Eighty-two percent of consumers report they have used local businesses, and virtually every one of them (98 percent) will continue or increase shopping locally in the future. This stated in Yodle’s report titled, “Yodle Insights: What Consumers Want from Local Businesses,” which surveyed more than 6,000 consumers.
That said, when searching for your products or services online, will potential customers be able to find your business? Getting in front of your customers when, where and how they want to interact with your brand is a leading concept behind inbound marketing. Simply put, if you’re not getting in front of your audience when they’re trying to find you, you’re at a disservice.
Imagine you’re an Italian restaurant in West Palm Beach — it’s dinner time and I, a potential customer, am “hangry.” Without a particular place in mind, I’ll likely pull up the good ole Google to find “Italian restaurants near me.” Realistically, your business could be amazing and located just across the street (let’s pretend that I have subpar vision), but without communicating this information online, how am I, or any other consumer searching for your product, to know? As easily as that, you would’ve lost at least a sale for lasagna with garlic rolls (and a side salad).
For local business with an online presence, failing to maintain their online content could just as bad as not having one. I once ran into a guy who was searching for a particular company. Having completed an online search, he was led to a listed address as their place of business… it turns out that it was — almost 7 years ago. Moral of the story, don’t let that be your business.
How can you get a leg up on local search and ensure that your business is found the next time someone’s searching for services which you offer? At a bare minimum, have a completed Facebook page. Assuming you’re already at the starting line, additional methods include getting other authoritative sources to include links to your web page on their site (backlinks), reviews, social media activity and general online interactions with your business such as clicks to call and check-ins. Consumers value local businesses for quality work, personalized service trustworthiness, among other things. Local business branding should emphasize these areas.