I’ve spent the last 10 years in digital marketing. I promise you that the industry has changed significantly in that time.
There are some things, though, that are still the same.
These are the dealings with small business owners. Somehow many local business owners seem to be unaware or reluctant to embrace the digital world we live in.
I’m always shocked when I encounter companies that don’t have a website. There are businesses that don’t have an online presence and at the same time compete with big chains. It’s insane!
Most small business owners are good at what they do and that’s why they’re still around. When it comes to marketing though, they are lost.
Even if you are not a local business owner yourself, but know someone who is, do them a favor and share the knowledge.
When it comes to digital marketing, there are many things that one can do. Most of them differ in the time it takes to complete, or when the results show up.
With this tactic, I’ve seen results in two weeks.
The business had twice as many leads two weeks after the work was done. The site had the relevant measurement tools in place, which allowed us to track the progress. Even if you don’t have those, it’s still beneficial to do the below.
The tactic I’m referring to is called local citations. This means adding your business details to trusted directories.
How does it work?
If you have used Google to find anything location based, you are familiar with the map results. Without boring you with the details, the thing to know is that the results are based on proximity and relevance to the user’s search.
Google uses the information for your business that it sees in local directories. That’s why it’s vital to be present on those.
There’s a similar concept in the non-digital world too. The more people know the name, address and phone number (NAP) of your business, more business you get. If no one knows about you, it is harder to get people through the door.
What you need to do
Before even starting with the submissions, make sure you know your business details.
You’ll be surprised how many people refer to their company name in a different way every time.
For example, if your company is “ABC Trade”, then that’s what you should have it as. Don’t add LTD and don’t deviate in any other way. Google is getting smarter, but it might still get confused if it sees inconsistencies.
Here’s another real world example for you. If people call your business in a different way, they might be unsure if they’re talking about the same business.
The easiest thing to do is to create a template. In the template, have the NAP details of the business as it’s on Companies House and/or Royal Mail’s website. This is the least information you need to get started.
To find the list of sites you need to use, just do a Google search for “UK local citations list”. There are a few sites that offer such lists. Whichever one you start with, you will be making a step in the right direction.
It’s free. That’s the best part. It wouldn’t cost you anything but your time to get your business on Google’s map. Of course, there are paid directories too, but a free account on those will do just fine.
If you want your business to stand a chance, you need to go do this as soon as possible. Your potential clients have the whole world at their fingertips. If they search for what you have to offer and can’t find you, you’ll be sure they’ll find your competitors. The map results are where your business needs to be. One of the best favours you can do to your business is to work on getting it up there.