Categories
Google My Business Search Engine Marketing Search Engine Optimization

Local Mapping the Local Essentials

I came across an interesting article on supporting your local ecosystems. I live in Princeton, New Jersey. I have been a believer of be local – buy local ! For me, supporting your local mom & pop stores is all about preserving your local economy. Sure, large box stores add some value, but in today’s world, Amazon has become the large box store next door and can practically deliver you the same day.

So, it makes sense to be local and support your local business. It is all about Local Search Engine Marketing.

Yes, let’s do Local Mapping the Local Essentials !

Here is the article posted by Miriam Ellis:

How should a business operate now? Where is there work to be done? Economists are making stark predictions about the future of small businesses in the US, but at the same time, I live in a town without a courier service established enough to meet the mushrooming demand for home delivery.

Frankly, it’s devastating reading headlines forecasting the permanent closure of 7.5 million American SMBs, but while absorbing these, I also spent six weeks shaking the Internet for bathroom tissue before locating some 1,400 miles away.

Point being: Where there’s need, fulfilment can be a public good, and where there’s upheaval, any possibility is worth considering. Necessities are emerging in bold relief on the map of each town and city. Demand must be met by determined small entrepreneurs to keep society functional.

If you have a strong desire to actively support communities in new ways, by either retooling your existing business or even launching a new one, the doors of opportunity are open:

Tools and exercises can help you assess local demand, with the goal of building a stable business based on serving the public exactly what it needs most. What I see emerging is a marketplace that’s essentials first, luxuries second. With a consumer public struggling to get its basic needs met, you want to own the business that grows, sells, or markets the dried beans if you can determine they’ll continue to be a must-have in all times and seasons. Let’s think this through together today.

Local Map Local Essentials

One of the hard lessons so many of us have learned from the past few months is that our local communities are neither prepared for disasters nor sufficiently self-sufficient to meet all basic needs.

Create a local map based on local needs. Once you’ve created your own map, answer these five questions:

1) Based on what I currently know, where in my community are the worst, ongoing local resource deficits? For example, in my community, we make too much alcohol for the residents to drink and don’t grow enough food for them to eat.

2) From what the present emergency is teaching me, which local resources have proven both essential and hard to access during a disaster? For example, there is only minimal manufacture of necessities in my town and a tax base that hasn’t been geared towards safety from wildfire.

3) Where would my existing skills and passions fit most easily into this map today? My skills, for example, would enable me to teach almost any business in town how to market themselves.

4) What new skills and assets would I need if I want to adjust my current offerings or move to a completely different role in my community? Let’s say I wanted to be an organic farmer instead of a local SEO — how could I transition?

5) If large-scale government planning fails to ensure that all members of my community have what they need to support life, what are my options for cooperating with neighbors at a local level to ensure my city or county is more self-sustaining? For example, my city has a Buy Local association I might tap into for large-scale, organized planning.
From this exercise, I want you to be able to tell yourself and others a compelling story about what your place on the map lacks and what it requires to become more self-reliant, as well as begin to gauge where you might personally fit in contributing to solutions.

Changed Demographics

In 1960, 95% of the clothing Americans purchased was made in the US. In the 21st century, that figure has fallen to just 2%. A couple of generations ago, 60% of us lived in rural areas near farms, but today, only 20% of us do.

More Local Jobs

In these days of “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS) and same-day delivery, I recommend befriending your city’s library or historic society to gain access to business records depicting the state of local 20th century commerce. See how your community was sustained by the farmer, the tailor, the baker, the vegetable wagon, the milkman, the diaper truck, the cobbler who repaired non-throwaway shoes, the town-supported hospital and doctor who made house calls, and the independent grocer. What you find in the archives could shine a light on creating modern sustainability if trying times and local desire converge in a demand for change.

Once you’ve done as much research as you can into the demand, it’s time to consider how you would promote your offering.

Assess local demand

Now it’s time to research specific demand. How do you know what’s most needed at a local level?

