Local SEO Benefits For Small Business Owners

Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization (SEO) that helps businesses improve their online visibility and attract more local customers. It involves optimizing your website and online presence for local search so that you show up when people in your area search for your products or services. This can include optimizing your website for local keywords, creating local business listings and directories, and getting positive online reviews from customers. Using local SEO can improve your visibility in local search results, attract more qualified traffic to your website, and ultimately drive more business.

What kinds of businesses should consider the importance of local SEO?

Any business that serves customers in a specific geographic area should consider the importance of local SEO. This includes businesses of all sizes and types, from small, local retailers and service providers to large, national companies with multiple locations.

If your business relies on customers near you, local SEO can help you attract more of these customers and improve your online visibility. For example, if you are a restaurant, a local clothing store, or a home repair service, local SEO can help you show up in search results when people in your area are looking for businesses like yours.

Additionally, suppose your business has multiple locations. In that case, local SEO can help you optimize your website and online presence for each location, making it easier for customers to find and contact the specific location they are looking for. This can help you attract more customers and improve your overall online presence.

What are the benefits of local SEO?

There are several benefits to using local SEO, including:

  • Improved visibility and search engine ranking: By optimizing your website for local search, you can improve your visibility in local search results, making it more likely that potential customers in your area will find your business when they search for the products or services you offer.
  • Increased traffic and customer engagement: Local SEO can help you attract more qualified traffic to your website, leading to increased customer engagement and sales.
  • Better conversion rates: Local SEO can help you target your marketing efforts to the right audience, leading to higher conversion rates and more sales.
  • Higher ROI: Local SEO is focused on attracting customers near your business, so it can help target the right people in the right place at the right time. This can lead to a higher return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts.
What about a retailer who has locations in dozens of locations? What are the best practices for a business like that?

Optimizing your website and online presence for each location is essential if your business has multiple locations in different cities or regions. This will make it easier for customers to find and contact the specific location they are looking for.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your website and online presence for multiple locations:

  • Create a separate page for each location: Create a separate page on your website for each location, with a unique URL. This will make it easier for customers to find the specific location they are looking for, and it will also help search engines understand the location of each page.
  • Include location-specific information: On each location page, include essential information such as the address, phone number, hours of operation, and a map. This will help customers find your business and contact the correct location.
  • Use local keywords: Include local keywords on each location page, such as the city or region where the location is located. This will help search engines understand the location of each page and improve its visibility in local search results.
  • Create local business listings: Create local business listings and directories for each location, and include accurate and consistent information such as the business name, address, and phone number. This will help customers find your business and improve its visibility in local search results.
  • Monitor and respond to online reviews: Monitor online reviews for each location and respond to both positive and negative reviews in a timely and professional manner. This will help improve your online reputation and build trust with customers in your area.
Is it better to handle local SEO internally or outsource to a specialized agency?

Whether it is better to handle local SEO internally or outsource to a specialized agency depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of your business, your expertise in SEO, and your budget.

If your business is small and has a limited budget, it may make more sense to handle local SEO internally. This can save you money and give you more control over your SEO efforts. However, if you are not well-versed in SEO, optimizing your website and online presence for local search may be challenging. In this case, outsourcing to a specialized agency with the expertise and resources to help you achieve your local SEO goals may be worth the expense.

On the other hand, if your business is large or has a complex website, it may make more sense to outsource local SEO to a specialized agency. This can help ensure that your website and online presence are properly optimized for local search and save you time and effort. However, outsourcing can be more expensive than handling SEO internally, so it is important to carefully consider your options before making a decision.

Read more about SEO strategies in this post as well.

Local Advertising Tactics and Strategies

Wondering how to advertise your business locally? Let’s start with the basics. Local advertising is when a business targets a specific geographic location, such as a city, neighbourhood, or even a particular building or street. This approach aims to reach potential customers who are most likely to be interested in the advertised products or services and are close to the business. Local advertising can include display ads on local websites, sponsored posts on social media, targeted email marketing campaigns, and local directories or newspaper listings. In addition, small businesses often use local advertising to reach potential customers in their immediate area.

What are the best ways to advertise your business locally?

