How Do You Rank Against Your Competitors in Local SEO Terms?

local seoLocal search engine optimisation (SEO) can emerge as an undeniably important part of marketing for local businesses.  If you have a business location in New Zealand or Australia, local SEO can help drive online traffic not only to your website – but to your physical location(s).  And local SEO can help you run promotions, connect to social media, and much more.

One simple key of local SEO is to analyse how a business is doing in relation to your competitors.  For instance, if you run a shoe repair store in New Zealand, you would want to know where you rank in the search engines for “shoe repair New Zealand,” which would perhaps be the most logical search string for a prospective customer at your business.  That’s the foundation of local SEO – taking advantage of “local searches” in your target audience.

Myles Anderson points out that research, benchmarking, and tracking are the keys to creating a local SEO roadmap that can lead to results.  He breaks it down into three steps:

  1. Identify the most lucrative search terms for the business.
  2. Identify the top ranked businesses for these terms or industry/location.
  3. Benchmark the business versus its competitors.

As you might imagine, this can become an in-depth process.  Indeed, Anderson breaks it down with a gamete of tools that the professionals use to quantify local SEO and produce results for their customers.  However, that isn’t out of reach for your business – the small business owner that doesn’t have a great deal of time to invest in these (often confusing) aspects.

Contact us at Onvizi to learn more about how local SEO can benefit your business.  We will be happy to answer your questions.  If you’re interested in obtaining local SEO gains, we can save you time and money by putting our expertise to work.

How to Effectively Use Customer Reviews to Advertise Small Business

how to get reviewsSuccessful marketing campaigns have launched many a closet idea into the public domain. Professionally produced ad campaigns are certainly one manner to turn heads to your company’s product or service, but keeping the public’s adoration takes quite another tool. If your small business is to compete with the larger corporations, you must carefully consider how to advertise your business. One staple element of an effective advertising campaign is favorable customer testimonial.

While such dialogue used to be quite confined to geographic area, the 21st century has opened these discussions to a worldwide audience According to Search Engine Journal (SEJ), today’s small businesses are reaping benefits by providing their consumer’s opinions to their potential clients.

The most important advantage that customer reviews offer your small business is credibility. Today’s consumer does not want to hear from a paid spokesperson or anyone else associated with the company itself. Too much bias can come into play in those scenarios. Rather, they want honest feedback from an unrelated third party. By offering them these reviews on your website, you are showing potential clients that you have nothing to hide.

Additionally, you shouldn’t feel pressured to only provide the reviews that are 100% positive. If the feedback is too perfect, your potential buyer might feel like you are hiding something. Better than seeking out perfection, use the reviews in which the client logically matches the ranking (number, stars, etc.) to the testimonial itself. For instance, if one aspect of the review focuses on customer service, you want to make certain that the score of 9/10 you received from the shopper is equated in his/her written response. Potential consumers want to know that a 9 in this customer’s mind meant that your employees were friendly, knowledgeable, and acted in a timely manner. This consistency will p rove that you are forthright, a business to be trusted.

Since small, local business owners such as yourself have a more direct line of communication with your customers, this feedback will be much easier for you to obtain. The dialogue that ensues from speaking “directly with customers allows a smaller business to be sensitive to what is on a customer’s mind.” As a result, you are better equipped to satisfy client need and to use the reviews to actually help your business evolve.

If you still have doubts about the power of testimonial, consider the comScore study conducted in March of 2012. When they evaluated the effectiveness of a professional campaign to the consumer-generated review, they found that positive word-of-mouth always bolstered the audience’s reception of the product. In fact, the “User-Generated” advertising was 4 to 7 percentage points higher than the “Professionally Produced” marketing in most categories.

Onvizi is committed to connecting your local, small business with eager consumers. Our local, online marketing forum will provide you with the platform and guidance you need to meet your customers where they stand.

Please contact us today to begin a purposeful integration of consumer feedback into your site.

Google’s Panoramic Photos Add to Digital Marketing Solutions

Google continues to expand its service offerings and they are currently in a pilot project that could be exciting to business owners.

Google is experimenting with a new feature on its Streetviews that will give businesses a chance to show off their location with a 360-degree, interactive pictures. The new project is currently being piloted in several countries, including New Zealand.

The new feature will give businesses seeking expanded digital marketing solutions a new tool that promises to put a little life into what up to now have been fairly static marketing pages.

Gadi Royz, Product Manager for Google Maps, said in a blog post about the project:

“This experience, using Street View technology, includes 360-degree imagery of the business interior and storefront. With this immersive imagery, potential customers can easily imagine themselves at the business and decide if they want to visit in person.”

New Zealand business owners who use Google Places, which is being rolled into Google+ Local, can apply to the participate in the pilot.

The idea of showing potential customers what they can expect when they come into your business is exciting for many who are invested in social media and other forms of digital marketing. It’s one more valuable tool they can employ to tell their story and engage with the public.

The panoramic shots on Google pages can also be linked to business websites.

To participate, businesses must have a Google page. For more information on the project or participation, businesses can go here.

If you have more questions about how you can improve your businesses digital marketing, contact us.

Google+ Local could boost local marketing New Zealand

Google Plus localGoogle’s newest venture into local marketing debuted last week and provides a new tool for businesses looking to capture the public’s attention.

This newest addition to Google+ is one that anyone involved in local marketing New Zealand needs to study.

Google+ Local pairs Google’s typical link-filled package with Zagat reviews, incorporates user reviews and allows users to post reviews. The new product incorporates existing Google Places pages.

Google acquired Zagat last year and the debut of this new service is the first major effort that highlights that acquisition.

In a blog post introducing the new Local feature, Google’s Director of Product Management Avni Shah, said:

“Today, we’re rolling out Google+ Local, a simple way to discover and share local information featuring Zagat scores and recommendations from people you trust in Google+. Google+ Local helps people like my husband turn a craving — ‘Wow, I need brunch.’ — into an afternoon outing: “Perfect, there’s a dim sum place with great reviews just two blocks from here. Let’s go.” It’s integrated into Search, Maps and mobile and available as a new tab in Google+ — creating one simple experience across Google.”

A quick check of the new product in a search for places in New Zealand produced pages for a number of restaurants, hotels and attractions.

These pages included maps, photos, address and contact information, links to get directions, an overall rating and individual ratings and reviews posted by users, links to reviews on other sites, a link to the business website, and a section identifying similar places.

This newest Google Product also enables business owners to manage their location sites.

In the ever changing world digital marketing, Google’s newest entry raises the bar a notch. Business owners looking to stay a step ahead of the crowd and keep their social media presence growing need to evaluate this new product and manage it wisely. Businesses who have not yet claimed their Google Places pages should seriously consider doing that now.

If you want to discuss the new Google+ Local and how it might impact your business marketing, contact us.