These are 7 really simple steps to improve an OFFLINE business:
One of the common questions we get inside the Copywriting Course is from small businesses who want to get more local customers through their doors.
You can do this by improving your local SEO, so that your business shows up on Google searches and on all the important social platforms and review sites.
These are the 7 steps we usually recommend business owners follow in order to improve their listings and get more customers. These steps are free and easy to implement, and they generate results!
#1) Keep your listings updated.
Many small businesses set up their accounts on various online platforms….and then never update them.
An old, outdated business profile will hurt you on two levels:
- Google will penalize you for having a dead listing.
- Customers might choose a competitor with a more active profile.
On the other hand, a complete profile that’s consistently updated will bring customers to you.
When someone searches for a business in their city, the quality of your listing is what usually decides whether a customer chooses you or one of your competitors.
#2) Add recent photos.
Related to #1 - one way to keep your listing fresh and active is to regularly add new photos to your business profile.
Whether you run a restaurant, a roofing company, or any other business, it’s important to show it off visually.
- This could be pictures of:
- Recent events.
- You and your team.
- Your office.
- Before + after examples of your work.
You can even get your customers to take photos for you - all you have to do is ask them to tag you when they post the photos on Instagram (or any social platform).
#3) Add a good description.
Google, Facebook, Yelp, and most other business listings will give you space for a description about your business.
It’s like a mini-About page or sales page built straight into your profile.
You can use it to highlight why your brand is unique and why your customers should come check you out. This could include:
- An attractive, engaging description about your business.
- Special offers and discounts.
- Seasonal deals.
#4) Actively ask your happy customers for reviews.
This is probably the most important thing you can do for local SEO (and for your business’ marketing in general).
Get as many great reviews as possible.
A potential customer’s decision often comes down to the quality and quantity of your reviews.
Note: You should be asking your happy customers for reviews.
Unhappy customers will find their way to your profile pages if they really, really want to leave you a bad review. But you don’t need to encourage that to happen.
On the other hand, you can make it easy for your best customers to leave you great ratings by just asking them directly.
#5) Respond to reviews.
Reviews shouldn’t be a one-way street.
If a customer leaves a positive review, respond to it! Thank them for checking out your business and invite them back.
If a customer leaves a negative review, respond to it! Acknowledge their issue and offer to correct it somehow.
(Some platforms, like Yelp, require you to have a premium account to respond to negative reviews. This is a little manipulative and really annoys a lot of business owners, but it’s probably worth playing the game a little bit.)
If you respond to reviews, it’s sort of like showing off your customer service “in public”. It’ll make you seem likable, active, and really great to work with.
#6) Actively ask for email sign ups and social follows.
Don’t be shy about asking your customers to opt in to your email list and/or social media.
This is a great way to build your audience online, so that you have a database of people you can communicate with in the future when they are not at your business.
It’s really important to have access to your customers when they’re physically away from your business. That way, you can alert them about deals, events, and other good reasons to come visit.
#7) Keep in touch regularly.
Most of the marketing effort you need to put into your local SEO efforts just involve doing little engagements, consistently.
For example, a lot of this list involves regularly updating your business profile and anywhere you have customer reviews.
Another way you can keep things fresh is to keep in touch with your customers via email and/or social.
After you get sign ups (step #6 on this list), then all you have to do is keep in touch with them from time to time. This could be a monthly email, a weekly Facebook post, or an active Twitter account. Whatever pace and platform you choose, just be consistent.
This will keep you front-of-mind with your customers. If you don’t do this, it’s very easy for people to forget about you.
Here are 7 steps you can take to improve your business’ SEO:
If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you can use these 7 steps yourself or join us inside the Copywriting Course and get direct help with your copy, SEO, and strategy.
We’ve helped many small businesses improve their business listings, including restaurants, roofers, HVAC, street vendors, and many more.