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What Do You Really Need to Get Your Business Noticed in the Local Searches?

Jason Roy

The Only thing we can truly count on is change. Business models, marketing campaigns, technology trends, and of course, customer behaviors all change with time. The only thing a good business owner can do…is to try to keep up.

So, since we know change is inevitable, how do we properly prepare? 

One of the most important aspects to running a business in 2016, offline or online, is to understand that consumers expect to be able to access information from a variety of platforms, so if you are missing one, you are missing out.

Once upon a time, if a person had a tire blow out on the side of the road they had to walk to a payphone (that is a phone inside a booth like Superman used to change in, and it cost a quarter to make a call.)They then had to look in the yellow pages (that is a large paper book with local businesses listed alphabetically) for a towing company, and then look for a tire repair shop to have the vehicle towed to their location. They were limited to what was nearby and visibly seen from where their incident happened, what was listed in the yellow pages, or a place referred to them by the tow truck driver. I know this sounds like a fairytale, but it is all true…trust me…I have done it!

So, this made it easy for local businesses to compete for consumer business. There were fewer competitors in the area, if they gave good service, they were referred by word of mouth, and the only marketing campaigns they needed were a listing in the yellow pages, and possibly handing out a few cards to local tow truck drivers.  Some of the larger companies advertised on local radio stations, television, and many times with a large billboard pointing customers to their location.

Today, if a person has a blow out on the side of the road, they immediately take out a mobile device and start a search. Now, it is your job as a business owner to know exactly what platform they are using to search, how they are searching, and what they are looking for…easy enough, right?

I am not trying to make a joke, I do realize how tough it is for business owners to know everything about a consumer and what they are thinking, but as a consumer myself, I do still expect it…don’t you?

So, let’s go back to the poor sap on the side of the road who has a blown-out tire. Let us not feel too sorry for him, after all, he does not have to walk 18 miles uphill in a snowstorm carrying four babies, a sick puppy, and his wife to get to a payphone now does he? Of course not, this is the technology age, where all he has to do is look at his smartphone, iPad, GPS, or just hit a button and have his OnStar buddy tell him what to do, the real job is the business owners who wants his business.

 Now, you have to think, if he does not have a tow truck and a tire repair shop on speed dial, which who does? He has to search for a way to get his broken down car off the road and to a local tire shop, so how does he do it?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube may be great places, but doubtful he is going there for this problem. Now, if he wanted to rant about the tire, Twitter and Facebook are ideal, if he wanted to find a way to use the destroyed tire in his garden for beautiful décor…Pinterest has it covered, and if he wants to watch a video on how to change a tire on his own (which no one is really changing their own tires are they?), YouTube is the place to be.

No, he needs real information…and he needs it now…so where is he getting his answers?

Let’s narrow this situation down a bit…pretend he does not have roadside service on-call, and he has to actually do some detective work to get off the road and home into his comfy recliner where his big screen is ready with a game already recording.

Mobile Phone

Most people begin their search with a smartphone when they are stranded on the side of the road, and how they usually search is directly through Google. The consumer is not likely going to enter a ton of details; after all, he is frazzled…so it is your job to know the exact keywords or phrases he is going to enter. So, if he puts in tire repair, new tire, maybe he is saving money and needs a used tire, fast service, roadside service…all of these things need to be incorporated into your site, but more importantly, they need to be incorporated properly!

Google has had a ton of updates to how they allow people to find your business within their site, so your first job is to make sure your website is properly written for good SEO. Using tools like the ones we offer at help a ton, and yes…you should have known I had something to offer with all my ramblings, but what you should also know…is it is FREE!

This basically means having proper meta tags, image and alt tags, good quality content…you know, like what you are reading right now. The content should answer a question, offer a service, be entertaining, but most importantly…be top quality, and of course, present. Websites with little to no content do not rank well, but ones that are overloaded rank just as bad…you know why, because it is bad content! Keep a good balance of quantity and quality, and stay focused on your topic, if you sell tires, why on earth would you have an article on why it is important to neuter or spade your pets…is it Bob Barkers tire shop?

Now, moving on to the design of your site…make sure it is easy to navigate and that your bounce rate is low…Google is looking at everything you do, as well as everything your visitors do, so if Google sees people jumping on and then off your website like it is a virtual trampoline, Google will assume that you are not following through on your promise to help your consumers. Yes, that was a long sentence, and I am out of breath….but TRY TO KEEP UP!

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, offering up an easy-to-navigate page that provides a quick link to both your phone number and your address. Even though Google is localizing searches, and most smartphone browsers localize the search regardless of the search engine used, some people do not understand this. This is why it is important to have your address on the page. My grandmother does not understand how technology works, but she does know how to look up a business on her phone. But, I can guarantee you, that if she does not see the address for the business she will assume it is in Padunk, Kentucky, and move on to the next page that clearly says…” hey, I am right up the street from you…come on in!”

Remember what I said…use to find out how well your site is doing with the Google ranking system, because another key ingredient to getting that poor guy who has been sitting on the side of the road while you read all this is to be listed first when he does his search!


