So, you just set up a website for your local business. You’re interested in trying to increase your online presence, but there’s so much information out there that you don’t know where to begin. In order to help you with your online marketing efforts, I’ve come up with some basic pointers to get you started off on the right foot.
Generate inbound links
If you’re familiar with the concept of Inbound Marketing then you already know that one of the keys to being found online is getting inbound links. If you don’t know what an inbound link is you can read more about it here. A few basic ways to generate Inbound Links are blogging, commenting on others’ blogs, and making sure your business is listed on the many business directories across the web.
Monitor review sites such as Yelp
Search engines and directories are using more and more complicated algorithms to rank websites on the results page. Although the exact algorithm is unknown, it has been acknowledged that there is a strong correlation between the number of reviews (especially positive ones) and the rank of a site on the results pages.
You should be encouraging happy customers to write reviews for your business. Many people are willing to write a short positive review if they are pleased with their experience; all they need is a little encouragement. Responding to both positive and negative reviews is an important step towards maintaining a strong local online presence.
Make sure your business listings are accurate
If your business information is inconsistent across the internet, then how can the search engines possibly consider your website high-quality? Having different phone numbers or physical addresses on different directories can hurt your ranking.
Keeping detailed records of everywhere your business is listed online is necessary if you really want to have absolute control of your online listings. Yext’s PowerListings offer a great way for businesses to maintain many of their listings with just a few simple steps.
Getting started with local marketing can be a little overwhelming at first. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Start small by making sure your business is listed correctly and starting a weekly blog. Once you get comfortable with that, you can take on some new campaigns which I’ll discuss in later posts.