Not only can small business compete online…You can dominate the search engine result pages provided your local profiles are well optimized for search traffic and consumer reviews are in your favor. If a local restaurant in Newtown PA, local attraction in New Hope or a day spa in Bucks County wants to succeed online they need to take ownership of the local reviews…it’s your Online Reputation
Last year we decided to launch our Local Search Domination marketing package when a client received a negative review on Philadelphia.citysearch.com. Bing’s Local Business Portal relies almost entirely on CitySearch as their ratings tool and therefore this was a VERY big deal. By setting up an account, optimizing the local profile with keywords we identified with his website SEO program, we have since been able to bury the 1 negative review with many positive ratings. Their partner sites, InsiderPages and MerchantCircle have now become a primary resource for website traffic and new clients. Embrace these communities, present them with exclusive offers and show them some love. You too can count on gaining more positive reviews in the future.
Good Keyword Research is a Must
Keyword research should be part of the foundation of any local optimization project. The next step is to understand the local community and how consumer reviews integrate with search results. Google Places for example presents reviews from Yahoo, SuperPages, Yelp and many niche directories. That means that you should have an optimized local profile within each directory that influences social search results. What we mean by optimized is to produce keyword rich descriptions, anchor text links, categories and rich media like images and video. You have to choose your battles and select only the local business profiles that make the most sense for your industry. You just can’t manage them all, so choose wisely.
InnerSpa of Newtown is a Day Spa reliant upon local clientele therefore our Local Profile Domination package for them focused on:
- 3 Search Engine profiles (Google Places, Bing Business Portal & Yahoo Local)
- 2 social sharing communities (Yelp & Merchant Circle)
- 2 niche directories (SpaFinder.com and an Alternative Medicine directory)
If the client was a restaurant, the niche directories may have been Zagat’s and UrbanSpoon since they both solicit reviews from their community members, are very highly rated and most importantly, Google uses these reviews in search results.
Now it is time to engage your audience, encourage them to share your good news within their own communities by being a giver first and asking them to return the favor. Reaping the benefits of these social communities will come provided you are consistent in your messaging.
What type of business benefits most from a Local Search Domination package:
- Restaurants ♦ Day Spas & Massage Therapists ♦ Medical Doctors – Dentists
- Alternative Medicine Practitioners ♦ Sports and Recreation venues
- Remodeling Contractors ♦ Lawn and Garden Services ♦ Home Services
- Automotive Repairs ♦ Preschools – Adult Education ♦ Arts and Entertainment
- Smaller Retailers: ♦ Jewelers ♦ Bike Shops ♦ Consignment stores
Thumbtack.com is a newer local directory that seems to have a growing footprint in the Philadelphia market for small business. I will keep an eye on this directory and report back in a couple of months its value. Do you have any local directories that work for you? Tell us about it.