Hotels, electricians, plumbers, photographers, bakeries, and every other business that has a brick and mortar location serving customers in their local area should be leveraging the internet more!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom & pop shop, a franchisee, or independently own several locations. Your customers, young and old, are searching for what they need online… most often, on their smart phones.
Look, who reading this has NOT used their phone to find something locally?
“Touché”, you’re likely saying. And rightly so.
Local businesses rely on third parties WAY too much to help them get found online… sites like Yelp, Facebook, even Google My Business are given mediocre attention, and don’t get me started on the majority of local business websites.
When massive amounts of potential customers are searching every day and if you’re not keeping your business information up-to-date, where do you think they’re gonna go?
Yep, your competitors that ARE keeping their info up-to-date.
There are several simple ways to keep your local business top of mind with Google and other search engines, but it does require work. About 15 minutes per month.
Daunting, I know.
What to focus on
So here are a few of the focus areas that, as a local business owner, you should know about and be tackling:
- Your Website
- Your social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Google My Business, Yelp, and other local listings websites
- Managing your reviews
Yeah, only 4 major areas. Again, daunting.
Well, in fact, I’ve found this to be extremely daunting and scary for local business owners. The majority of brick and mortar owners and operators are caught up in the day to day of running and operating the business.
If this sounds like you, can I get a “Hell yeah!” down there in the comments?
How to we help them and YOU get over this hurdle?
1 of 2 ways, honestly.
We can either teach you how to do these things and have you spend 15 minutes a month keeping all your profiles up to date, OR you hire a team of professionals that specialize in local brick and mortar business marketing online.
“Whoa, whoa! Spend money and hire a team of pros?”, you might be saying.
Yes. There are people out there that do this for a living to help people like you… that don’t have time, patience, or skill in these areas… get all this done every month. And many of them are extremely affordable.
I’ll get to that in a minute, but first let’s take a few deep cleansing breaths and get ready to learn.
Ok, great. Feeling more calm and centered? What about ready to learn?
BOOM! Let’s do this.
First, the basics you’ll need on EVERY platform listed above. It’s literally 3 things.
Your Name. Your Address. Your Phone Number.
“Why is it only these 3 things?” Oh I’m so glad you asked.
See the search engines know a lot. BUT they don’t know everything. In fact, they don’t know anything they haven’t been given before.
If you’re a relatively new location (or in some cases, an older one) you need to tell the search engines that you exist. AND if you’ve taken over a location that used to be some place else, you need to tell the search engines that you’re not that old place anymore.
If not and you need some further assistance understanding drop a comment below and I’ll reach out personally.
Lock in the profiles that make sense for your business and your customers, then give all of them your Name, Address, and Phone number.
Next on your list, your website.
Make sure you have clickable links for your Phone number and Address… you know, so people can call you OR, since they’re likely using their smart phone, get directions to your location.
There’s more to this with special data-attributes that tell search engines the type of business you are, the type of information you’re providing… Name, Address, Phone number, and much much more… BUT we’re gonna keep it basic.
With your profiles locked in and your website made clickable, your next step is to update it regularly. Monthly is fine, weekly is better.
Many of these profiles allow for some kind of posting, like of social media sites. Google My Business is one of these AND one of the most important for increasing your “findability” on Google’s search engine as a local business.
The more consistently you add updates to these profiles, the more likely you are to be shown to more people searching for “business like yours near me.”
This is because search engines, Google, Bing, and every other one, want to provide their users with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible when they enter a search query.
The businesses with the most up-to-date information and activity will get preferential treatment because they are playing to the strengths and desires of both customers and search engines.
“Great, now I have to think up something to say every day? You’re crazy man.” Yeah, you’re right. I’m crazy. But what if your competitors didn’t think that way.
What if your competitors say this as an opportunity to get a leg up on YOU and started doing this for themselves?
Your business continues to get fewer and fewer customers, because your competitors come up first in search results and are more easily found.
I don’t want that and I know YOU don’t want that, right??
(Check out a recent video on how to create content easily over on the Get Quirked YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/z-EfY5UAQbQ)
Paying for help
We’ve reached the point now of doing the un-thinkable. Paying someone else to do this for you.
Yes, I’m being over-dramatic but with good reason.
You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) at how many local business owners I talk to about hiring a team of professionals to manage their online presence and HELP THEM stay up-to-date to get more customers connecting with them, more directions to their shops, and more people coming in their doors, that just plug their ears and hum the Star Spangled Banner to drown me out.
Ok, truth be told it’s not always the Star Spangled Banner. In fact, it’s rarely that… I think only once.
BUT THE POINT IS…
They don’t want to hear anything about paying yet another person or company, ever.
Until, they have experienced enough pain to try to believe what I’m telling them.
So, if you’re ready to listen and dive into a conversation with a team of professionals schedule a quick 15 minute consult with me here: https://calendly.com/getquirked/free-strategy-session
The team & I would love to chat with you about the opportunity to work together to get you found more often online by people looking for (insert your type of business here).
If you’ve found this valuable and helpful please leave a comment below and share this article with your friends and peers.