“97% of consumers search for local businesses online.”
Ninety seven percent. Pretty much everyone you know and everyone they know.
Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make sure your business pops up at the top of the list when potential customers go looking in your direction.
There are things you can do to help your company get noticed by an online audience in your area. It’s SEO (search engine optimization) with a local twist.
Surely you know the old Yellow Pages. The book that used to live in a drawer under your kitchen telephone. It’s still a local business directory, only now it’s online. You may have gone to Yelp to search for local businesses for your personal needs. If your business isn’t listed on these and other local online sites now is the time to get listed.
We recommend you create an account and get listed on the following local directories:
- Ask Local
- Google Places
- Google + local
- Merchant Circle
When setting up an account on the above sites be prepared to provide your business name, URL, address, telephone and short description of what you do.
To be even more competitive, you may want to look into ecommerce site submissions. For these services you create an account on a site such as Google or Amazon. You load your products onto the site and reap the benefits of being able to sell directly on these highly visible ecommerce sites. Registering a new account on any of the above services is more complicated than simply filling out a form. Products must be formatted, categorized and updated on an ongoing basis. If you’re interested in utilizing an ecommerce submission site, UniformMarket can help you create and manage your account.
Ecommerce submission services include:
Google Merchant Center is the place to upload your product data to Google and make it available to Google Shopping or other Google service. Google Shopping allows shoppers to quickly and easily find your product listings on Google.
Thefind.com describes itself as “Every Store. Every Product. All At Once.” Shoppers can find a complete selection of soft goods, lowest prices for those products, sales and coupons being offered, local stores for merchandise and more categories of selections.
Amazon.com, similar to Google Merchant Center, puts your products on the popular site right next to those carried by Amazon.com.
No doubt you are familiar with social sites. What began as a way to connect college kids and find old boyfriends has grown into one of the savviest business tools available. We now use social media to promote content that inspires social shares with links. In essence, it’s a giant game of telephone where one person shares your link with another person who shares with another person and so on and so on. Only these shares add up to millions of eyeballs looking at your content.
Social sites you should be participating in include:
To use Facebook you begin by setting up a page for your business. People can then begin to “like” the page which then exposes it to other people. You can also easily post updated content to keep people interested, including news or subjects about which you’d like to start a conversation.
When your business has an account on Twitter you can send out short messages of up to 140 characters to the Twittersphere. Announcements of new products or changes in your company are perfect for Twitter. Anything newsworthy. It is then very easy to start following people in your industry and in turn, acquire followers of your twitter feed.
Pinterest is a great format for visual sharing. Last November, the site launched Pinterest business accounts, making it easier for businesses to add links, verify their website and add widgets and buttons to company sites or blogs.
LinkedIn is the professional social media network boasting over 175 million users. With Linkedin it is easy to exchange ideas, opportunities, and other information with a broad network of professionals. And nowadays, LinkedIn provides a credibility that most people look for when Googling, or researching a certain person or business.
YouTube is the video sharing site on the internet. Along with playful kittens and panda bears are a wealth of business related tutorials and promotional pieces. If you create any videos for your company you need to upload them to YouTube and then embed them in your pages. You can then place links in your YouTube page to further promote your site.
All these social media sites require regular updates and attention. You want to encourage people to visit your accounts, share your information and develop a relationship with your business.
Clearly, online opportunities to promote your company anywhere from a local level to a global scale are plentiful nowadays. It might seem overwhelming. But with a little effort and practice in any of the above mentioned SEO opportunities, you can create much needed awareness, interest and loyalty for your business today.
Here is an infographic from UniformMarket on what makes a great uniform, footwear and gear website. Read, learn and sell more.
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