Study after study shows that the modern consumer relies heavily on search engines and social media. According to a recent study by Forrester Consulting, 74% of consumers use a search engine like Google to help inform their buying decisions, and 84% of buyers search online before heading to a store front. That means that if a business has no online presence, it potentially misses out on a massive portion of the retail market. So how can you, a local business, take advantage of the online trends? How can you boost your rankings?
Well, step one is to build a website (or hire someone to build it). A company website serves as an anchor for that business’s online presence. Everything you do online - social media, advertising, etc. - should tie back to your website.
Next, Google yourself and see what sites list information on your business. Many sites, like YellowPages.com, Manta.com, and Yelp.com post business information. If your business is there, claim the listing using a business email address. If your business is not listed, take the time to create a listing.
Step three - time for a NAP. Make sure that all of your online listings have the same Name, Address, and Phone number listed. The NAP check is the first step to good search engine optimization (SEO) This helps search engines determine the ‘trustworthiness’ of a site, and trustworthy site receive a better ranking.
Following those steps will help to boost your company’s online performance. It may take a little time, but you should see a steady climb in your rankings by cleaning up your NAP presence. For more do-it-yourself SEO tips, look to sites like Moz or Search Engine Land, or find a local professional.