There are several effective ways to advertise your business locally. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Use local directories and listings to get your business seen by people searching for businesses like yours in your area. You can list your business on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, local directories and newspapers.
  2. Engage on social media to connect with potential customers in your area. Create a business page on social media platforms and use them to share information, special offers and promotions.
  3. Consider implementing a referral program to encourage existing customers to refer new customers to your business – an effective way to grow your customer base.
  4. Targeted advertising helps reach potential customers who are most likely interested in your products or services. Consider display ads on local websites, sponsored posts on social media, or targeted email marketing campaigns.
  5. Network with local businesses and organizations to get your name out and build relationships with potential customers. Attend local events and trade shows, join local business organizations or partner with other businesses to offer joint promotions or discounts.
What are some ideas for advertising local businesses offline?

Small business owners may consider advertising local businesses offline in different ways:

  1. Place ads in local newspapers and magazines. Many local newspapers and magazines have classified or special sections for local businesses – a great way to reach potential customers in your area.
  2. Use billboards or other forms of outdoor advertising. Suppose your local business is near a busy road or intersection. In that case, you can use billboards, posters or signs to attract the attention of potential customers passing by.
  3. Participate in local events and trade shows. Many communities have events and trade shows where businesses can display their products and services. Attending these local events is a great way to meet potential customers and build new relationships.
  4. Use direct mail to reach potential customers in your area. Create a snail-mail list of potential customers to send promotional materials to encourage them to visit your business.
  5. Place ads on local radio or television stations. Local radio and TV stations often offer advertising packages for businesses, which can be a great way to reach a large number of potential customers in your area.
Are offline advertising approaches as effective as online advertising for local businesses?

It is difficult to say whether offline advertising approaches are as effective as online advertising for local businesses. Why? Because several factors affect the outcome, including the nature of the company, the target audience, and the specific advertising strategies. 

In general, however, online advertising allows businesses to target specific audiences and track the effectiveness of their ads in real-time. Offline advertising can also be effective, particularly for companies located in highly visible locations or that are targeting customers who may not be as connected to the internet. Ultimately, the best approach for a local business will depend on its specific needs and goals.

Is geofencing marketing an intelligent way to advertise a local business?

Geofencing allows businesses to target potential customers in a specific geographic area. The approach can be efficient for companies looking to reach customers close to their physical location, such as a store or restaurant. With geofencing marketing, businesses can create virtual boundaries around a specific area and deliver targeted ads to customers within that boundary. Geofencing can help companies reach customers interested in their products or services. It can be a very effective way to drive foot traffic to a local business.

What is the difference between geofencing and geotargeting?

Geofencing and geotargeting are similar but distinct marketing techniques. They both use location data to target potential customers. Geofencing involves creating virtual boundaries around a specific geographic area and delivering targeted ads to customers within that boundary. Geotargeting uses location data to target ads to customers based on their location without defining specific boundaries.

One key difference between the two approaches is that geofencing is generally more precise and focused, allowing businesses to target ads to customers within a specific area. On the other hand, geotargeting can be less accurate, as it relies on the customer’s location data to determine which ads to show. As a result, geotargeting can be more effective for businesses looking to reach a broader audience, while geofencing can be a more effective way for businesses to target customers who are in a specific location.

Find other ideas on advertising your business locally on this other post.

Basic Small Business Marketing Strategies

Small business marketing refers to the strategies and tactics to promote products or services and reach a small business’s target audience. Because small businesses typically have limited resources, their marketing efforts may be focused on a specific local area or target audience. They may include a mix of online and offline marketing tactics.

Small business marketing can include a wide range of activities. Some examples include:

  • Creating a solid brand identity and developing a marketing plan
  • Developing and distributing marketing materials
  • Using social media and other online platforms to connect with customers
  • Participating in local events and community activities to raise awareness of the business. 

Small business marketing aims to generate leads and sales and build a loyal customer base.

What are some small business marketing strategies?

Small businesses can use different marketing strategies depending on their goals and resources. Some common approaches include:

  1. Creating a solid brand identity and ensuring consistency in marketing materials – think logo, website, and social media channels.
  2. Building a customer email list and sending regular newsletters or promotions to keep customers engaged and informed about your business.
  3. Leveraging social media to connect with customers, share content, and promote your products or services.
  4. Offering promotions, discounts, or other incentives to encourage customers to try your products or services.
  5. Collaborating with other businesses or influencers to reach a broader audience and gain exposure for your brand.
  6. Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your visibility on search engines and attract more organic traffic to your website.
  7. Creating and sharing engaging, high-quality content, such as blog posts, videos, or infographics, to attract and retain customers.
  8. Focusing on customer service and building positive relationships with your customers to encourage repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.
What kind of stories should small businesses tell in their marketing efforts?

