A key question to ask yourself as a business owner can be something as simple as, “Is my business Localized?” How many of you can think of businesses in your area that just don’t show up in search engines, or show up with wrong information?
Being found in Local Search is a primary function when considering your online marketing strategy for your pawn shop. If you saw the movie, Field of Dreams, you heard them say “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, this is the same strategy many small business owners are using when they design their business website, if they have one at all. Put a site out there, and let the Google magic work!
The problem with a strategy like this is that it just doesn’t work that way. With all of the changes that the search engines have thrown out there over the last couple of years, the ability to get found can take considerable effort. Knowing that your competitors are out there investing in their Local Search results should make you stand up and take notice.
Go out to a search engine (Google) and type in your company name. What do you see? If you’re lucky, and you’ve taken the time to invest in this area, you’ll see your name in the Google 7 Pack. The 7 Pack is the search results that show the businesses’ name, address, phone number and map – As shown in image below.
If you aren’t showing up in this 7 Pack, or even the smaller version of the 3 Pack, how many potential customers are you missing? You may have customers driving right past your shop because they don’t know that you’re there!
Here are 4 key ways to give you an advantage over your competitors:
1. Claim your business on Google (www.google.com/business).
2. After you claim your business, create a Google+ Local Business Page (plus.google.com).
3. Create a Business Website and feature the address in a prime location.
4. Verify your business listings on other search engines and location aggregators. There are four main aggregators of location data that send information to local search engines: Infogroup (www.infogroup.com), Neustar Localeze (www.neustarlocaleze.biz), Acxiom (www.acxiom.com), and Factual (www.factual.com).
When creating a website, make sure you have your own domain name (website address) and you are not the sub-domain of someone else (ex: www.yourshop.othercompany.com) Avoid using free website services. They rarely provide you with your own domain name. It’s your business. Invest in a quality site.
Now, it’s time to find out where you stand. Search for your geographic location, and include some key industry terms. Does your site rank? If you don’t have a business website, does your business listing show up in the 7 Pack? If the answer is no to either of these, or both, you have some work to do! In future posts I’ll go over some techniques that will help you break into that 7 Pack listing. Every day you don’t do this, those competitors of yours in the 7 Pack certainly don’t mind you not being found!
Get your customers to find you! Get your business “Localized!”