There are hundreds, in some cases thousands of businesses online that sell similar products and services as yours.  You and your competitors have great looking websites, well written content on your websites, rank well in search engines, similar prices, products/services, and serve the same customer in similar areas.  What makes you different from your competitors?

Earlier this week, my friend and I couldn’t decide what seafood carryout we wanted to purchase crabs from.  We found two local businesses that were the same distance away, offered their products for the same exact prices, and sold what we were looking for.  How did we decide which business to purchase from?  …We looked at their Google reviews.

This concept is very simple – Before contacting your business, your prospects research past experiences your customers have had with your business.  Local listings within search engines provide relevant feedback on your business’ performance from local customers.  People trust feedback/reviews from past customers.  Positive or negative reviews can be the deciding factor between a customer purchasing your product or service.

The Benefits of Local Map Listings

  1. Reputation/Credibility – People buy from whom they trust.  Having positive reviews can help boast your businesses’ reputation and credibility.
  2. Top placement within Search Engine Results – Map listings can help your business’ local search engine optimization.  Up to seven businesses can appear in local map results for certain keyword phrases, which are placed at the top of search results.  This increases your business’ exposure and can help drive a significant amount of traffic to your website.
  3. Provides extremely relevant information about your Business- Local map listings provide exactly the information your potential customers need: your operation hours, location/directions, contact information, services, REVIEWS, coupons, pictures, etc.

Local map listing TIPS for your business:

  1. Look for your business on Google Maps – Go to Google maps, enter your business name and see what comes up.  If you already have a listing, make sure you claim your listing so that you can make changes in the future if you have to.
  2. Create a map listing on Google, Yahoo, and Bing – Remember Google isn’t the only search engine.  Create listings on Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
  3. Tell your customers to leave reviews/testimonials –Tell your customers after you finish creating and verifying your listings.  Email or call them asking to leave a review for your business.  To make it easy for your customers, send them the link to your map listing.

Questions of the week – Have you ever had a bad review?  If so how did you handle it?