Everyone on the
Internet seems to be going local these days, and it seems to be the key to success for many small business with a Web presence –
especially companies that focus primarily on their
In a world where consumers are constantly monitoring review
sites, looking for special deals and using their mobile devices to check-in at
various locations, a local Web presence is absolutely crucial to keep you from getting lost in the
shuffle. However, as any business owner can attest, time is your
greatest asset. But fear not, because it is actually
entirely possible to create and maintain a top-notch local Web marketing
campaign and spend no more than 20 minutes a day working on it. Just work on
these six tasks whenever you have a few extra minutes to spare:
This may seem obvious, but you
can’t really do anything about your local Web presence until you’ve established
your place on local listing and check-in sites like Yelp or Foursquare (or any one of these). Also,
it’s important to make sure that you are listed on Google Places.
You’ll likely appear in Google searches one way or another, but by having a Places
listing, you’ll have much more control over what is presented and how users see
Setting up these profiles requires little more than simply
filling out the required information (business name, address, phone number,
etc.) and then following the verification steps, which is usually done over
phone or mail. This can typically be done quickly (depending on how prepared
you are), as in like just 10-15 minutes per site.
Once your profile is out there, check it periodically to make
sure all of the information is up-to-date and useful for curious shoppers.
User-generated reviews are, without question, the most
important aspect of the local Web experience, as consumers searching for
your business will base most of their decisions on these reviews. Thus, you
should encourage your customers to go online and spread your
message. This can be done at various points throughout that day, from
your Facebook/Twitter feeds, via email or even in your brick-and-mortar store. The best part is, it never takes more than a couple
of seconds to ask; in fact, it can be as simple as putting a sign next to your
Basically, any time you have a clearly satisfied customer, maybe after a particularly helpful in-store transaction or just a
very complimentary Facebook fan, politely ask that they consider dropping by
Yelp and writing a review about their experience(s) with your business. The more that you have, the better
you’re going to look to prospective shoppers, so take advantage of the kindness
of your customer base.
Respond to Reviews
For as helpful as a good online review can be for your
business, a bad review can be far worse. That’s why you should always take a
few minutes every day to look around Yelp, or other listing sites that you may be on, and
look for any negative reviews. If you can offer some information or
help that will alleviate the user’s issue, you should absolutely respond to the
review and attempt to rectify the situation. This shows other users that you
take an interest in addressing the concerns of your customers.
Fact: When people are looking for places to shop online,
they’re usually looking for good deals. At the very least, they'll give a worthwhile deal greater consideration.
If you’re trying to catch the attention of local shoppers
online, one of the best ways to do that is to create special promotions that
will provide them with the incentive needed to visit your store and make a
purchase. One of the best platforms for doing this is Foursquare, where
business owners can promote offers for customers who check-in at their store.
Be weary, though, because this kind of deal has become a standard and is now
expected by Foursquare users, so make sure that your promotion is unique enough to interest prospective shoppers. Yelp also allows businesses to
create special deals that are exclusive the site.
Business owners can probably agree that while bringing
in new customers is important, the real money is made by turning them into repeat customers.
You can do this by creating special rewards every time a
customer checks in, so that they may be willing to come back more often if they
were satisfied the first time. Another take on this is to create loyalty
rewards, where customers get an extra special deal after a certain number of
check-ins. This is a quick and easy way to encourage customers to continue
returning to your business.