Local Marketing Demystified

It’s not surprising that local business operators can lack knowledge about online marketing, or that they can get exposed to misapprehensions about how local marketing should be conducted. Google’s CEO has been quoted as saying that the world is now generating 5 exabytes of information every two days, so it’s little wonder when local business owners are too overwhelmed to keep up with the marketing end, in addition to all of the details specific to their own industry.

It’s not just the ever-increasing amount of information that can overwhelm businesses — it’s also the fact that the search engines are now making changes to their algorithms every single day.

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it takes ongoing attention and experience to keep up with the changes over time, or maybe it’s because many people are conditioned into attempting to perform search marketing DIY style by Googling for answers, and they can’t tell that the web page they’ve found is woefully out of date.

Whatever the case, the result is there are a number of myths about online local marketing out there, and if you’re not careful, buying into one of these can hamstring your business.

#1 Twitter And/Or Facebook Are Worthless For My Type Of Business

It’s altogether true that some types of businesses have an easier time attracting consumers that wish to interact with them on social media. Yet, even if you operate in a category of business where people don’t want to connect with you as much in social media, you probably need to be doing social media, anyway.
Social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook pages provide you with assets to help proactively manage your online reputation, and they may help you outrank your competition.

If you’re in an industry where customers don’t want to connect much online (I bet plumbers, funeral homes, attorneys and doctors can relate), you might be able to help position yourself as an industry expert by focusing on networking with colleagues and commenting upon topics related to your field and curating related content.

#2 We Don’t Need To Optimize For Mobile For Our Type Of Business

I hate to tell you, but if you don’t understand how much mobile usage has been increasing for the past ten years, chances are you’re still using a buggy whip with your transportation, a Victrola for your music and are maybe even churning your own butter.
Around 40% of time spent online is on mobile devices now, and this percentage is only likely to grow. So, make sure your site is optimal for those devices. Google has stated that failure to optimize for mobile can now impact your rankings, so this is one myth you had better lose pretty quickly.

#3 We Have To Have Great Ratings/Reviews!

Averaged ratings are not a ranking factor in Google (except in cases where users are allowed to filter/reorder results based on rating values, and for those business types that appear in the Local Carousel, which may factor in reviews slightly more). Thus, if you think this is a requirement for rankings, you’re probably off.
Obviously, people everywhere often take criticism very seriously, and it can be a gut-punch when you pour your heart into your work and aren’t met with glowing admiration in return. Chefs have been known to commit suicide over the loss of a Michelin star, for instance (an obviously maladaptive response), and there have been lawsuits over reviews. There are repeated stories of businesses claiming to be unfairly damaged by TripAdvisor reviews and other online review sites.
It’s true that ratings and reviews can have an impact on your business, but they’re not affecting rankings. To play it safe, follow tips to get more reviews, make reviews work for you and respond effectively to bad reviews.
If you’re doing a number of the other promotional activities you should be conducting, these should influence reviews positively, and also reduce your vulnerability to any one review site (and to reviews in general). Good social media work and other content development can help ensure that review sites are not the only things ranking for your name searches.

Finally, having all positive reviews may actually reduce consumers’ trust that your reviews are real — having a few negative reviews is realistic for a business, and I’ve seen some owners who respond professionally and effectively to those, transforming lemons into lemonade!

text from Search Engine Land

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1 comment:

  1. Great post. it is very important to learn about online marketing is to understand the adv and disadvantage of international business marketing. you blog was nice about this point. But want to be more effective. Thank you.