Marketing a business online for local customers is hard. Marketing a business online for local customers is easy. A business can view marketing either way, especially when sifting through information about getting a business found in local searches. The effort is definitely worthwhile; the statistics about local search certainly prove that local SEO pays off.
Marketing a business online is not a one-time effort. It’s an on-going effort that requires regular effort and expertise. This checklist breaks down the effort into a checklist that can get a business started managing their local marketing—and getting results.
Google My Business Profile
___ Search for any pre-existing Google My Business listings
___ Claim Google My Business listing
___ Add as much information to the GMB listing as possible, including service area and hours
___ Include photos and brand logos
___ Use the code listed on the postcard to verify the GMB listing
___ Keep business hours updated
___ Respond to customer reviews
Quick tip: Google tends to favor listings that are relevant to users’ searches. Make sure the business listing is as complete as possible to ensure that the listing is relevant to potential searches.
___ Strategically select review sites that are pertinent to the business (choose from this list of review sites from Search Engine Journal)
___ Claim business listing on review sites
___ Develop a strategy for eliciting positive reviews
___ Review customer interactions for chances to ask for reviews
___ Add an ask for reviews to customer follow-up emails
___ Include ask for reviews to staff training
___ Add link to review sites to all promotional materials
___ Use review monitoring software to monitor sites for reviews
___ Develop protocol for responding to negative reviews (or outsource to professionals with experience)
Quick tip: If possible, ask satisfied customers for reviews (use this list of ways to ask for business reviews). Be careful about asking for reviews on review sites, which may be prohibited by the site.
___ Compile a list of directories that are relevant and valuable to the business (Use this list from Search Engine Journal as a resource)
___ Search directories to see if there is an existing listing
___ Correct incorrect information on existing directories
___ Completely fill in existing and new listings on local directories
Quick tip: Make sure that the information, tone, and visual aspects of the listings are consistent.
___ Build a website with structure designed for search engines (i.e. simple and optimized URLs, schema markups, speed, etc.)
___ Make sure the website is mobile-friendly
___ Write optimized content for the target audience (and search engines)
___ Select and optimize website images
___ Create an easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate website
___ Optimize site navigation
___ Use testimonials (like from social media) on the website to build trust
___ Request website crawl to get website indexed
___ Use website traffic monitoring tools to gauge traffic
___ Research topics and keywords to generate high-quality, optimized content
___ Add high-quality, optimized content to the website regularly
___ Utilize local website optimization for reaching local customers
___ Monitor rankings and traffic and address any traffic drops or ranking issues
Quick tip: Outsource parts of the process for a comprehensive online marketing strategy that gets results and follows website trends.