Center your own experience and see if it’s trending.  More than anything else, it’s your powers of local observation that will tell you most about business opportunities. Businesses exist to solve problems, and right now, the problem we’re confronting is local self-sufficiency during times of emergency as well as in better days.

  1. Have I identified an anomalous spike in demand or a permanent need?
  2. Is there explicit value for customers if this demand could be supplied locally instead of via distribution/online channels?
  3. Are there already local companies fulfilling this demand?
  4. If I got into this line of business, who would my local competitors be and how well are they marketing themselves?
  5. What do you know about supply and demand in your community, from lived experience?
  6. See if your need is mentioned in Google’s Rising Retail Categories
  7. Crosscheck demand via keyword research tools
  8. Ask, listen, repeat
  9. Look Back

Market like Ma Perkins

When unemployment peaked at 24.9% and thousands of banks closed in the 1930s, who was still operational? It was Ma Perkins, “mother of the air”, progenitor of content-based marketing and soap operas, and radio star who offered homespun advice to her fictional town while selling Oxydol to the listening public. Realizing that people would still need soap even in hard times, Proctor & Gamble swam against the austerity tide, doubling down on their marketing investments by launching the “Oxydol’s Own Ma Perkins” radio show, making the brand one of the most famous Great Depression- era success stories.

This historic example of tying an essential offering to dedicated communication feels just about right for our current time. Scanning headlines like “Some small businesses are flourishing in the COVID-19 pandemic”, I’m hearing crackling echoes of Ma Perkins in the storytelling ventures of Cleancult’s orange zest cleansers and Tushy’s bidets. There’s precedent behind SEOs telling clients not to pause their marketing right now if they can afford it. Being a visible, reliable resource in this moment isn’t just good for brands — it’s a relief and help for customers.

Tell a Story

For your local business idea, there will be a tandem marketing task ahead of you:

  • Tell a story of and to your local customers and tie it into your offering.
  • Tell such a persuasive story of the need for local resource security that you needn’t go it alone.
  • Help the local business community reimagine itself as a city planning task force with the goal of increased self-sufficiency.
  • Marketing needs to be baked into your business concept — not treated as an afterthought.
  • To broadcast your storytelling to the public in modern times, local radio can still be a great tool

Need Our Help?

We will be delighted to help you map your local strategy. Reach out for us and let us add value to your local presence.

Local Mapping the Local Essentials!

You May Also Like

Categories
Google My Business Search Engine Marketing Search Engine Optimization

What Is Google My Business & Why Do I Need It?

In an effort to gain more visibility on Google, many businesses create a Google business listing (known officially as a Business Profile).

If you’re one such business owner, something you might not realize is that creating a Business Profile does not give you management over it, and you need those management and editing capabilities if you want your Business Profile to work for you as an effective SEO and lead generation tool.

So how do you gain management over your Google Business Profile? The answer is that, in addition to creating a free Business Profile, you must also separately create a free Google My Business account for that profile.

You need a separate Google My Business account to manage your Business Profile.

A Google My Business account is the only means by which you can claim ownership of your Business Profile, attain management rights to it, and unlock additional free features to increase your visibility on Google. In this post, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about Google My Business, including:

What Google My Business is
How to use Google My Business effectively
How to use Google My Business for SEO
How to create a Google My Business account
Read on so you can incorporate this free and powerful tool to your marketing toolkit!

What is Google My Business?

As mentioned, Google My Business is a tool that enables you to manage and optimize your Business Profile on Google. So to explain what Google My Business is and how it works, let’s first make sure we’re clear on what a Business Profile is.

Your Business Profile is Google’s term for your Google business listing. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.

Business Profiles on Google Search look like this:

Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:

 

And Business Profiles on mobile look like this:

Creating a Business Profile is the same thing as adding a place to Google Maps—which is something that anyone (including a random stranger or an automated listing generator) can do. All that Google requires is the business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms it is not a duplicate, they will create the Business Profile for that location. The Business Profile is then open to consumers to leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions. The Business Profile may also get populated with information that Google pulls in from across the web.

