The key word to focus on is “Visibility”. If you have a physical store, you want customers walking in your door. How are they going to find your door though? Even in a small town, well-known franchises may dominate the economy, Wal-Mart, Target, and others have the marketing budget and the brand recognition to stand out. However, smaller stores and less famous names can make their way to the top of a search results page.
Are you ready to compete with an internationally known corporation on a national level? Probably not. But you can compete on a local level. Google delivers results that are most relevant to the searcher. When someone in Miami searches for a coffee shop with vegan lattes, a store in Seattle isn’t going to be very relevant to them. Most searches are specific, so this is an opportunity to express what makes your business unique. When someone types in one of your optimized keywords at a location near you, you have a good chance of being one of the top results. But only if you’ve made yourself visible online.
The best way to become more visible is to publish your consistent information online. You should use a business listing service to ensure consistent information is shared with a single click. Google My Business is the easiest of these services, allowing you to control what information you’re presenting to searchers (hours of operation, description of goods/services, contact information). Having a detailed profile here will help you stand out when a search is performed in your location. For businesses of any industry, healthcare, retail, or vegan coffee shops, having customers find you by searching “near me” is critical for competing with larger companies.
Having consistent, relevant information available online helps your business’s visibility beyond just local search. It doesn’t matter if your vegan coffee shop isn’t actually in Miami, so long as you’ve developed an online presence in Miami. You can do this through social media, blog posts, listing your company on pages like Yelp, and connecting with websites that will give you inbound links. Google will index all of these references between Miami and your shop to produce your business as a search result. People who would have never seen your store are now looking at your brand, and potentially ordering your goods online.
This process is similar to networking, because you’re forming connections that will help get your name out there. The difference is that your digital connections will never go away. Every time you respond to a review, sponsor an event, or promote a new deal, you are building on a permanent digital presence. The more you do, the more visible you become. Being active in your community not only reinforces connections with members of that community, but it helps introduce you to a new audience searching online.
Google, Facebook, and Yext are great tools for managing your online presence. If you’re looking for help setting up profiles, managing existing platforms, or developing an effective website, TruBrand Marketing is one-stop shop for all your marketing needs. See our SEO services to discover news ways of standing out online.