This article is part of an on-going series on marketing. Swipeclock offers numerous tools (including marketing) to Swipeclock partners to help you grow your business! For more information, check out this page.

Recently, Swipeclock published an article in Forbes outlining Small Businesses, Follow These Three Critical Steps To See Immediate Online Results. Are you still looking for more information? Check out our “insiders guide” to online success featuring tools that we’ve used before.   

Here are the steps as outlined in Forbes and our additional tools and steps to take.

Optimize local SEO

This can be done without paying for additional services or can be done by paying for services. Here at Swipeclock, we’ve never used Yelp’s local listing, but we see it advertised a lot. Maybe that’s the way for you to go. What we did, instead, was to check out the local free directories. (None of these directories are in anyway affiliated with Swipeclock- we’ve just used their services the same as anyone else could. We also aren’t getting any benefit for listing them- we are just trying to be helpful to our small business friends and partners)

Google Listing: Depending on the study you look at, as many as 86% of consumers look up a small business on the internet before going there in person. That may be through a google search, google maps, or through their phone browsers. If you’ve done the same thing only to find the information outdated or incorrect- then you know how important it is to claim a google listing. It’s free. Google authenticates businesses, often by sending a postcard to the business location with a code on it. Don’t worry, it’s worth the wait.

You can also register on these free directories.

  • Bing
  • Foursquare
  • Facebook Business page (or groups)
  • Angie’s List
  • Superpages
  • CitySearch
  • WhitePages
  • LinkedIn (business page)
  • Local Chamber of Commerce Directories
  • City directories
  • City “Places to visit or things to do” websites

PPC or Social Media Ads Can Give You a Jump Start

Locally targeted ads can be a great way to capture local business. Facebook, Google, Instagram and other outlets allow you to target ads based on geography, location, and even searches done by your prospective clients.

You can set a budget limit, a daily budget, or a per ad budget. This allows you to experiment on which ads or targeted audience is the most effective per dollar.

Create Video Content

Videos increase the amount of time that visitors spend on your site, the time they spend looking at your social media post, and the likelihood that they will share your content. But, coming up with the right types of videos can be challenging. Check out these ideas

  • Q&A answer sessions: Take one question per video and answer the questions. Take no more than 5-7 minutes on each question. If it’s more in-depth then break it out into multiple segments.
  • Meet the team: introduce your team, culture, or company. Customers trust brands that they feel a connection with and connecting with your team is one of the ways to do this.
  • Behind the scenes: This can include highlighting company events, conferences, celebrations, and “a day in the shoes of. . “ videos.
  • Educational videos: This can include demonstrations on how to use features of the product, situation videos for when the product/service helps out, or other industry-related videos that educate your customers.
  • Interviews: Including interviews of your customer fans, and interviews or your team, partners or suppliers.
  • Blog teasers: 30-second videos that highlight a few pieces of information found in your blog. (You can see these at the top of most of our blog posts. We use them to summarize several informational points in our blog).

Use Social Proof

Studies show that consumers trust other consumers recommendations more than they trust a brand. You can use this to your advantage. There are several ways to use social proof. Here are some places you can pull reviews from:

  • Google Reviews
  • Facebook reviews
  • Yelp, yellow pages, white pages reviews
  • Thumbtack

Want some more information on social proof? Check out this article. This article tells you 29 ways to build social proof.

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

This probably goes without saying, but the majority of local searches are done on mobile devices. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, then many of the search engines will penalize you. That means that unless a client is looking for your exact business, you will get left off the list.

Fortunately, most website providers provide mobile-friendly templates. Often turning on mobile-friendly features is as easy as a few clicks. Once your site is mobile friendly- check it periodically to make sure that it’s easy to view and navigate.

Looking for more marketing materials or insights? Become a partner and get articles for your blog, insights, and other tools to grow your business!

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Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated on August 13, 2018.