What this means is, a Business Profile can exist on its own, apart from a Google My Business account. And whether you created your own Business Profile or not, you don’t have the ability to manage the information it displays or the reviews it collects.

That is where Google My Business comes in. By creating a Google My Business account, you can access, customize, manage, and enhance your Business Profile on Google, all still for free, which we’ll get into next.

How to use Google My Business for local marketing

So we’ve established that Google My Business is not your Business Profile, but rather a tool by which you enhance your Business Profile to boost its visibility and effectiveness. Let’s cover the four core ways you can use this Google My Business to make your profile on Google listing a better local marketing tool.

1. Engage with consumers

There are a lot of ways consumers can interact with your Business Profile, and you use your Google My Business account to engage back with them. You can respond to reviews, answer questions, enable direct messaging, and set up associated alerts. You can even use Google My Business to publish posts to your Business Profile, much like you would with Facebook and other social media platforms.

Your Google My Business dashboard is where you can respond to reviews, publish posts, and answer questions asked on your Business Profile.

2. Highlight your business

A Business Profile alone contains limited information about your business. But through your Google My Business account dashboard, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products and pricing, attributes, and other details that make your business unique. You will also use your Google My Business to make edits and updates as needed.

A complete Business Profile offers a complete snapshot of your business, including its best features, right in the SERP.

3. Gain insights

You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gain key insights on your audience and local search performance. In the analytics tab of the platform, you can see the queries customers are using to find your Business Profile, whether they found you on Google Maps or Google Search, a breakdown of actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to other profiles in your category.

4. Perform local SEO

Just as Google has algorithms for ranking its ads and websites, it also has one for ranking Business Profiles. Through your Google My Business dashboard, you can incorporate keywords into your Business Profile and perform other optimizations to help it rank in local results, which we’re going to cover next.

Google My Business can help you optimize your Business Profile to show up in the coveted 3-Pack.

How to use Google My Business for SEO

Google Business Profiles are dynamic. Not only do they change form based on platform, but Google will also prioritize sections of your profile according to the term that was searched as well as the type of information most important to consumers in your category. Even better, Google will embolden keywords in the content of your profile that it thinks are relevant.

But there needs to be information to prioritize and keywords to embolden in your profile in the first place. Just as you (or your agency) would use a content management system like WordPress to optimize your website for search engines, Google My Business is used to optimize your profile and expand your reach. How do you use Google My Business for local SEO? Well, since optimizing for Google is essentially optimizing for searchers, it all comes down to the same three things: targeting, quality of information, and trust.

Target your information

To use Google My Business for SEO, make sure to incorporate relevant keywords into your Business Profile so you can tell Google what you’re trying to rank for. Use them in your “from the business” description, your responses to reviews, your answers to questions, and in the posts you publish. Make sure to incorporate them naturally just as you would with any other SEO strategy.

Include keywords in your description, editable through your Google My Business dashboard.

Maintain quality of information

The completeness and accuracy of your Business Profile impacts its rank, so make sure to provide the requested information in every section of your Google My Business dashboard. Especially important here is your contact information, special hours, and attributes.

Build trust

The final approach to using Google My Business for SEO appeals to the trust component of Google’s algorithm. Keep your information updated and accurate as your business evolves. Keep a steady stream of reviews coming in and respond to them. Also, signal to Google that you are active by regularly uploading photos and publishing posts to your Business Profile through Google My Business.

Reviews and responses appear on your Business Profile. Be sure to manage them through your Google My Business dashboard.

SEO is important for any business, but particularly for small businesses that can use local targeting to compete against large competitors on the SERP. Google is making local SEO even easier with its robust Business Profiles, so a Google My Business account is essential for any business trying to maximize visibility in their local market.

How to sign up for Google My Business

A free tool that turns my Business Profile into a power marketer for my business? Where do I sign up?

To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now,” which will take you through the steps of creating an account. Remember, a Google My Business Account does not automatically create a Business Profile—it gives you access to it and the ability to add more to it. So you’ll want to make sure you have an existing Business Profile to access.

