Your grand opening day is almost here! Floors are spotless, signs are up, and the cash register is ready to go waiting to ring up sales for the big day. The local newspaper may have featured your new business and hype has built up.
But how will people remember you when you’re just another storefront in town?
Consumers are increasingly looking for local businesses like yours online and if you haven’t established an online presence, it’s important you do it right away to ensure people can find your business is no longer the talk of the town.
We put together a checklist to guide you through setting up a local search presence for your business. Take an hour or two to ensure you’re found online – it’s crucial!
Make sure you have a website
Be sure to list the products and/or services your business offers and your contact information.
It’s important that it’s mobile-friendly! Google is now penalizing non-mobile websites. In addition to helping your Google rankings, a mobile-friendly website makes it easy for those viewing your website with their phone or tablet.
Create (and verify) your local business listings
Many potential customers discover new local businesses using websites like Google, Bing, and Yelp. Create your listing on these services so people can find you.
- Use Google My Business to create your listing with Google. It brings together your reviews, business information, social sharing, and more in one easy-to-use place.
- Bing Places for Business allows you to add your location to Bing’s local listings in three easy steps. Claim your listing, complete your profile, and verify your listing. It’s pretty straightforward.
- Find and claim your Yelp Business Page by heading over to Yelp for Business Owners. You’ll be able to respond to reviews as the business owner and measure visitor activity on your page.
Claim your social network profiles
At a minimum, build a Facebook page for your business – one in 7 people on the planet use Facebook! Your Facebook Page allows people to learn about your company and get in touch with you… on a platform, they already spend a lot of time on.
Claim profiles on other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to ensure you have the same username on all social platforms – even if you don’t plan on using them right away.
Reach out to local news organizations
Contact the local newspaper or television station to give them the heads up that you’re a new business in town! News organizations are usually eager to find local stories.
This free publicity will get your name out to hundreds, potentially thousands, of people in your community.
Ask for customer reviews online
Encourage customers to review you online – most will be more than happy to do so. Reviews have a tremendous influence on buying decisions for potential customers.