One of the key principles of digital strategy is to be where your target audience is looking for you. A growing number of consumers are searching online before making a purchase decision, so your business needs to be there in order for them to find you and include your company in their decision making process.
According to a recent consumer tracking study by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, nearly all consumers (97%) now use online media when researching products or services in their local area. Having an online presence is more important than ever before.
Here are 5 tips to help you optimize your online presence.
Complete Your Business Listings
Gone are the days when people went to the Yellow Pages to find a local business. Today, people turn to the internet as a way to find trusted business recommendations.
One of the best ways for a business to be found is through inclusion in online directories. Adding a listing to these online directories is easy, but there are hundreds of options. While adding your listing to most of them can be time-consuming, it is well worth it.
Every individual directory that you submit to is another chance to get found online, so it's important to make sure you're listed in every directory possible. Below are a few of the most important directories:
- Better Business Bureau
- Merchant Circle
Make Sure Your Information Is Consistent
It’s vital that you provide consistent information to all of the online business directories. When someone searches online for a local business, search engines and many mobile apps rely on location data from these online business directories to provide search results. If your listing data is incorrect or inconsistent between all these data sources, you run the risk of your listing not showing up in the search results.
Get Online Reviews
As a business, you work hard to provide exceptional customer service. Why not let the rest of the world know it?
Positive reviews on sites like Google and Yelp can entice people to check your business out, improve conversions and potentially help organic search engine rankings. In fact, a recent Harvard Business School study found that “a restaurant that boosts its Yelp score by one full star can see revenues increase 5 to 9 percent.” Clearly, online reviews can have a big impact on a business’s profit.
Here’s a few tips to help encourage your customers to submit a review online:
- Provide links to online reviews on your website.
- Include a link in your company’s email signature.
- Ask your customers while you’re interacting with them.