Google Analytics

Local Search Puts Your Small Business on the Map

Imagine you’re on vacation in an unfamiliar city. It’s been a long trip, your flight was delayed twice and turbulence over Tucson resulted in the beverage service being canceled. As you stand in line waiting for your rental car, there’s only one thing on your mind: coffee, and lots of it.

Before the internet became so ubiquitous, you’d likely have to ask a stranger for the address of the nearest drive-thru pick-me-up stand or navigate the strange streets on your own, hoping desperately that there’s a cup of joe waiting at the end of one of them. Now, however, the solution is simple: Just Google “coffee near me” and you’re instantly presented with tons of choices, reviews and turn-by-turn directions.

This is the benefit of local search, and if you’re not yet leveraging it, you should be. Fifty-three percent of people who search for a local business will visit or book an appointment with that business in the next 48 hours; and of that 53 percent, 17 percent will head there immediately.

It’s pretty clear that local search is a necessity — but how can you optimize it and make sure you’re driving business straight to your doors? Here are some tips.

Put Yourself on Multiple Maps

While a Google My Business listing is an absolute must, it’s certainly not the only directory out there, and it shouldn’t be your stopping point. Make sure you’re contributing eggs to multiple baskets!

From Bing, Yahoo and Yelp to Foursquare, Facebook and Yellow Pages, no listing site is too small or too irrelevant. Hitting potential customers from multiple angles ensures that everyone can find you.

Consistency Is Key

The way you list your small business is just as important as the places you list it. Is your name Father & Son Jewelers or Father and Son Jewelers? Is your phone number (123) 456-7890 or 1-123-456-7890? Is your address 629 N. Main St. or 629 North Main Street?

To real, live humans, these minute differences don’t really matter. Most of us know that S. stands for south and Ave. means Avenue. To search engines, however, even the slightest deviation — an “and” instead of an “&” or an “N.” instead of “North” — can have significant impacts on rankings.

Reviews Matter More Than You Think

Remember the coffee shop you were desperately searching for while on your imaginary vacation? There are two of them just down the road! Both are open 24 hours a day, serve your favorite blend and accept coconut shells as a valid payment method. One has 324 Google reviews and a 4.7/5 rating; the other has 14 reviews (most of them bad) and one lonely star. Which one would you choose, everything else being equal?

Your reviews (good and not so good) matter more than you think when it comes to local search. So it’s just as important to reach out to your satisfied customers encouraging them to leave a review as it is to respond to your unsatisfied customers and find a way to remedy the situation.

Local Search Drives Local Business to Your Doors

It’s tough enough to run a small business without being forced to compete for customers with similar businesses in the same geographic area. Local search can give you the competitive edge you need to stay on the top of everyone’s list!

Looking for more ways to increase your customer count as well as your bottom line? Mischa Communications has a full range of marketing services designed to help your small business grow! Reach out today and let us show you why we’re your best bet.