- By Nick Frost
One, if not the easiest, way for local businesses to get found online is through listing it on directories and search engines. While putting your company’s info online might seem like the simplest task, there are a surprising many who either don’t get it right or don’t do the necessary upkeep to ensure their listings are always up-to-date.
Here’s a quick and dirty list on the basics of listings optimization.
Tip #1: Use only photos and videos that are high resolution and highly intriguing.
When shopping online, people feel more comfortable when they can associate a name with a visual. For those who have yet to actually visit your establishment, the small gallery of images in your listing could very well be the place where you make your first impression.
Always make sure any images appearing alongside your business’s name are the best available. Rather than taking shots with a smartphone, spring for a professional photographer and set them loose in your store for a couple of hours to capture its best angles. Same goes for videography. If you’re including your company logo, it should be a high-resolution vector image.
Long story short, there’s no legitimate reason that bland, pixelated JPEGs should be out there representing your business.
Tip #2: Stay on top of updating your local listings like bees on honey.
This can’t be stressed enough: never let a moment pass where your listing info is incorrect.
If your business can’t nail its most basic information — NAP (name, address and phone number) data, opening hours, holiday hours, notifications about new info, etc. — exactly 100% of the time, you’re going to miss out.
Perhaps you can sense the urgency in what we’re saying. Perhaps “100% of the time” seems to border on hyperbolic. When it comes down to it, if a customer shows up when you’re not open, or circles the block in the wrong neighbourhood looking for your store because you never updated your address, wave that customer goodbye.
Tip #3: Write compelling copy, be it descriptions, taglines or anything else.
Aside from the basic info potential customers will read, the words you choose to put in front of them are also very important.
Nothing you write in your business’s listing will be overly long, lest you have a flair for testing attention spans, so make the most of every line of copy you write. If you’re writing a description of your company in one line, make sure the key elements are there and that it’s — everybody say it together — descriptive. If you’re penning a tagline, make sure it’s punchy, but that it also has lasting power. If you’re going for SEO, do your research and get the right keywords in there.
Tip #4: Categorize your business properly and don’t take it lightly.
The categories under which you list your business will go a long way in determining where it ranks in search results.
First of all, make sure you’re applying categories — and relevant ones, at that — in the first place. Major search engines may not end up displaying your company at all if it isn’t categorized or even if it’s miscategorized.
When you do so, don’t just stick to general categories. Be as specific as possible. Every restaurant owner, for example, will be inclined to list their business under “restaurant,” and while that’s a painfully accurate description, you’ll suddenly find yourself jockeying for position among all the other restaurants that have used that single word as one of their categories.
Take the Next Step Beyond the Basics
In addition to these simple measures, SweetIQ’s local listings management tool can help you optimize your results even further. Ensure your listings are always clean and available in the right directories, track the right keywords to succeed and much more.