Also remember that creating Google My Business account does not give you automatic access to your Business Profile. Once you create and are logged into your Google My Business account, you will then need to locate your separate Business Profile on Google Maps and then select the “Claim this business” or “Own this business?” link seen right on the profile. Once you complete that process, your Google My Business account will then be connected with your Business Profile and under your management.

Get started with Google My Business today

With a clear understanding of exactly what Google My Business is, how it works, and how to use it, you can now see that using this free tool isn’t just a good idea for local marketing but a must. Get your Google My Business account up and running now so your Business Profile can outshine your competitors and attract more customers on the world’s most popular search engine.

Source: WordStream

You May Also Like

Categories
Google My Business Search Engine Marketing Search Engine Optimization

10 Local Marketing Ideas to Support Your Business

Ten things you can do to boost awareness of your business within your locale and get more customers through your doors.

Your audience doesn’t want more content. They want a more personalized experience.

Your personalized creativity in providing it is the name of the game. Get your game together, here are some ideas:

  1. Create a Google My Business Profile
  2. Create Bing Business Page Profile
  3. Create Targeted Local Ad Campaigns
  4. Offer Referral Incentives on your Website
  5. Create Local Partnerships with businesses
  6. Promote Your Latest Customer Reviews
  7. Promote Your Content on Social Media to Your Local Audience
  8. Create a “Get Directions” Page
  9. Create Educational Videos and Podcasts
  10. Sponsor Local Events To Amplify Your Reach

You May Also Like

Categories
Google My Business Search Engine Marketing

How Online Reviews Help Small Businesses

Benefits of Online Reviews

  • Reviews helps you get found by local audience. 
  • Reviews influence which businesses show up in SERP when local consumers search for businesses like yours.
  • They make you look trustworthy.
  • They increase the knowledge and awareness about you.
  • Reviews gives your business credibility of being available for help.
  • Reviews provide important feedback from local customers pointing out your good and bad points.
  • Reviews lets you connect with Customers.
  • Reviews facilitate organic and holistic word-of-mouth advertising.

8 Popular Sites for Business Review to Consider

Why you shouldn’t trust online reviews?

Online reviews have taken a beating. A 2016 study published in The Journal of Consumer Research studied online reviews as rated by Consumer Reports. The reports were not favorable.

However, in the last year (2019), these sites have tightened the review making process and added many more filters to make sure that the reviews are authentic and reflect the sentiments of actual consumers.

Report and Flag Incorrect Reviews

Many websites have now started to provide links for businesses to report inaccurate and malicious reviews.

Here is a list of some of these sites:

Flag inappropriate reviews – Android – Google My Business Help support.google.com › business › answer

How do I report a review? | Support Center | Yelp www.yelp-support.com › article › How-do-I-report-a-r…

What do I do if I get a negative review? – Trustpilot Support … support.trustpilot.com › en-us › articles › 1150093885…

How do I report a Recommendation about a … – Facebook www.facebook.com › help

If you have a bad review and need our help; please feel free to reach us. We will be happy to help !

You May Also Like

Categories
Google My Business Search Engine Optimization Social Media & Marketing

What are the SEO challenges for a Multi-location business?

businesses commonly have these challenges when it comes to meeting consumer needs:

  • How can they quickly and easily give directions to consumers?
  • How can each location’s landing page be optimized for local search?
  • How can the ever-increasing mobile shopper surge be leveraged?

Issues Facing Multi-Location Businesses

  • Make sure each store location should have its own unique, well-optimized page. 
  • Make sure your page is indexed and discoverable via internal links.
  • Add opening hours and parking hits.
  • Clearly identified NAP (name, address, phone) information.
  • Local news / identity

You May Also Like

Categories
Google My Business

Google AdWords: Location extensions help customers

What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free service that lets you keep your business information updated across and . With Google My Business, you can make sure customers are seeing the correct information, like your business description, hours, phone number, and more. Learn more about Google My Business.

Curated from Manage your local business presence on Google – AdWords Help


You May Also Like