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How to Optimize Your Local Business’ Online Listings

How to Optimize Your Local Business’ Online Listings

Social media is an exciting opportunity to engage with your customers, reach new audiences, and all of that happy jazz…but only if you’re smart about it. You wouldn’t believe how often I see local businesses that don’t have consistent, clear listings across social media. Why even advertise on social if nobody can find your store?

I don’t want your local business to fail at online marketing like the others, so I’m going to break down how you should be listing your business online!

Finish the Listing
You’d think this would go without saying, but I can definitively tell you that people need to be told this.

Partially filling out your online listing is not nearly good enough. If people don’t know your hours, it’s not really worth anything for them to know your address, is it? The same goes for photos of your store, your phone number, etc.

If your business is in some kind of middle ground right now, you still have to fill out the entire listing. Maybe you’ll be moving locations soon and don’t want to post the old location—do it anyway. Post whatever is accurate at this moment, then update it when it changes. Which brings me to my next point…

Keep Everything Updated
If your social media page, website, online listing, etc. lists your business’ information, that information should probably be accurate. In my experience, what happens is that people input that information correctly, but it becomes outdated. Hours change, stores get moved around, and suddenly the people Googling your business have no actual means of buying anything from you.

Don’t just think about text, though; visuals can play a huge role in your online listings too. 60% of consumers say that local listings with quality images encourage their business. What does that mean for you? Your images need to be a.) appealing, with no garbage or other clutter in the shots and b.) recent! If you recently updated your storefront, make sure your listing photos match. The last thing you want is for a customer to walk past your business because it doesn’t look like what they saw on the listing!

The solution is simple; just check your business’ listings every now and then, and be especially watchful when big changes are happening. My one caveat is to remember to check more than one platform. Just because your Facebook hours are right doesn’t mean the same is true for your Google listing, so be proactive and thorough if you want people to find your business!

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Have a Consistent Style
If you want people to take you seriously, then the written parts of your online listing need to share a style. For example, if one listing has your business’ name as “The Brewery Co.” and another lists it as “The Brewery Company,” you’ve got a problem. Your business looks unprofessional, and it’ll be more difficult to have a uniform brand identity if you can’t keep the name straight.

This also becomes an issue when listing your address (“road” vs “rd” vs “rd.”), and while I understand that these can sound like nitpicky details, they’re things that all come together to either make your brand look experienced and professional or amateurish and lackluster. When you’re checking up on your listings, just make sure that these stylistic issues are consistent across platforms, or you may be spreading the wrong idea about your local business.

List Wisely
Online listings are must-haves if you want to see your local business grow, but they’re only as valuable as the effort you put into them. Without optimized listings, it’s going to be an uphill battle to get any traffic to your business. Save yourself the hassle and use these tips if you want to save yourself a lot of headache!

Do you have questions about your online listings? Let’s talk about them during your free consultation with The Go! Agency!

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