Last year, online marketing for local companies crossed over from slightly overwhelming to completely overwhelming. Figuring out how to create a consistent online presence across their website, local profiles, and social networks have left many local business owners scratching their heads and not knowing what to do.
Here are 5 local online marketing mistakes I saw and how they can be fixed
- Static website without a blog — many local companies still have a brochure website that hasn’t been updated since 2006. We know this because the copyright date in the footer is stuck in the past. This problem is easily remedied by migrating the website to WordPress, a platform that has the ability to manage website pages and blog postings.
- No call to action buttons on website — when I show up on your website and I read what you do, what next? Give me a call to action button that offers something of value that will make me give you my email address so I can get access. If you’ve given me something useful, I won’t mind hearing from you again in the future.
- Unclaimed or incomplete Google Places profile — this is a big one because of the role Google now plays in local company discovery. 20% of all searches have local intent and by not claiming and completing your company’s Google Places profile, you give your competitors who have an advantage when Google determines which is the most relevant and authoritative company to display in the local search results. Claim and complete your Google Places profile to give Google as much information as possible about your company as you can.
- Missing address or phone number on website — this still happens and not only does it make it difficult for your website visitors to contact you, but it makes it difficult for Google to associate your website with your Google Places profile. Any valuable content that you’ve added to your website can help Google better understand what your company is all about and affect when your Google Places profile is displayed in the search results.
- No social network presence — Twitter, Facebook, and now Google+ are here to stay. If you haven’t yet created a profile on each social network, then now’s the time. Even if you’re not ready to start making updates, get the profiles setup so you can at least choose a profile name that’s consistent with your company name. Upload your company logo so there’s a simple connection to your brand.
It’s not too late to make these adjustments, and they will go a long way to help you improve your overall online presence. People’s expectations of how companies, even local companies, present themselves online has greatly increased and those companies perceived as “getting it” will be the ones who flourish in 2012 and beyond.
Image by TehLonz
What other online marketing mistakes have you seen local companies make?
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