Small businesses should focus on telling stories that resonate with their target audience and highlight the unique aspects of their brand. Tips to achieve this can include:

  • Stories about the history of the business
  • The inspiration behind their products or services
  • The challenges they have overcome
  • The positive impact they have made in their community.

Some examples may include the following:

  • An artisanal bakery might tell the story of how the owner learned to bake from their grandmother and how they use traditional recipes and techniques to create their delicious pastries.
  • A fashion boutique might tell the story of how the owner sources clothing from independent designers and supports the local fashion community.
  • A small artisanal soap company might tell how they started making soap as a hobby using natural ingredients and sustainable packaging.

These stories can help small businesses connect with their customers on a deeper level and differentiate themselves from larger, more impersonal brands. By telling authentic, engaging stories, small companies can create a solid emotional connection with their customers and build a loyal following.

What are some good ways for small businesses to develop trust with clients?

Developing trust with clients is essential for the success of any small business. Here are some ways that small businesses can build trust with their clients:

  1. Be transparent and honest in all your interactions with clients. This means being upfront about your pricing, services, and policies and not making false or exaggerated claims about your products or services.
  2. Provide exceptional customer service and be responsive to your client’s needs, which means being available to answer questions, address concerns, and resolve any issues promptly and professionally.
  3. Deliver on your promises and meet your client’s expectations. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you follow through and do it to the best of your ability.
  4. Be consistent in the quality of your products or services. If you consistently provide high-quality products or services, your clients will come to trust that they can count on you to deliver what you say you will.
  5. Use testimonials, reviews, and referrals to show potential clients that others have had positive experiences working with your business, which can help build trust and credibility with potential clients.
  6. Be transparent about your business practices and policies. Include sharing information about your supply chain, sustainability efforts, or community involvement.
  7. Be responsive and communicative with your clients to keep them informed about the progress of their projects. Be available to answer questions or address concerns as they arise.

Building trust with your clients is about consistently providing high-quality products or services, being transparent and honest in your interactions, and being responsive and communicative throughout the process. And, yes, building trust is all about the outcomes of your marketing efforts.

Other Marketing Resources for Small Businesses

Branding for Business 101 with Sacha Brant of Brand Scrubbers

In a recent episode of A Little Marketing, we chatted with Sacha Brant, owner of Brand Scrubbers, about branding for businesses. Sacha spoke with us about what’s involved with branding and how to get started. Every business needs a brand. Your brand is the memorable impression you leave on customers and lets customers know what to expect from your company.

Sometimes it takes trial and error to establish a brand that works for your business. And that’s okay. Branding can be a learning curve.

Here’s what Sacha had to say:

Defining Branding with Sacha Brant

Sacha Brant from Brand Scrubbers talks branding as our guest on A Little Marketing. 

Sacha tells us that branding is about what you, as a business owner, like and what your customer likes. So, when she’s first working with a client, she asks them questions about their business and customer to learn as much as possible about what the brand should look like: “We gotta know about the customer. Who are they? Where are they? What are they looking for? What are they selling, and why are they selling it?”

The next thing Sacha does is ask the business owner, “What do you like?” So whether it’s specific colours, fonts, designs, and other factors. “Then we take the two groups and marry them together.”

Sacha says the reason that she takes the business owner’s interests into account when branding is because “You have to get excited about your brand. You have to be passionate about your brand. If you’re not, it will not go where you want it to go.”

So essentially, branding is the marriage between what the business represents and how the business owner wants its brand to look. 

Factors that Go into Branding

One of the first factors of branding is colour. “A lot of what colouring is, is an emotional response,” says Sacha. So for Sacha, colour is an integral part of branding, influencing how the business owner and customers feel about the brand.

Other factors include your business’s logo, message, tone, language, voice and name. Figuring out what direction you want to take all of these factors goes back to those original questions – such as who is your brand? What are you selling?

Sacha also mentions that branding is about a “vibe.” Sacha says, “People purchase things because of how it makes them feel…so when your branding plays upon that emotional impact piece, it’s opening the door for people a little faster because you’re making that connection just by the things that they’re seeing…this creates that feeling.” 

Your branding should create a particular feeling or vibe. 

“The more you can work [feeling] into your message, branding, look, and how you do everything, the better you’ll end up,” says Sacha. 

Rebranding

When starting a new business, you have to establish a brand. But even established businesses sometimes need to rebrand. Whether your brand isn’t performing how you want it to or your business has changed since initially branding, sometimes rebranding is necessary.

Regarding rebranding, here’s Sacha’s suggestion, “Even if you’re doing a complete overhaul, we recommend keeping some of those original pieces because we don’t want to cause a complete system shock to your customers.”

