With #SmallBusinessSaturday coming up in a few days, I thought it would be a good idea to share some ideas to help you get more customers.
I’m talking about local SEO.
If you tweak your website and online profiles now, you will have the best chance of winning nearby customers. Not only can local SEO help you get more customers, but you can use this opportunity to improve your online reviews, offer online promotions, and grow your marketing email lists.
Here are a few things you want to make sure are done before Saturday morning.
Your Google My Business page
Make sure your Google My Business page is up to date and as accurate as possible. Your full company name should match the same name that appears on your website.
I realize that may sound dumb, but you’d be surprised at how many companies use an alias. If this sounds like you, make sure that your online directories all have the same name.
If you have multiple listings, claim and delete the duplicate listings. I see this often with local listings on Yelp.
Google My Business allows you to update your hours in accordance with the holiday schedule, so make sure you go ahead and do this.
Earlier this year (2017), Google launched Google Posts. This new service gives you the ability to share relevant content including coupons and promotions with your customers.
The better and more relevant your Google Posts are, the more likely you are to get an edge on your competitors, so start sharing on Google Posts.
Update your page to reflect any change in holiday hours and publish any coupons or promotions in the posts section of Google my Business.
There’s plenty of online review sites, but Google and Yelp are by far the most trusted. Just a minute ago I mentioned claiming and deleting multiple listings.
Check Yelp to make sure you don’t have more than one listing for your website and if you’re not on Yelp (or Google My Business), stop reading this and run a search for your name.
It’s common for local businesses to have multiple listings because Yelp creates on for you whether or you like it or not. Many people don’t realize Yelp created one for their business already, so check first.
I’ve written extensively about local SEO, but one article I think you’ll find of value is part of my most affordable SEO tips for small businesses. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Just like with Google My Business, make sure your Yelp profile is complete, consistent with Google, and is updated to reflect your holiday hours.
Be sure to add branding and respond to both negative and positive reviews as most people read reviews before making a buying decision.
Localize Your Page Titles
I find localizing your page titles work well for businesses who depend on local customers and clients. If you sell products online and don’t have a brick and mortar type of business, then don’t bother with local SEO.
Your page titles can help, so don’t be afraid to tweak your titles to reflect your location. Make sure the city and state in match the address on your Google My Business and Yelp pages.
To localize your page titles you’ll want to follow the examples below:
Pretend you are a partner in a personal injury law firm in Baltimore, Maryland. You may want to consider this title for your homepage;
Lilo & Stitch: Personal Injury Lawyers In Baltimore, Maryland
SEO for law firms is very interesting and fun by the way.
Joe’s Barber Shop: Best Annapolis Hairstylist for Men
Product pages could include;
Black Eyed Susans – Flowers in Baltimore Maryland – Company Name
Either way, adjusting your page titles now for local SEO can help associate your pages and company rather with your community – hopefully in time for Small Business Saturday.
Ask for Reviews
While you have new customers in your shop this holiday season, go ahead and ask them to leave you honest reviews. Most people only reviews when either their mad at you or if you ask them. Go ahead and ask them.
I have a client who told me they started offering $5 Starbucks gift cards to leave reviews and almost every time I visit a local restaurant, I get asked to leave a review.
Of course, the gift card to Starbucks doesn’t exactly work if you own a local coffee shop.
Even at the end of service calls with my phone company, they ask me to remain on the line for an extra 30 seconds to leave a review. Execute the strategy and see how it works for you.
Since reviews are a big part of your off-site SEO strategy, you’re going to want to get as many reviews as possible. Also, remember welcome negative reviews. Negative reviews can be positive as they often point out excellent ideas to improve your business.
Let’s recap, local SEO will give you a better chance at getting new customers on Small Business Saturday. Not only will you get more customers now, but you can use the extra foot traffic to ask for new reviews which will also help increase your chances of landing on Google’s local pack.
To get your website and online profiles ready for Small Business Saturday, you must:
- Update your Google My Business page
- Check your Yelp page
- Make edits to your title tags
- Offer promotions in exchange for honest reviews
I hope you learned something today and I wish you an awesome holiday season. Let me know if these simple edits helped you get more business and feel free to submit any SEO questions either in the comments below or on my SEO questions page. The SEO questions page helps me determine what to write about next.