Geofencing: Four Creative Uses To Build Awareness and Drive Traffic

Geofencing is a highly effective way to target your ideal customers the moment they’re primed for responding to an ad from your business when done right. For example, traditionally you may put a geofence around a competitor’s location, and send ads to people who enter the area letting them know your products or services are currently discounted.

Thanks to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, however, many businesses have changed their business model and many consumers are now shopping online as opposed to in-store. So how can small business owners still take advantage of geofencing, a location-based targeting tactic? Here are a couple of ways to keep it functioning as an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Expand Your Location Parameter

Curbside pick-up, long lines outside of stores, and drive-thrus are becoming increasingly popular as this pandemic continues. Because of this, it’s important to expand your geofencing parameter to a larger area in order to incorporate those consumers. Of course, you’ll want to double-check that the locations you’re targeting are still open, or what their current hours are so that you’re not targeting locations without an audience present.

Build Awareness About Amenities

Whether it’s a city park, a stadium, a hospital, or a shopping center – instead of driving traffic to your location from a competitor, you can use geofencing to alert consumers already on or near your site to available amenities. This can include food services, public restrooms, taxi pick-up; a number of services consumers still require, but that are more difficult to locate these days.

Strengthen Your Current Strategy

By adapting your strategy to include a larger parameter, or targeting more people for brand or amenity awareness, you naturally bring a larger audience into your range. Now is a good time to review the audience layers of your strategy and tighten them up to ensure you’re only attracting the most ideal customers to your business. This will help increase your conversion rate.

Keep Your Content Fresh

When driving traffic to your website through geofencing during COVID-19, ensure you’re updating your web and social media content regularly. You want to make sure the potential customers you are attracting have the most accurate information possible, understand what you are doing in terms of COVID protocols, and know how to purchase from you safely. Stale content will result in a potential loss of conversions.

If geofencing is part of your strategy, or you want to incorporate it, but aren’t sure of the best way to do so during the pandemic, send us a message. We’re always happy to help and set you up with a strategy for success. 

Small Business Tips: Optimize Your Online Presence To Prepare For The Second Wave

Whether you’re looking for foot traffic or website traffic, ensuring your online presence is up-to-par will help your small business as we enter the second wave of COVID-19 in Canada. Up-to-date and easily findable information goes a long way towards consumers building confidence in your business.

If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to review three main pieces of your online presence to ensure the information is accurate:

  1. Your website
  2. Your Google My Business listing
  3. And your social media accounts. 

Whether you own a car dealership, coffee shop, dry cleaners, restaurant, clinic, sports venue or any other small business, here’s what you need to do to gain an edge during these challenging times for small business owners. 

Your Website

For those customers that already know you, one of the first places they’re likely to go to get information about your small business is your website. Update your essential business information, including your hours, how you are operating, whether or not your physical location is currently open, and other critical elements. 

You may also want to include a couple of FAQs about what you are doing to ensure everyone’s safety during the pandemic (staff and customers alike). It would help if you also took this opportunity to answer any other questions you’ve been consistently receiving over the past six months.

For example, if you own a restaurant, make it clear if you’re open for in-house dining or take-out only. For hair salons or spas, include any protocols clients must follow (wait outside and call when you arrive, wear a mask inside, and other directives.) Knowing what to expect upon arrival will help put your clients at ease and reduce any confusion.

Your Google My Business Listing

It’s vital that your Google My Business listing is optimized and up-to-date with accurate information so that you’re more likely to be prioritized by Google in their search results. Doing so will also help potential new clients instantly get the answers to everything they need to know before visiting your business or clicking through to your website.

Updating your Google My Business listing includes:

  • Having an accurate phone number
  • Including your website address (to an updated website)
  • Providing the address to your physical location, if applicable
  • Updating your attributes (take-out, curbside pick-up, delivery)
  • Updating your hours
  • Answering all questions people leave for you – especially those related to COVID-19 protocols
  • Repurposing your website FAQs in the Questions & Answers section
  • Responding to all reviews

Creating confidence in your small business leads to trust and action. When your listing is up-to-date, and consumers can find answers to their questions there, they’re more likely to follow through with a visit to your store or make a purchase online. 

When you consider that 80% of all local searches convert to a sale or action, it’s clear how important it is to have your small business ready to properly intercept local and “near me” searches. 

Your Social Media Accounts

Similar to your website, any current clients may turn to social media to quickly check whether you’re open, what your hours are, and if there’s anything they need to know about how you’re operating during COVID-19.

On the other hand, 54% of people on social media use it to research products – so you can bet they’re also using it to search for and support local businesses. With hashtags and location tags, plus searchable name fields, it’s easy to search for and find small businesses on platforms like Instagram. With both current and potential clients turning to social media for information, it’s essential you keep these accounts up-to-date as well. 

Here’s how to share that information:

Posts 

Communicate your updated hours (due to the pandemic, or even just the changing season), COVID-19 protocols, or new operational practices (i.e., take-out only) through a static post on your feed. Use a graphic that clearly says “New Hours”, instead of an image, to make it easy to find. On Facebook, you can pin a post to the top of your business page.

