By: Tara Banda, Content Marketing Manager, ReachLocal (NASDAQ:RLOC)
1. Create relevant content that gets you to the top of organic search results.
75% of searchers don’t scroll past page one of the search results. So if your business doesn’t rank well in organic search, or if there are negative results showing up, consumers may choose your competitors instead of you. Help your website, blog, and other content rank higher by creating informative, useful, and interesting content that contains relevant product and service information, holiday specials, and geographic and business keywords.
2. Claim and manage your business listings on local directories and review sites.
Google+ Local is a critical local directory site you should claim and optimize. But there are also many other local directories and review sites that consumers pay attention to when searching for a local business. If your business isn’t listed on these types of sites, or if your information is inaccurate, you may lose customers to competitors who do have optimized listings. Claim your business pages on the sites relevant to your industry and geographic location, and optimize them with your website URL, physical address or service area, special holiday hours of operation, contact information, and images to get consumers’ interest.
3. List details about holiday promotions, products, services, prices, and availability on your website.
Consumers visit business websites to find information they need to help them make a purchasing decision, and if they can’t find that information quickly, they will leave. One study indicates that 50% of potential sales are lost because consumers can’t find information they are looking for on a business website. Not only should your website answer questions consumers have about your products and services, it should also promote holiday-related content like special products, seasonal promotions, and operating hours.
4. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.
Forty-five percent of consumers who look for local products or services search for them via a mobile device first. If your site is not optimized for mobile, these visitors will have trouble finding the information they are looking for. For example, Flash animation will not show up on iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, so if your website uses these devices, your site won’t display correctly for mobile searchers looking for your business. In addition, sites with a lot of dropdown menus in the navigation may be difficult to operate with a fingertip. Invest in a mobile-friendly website with easy-to-read content and contact information so that you don’t lose interested mobile visitors to a bad experience.
5. Get back to new contacts within an hour.
You and your staff can be busy – especially during the holidays – and sometimes a call has to go voicemail. But letting a voice mailbox fill up with calls that you never return can result in more holiday sales for your competitor. In fact, 50% of consumers will choose to do business with the company that calls them back first. But it’s not only phone calls that matter. Studies show that emailing back a prospect that has emailed you or filled out a Web form within 20 minutes can boost conversion rates by 49%. So, make sure you contact all new prospects as soon as possible in order to ensure they choose you.
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