Build a local business website + participate in social media + Encourage customers to write reviews online
When it comes to online local business promotion, creating a website has become indispensable because of the fierce competition. The first step towards online local business promotion that everyone does is to list the business in local listing sites similar to Google Local. In fact these sites are crowded with hundreds of listings for particular areas. While these local business listings are very much vital for local business promotion online, to overcome the fierce competition, these local listings need to be enhanced with several stuff such as a dedicated website and social media profiles. Here is how an effective local business promotion should be done:
1. Build a local business website: Create a very simple website with very minimal number of pages. Remember that yours is not an eCommerce that regularly needs to be updated with new products. The simple you build your website, the simple the maintenance would be. I would suggest have just three pages – A home page with an overview of the business, a page that describes what you offer and a contact page with full details along with a Google map listing embed. Just make sure you do a keyword research before writing the content for the pages. Use the keywords in the META titles and descriptions wisely.
2. Mark your presence in popular social networks: Don’t just get into all the social networks, but just choose the ones that best suit your niche. Remember that active participation in Facebook and Twitter is sufficient to promote your local business in social media
3. Local listings with website url and social media: Now it’s time to create the local business listings in sites such as Google Local and Bing local. Be sure to include your website url and the social media profiles in the listing.
How the promotion works:
As you know, there is not specific strategy to promote a local business listing in Google local or Bing local. However, Google local and similar sites pull data about a business from the social networks and review sites. In fact the local sites offer priority to businesses that have a well optimized website. To make Google local and other local sites grab information about your business, all you have to do is to use same, complete contact information across your website, social media sites and review sites. Remember that in order for the “local search engine” bots to identify your business presence in the social media, review media and general web the address and contact information across all these spots should match. Once the bots have identified your businesses’ presence, any activity done in these social networks and review sites would build ranking to the local listing. You should also encourage your customers to write reviews online which would be grabbed by the local search bots as a ranking factor too.