Stories 

More and more people are watching Instagram Stories instead of (or in addition to) scrolling through their feed. With the ever-changing algorithm only showing your content to 10% of followers, it’s vital to share your information in stories to reach as many people as possible. You can do this with a graphic (dimensions should be 9:16) or by filming yourself directly in the app giving the updates. 

Because stories disappear after 24 hours, you can do this as a weekly reminder – not only does this ensure your business information gets found easily, but it also gives you a content idea for at least one day of the week.

Profile

All social media platforms have a profile of some sort. On Facebook, your business page has spots to fill out your hours, physical address, phone number, website, list services, and a business description. Make sure all of these are filled out and up-to-date. On Instagram, you have a much shorter ‘bio’ field to fill out. 

Your handle (@username) and the name field are both searchable, so include keywords here like your location, industry, or business name, and be sure to include a link to your up-to-date website. 

Need Help?

If you’re not sure how to set-up or optimize your online presence, send us a message, we’re always happy to help get you on the right track. Business is hard, especially this year, so let’s make sure you’re set-up for the most success possible. 

Four Top Marketing Tips for Realtors in 2020

We’ve pulled together our top four tips for realtors to ensure you have a successful, well-rounded online marketing strategy.

Why? Because the marketing landscape in real estate has changed dramatically in the past ten years or so. Door knocking and print advertisements aren’t quite a thing of the past, but as more and more people – your target demographic among them – move online, it’s important your marketing strategy does, too.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #1: A Landing Page

Nothing you do online matters if you don’t have a strong landing page. A landing page is a single webpage that opens when a person clicks a link that appears in your content. This content could be an ad, a social media platform, newsletter, or any other content part of your strategy.

Once they’ve shown interest in your services by clicking the link, the landing page should then clearly direct them to take further action:

  • Schedule a viewing.
  • Book an initial meeting with you.
  • Sign up for your market insights.
  • Or another act that you decide. 

The landing page not only gives those interested a way to contact you but also allows you to collect email addresses. Doing so will enable you to contact them directly with targeted emails.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #2: A Solid Organic Social Media Strategy

Because of its visual nature, social media is one of the best performing marketing channels for realtors. Social media, as a whole, encompasses several platforms. You can choose one or two that you enjoy most to focus on and use to drive traffic to your landing page.

Why is it essential to enjoy the platforms you choose? Because social media relies heavily on personality and brand connection. That’s why it’s so important to show up consistently and build relationships with your audience. Only posting occasionally won’t do the trick.

Some tips for a successful organic social media strategy include:

● Optimizing your bio or profile can make it very clear who you work with and how you help them. For example, do you specialize in assisting people in purchasing investment properties? Or working with first-time homebuyers?

● Be consistent posting to your feed, appearing on Instagram Stories, sharing video to your youtube channel, or doing whatever it is you choose to focus on.

● Show up with purpose. Of course, you’ll want to share the homes you have for sale, but don’t forget to share value for those who may be planning for the future. Market Insights, buying and selling tips, and neighbourhood stories are all ideas that share value and build trust with your prospective clients.

● Use high-quality images. Whether you’re posting a single static post, a carousel (multiple images on one post), a 360 photo, or Instant Experiences (Facebook’s new ad format), it’s important your images are professional and draw in your audience.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #3: An Ads Strategy

Instead of posting organically to your feed, you can create an ad within Facebook that appears on Facebook and Instagram. In particular, Carousel Ads have a high click-through rate, and you can either target new audiences or retarget those who have been to your website before for much cheaper – pennies a day. To do this, you’ll need to add a Facebook Pixel to your website to track visitors.

You can also set up a Google AdWords strategy to improve your chances of appearing in search results when someone searches for specific keywords related to your niche.

Top Marketing Tip for Realtors #4: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing will help you appear in more Google searches and drive more traffic to your website or landing page. A properly set-up listing makes it easier for future clients to call you, find your office, visit your website, and share your location with others.

10|20 Marketing can help you set up your Google My Business listing and make sure it’s working for you. We will ensure that people find your listing by making sure that your contact information is readily available. Our team can also help you with your review strategy or make sure there are valuable content and images that teach your audience about your business.

If you have questions about Google My Business or other aspects of your online marketing strategy, send us a message and let’s chat. We’re always happy to help.

How Your Car Dealership Can Take Advantage of Google My Business

If you’re looking for a way to get more foot traffic into your car dealership, look no further than Google My Business. Google My Business is a powerful tool that can help raise awareness, drive website visitors and ultimately increase foot traffic to your car dealership. The goal? To help you find new leads and increase sales.

What is Google My Business?

Not to be confused with Google+, Google My Business is one of several listing sites – and probably the internet’s most important. A listing site is a directory where your business can appear. When the listing is correctly set up and managed, the people who actively search for a car dealership near them will be able to quickly find your business. A proper set up in Google My Business makes it easier for potential buyers to discover you and:

  • call your car dealership
  • get directions
  • click through to your website to browse the inventory
  • or share your location with others.

