Today, potential customers use hundreds of different review sites and forums to research businesses, making it more important than ever for a company to proactively manage and improve their digital brand. Here are six steps you can take to ensure that your online presence is positive and easy to find.
This post is part of a series celebrating National Small Business Week, June 17-21.
Years ago, local discovery was simple. Everyone used the same printed yellow pages book to find local businesses. Nowadays, however, potential customers consult hundreds of different online directories, mobile apps, social networks and review sites to find local businesses. Quite simply, local search is incredibly fragmented.
What does this mean for you as a business owner? You need to make sure that your business is listed accurately in all these different places. If your information is incorrect or missing, potential customers won’t find you and will move on to a competitor. And that’s not good for your business.
Here is a checklist, brought to you by our friends at Yext, which outlines the necessary steps to make sure that customers are finding your business in local search.
- Get listed everywhere – Customers use an average of five sources when researching purchases, so you need to get listed everywhere they are looking. An easy way to get started is to understand your presence on top sites like Yahoo!, YP.com, MapQuest and Facebook– but it doesn’t end there. You also need to understand how you appear on mobile apps, maps and navigation services. Since local search is incredibly fragmented, you need to make sure that customers can find you at every point of local discovery.
- Correct your digital location information – If your location information isn’t correct, your customers won’t be able to find you. So make sure the basics, like your business address and phone number, are right. Don’t make it hard for the customer to find you.
- Complete your business listings – Make sure you are giving the customers the information they want and need. Customers need to know when they can come to your store and what to expect. You can provide this by adding hours of operation, search categories, a business website and a business description to your listings.
- Share deep local content – Provide customers with the reasons why they should choose you over the competition. Add product and services lists, menus, bios for your staff, and calendars of upcoming events. Make sure that you are differentiating yourself from your competition at the point of online local discovery.
- Keep your location information fresh – Quite simply, your customers are interested in new content, so make sure you update your location information at least once a month. Change your featured message every month or add new business and photos – the more you engage your customers with new content, the more interest they will have in your products.
- Track and optimize your listings’ performance – Like with any part of business, you need to monitor what your customers respond to and give them more of it. You can figure out what type of content your customers respond to by monitoring profile views, tracking featured message clicks and keeping an eye on reviews.
This post was written by Tyler Donahue at Yext, a tech company that syncs business listings information across 50+ sites like Yahoo!, Yelp, Facebook and Bing. Find out how you’re listed across the internet with a free listings report from Yext!
Paradoxos is a new event happening in downtown Durham on June 6-8, 2013. Come hear inspiring talks and enjoy brews from local breweries while we celebrate innovation and collaboration in our community!
What are you doing June 6th and 7th? Join the Shoeboxed team at Paradoxos!
Paradoxos is a two-day festival celebrating the power of ideas, collaboration, and what’s to come. Hosted in our hometown of Durham, NC, the event will bring together entrepreneurs, innovators and big thinkers from around the region and around the country. Shoeboxed is thrilled to be a taking part in the Paradoxos festivities and we’d love to see all of our great partners and users from the Triangle there!
Members of the Shoeboxed team will be attending every Paradoxos event (find the full schedule on the Paradoxos website), but we’ll be out in force at two key events– including one we’re sponsoring! Come say hello at:
The NEXT, featuring speakers from TechCrunch, LinkedIn and The White House. Our very own founder and CEO Taylor Mingos is even speaking! The NEXT is happening at the Carolina Theater on Friday, June 7, from 1-5p.m. Grab your ticket before they’re all gone!
The Nightcap, sponsored by Adzerk, the American Underground and Shoeboxed! Come party with us until the Bulls come home at our favorite local brewery, FullSteam. The tab opens at 8p.m. and includes free beer for the first 1,000 people. Come on, what’s better than free beer?
For more details, or to get your ticket today, please visit www.paradoxos.co today. The tickets are going fast, so don’t delay!
Are you attending Paradoxos? We’d love to see you! Let us know in the comments or tweet at us at @Shoeboxed.
See you soon!
Shoeboxed is excited to announce our new partnership with Impact Shred & Recycle of Raleigh, NC!
In our ongoing effort to support local business, we have joined forces with Impact for all of our receipt and document shredding. Privacy, confidentiality and security are the cornerstones of our service, and Impact shares our dedication to these values. You can rest easy that your documents are in great hands!
While Impact’s leading security standards make them a perfect partner for Shoeboxed, we also chose them because of their commitment to small business and the local community. Founder Alexus Kelly has done a remarkable job focusing on small businesses and the importance of quality customer service. Impact even provides free shredding to some small local businesses to give back to the community.
Green Tip: Remember that our Green Shred & Recycle option is available for all Shoeboxed premium plan users! To enable this option in your account, go here.
If you have any feedback or questions about our Green Shred & Recycle option or our new partnership with Impact, please reach us 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a shout on Twitter @ShoeboxedHelp.
The Shoeboxed Team