Sacha suggests returning to those original questions and answers about your business during the rebranding process and asking, “Is all of this still relevant? If not, what is it now? That will then shape what you change the brand into.”

Dive Deeper into Branding for Your Business

We’ve only scratched the surface. We’d be here for days if we wrote down all of the valuable information about Branding that Sacha shared on our podcast. So be sure to check out the full episode here. And don’t forget to subscribe!

Why Product Management is More Than Your Product

Product management is the process of developing and bringing a product to market. It involves overseeing the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception. From market research and product development to its launch and growth. 

Product managers are responsible for defining the features of a product. They must also understand customer needs and work with engineering, design, marketing, operations, and sales teams. However, when it comes to product management, the product is not the only thing that requires your attention.

Product Management Extends Beyond the Obvious

There’s no denying that product management means paying close attention to your product, but other nuances come with managing that product successfully. Many elements affect how your product will sell, including pricing, product quality, marketing, customer service, availability, and competition. 

Factors such as your target audience, location, and the seasonality of your product can also influence product sales. In this episode of A Little Marketing, Peter Vandenengel, VP of Broadband Solutions at SAGEMCOM, lets us in on how much of product management isn’t about the product and where we should take the time to direct our focus. 


Peter Vandenengel, a Product Management professional, walks Nikki and Mark through the importance of Product Management.  

Broadening Our Perspective on Product Management

Vandenengel states early on in the conversation that it’s essential to “Broaden your perspective on what’s being consumed,” and we couldn’t agree more. Products are no longer only products; he uses Starbucks as an example. 

Now more than ever, primarily with the onset of plenty of competition in every industry, companies must sell an experience. As Peter states, “you’re getting that same Starbucks experience,” no matter where you are. 

Product managers must consider what type of experience they’re putting out there. Because every customer touchpoint is a part of modern product management. Advertising will only solve selling issues if your product’s components are working.

When launching a new product or looking at a product that isn’t performing well, it’s imperative to talk to everybody, from branding and marketing to development and customer service. Discussions on the “front line” with sales team members will also provide valuable input. 

Product managers should keep themselves open to criticism and listen to what might be wrong with certain product features. More importantly, they should make the necessary changes. Essentially, successful product management involves teams company-wide. 

Peter understands the inside workings of large corporations and has plenty of knowledge in working as a consultant for small businesses. Small business owners must be flexible and agile, leaving room for evolution. 

Peter, Nikki and Mark discuss how there is always room to evolve your product to what consumers are asking for, but you have to go above and beyond to comprehend consumer pain points and understand what they want from you. As Peter states, “you may not develop the best widget, but you might have the best service.” 

Again, this concept takes us beyond focusing solely on the product and expanding past it into prompt service or customer service that’s easily accessed. We want to eliminate friction at all costs as it contributes to good product management. 

Three Key Takeaways

Peter offers three non-traditional takeaways that business owners and development and marketing teams should focus on regarding managing their products.

  1. If you’re running a business or selling a service, be curious and consistently ask questions. 
  2. Keep an open mind regarding the criticism of your product or service or your personality. Take in complaints and do your best to understand them. You will never be able to please everyone, but it never hurts to look at things from other perspectives, especially when selling goods and services.
  3. Flexibility is crucial when making adjustments in your business and thinking. Successful product managers are flexible, and they roll with change without getting (too) flustered. 

Remember that whatever you’re selling, you’re selling an experience. When we ensure that the path to the experience is as frictionless as possible, you have a winning formula for product management. 

Canva Benefits for Small Businesses

Canva is a fantastic graphic design tool for small businesses looking for a DIY design model for creating marketing materials. Canva allows users to create visual content for various purposes, such as social media posts, presentations, and posters. It provides users with several templates, design elements that customize to fit their needs, and various tools for editing and enhancing images. Canva is available online and as a mobile app, and it offers both a free version and a paid subscription plan with additional features and access to more content.

Why are businesses using Canva?

Businesses use this fantastic tool for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that it allows them to create professional-looking visual content quickly and easily without the need for specialized design skills or software. As a result, Canva can save businesses time and money and help them create more consistent and effective marketing materials. Additionally, Canva’s templates and design elements are customizable, so businesses can create tailored content for their brand aesthetic. Furthermore, Canva’s online platform and mobile app make it easy for teams to collaborate and work on design projects, which can be especially useful for businesses with remote or distributed teams.

What are some specific business applications?

