In a time and age when marketing online is a must for most businesses, local search engine exposure is becoming much more important to brick-and-mortar businesses and restaurants. Google has been pushing their local search results to promote a more personalized experience to the user and their geographical location, which would help drive local leads for local businesses. Here are the absolute 3 things that a business needs to implement to significantly grow their online local exposure:
1) Have a website. In the year 2011, it is not very difficult to create a website (or find someone who does for a relatively inexpensive price). Even if you own a business that requires people to physically walk in the door and do not sell products online, it’s a great way to let visitors know of what you offer and what makes you different. If anything, it will help potential customers find your physical location and your phone number.
2) Create a business listing on Yelp.com. Over the past few years, the Yelp community has grown tremendously and is a great source of generating new customers. Yelp is a review website where people can rate businesses and restaurants on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest. I have personally used Yelp to map the best restaurants to check out on vacation. Also, there is a Yelp app that people can download on their smartphones and find nearby businesses which helps get even more exposure for businesses. If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to local search engine exposure, this is something that is a necessity that has been a game-changer for successful business owners.
3) Create a business listing on Google Places. With Google commanding about 65% of searches on the internet in the US, it makes sense to do stuff with the giant. Google Places is Google’s way of pushing relevant local results to the searcher. Creating a business listing here would ensure you’re in their system and gives you an opportunity to get visitors calling you.
If these 3 things are implemented, as a business owners, your chances of getting more exposure to people in your area will greatly increase over time!