A BusinessNewsDaily story published at Mashable.com offers some compelling data for small local businesses. A recent report from Google finds that 50% of people who make local searches on a smartphone visit a store within 24 hours.
That’s a fabulous statistic! (Especially if you are one of the businesses that has already claimed your Google Business Listing. If you’re not – stop reading and click here to fix that.)
Here’s a not-so-fabulous one… 282 Chamber members – nearly 20% – aren’t taking advantage of the Chamber’s built-in SEO by including a website link in their directory listing.
LakelandChamber.com is a recognized local expert, and with just a few simple edits, your membership listing can boost performance in site searches and web searches.
Step 1: Get a Website
Seems simple enough, right? But how do you know which company to choose? How many pages? Can you update it yourself? The questions – and perceived cost – can overwhelm a small business owner who needs to make a quick and painless decision.
Good news. Not only do we have a list of fellow members with website design and search expertise, we also have a partnership with Google called Get Your Business Online that offers a free website to small businesses for one year.
Step 2: Tell Me What Your Website Is!
If you think you might be one of the 282 companies that is missing a website listing at LakelandChamber.com, call us to let us know what your web address is and be sure that the information we provide to the community on your behalf is correct. You can reach us at (863) 688-8551 or LakelandChamber.com/contact.
This link is important because Google likes links between websites – and recognizes the Chamber as a local expert (which, in my head, puts a gold star next to your name in Google’s giant math problem of search results).
Step 3: Know Your Search Terms
Really, this should be step one, but I feel so passionately about the benefits of websites, I reordered it – possibly for dramatic effect. Please indulge me.
As you are thinking about the products and services your provide, think about how I (or your local prospects) would search for those products & services. As small business owners, we can be entrenched in our work and it may be easy to forget that our customers (and our prospects) don’t speak the jargon quite as fluently.
This is one place where hiring an expert can save you time and confusion. They can help you identify how consumers are currently searching for you or your competitors through their experience and access to tools that Google provides.
(Point of importance: These Google tools like Anayltics, AdWords and Webmaster tools are all available to anyone. However, unless your business card lists Webmaster as your title, you’ll find much greater return on your dollar with an expert hire than if you tried to learn how to use them yourself. This is one of those times when seeking help can save you money in the long run.)
Step 4: Tell Me What Those Search Terms Are!
LakelandChamber.com provides a special field for each member to include search terms/key words/description… anything you choose to call it. This field is used to query member listings from our Preferred Business Directory, but is also useful to bolster your SEO.