Some specific business applications for Canva include creating marketing materials such as social media posts, ads, and email newsletters; designing presentations and infographics; creating branded documents and other collateral; and editing and enhancing product images. People can also use Canva to create visual content for websites, such as banner images, headers, and promotional materials like posters and flyers. Additionally, businesses can use Canva to create and print physical products, such as business cards, stickers, and marketing collateral.

What skills do you need to learn how to use this tool?

To learn to use Canva, you should understand basic graphic design principles, such as composition, colour theory, and typography. Additionally, it can be helpful to have a creative eye and an understanding of your business’s brand and aesthetic so that you can create designs that are effective and consistent with your brand. But this isn’t necessary, as Canva is accessible to people of all design skills. With practice, anyone can learn to use Canva to create professional-looking visual content.

Canva is generally easy to use. It has a user-friendly interface and provides users with various customizable templates and design elements to fit their needs. It also offers a variety of tools for editing and enhancing images, which are intuitive and straightforward to use. Additionally, Canva provides a range of tutorials and other resources to help users learn how to use the platform, so even if you are new to graphic design, you can quickly learn how to create professional-looking designs. Most people find Canva relatively easy to use, even without experience with graphic design.

Do I need to pay to use it?

Canva offers both a free version and a paid subscription plan. The free version includes access to a wide range of templates, design elements, tools, and the ability to create and share designs. However, the free version is ad-supported and has some limitations, such as a limited selection of images and templates and the inability to use certain features, such as the ability to save designs as PDFs or to upload custom fonts. 

The paid subscription plan, called Canva Pro, removes these limitations and gives users access to additional features and content, such as more templates and images, the ability to save designs as PDFs, and upload custom fonts. Canva Pro also includes access to additional design tools and features, such as advanced editing capabilities and the ability to create and share design templates within a team.

 

Why Isn’t My Business Showing up on Google Maps and Search?

We often get asked, “Why Isn’t My Business Showing up on Google Maps and Search?” To understand why you need to understand how that happens in the first place.

Google My Business, now known as Google Business Profile Manager, is a platform that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google, including on Google Search and Google Maps. With Google Business Profile Manager, location-based companies can create and manage a free business listing that appears when people search for their business on Google. The listing can include important information such as the business’s address, phone number, hours of operation, and more. Google Business Profile Manager also helps people track and respond to customer reviews and post updates and offers to engage with their customers.

So why isn’t my business showing up on Google Business Profile Manager?

There are a few reasons your business might not appear on Google Business Profile Manager. One possible explanation is that your business isn’t claimed on the platform. To appear on Google Business Profile Manager, you must first claim your business listing by verifying that you are the owner or authorized representative of the business.

To qualify for a Business Profile on Google, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours. Another possible reason is that your business might not be eligible to appear on Google Business Profile Manager. This platform is primarily for local businesses that serve customers at a specific location. Therefore, if your business is not local or has no physical location, it may not be eligible to appear on Google Business Profile Manager.

Finally, it’s also possible that your business is not appearing in search results because it needs to rank higher. For example, suppose your business is eligible to appear on Google Business Profile Manager but needs to show up in search results. You may need to optimize your business listing and improve your online presence to improve your platform visibility.

What’s the best way to get my business to appear on Google Maps and Search?

The best way to get your business to appear on Google Business Profile Manager is to claim and verify your business listing on the platform. Claiming your location involves providing information about your business, such as your business name, address, and phone number, and then verifying that you are the owner or authorized representative of the company. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Start now” to claim your business listing.
  2. Enter the name and address of your business, and select the correct business category from the drop-down menu.
  3. Choose whether you want to verify your business by phone or by mail. If you choose to verify by phone, you will receive a call from Google with a verification code that you will need to enter to complete the process. If you choose to verify by mail, Google will send a postcard with a verification code to the address you provided for your business.
  4. Once you have received your verification code, enter it on the Google Business Profile Manager website to claim your business listing.

Once you have claimed and verified your business listing on Google Business Profile Manager, you can manage your business information and respond to customer reviews on the platform. You can also use the platform to post updates and offers to engage with your customers and improve your visibility on Google.

What is the best way to optimize a Google listing for Maps and Search?

There are several ways to optimize your Google Business Profile listing to improve your visibility on the platform and attract more customers. Some of the best ways to do this include, after you claim your listing, are:

  1. Add detailed and accurate information about your business, including your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and services or products offered. Being detailed will help customers find your business and understand what you have to offer.
  2. Add high-quality photos of your business, products, or services. Visual content can help attract customers and give them a sense of what to expect when they visit your business.
  3. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile. Positive reviews can improve your visibility on the platform and help attract more customers.
  4. Use the platform to post updates and offers, such as promotions or events, to engage with your customers and improve your visibility on Google.

