let them know about exclusive deals and tease new products. Encourage customer reviews that you can share on your page. Try to avoid incentivizing feedback. You don’t want people to think you’re bribing the public for good reviews.
Identify With Your Area
Searches for area businesses are more likely to include their nearby town or city. What will separate your listing from any national chain is its association with the area. Every town and city has a dentist’s office, but not the one that Dr. Miller has only a few blocks away.
Optimizing your website’s title tag as “Scranton Dentist” is a good start. But, it’s not the end all solution. Go out of your way to convince patrons that you’re a public utility. When you get listed on Google, claim your spot on Google Maps.