What’s the first thing you do when you’re thinking about trying a new restaurant, looking for a new hair stylist, or remodeling your bathroom? If you’re like most people, you probably ask your friends and family if they have any good recommendations. You trust and value the opinions those in your circle of influence. After all, you probably have a good deal of shared experiences and commonalities. But what do you do if your friends and family aren’t available or if they have no more knowledge than you? That’s when you turn to the internet.
The Internet Has the Answers
A quick Google search is often all it takes for customers to find what they’re looking for, which is why SEO is such an important factor in our digital world. Unfortunately, many customers will choose the first company that pops up, either because it is more convenient or they trust Google to provide only top quality sites on the first page. The problem here, as many small business owners will tell you, is that the best tradesmen, chefs, salons, etc. aren’t always the best at SEO.
Still, some customers choose to dig a little deeper with their search. Websites like Yelp, Google+ Local and Angie’s List allow users to read and write reviews on local businesses. Even Facebook is trying to get into the game with the introduction of Graph Search, in which users will be able to search for places and the results will be based on their friends’ interactions with these types of places.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
Outsource Your SEO:
While you should have a basic understanding of SEO, this is one task that you should consider outsourcing to an external company. Managing SEO requires a great deal of training and time devotion. Just make sure you do your homework so you know that you’re hiring a legitimate company who will boost your rankings, not just blow smoke and get you black listed.
Update Your Website and Social Media:
Nothing is more frustrating to a potential customer than finding outdated information on your website, whether it is an old menu or an out of service phone number. Make sure all the information provided on your website and other social sites is correct. Inconsistent information is another nuisance for customers. It becomes confusing when you have one set of hours listed on your website and different hours on your Facebook. Make sure any information you’re providing is consistent across all platforms. Have a mobile website? Don’t forget to edit that along with your main site any time you make an update.
Make Sure You’re Listed:
You don’t have to go crazy creating listings in every directory known to man, but you should make sure that you’re included in the top sites. Yelp, Google+ Local, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and Manta are some of the most popular directories.
Need some help with one of the items above (or all three)? Contact us for a free consultation. We’ll help you develop a strategy that ensures you’re found when you’re customers turn to the internet.