Follow these steps to optimize your Google Business Profile listing, attract more customers, and improve your online presence.

Does having a presence on other directories help me rank higher on Google Maps and Search?

Having a presence on other directories, such as Yelp or Bing Places, can help improve your Google Business Profile Manager ranking. Why? Because search engines, including Google, use information from various sources when determining a business’s ranking in search results. Having a presence on multiple directories can provide search engines with more information about your business, which can help improve your ranking on Google Business Profile Manager.

In addition, having a presence on other directories can help improve the visibility of your business to potential customers. Many people use directories, such as Yelp or Bing Places, to find businesses in their area, and having a presence on these platforms can help attract more customers to your business.

Overall, having a presence in other directories can improve your ranking on Google Business Profile Manager and increase the visibility of your business to potential customers.

What are some of the outcomes I can expect by claiming my business on Google Maps and Search?

You can expect several outcomes by claiming your business on Google Business Profile Manager. Some of the most significant benefits include the following:

  1. Improved visibility on Google. When you claim your business on Google Business Profile Manager, your business will appear in search results when people search for businesses like yours on Google. The result will be a complete online presence, more views of your listing and more customers who call, visit your website or have walk-in traffic.
  2. Accurate and up-to-date business information helps you get found more easily. By claiming your business on Google Business Profile Manager, you can ensure that the information about your business, such as your business name, address, and phone number, is accurate and up-to-date.
  3. Ability to respond to customer reviews. Google Business Profile Manager allows you to track and respond to customer reviews, which can help improve your reputation and attract more customers.
  4. The ability to post updates and offers. With Google Business Profile Manager, you can post updates and offers, such as promotions or events, to engage with your customers and improve your visibility on Google.

Overall, claiming your business on Google Business Profile Manager can help improve your visibility on Google, provide accurate and up-to-date business information, and allow you to engage with your customers in new ways.

So the next time you think, “Why Isn’t My Business Showing up on Google Maps and Search?” remember that you’ve come to the right place!

To learn more about Google My Business and how to optimize your listing for Google Search and Map so your location is found, read our complete guide.

Coworking for Small Businesses

One of the more interesting conversations we’ve had on A Little Marketing, our podcast with Blue Whale Communications’s Nikki Gillingham, was with Caterina Mazzone of Metspace. Metspace is a coworking business with locations in Montreal. During our conversation, we discussed the benefits of working in such an environment and, of course, the benefits.

Watch our episode to learn everything Caterina has to say!


Caterina Mazzone of Metspace discussed the benefits of working in a coworking space.

What is a coworking space?

A coworking space is a shared workspace where people from different companies and organizations can come together to work. These spaces often provide high-speed internet, printing services, conference rooms, and a community of like-minded professionals. Offices like these are becoming increasingly popular as a flexible, cost-effective alternative to traditional office spaces.

What kinds of businesses best fit a coworking space?

A shared office space can be a good fit for many businesses, including freelancers, startups, and small to medium-sized enterprises. However, coworking spaces generally are best suited for companies that value flexibility, collaboration, and cost-efficiency. Some examples of businesses that may be well-suited to working in a coworking space include digital marketing agencies, design firms, software development companies, and other businesses that can benefit from this environment.

What are the benefits of working in a shared office space for a small business owner?

There are many benefits of working at a shared office space for a small business owner. Some of the most significant benefits include the following:

  1. Cost savings: Renting space can be much more affordable than leasing a traditional office space. Valid especially for small business owners who may only need a little space.
  2. Flexibility: Most shared office spaces offer flexible lease options, which is helpful for businesses that need to scale up or down quickly.
  3. Collaboration: Coworking spaces allow for collaboration and networking with other professionals. Business owners can drive new business opportunities and valuable connections.
  4. Community: Many of these spaces have a strong sense of community and can provide a supportive and collaborative environment.
  5. Amenities: Coworking spaces often provide high-speed internet, printing services, and conference rooms. Access to these tools is excellent for small business owners who may not have these resources.
What are the networking benefits of working at a coworking space?

