As a local business, one of the most important things is being found. And an online presence can certainly help with that. Registering your business with Google Maps, Google Places and Google Plus are critical factors included with any location based SEO campaign. These applications offer significant benefits including being part of an online marketing strategy designed to increase the number of visitors to your website. So where do you begin?
Register with Google
Login to Google Places. Review the information and once you agree to the Terms & Conditions, you will begin to input your business information.
You will see an entry screen where you can start entering your information.
Proceed through the series of screens and when you finish, you will receive confirmation that you have completed the information and PIN will be mailed to your office location. It typically takes a week or two to receive the postcard. Once you receive it, you can log back into Google Places and input the PIN. At this point, you can add a Google+ page as well as additional information requested by Google. You can opt to include as little or as much you want of the optional information.
Spread the Word
Now that you have a “local business”, reach out to your previous customers and let them know the news. Ask them to share some information about their experience working with you.
Invite them to sign up for your email newsletter so you can keep them updated on what is happening in town. Let them know you will be sharing some tidbits about the area and upcoming events. This will remind them how helpful you were, and also increase your engagement.
If they moved away, make the request personal. Send a note letting them know you are thinking about them and wishing them well in their new home. You can also invite them to sign up for your newsletter so they can keep up to date with what’s going on and news about their neighborhood.
Value of Local
As your clients post positive reviews, your authority level goes up. Google ranks websites with value applied to their authority level. So as your authority level rises, you are more likely to show up in subsequent Google searches. Another value of Google Places, is that by claiming your local business, you are letting Google know that you exist and where. As you increase your online activity, Google will remember where you are. So when someone searches for Realtors in Atlanta, you’re more likely to show up on the list.
Once you see that a review has been posted, make sure to acknowledge it with a thank you. If it has any negative comments in it, reach out to the customer offline and try to resolve it immediately. Follow up online with a positive interaction, this lets people know you are responsive.