If your business is one that sells anything to a local market, you need to be aware of a tremendous opportunity to gain online visibility. We’re in the midst of huge technological changes that present significant opportunities for local businesses. Specifically, I’m talking about the rapid advance of smart phones.
I just acquired a Droid from Verizon in January and I have been amazed at what the latest ’smart phones’ can do. If you already have a smart phone then you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t and you’re a business owner, then you owe it to yourself to at least find out what they can do. It’s still a phone, but I find myself using it less as phone and more and more as EVERYTHING else! Here is a short list in case you were wondering…
- Web browser, Camera, Music player, Calendar, Organization tool, Email, Phone Book, Alarm clock, Flash Light, Gaming device, Social Media hot links, and much more including a Local Search device.
Smart phone users can instantly search for local products and services, read about business details, get a map link for instant directions, read reviews on the business and more. This is all great news…if your business is listed. If you’re not listed, then someone else is and you’re losing business.
The good news is that most small business owners will be slow to react and by the time they do it will be too late. Savy business owners will have already claimed their online real estate and optimized it to ensure they keep it. We all know the yellow page directories are dying and local search with smart phones is only going to expedite their demise.
So what are you going to do?
If you’re not sure where to start, here are few quick tips.
- Search for your business on your smart phone. Can you find it? Can you find your competitors? If you don’t have a smart phone, borrow one from a cool friend.
- Claim your Google and Yahoo Local directory listings NOW! Populate them with as much information about your business as you can.
- Claim your Business on Customer Review sites like Yelp! and Merchant Circle.
- Develop a plan to get your Customer Reviews in order.
- Enlist the help of a Local Search Engine Optimization specialist
Don’t wait. I think this shift is coming extremely fast and you have a golden opportunity to take advantage of it now.