Working in a shared office space can provide many networking benefits. Some of the most significant benefits include the following:

  1. Access to a built-in community. Many coworking spaces have a strong sense of community and provide opportunities for members to connect and build relationships.
  2. Opportunities to learn from other professionals. Gain valuable insights into different industries and business models.
  3. Exposure to potential clients and partners. Coworking spaces often attract a diverse range of businesses, allowing small business owners to meet potential clients and partners.
  4. Access to a supportive and collaborative environment. Working in a shared office space can provide a supportive and collaborative environment to help small business owners thrive and grow their businesses.
Can my business be listed on Google Maps and Search if I work at a coworking space?

Your business can be listed on Google Maps and Search if you work at a coworking space. However, the specific requirements for being listed on Google Maps and Search may vary depending on the location of the coworking space and other factors. For example, the shared office space must be a permanent, physical location open to the public during regular business hours. The address must also be verifiable through a third-party source, such as a government agency or business directory. Therefore, checking with the coworking space and Google is essential to determine whether your business is eligible for listing on Google Maps and Search.

What is a “near me” search?

A “near me” search is a search query used to find information about businesses, services, or points of interest close to the person searching. This search type is often performed on search engines or mapping applications and can help find nearby restaurants, gas stations, or attractions. For example, if you were looking for a place to eat, you might search for “restaurants near me” to find a list of restaurants in your area.

What kinds of people use “near me” searches?

People use “near me” searches to look for a nearby business or service. Think of people looking for a specific business, such as a restaurant or a retail store. Or people looking for a product or service, such as a haircut or a car repair. 

“Near me” searches are often used by people on the go and looking for a convenient option. Or by people trying to find a business in an unfamiliar area. “Near me” searches are also commonly happening on mobile devices while they are on the go. They are using their mobile devices to search for businesses while out – 82% of mobile shoppers are using ‘Near Me’ searches

Why do small businesses need to optimize for “near me” searches?

Optimizing your small business for “near me” searches can help increase your visibility and attract more local customers. When people search for “near me” results, they look for options within a certain radius of their current location. 

A small business that optimizes for these types of searches to rank high in local search results. If not, it’s possible people won’t even be aware of the location in search results, which results in potential customers not being aware of its existence. Small businesses that optimize for “near me” searches can improve their discoverability for what they sell. “Near me” searches can help to drive more foot traffic to the business and ultimately increase its revenue.

How does a small business optimize for “near me” searches?

A small business should ensure its online presence is up-to-date and accurate. How so? A well-designed, easy-to-use website and correct and consistent business information across all directories and local listings help. You should also ensure that your address, phone number, and other contact information are prominent on your website and online listings. Also, high-quality photos and customer reviews can help improve a business’s visibility in “near me” searches.

More specifically, there are several steps that a small business can take to optimize for “near me” searches, including:

  1. Claim and verify the business’s listing on Google My Business. A Google listing ensures that the business’s name, address, and contact information are accurate and up to date on Google. 91% of searches in Canada take place on Google.
  2. Use local keywords in the business’s website content and meta tags. Search engines need context to understand the location and relevance of the business’s website for “near me” searches. For example, applied to a bakery in Seattle, it could use keywords like “Seattle bakery” and “fresh bread in Seattle” to attract local customers.
  3. Encourage customers to leave reviews on the business’s Google My Business listing. Positive reviews help improve the business’s visibility and ranking in search results.
  4. Use local keywords in the business’s social media posts and profiles. Doing so increases visibility on social media and improves chances of showing up in “near me” search results.
  5. Consider using paid advertising on search engines and social media platforms. Paid advertising drives traffic to your website and social media content. More traffic online often translates to more foot traffic to your business.
What kinds of businesses should optimize for “near me” searches?

Businesses with a physical location and rely on local foot traffic, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers, are typically well-suited to optimize for “near me” searches. These businesses can benefit from being easily accessible to potential customers looking for a nearby option. Optimizing for “near me” searches can increase your visibility to nearby customers and drive more foot traffic to your location.

Overall, optimizing for “near me” searches is about making it easy for local customers to find the business online and provide them with the information they need to make a decision. A small business can increase its visibility to local customers by following the steps above. Then, take this approach and drive more traffic to your website and location.

Review Marketing with Julia McLaughlin from Review Robin

In our podcast’s recent episode of A Little Marketing, we chatted with Julia McLaughlin, Co-Founder of Review Robin, about the benefits of Review Marketing.

For businesses, reputation is everything. While some of your business’s reputation comes down to word of mouth, most have to do with online reviews. For example, 94% of consumers say that a favourable review makes them more likely to choose a business. Because humans innately trust others’ experiences. So as a business owner, you must stay on top of reviews and find ways to generate positive customer reviews.

