Think you have fully optimized your website for local search? Well, you’d better have long-tail keywords throughout the on-page SEO elements of your site. Long-tail keywords are specific phrases describing your business, such as “bakery Cambridge MA” or “spa deals in Boston.” Make sure to tie together your industry name and location in your page titles, Meta tags and descriptions, Alt tags and headers. Adding long-tail keywords to these on-page SEO essentials will increase your chances of showing up in major search engines.
2. Haven’t Listed Your Business with Google Places
Google Places is free to use and will list your business in the local search results on both Google search and Google Maps. It will showcase your company site and description, your address and reviews. The so-called 7-pack listings appear on the very first page of Google, which is a great real estate for you to dominate. Wonder how your ranking against other local listings is determined? It depends on the optimization of your company description and the number and quality of your customer reviews.
3. Not Monitoring Yelp
It is delightful to receive positive comments. But you are probably going to receive some negative ones, too. Make sure to monitor Yelp for unsatisfied customer reviews and respond to these people. Be respectful, apologetic, funny and nice. Respond to negative comments in public as opposed to shifting the conversation to a private platform. If you leave the discussion in the public domain, you will let people who stumble upon it see that you care.
4. Haven’t Built Your Facebook Page
Did you know that
Facebook users have 130 friends on average
? Are you leveraging this wealth of networks? Customers may look you up on Facebook to “like” your Facebook Page and see if you offer any deals. Develop your Facebook presence by sharing some engaging articles, uploading photos, posting status updates and generating dialogues.
5. Relying on Coupon-Based Services
As a consumer, I enjoy daily coupons from sites like GroupOn, BuyWithMe and LivingSocial. But I don’t really care about any of the businesses I see advertised. They are unfamiliar names and I research them before making a purchase decision. If they look unreliable, I won’t bother buying the coupon. This is just to illustrate the importance of building your presence online. You cannot simply rely on GroupOn to bring you business. This is a short-term solution that can get expensive. Instead, focus on developing assets that bring you long-term success, such as your blog or a video channel.
Now that we have mentioned common traps for local businesses, what are some successes you have experienced?
Originally published Mar 14, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016