GPS is a great marketing tool for local businesses, because most people have them in their cars, and they actually use them. I am not even sure if 30% of the people in this world can read a map anymore, but I do know that 100% of them know how to listen to their GPS tell them to “turn left here”, and if I am wrong…luckily there is always the “rerouting” phrase for the small amount of people who cannot follow direction.

Make sure your business is listed in the local searches, if it is not…that tow truck that picks the guy up will drive right past your place to get to the one that WAS listed.

Now, is that enough to get you motivated? I do not want you to give up Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest if that is your thing, they all play a part in business branding, reputation building, and marketing a business….but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, you had better be ready to battle for the business that is local….

Social Media Vs SEO

You’re probably aware of how significant social media is becoming on the internet and how the popularity of Facebook is giving the monster of Google a run for their money. Considering this, you might be wondering what the significance of the social media explosion will have for the optimization of your website. Should you be committing so much time and energy into optimizing your site for Google, or should you be directing more attention towards gaining credibility with the social media sites?

If you’ve been wondering about this, the following information will help you to understand how the social media explosion will affect your business and the popularity/credibility of your website.

Marketing Trends vs. Marketing Principles

Since the internet has been exploding in popularity, there have been many trends which have affected the way that internet marketing works.  Just about everyone knows that PPC marketing isn’t the same as it was ten years ago, and that the same is true for article marketing, video marketing, search engine optimization, link building and email marketing. In fact, trends on the internet change and evolve so fast, that you have to fun just to keep up with them. But there is an easier way to make sure that your internet marketing is always effective and that your website optimization is always relevant: understanding the principles of good marketing.

Unlike trends, the principles of marketing are based on human buying psychology and consumer behavior. These principles have not changed for hundreds of year and they likely never will. For example, consumers are always going to do business with companies who they trust, who position themselves as being knowledgeable experts and who provide consistent value. So as long as your website and your internet marketing is based on these principles, you’ll have no need to worry about keeping up with changing trends such as Google’s mysterious algorithms, the potential confusing rules of SEO and things of that nature.

So what does this mean when it comes to the growing popularity of social media marketing vs. optimizing your site for the search engines only? It means that as long as you manage your online business building and marketing strategies according to the right principles, your site will always be relevant and valuable.

SEO, Social Media and the Principles of Good Marketing

In spite of the technical differences between the search engines and social media sites, both of them are built around the same principle: connecting consumers with companies which are providing valuable content and products which ad genuine value. For example, if a customer does a search in Google, MSN or Yahoo, they are looking to connect with a site that has the content that they’re looking for.  If they’re interested in purchasing, they’re going to be searching for ways to verify the value and credibility of a company or a product. When people connect with these things, they are happy…when they don’t, they’ll go to look for it somewhere else.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind as you’re optimizing your site for the search engines. For instance, link building which is based on making connections and providing your potential customers with valuable content will always be more important than a super-fast, numbers-focused link-building approach. When creating content for your website or for offsite article marketing, your primary focus needs to be on creating content that adds value for your visitors and positions your company or you as the expert in your industry.  The other approach would be to create as many articles as possible, without as much emphasis on quality and to treat the process as strictly a numbers game.  

When optimizing your site for a set of keywords, it’s more important that your content is relevant and valuable than to saturate it with keywords in order to please the search engine spiders. In other words, it’s not about pleasing the search engines…it never has been and it never will be. It’s about pleasing consumers, and as long as you do this, your site will be valuable in the internet market place. The same principles will apply when someone logs onto a social media site, they’re in search of content and connections which are going to add value to their life.

So as long as your website and your marketing are focused on making these kinds of connections, you’ll be valuable with both the search engines and the social media sites.

A Three Step Strategy for Both SEO and Social Media Marketing

1. Consistent Content Creation

Content creation is a consistent commitment for any business that hopes to be valuable on the internet. Even if you have thousands of customers who visit your site every week if they don’t see something new they’ll eventually stop visiting. Make it a goal to have one quality article posted on your website or blog every week. You can create links to this on social media sites and article marketing sites in order to generate interest from new visitors as well.

2. Focus On Relationships

Whether you’re adding friends on Facebook, connecting with people on Twitter, or interacting with people on a forum, it will always be more important to focus on building quality relationships than racking up hundreds of friends or following people on Twitter hoping that they’ll follow you back. It’s better to select a dozen key relationships and strengthen those instead of trying to add hundreds of friends or followers hoping they all come to your site. One way that you can do this is to provide links to the articles that you’re writing instead of simply trying to get people to look at sales offers.

This will position you as someone who is actually out to make a contribution and will set you apart from the thousands who are just promoting themselves.

3. Build a Feedback System

Being able to get feedback from your customers and the people who you connect with on social media sites is probably the most valuable feature of social networking.  It will help you to understand how valuable your content creation is to the people who really matter: your customers. This is another reason why it’s important to focus on relationships instead of playing the numbers game The more open your communication is with your customers, the more feedback you’ll get from them and the better you’ll understand their needs. You can then use this information to adjust your content creation and build a more relevant and valuable site.

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