The search listings that you’re familiar with are a thing of the past, and the days of ten simple blue links are over. Today those ten results on Google have been enhanced to include news, video, location-based listings, sites you previously visited and even articles that your friends have recommended. Google listings are much smarter today and so are searchers (read: “customers”).
This discussion isn’t doom-and-gloom. It is opportunity. Small businesses need to own their local search listings.
For example, if you own a restaurant in Washington, DC, your location absolutely must be listed in map results, Yelp, and Foursquare among others. There is a great opportunity for your business to become engaged and to persuade the online conversation about your store or service. Try a Google search for your service and location – are you in the first position of the search results? Restaurant SEO is a simple example that serves to highlight the strategy that any business can adopt.
Local search listings provide opportunities to increase your credibility with potential new customers. There’s nothing more frustrating than unfulfilled research for a service that you need. Can you imagine needing a plumber – now – and not being able to find a trusted local plumber? Online reputation management goes hand-in-hand with search engine optimization.
Public relations (simple PR, not the stuffy corporate kind) really is a grassroots effort to enhance the public perception of a company. Look no further than a mom-and-pop store engaging with the community. This is public (community) relations at its core. Businesses thrive on third-party validation. If you’re engaged with your community in a positive way, then your public perception is greatly enhanced. Search engines often serve as the first step in establishing that community connection.
How Benson SEO Helps
With Benson SEO you find a service that can help you shape those perceptions and walk you through how to engage with that community. As previously mentioned, you need to have a local presence and Google provides a great way to do so in Google Business Listings. This has replaced the old Google Places service, which previously allowed you to control content on Google map listings. The smart phone revolution has sparked this need for immediate and hyper-local information. But will your business be found?
Many small businesses owners have the same question; do I need a social media marketing presence? It seems you do.
Ask us for more information on controlling your online reputation and local search listings. Read more about our Hyattsville, Md SEO and marketing services.