Reputation management is just one of the many things you can do to grow your local business.
If you’ve read many of my Top Rated Local® blogs, then you already know a thing or two about building and maintaining your business’ online reputation, as well as why it’s so important. But as essential as online reputation management is to the success of your business, it’s just one small aspect of what digital marketing can do for your business.
It’s also important to realize that digital marketing and online reputation aren’t mutually exclusive. Online reputation management is a form of digital marketing, and many aspects of digital marketing, including social media management, SEO (search engine optimization), and even paid ads, directly affect your business’ online reputation.
That’s why, today, I’m going to branch out from the typical Top Rated Local blog and give you a few tips on digital marketing as a whole to help you grow your local business both online and off.
5 Digital Marketing Tips for Growing Your Local Business
#1. Make sure your site is listed on the right directories.
The number one place people go when they want to find a local business is Google, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only place people go. People search for local businesses using all kinds of different directories for local businesses, and the key to success online is to be where people are looking.
It’s obvious that you need a Google My Business profile for your local business. After all, it’s the main place people are looking for local businesses online. But, your business also needs to be listed on other common directories, like Top Rated Local, Yelp, and Facebook, as well as all applicable industry-related directory sites. For example, home contractors should be listed on Angie’s List, Houzz, and HomeAdvisor, and wedding photographers, caterers, and event planners should be listed on The Knot.
Making sure that your contact information appears uniformly across all directories will ensure that people can easily get ahold of you no matter where they find you, and it will also help to improve your rankings in the SERP (search engine results pages).
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#2. Get active on social media.
Local businesses have an advantage over e-commerce stores and other online businesses that serve their customers from a distance; they get to meet with customers and potential customers face to face! People often expect the worst from people when they’re anonymous online, but when they can see your face and hear your voice, it makes building trust easier.
However, just because you’re able to meet people in person, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only way that you should connect with them. Social media gives you a powerful tool for making connections with your customers, as well as with any potential customers, online. It also gives people a chance to see a different side of your business, and that can have a big impact.
Social media is a great place to share things about your business that others might not ever get by just visiting your office or your website. The kind of content that’s perfect for social media (and that also strengthens your online reputation) is pictures of your staff volunteering, videos of your annual holiday party, funny memes that relate to your business, etc.
#3. Use targeted ads on Facebook and Google.
One of the biggest reasons to advertise on Facebook and Google over traditional forms of advertising, like billboards or television ads, is that they’re visible only to people who are actively searching for what you have to offer. That means that you won’t be spending your hard-earned money advertising to people who aren’t interested in your products or services and won’t be any time soon.
Another big reason to advertise on Google and Facebook is that they allow you to specifically target your audience online. Both of these platforms allow you to target your audience as broadly or as narrowly as possible.
Whether you want to target everyone in a certain area or you want to target only male homeowners who are over the age of 50, you can do that with targeted ads. Not only that, but you can target specific audiences for specific products or services. This allows for more effective advertising since it’s geared only toward the people who are most interested.
#4. Add local schema markup to your website.
Schema markup is a structured data markup code that tells Google and other search engines what type of business you are and what you have to offer. It’s added to the code of your website, and it’s a major ranking factor for Google.
Using schema, you can provide consumers with a more user-friendly, clickable ranking in the organic search results. There are all kinds of things you can use schema markup for on your local website, including reviews, information about upcoming events, contact information, your logo, and more.
#5. Optimize your Google My Business listing.
Think of your Google My Business listing as the front door to your business online. For anyone who finds you on Google, Google My Business is the first impression they’ll get of your business online. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the impression you make is a good one by optimizing your Google My Business Listing.
Optimizing Google My Business involves uploading high-quality images, adding a compelling business description that includes relevant keywords, selecting the right business category, and more.
In addition to optimizing your Google My Business listing, you should also make it a point to keep it up to date. Do this by generating more reviews, responding to reviews when you get them, keeping your contact information current, and answering your clients’ questions.
These digital marketing tips can help you grow your business online and off, and they’ll help you keep your online reputation strong. If you’re looking to take the first step toward building a strong online reputation, sign up/claim your Top Rated Local listing today.