Maybe you’re a brick and mortar business, like a boutique, restaurant, or bar.
Or maybe you travel to your customers like a contractor or real estate agent.
Either way, it’s crucial for your customers to easily be able to find you and your contact information when they’re in your city, searching for the service you provide.
We created this step-by-step list to guide you through the process of creating, optimizing and increasing your local online presence.
1. Create or Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
If You Don’t Have a Google My Business Listing
Start here and Google will walk you through the steps.
If You Have a Google My Business Listing
Login to Google My Business and check all of your business information.
- Are your business name, address and phone number correct?
- Are you listed in the correct categories?
- Do you have plenty of photos of your business, services and products?
- Are your hours correct and do you have special holiday hours listed?
Go through all of the options and make sure everything is up to date and correct.
If you don’t know how to access your Google account or other questions arise, you may need to call Google.
Or, we can handle this for you as part of our Digital Presence Management Package.
2. Build or Update Your Website
If you are a new business and don’t have a website, you need one!
We recommend using Weebly (affiliate link) for many new businesses because it has low monthly fees and is very easy to use. It comes with some great template choices, or you can use their drag and drop interface to build your own. Our clients love the Weebly sites we’ve built for them. Check out a few examples of what can be done with it:
- Josefina Fine Knits – San Fransisco Bay Area
- Doc Gelso Construction – Truckee
- Mountain West Aviation – Lake Tahoe – Carson City – Elko
If you need more a more powerful solution, WordPress is at the top of our list.
Either way, we can help!
You already have a website. But, is it actually working for your business?
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your current site:
- Does it have a modern design? If it is 3-4 years old, the answer is probably no.
- Is it fast to load? Search engines prefer sites that are quick and will prioritize them in search results.
- Is it easy for customers and clients to quickly find the information they need?
- Does it work on all devices? Google will now be ranking sites based on the content available on your mobile version.
- Does it describe in detail what you provide?
If your current site is in good shape, here are some tips to keep it that way:
- Set up regular reminders to check your website, update photos, hours and information. Search engines love seeing new pages and new content. If you have a blog, regularly post.
- Make sure your business name, address and phone number and hours are clearly visible on each page. Look at your site on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone to make sure that all visitors are easily able to see the same information.
3. Increase Your Online Footprint
Since almost a third of online searches take place on non-Google sites, and since your presence on non-Google sites can help your visibility on Google, it’s time to look outside of Google.
We’re talking about sites like Bing, Facebook, Yahoo, Foursquare, Superpages, etc.
Then, one-by-one, create accounts and add and optimize your business information, just like you did for Google My Business.
Sound like a lot of work? Let us do it all for you!
4. Attract Reviews and Get Testimonials
What’s the difference? Testimonials are on your website. Reviews are on third-party sites like Yelp or Facebook.
Either way, search engines like when you’re liked, and they gauge that through the testimonials on your website (if they’re properly coded) and through positive online reviews on Google, Yelp, etc.
Make sure you get both!
Do you know you have a lot of happy customers, but the reviews aren’t pouring in? We can help you engage your clients or customers for feedback. Just send us a line!
5. Give Locals a Reason to Link to Your Website
Search engines look at the quantity and quality of links pointing to your website.
If your business is in Truckee and you have links pointing to your site from the Truckee/Tahoe area, Google will think you’re important in our area!
The more and better links you have, the higher you can rank.
Hold a special event. Run a contest. Do good. Be creative! There are many ways to attract attention and links to your website.
- Create/optimize your Google My Business listing
- Create/optimize your website
- Increase your online footprint
- Get positive reviews
- Give locals a reason to link to your website
- Ask for help!