The Convergence of Search, Content and Social for Local Businesses
As a local business, you have a lot going on and marketing may not be on the top of your 'to do' list. Having said this, with the ever-changing marketplace, keeping on top of your marketing goals is critical for success. There are so many platforms of marketing that one may get a bit overwhelmed with where to start. But, if you are able to find the perfect balance of search optimization, web content and social marketing, you will greatly benefit your local business marketing efforts.
Search: Google, Bing, Yahoo, and SEO
Search has long been about keywords and links. But local SEO has begun to change the scene and focus on finding your customers with other means. Using Citations and Schema can greatly impact your local searches.
By listing your business on online directories such as Yelp.com and the BBB.org, you're creating citations that not only legitimize your business with search engines, but it also directs customers your way. These sites have become a go-to resource for customers and search engines are starting to pay attention to them. You can use a service like Local Site Submit for directory submission.
Schema is a way to markup your web site HTML code on the back end in order to provide search engines with micro data that they pull into their search results. Micro data allows customers to see your location, hours of operation and even your event calendar right on the search results page.
However, SEO with keywords and links is still an important aspect of creating online content.
Content: Web site and Blogs
While schema, micro data and citations are ideal for driving people to your site, quality SEO content is still crucial in driving your business and your web site.
The word 'quality' is key here. If you produce quality material that is optimized for search engines, you'll notice a bump in customer traffic. By consistently updating the content on your website with relevant information, the search engines will continue to pull your site into the web searches.
Web site content and blog posts are also a great way to spread the word about your business through social media.
Social: Facebook and Twitter Accounts
Social media has changed the way businesses interact with their customers. Companies are now able to build an audience around their brand and encourage customer participation in ways they hadn't been able to in years past.
While it does seem like a new social media platform is popping up every week, the main players are still Facebook and Twitter. Both personally and in business, these two powerhouses have changed the way people interact with the Internet.
Local businesses can share their marketing message and their blog posts through Facebook status updates, tweet out new products or links, and post a picture to Instagram of customers enjoying their products. The possibilities are endless when comes to interacting with your fan base.
Utilizing each of the platforms above will enable you to give a consistent message to all of your customers-no matter where they find you. With local SEO capabilities, blog posts, web content, and social media, your local business can thrive in the ever-changing world of online marketing.
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