When you start looking for a marketing team to handle your local SEO what should you really be looking for? At ThinkBigandGrow Media, we started by consulting and fulfilling services in 2 main fields for small business. One of them is Local SEO (search engine optimization). We started in 2007 when search engine optimization was more like tricks and magic.  This allowed developing methods that survived even the most punishing of changes in search engine algorithms.

We’ve taken clients to the top of the search engines.  This is done through both natural search optimization, and scaling it big with search engine marketing (SEM).  I want to share with you what we know works best, regardless of what you’re being sold.

If you’re a local, small business and you seek help in…

  • Local Search Engine Optimization
  • Company Website Ecommerce
  • Facebook & Social Media
  • Getting Listing Information
  • Paid Search Advertising
  • Blogging or Online Content Creation
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Deals, promotions, and coupons
  • Reputation Monitoring and review

…then this short article will be very important for you to read and save, so you might want to save it now before you forget.

First, it’s important to realize the interrelationship of all of the above. Everything in the list above really are ALL part of your Local SEO efforts.  Everything should be included in your overall marketing strategy. Individually, each of the above has value, but the real value is synergistic when combined in a strategic marketing strategy.

Right now, I’ll assume you have a real, strategic marketing plan (though I know most small business owners don’t). Then, with that assumption, we cover the rest as if it fits in your big plan.

Now… have you ever been sold a marketing solution for any of the above, and got only limited results or even lost money? Here’s some reasons why, and what to do about it.

What to Do if You Want to Keep Customers Returning to Your Business

The truth is, local SEO can help your website get found more often in natural searches, but there is something more important to you. Something much more powerful, and it may (as of yet) be at the bottom of your list of what’s important in your marketing.

Besides the obvious of continually providing excellent services or products to your existing customers, clients, or patients, you should be continually marketing to them as well. This doesn’t mean just sending them new, great deals or the latest super discount. Here’s why…

Bright Local recently did a consumer survey that showed 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Equally important to realize, Real Strategic surveyed consumers and found 87% of respondents searched online for information about a company they were referred to by a friend.  

Did you get that?  Even a personal referral goes to the web to do research on you.

Now combine these facts.  Sixty-nine percent of consumers trust only online reviews less than 6 months old and 100% said they would go to a business with a recent 5-star review.

What does all this have to do with not just marketing great deals to keep customers coming back?

It means, even if you have lots of customers coming back, they also go online and search reviews. Thus losing them to your competition is as simple as a quick local search online. When your competition with a higher reputation and more recent online review gets found first, that’s where they go.

All the best, traditional local SEO in the world, won’t get them coming back to you.

What to Do If You Want to Acquire New Customers that Keep Coming Back in the Future

Local SEO for the business owner, if you think of it in its classic sense, is an internet marketing activity.  It’s thought of as optimizing your website to be found in local searches when a web searcher is looking for the services or products your business provides.  The typical agency worries about backlinks, indexing activities, and mobile search.

Before the Internet became full of directories listing reviews of local businesses like yours, being found first in the search was key.  That was all it took to get the web searcher to click on your website to view your offers. Now, things have changed, I’ll show you how in a moment.

First remember the stats above in the previous section. Does it make sense how these same verified facts affect your business getting new customers?

There’s another very critical factor in local search engine optimization you must remember when considering local SEO services. That is, your online reputation is a big factor in how Google and Bing rank you.

In other words, if everything about you and your competition is equal — Including how your local SEO was done – but your competition has a 4.5-star online reputation with lots of reviews, including recent ones…

However, you have a 4.5-star online reputation also, but none of your reviews are recent. The result is your competition will be placed at the top of the search results, and your reputation (depending on how old it is) may be ignored. At the very best, you will definitely be ranked lower than your competitor.

If you have no online reputation, then any of your competition with an online reputation will nearly certainly be ranked above you.  Most importantly – we also know from real consumers that they will click on the one with the highest star ranking, and if they have a 5-star ranking it’s pretty much a 100% chance of getting the click.

Imagine for a moment, you’re the consumer searching online for your services or products.

You, as the consumer, find several businesses offering these products or services. Three have online ratings showing, and yours has none. Which business would you, the consumer, click on (be honest now)?

How to Go About Getting or Fixing an Online Reputation

You likely see now, that your online reputation is really what makes all the local online marketing engines rev up.

Now here’s a shocker…

The list at the very top of the article is actually taken from a survey done by Thrive Analytics (a most trusted consumer data and digital marketing resource) of what local business owners say they need the most help with.

Notice Local SEO is at the top and online reputation is at the bottom. The reason is, it is what local business owners said they needed help with most. Does this list represent generally what you thought?

The facts show that the focus on local SEO may well be misplaced and your online reputation is way more important than most business owners perceive. But is simply fixing or getting an online reputation all that’s needed?

The answer is no because your reputation must continue to update and refresh. Remember, 69% of consumers only trust online reviews less than 6 months old. Over half of these trust only reviews less than 3 months old.

Fixing damage is good, but that is management. Reputation management is the term commonly used. At ThinkBigandGrow Media, we don’t like reputation management because it is done only after something goes wrong. Reputation management is generally about getting you back to the status quo and not about being king of your market. We are a veteran owned business, and we love winning, and know you do, too.

The same is true for getting your reputation started, and then not following up until something goes wrong. That is reputation management, and it does little to make you more customers now or keep existing customers coming back.

What to Do to Make Local SEO Most Effective

By now, you see that at the heart of the modern Local SEO services there is more than just getting ranked for the best keywords involved. In fact, at the core of Local SEO success is your online business reputation.

That’s another reason why reputation marketing is what we do. Our reputation marketing system, known as the Local Market Dominator system is about managing your reputation, continuously building your reputation, and marketing that reputation to bring you more profits. The Local Market Dominator System includes everything necessary for building a powerful local SEO program which enables you to dominate your local market.

Having a complete reputation marketing system in place is essential in digital marketing to dominate your market. We know that in most markets, you will dominate by getting a reputation marketing system in place. This is true for both profit and non-profit business.

  • If you want to rank at the top of searches, your reputation is key.
  • If you want search engine marketing (paid advertising) to be most cost effective, then pay attention to your online reputation.
  • If you want to wow your social media, mixing in your online reputation elevates success. Your social media followers will share your reputation, marketing you for free.
  • If you want your local listings to be accurate and powerful, then your online reputation will make it happen.
  • If you want to run deals, and coupons and keep customers coming back and making the most from them, a reputation marketing system gives you the power.

The bottom line, ThinkBigandGrow Media’s reputation marketing system, the Local Market Dominator, takes care of all of that and much, much more for you.

We get you a 5-star reputation.  We fix existing bad reputations.  We market your reputation. We provide a full tool suite to clients, we develop your social media as part of your reputation. The Local Market Dominator is key, and the heart of a complete local SEO marketing strategy.

You can start right now for free by simply using our free, Local Market Authority Analyzer. By entering your business name and phone, we scour the web for anything we can find about your business from your market. Then we compile it in an easy to read report, and show you exactly what you can do to start fixing any surprises or damage we find.

Go ahead here, and run the free Local Market Authority Report on your business. You might want to do it right now, because nearly all businesses have errors or surprises lurking, and you should know about them. Why? Because consumers in your market find them and use them to decide to go to your competition instead.

Our 1-Minute Local Market Authority Accelerator is another way for you to start leveraging existing 5-star reputation in a very fast, and powerful way. The “Accelerator” has proven to get businesses more calls, and thus more customers coming in fast using what you already have. You might want to go here now to learn more about this.