Managing online reviews benefits any business. Review management means reaching out and asking for reviews, as well as responding to feedback from customers. All of this helps to build social proof – something that is so important for attracting new customers.

And while many business owners may think that good or bad reviews come down to fate, that’s not necessarily true. There are tools available that you can use for review management. Using a review management tool is a part of a review marketing strategy. Incorporating reviews into your marketing strategy can be very impactful – especially for local businesses.

Online reviews help businesses build social proof by increasing trust and credibility. It also has many other excellent benefits, which we’ll get into throughout this article.

Our favourite tool for review marketing is Review Robin. Review Robin helps businesses get online reviews through semi- or fully- automated approaches. Incorporating this software into your strategy can help your business generate more reviews while also managing these reviews simultaneously.


Review Robin’s Julia McLaughlin discusses the importance of online reviews for small businesses.

Benefits of a Review Marketing Service

Here are some of the ways that a review marketing tool, such as Review Robin, can benefit your business, according to our guest expert Julia McLaughlin:

  • Reviews build trust and credibility with potential customers. “People take comfort in knowing that someone else has done it before them, had a positive experience with a business and are happy with that business,” says Julia.
  • Many good reviews will boost your local SEO – the more reviews, the better you’ll rank. Optimizing for local search is crucial for location-based businesses, giving them a competitive advantage.
  • Review Robin automates sending requests for reviews to customers (either through email or text message), which removes the burden off of you and your employees.
  • Review Robin allows unhappy customers to leave internal feedback, enabling you to handle negative reviews privately.
Review Marketing 101 with Julia: Five Takeaways

Here are five things that Julia shared with us about review marketing that we want to share with all of you:

1. Review Marketing Boosts Your Review Rating

“How would your life change if you could become the highest-rated company in your area? First, think of the marketing potential,” says Julia, “If you’re consistent and you keep asking all of your customers for reviews. You do have a chance to become the highest rated in your area potentially.” The more reviews you acquire, the higher your chance of having an excellent rating, giving you a leg up against your competition.

And because the software filters unhappy customers to internal feedback, you significantly decrease your chances of obtaining bad reviews when using review marketing software.

2. Using Reviews as Social Proof

The thing people trust the most is people like them, which is why reviews are so powerful. “One tip is to put reviews on your website on your contact page. It’s a great way to build that trust and add in that social proof element,” Julia says. Consider taking screengrabs of your best reviews to place them on your social media pages too!

3. Who Should Use a Review Marketing Service?

Julia says that anyone with a large number of customers should be using a review marketing service. “Any service-based business… plumbers, roofers…dentists, spas.” Also, any business that has access to their customer’s emails or phone numbers. You could certainly benefit from review marketing software if this sounds like you.

4. Local SEO

We all know how important local SEO is. Suppose you’re in a competitive business area. In that case, Google will suggest the business with the best-optimized listings and the best/most reviews, which is why reviews are so important for local SEO. “If you’re Googling ‘restaurants in my area’ and one has 500 or 1,000 reviews, and the others have 20 or 30, it’s a shoo-in. You’re going to use the business with more reviews,” Julia says.

5. Boost Productivity

“It’s a great way to boost productivity within your business,” says Julia. Why? Rather than having your receptionist (or even you) follow up with each customer and ask for reviews, Review Robin takes care of the nitty-gritty work for you. Because following up with every customer can be highly time-consuming and gruelling. Review marketing software makes this process much more efficient, so you can focus on what’s important – running your business.

Julia’s Top Three Reasons Why Businesses Should Use a Review Marketing Service

Julia’s top three reasons business owners should consider a review marketing service? “[Review Robin] saves time, builds trust and credibility with prospects, and builds social proof to round out your marketing strategy.”

And these are just a few of the many benefits of review marketing.

Incorporate Review Marketing into Your Business’ Marketing Strategy

Generating reviews for your business is essential. Good reviews help build social proof and credibility and bring significant traffic (and ultimately more revenue). And using review marketing software will help you better manage those reviews. With software such as Review Robin, you can generate more reviews and filter out the bad ones (ethically, of course) by dealing with unhappy customers privately.

So, if your business can benefit from review marketing and management software such as Review Robin, we can help. 10|20 Marketing can help you get set up with this specific review marketing software, helping you generate more reviews and taking the burden off of you. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about what this service can do for your business.

And if you want to learn more about Review Robin and what review marketing entails, check out the recent episode of our podcast with Julia here. And remember to subscribe while you’re listening, so you can catch up on the latest in marketing for small businesses.