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When the “OPEN” sign is not enough

In an online age, many brick and mortar store owners have a sour attitude towards the internet. “Back in my dayers” shun the ease and accessibility of online shopping, and ultimately fail to see past the immediate drawbacks of the web to reveal the bigger picture.

While the e-marketplace undeniably claims a large portion of the market share, with a projected 11% of retail purchases being made online in 2018, local businesses still dominate the marketplace. The best businesses, no matter how small, are skyrocketing their profits despite this reduction of locally circulated currency. How? They’re taking the internet by storm.

The “Open” sign is on. Isn’t that enough?

Ask yourself this question: When was the last time I used my phone to look up the location of something? For most of us, we can’t remember a day where we haven’t used location services. Whether it’s a gas station on your commute home or a restaurant for your Friday night out, the vast majority of the U.S. population uses the internet to identify local businesses. So what does that mean?

Consumers are finding and visiting YOUR business via the internet, or at least they’re trying to.

Now what a lot of business owners think is: “Hey, I can open my Google Maps app and find my store when I search for it. I’m good to go!”. And honestly, we can’t blame you for thinking that. But there’s a reason that the Starbucks across the street has a line out of the door, while your local shop remains empty. They’ve perfected the local listing.

Let’s put you on the map. Literally.

Okay, I’ll admit that there are other factors bringing Starbucks customers. You probably don’t offer a Unicorn Frappuccino, nor do you have the consumer base to make such a thing take off. But think about it this way. When John Smith, the businessman who works down the road needs a quick pick-me-up before work, he’s pulling out his phone and searching “coffee near me”.

Now here’s the point. Because Starbucks has perfected their local listings, they will always populate as a coffee shop near John, and they will sit atop the search results because of it. In the most drastic examples of local listing neglect, John could literally be sitting at a table in your coffee shop, and his GPS or search engine of choice will still point him to Starbucks.

This may sound bizarre, but it’s happening more than you think.

Why is this happening?

When it comes to ranking on localized search engines, especially in those “near me” searches, there are three major factors that come into play.

  • Proximity- How close you are to the businesses
  • Reviews- Your average customer rating across major local listing sites
  • Consistency- How consistent your business info (phone numbers, addresses, hours, etc.) are across these local listing sites.

Doesn’t sound that crazy right? If it’s close, good, and if it’s easy to find/communicate with, then it’s a home run. And yet every day, we see businesses that are missing phone numbers and hours of operation in their place cards.

In order to gain good traction online, you need to be as transparent as possible with all of your company information. Otherwise, you potential customers will flock to your competition for providing just that.

Okay, I get it. So how do I fix it?

Traditionally, in order to update your local listings, you have to create an account with each local listing provider, claim your business location, and manually change each piece of information. However, with over 100 local listing providers and the time that it takes to update each, it is virtually, if not entirely, impossible to manage this without having a full-time role dedicated to this alone.

From Google and Yelp to Local Pages and AroundMe, every major player has jumped on board to put the power in your hands. This isn’t limited to your business’ location either. Here are a few of the things that you will need to manage to manage:

-Locations

-Hours

-Website information

-Phone, email, and other contact info

-Reviews

-Promotions

-Company information

-Employee information

-and much more

I’m sold! How do I get started?

Well, SeodaPop has different management and marketing packages that can fit the needs of your business. Call Us Today (800) 277-9389 and let one of our experts guide you through the process of what you need to bring your business to the next level

 

Alexandra Santana

Author Alexandra Santana

A pro-active sales professional with over six years’ experience as an editor. This role have enabled me to develop a valuable and transferable skill set which stands me in good stead for a Human Resources management and chief Editor for SeodaPop.

More posts by Alexandra Santana

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