Google My Business is often the first point of contact people have with your business. This makes the platform even more important than your website in some ways. Why? Because Google My Business can become an online hub for your business location. The platform will feature all of your pertinent business information, reviews, posts and updates, events, offers, products and photos.

Also, when you take advantage of all that Google My Business has to offer, Google will understand your car dealership more and be able to point even more qualified shoppers your way.

How Can Google My Business Help My Car Dealership?

No matter how established – or new! – your dealership and its online presence is, there is an opportunity to increase your visibility and the number of interactions potential customers take with your dealership.

Still unsure of how important it is to have your dealership listed on Google My Business? The eight key metrics we track will indicate improved awareness and increased interactions. The metrics we track will show numbers steadily increasing when your Google My Business listing is active and optimized. They are:

  • Total Views:Total number of times your Google My Business (GMB) listing is presented in a given month.
  • Total Actions:Total number of times people clicked through to call, map your dealership’s address, or visit your website from your GMB listing.
  • Action Rate:Total actions/total views. The action rate shows the percentage of people who acted on your business information to learn more about your dealership (for example, called your location).
  • Map Views: The number of times your local listing appeared in the Google maps results following a query.
  • Search Views:The number of times your local listing appeared in search results following a query.
  • Calls:The number of calls made to your dealership initiated from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Directions:The number of times someone mapped your address from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Website Visits:The number of times someone visited your website after clicking from your listing on desktop or mobile.

Of these eight, the two most important metrics we track for our clients are views and total actions. We recently worked with a local dealership with three locations (and therefore separate listings for all three). One of these was brand new, opening just before working with us. Take a look at the trend report below for those two metrics after working with us to optimize the listing at this location (i.e., manage information, reviews, and post to the listing twice weekly):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This car dealership had impressive, business-changing results with all three locations, not just their newest one. For one of the dealerships, our service helped improve views and actions by 88% and 61%, respectively, after ten months of working with us. Results like these represent a lot of new leads – and car sales!

What Happens If A Car Dealership Doesn’t Optimize Their Google My Business Listing?

Every error in your dealership’s information across the internet reduces your chances of appearing in results when potential customers search online.

Without having an active and optimized Google My Business listing, each day you miss out on:

  • Increased awareness of your business (eyes on your listing)
  • Additional awareness by appearing in Google Maps
  • Phone calls to your dealership
  • Website visits
  • Easy directions to your dealership for potential customers right from their current location (key for attracting those who are spending an afternoon browsing dealerships)

In addition, Google My Business helps validate your business, which has an impact on SEO, and makes your dealership more ‘findable’ overall.

Remember the days when you needed a plumber, and you went right to the Yellow Pages Book under P for ‘Plumber’? No plumber in town would intentionally not have their business listed there, and Google My Business is today’s digital version of the Yellow Pages. You can’t afford not to appear there when people are searching for your business.

Not using or not optimizing your Google My Business listing is a missed opportunity.

What You Get For Your Car Dealership When You Work With 10|20 Marketing

When you work with us, you get more than just a quick review to ensure your listing is set-up correctly. We will:

  • Claim business listings online
  • Manage how locations appear across the internet
  • Fix errors in listings that are costing businesses sales
  • List locations on new engines, review sites, social networks and maps
  • Improve search engine optimization
  • Monitor customer reviews and ratings
  • Drive more customers to your client’s locations

If you have questions about how your car dealership can start taking advantage of a Google My Business listing right away, and start seeing more foot traffic on site, send us a message and let’s chat. Want more info on the process and results you can expect as a car dealership? Write us and we’ll happily send you our case study.

Small Business Owners: Use This Pandemic To Build Your Online Foundation

Calling all small business owners, particularly those with retail locations.

Our world has changed significantly over the last two months. With lockdowns in place, people have been stuck at home and/or afraid to venture out. With that in mind, getting food, clothes and other household items — essential or not — has often come down to an online order.

But what if you’re a small business owner who has a retail location that isn’t open right now? Or, even more importantly, what if your store is about to open but you expect traffic to be slow once restrictions are lifted? If this sounds like you, it’s time to ensure that you have a solid online foundation in place so you’ll be good and ready to service your clients. And some of this may require some flexibility on your part.

Google Thinks for Small Business Owners

Before we get into how to build your online foundation, consider these numbers as published by Google Think earlier today:

  • 60% of Canadians used search to see “what is open or closed near me” in April.
  • In late March, global search volume for curbside pickup grew 70% in one week (e.g., ‘curbside pickup near me’, ‘what is curbside pickup’).
  • According to Ipsos research between April 16-19, over 25% of consumers said they tried a new brand or product due to unavailability of their regular brand.

What does this tell us? People are looking for businesses like yours and you need to be prepared to intercept that search, particularly on a local level. But how?

Three Ways Small Business Owners Can Use This Pandemic To Build An Online Foundation

1. Ensure your listings are claimed and consistent – and then optimized

The first thing you can do – and likely the least expensive – is to go to key directories, including Google My Business, and claim your location. Once they’re claimed, spend time on Google My Business specifically to optimize this listing as their directory appears on the search engine that accounts for over 70% of all Canadian searches. As Google My Business now acts as a social network too, we recommend regularly updating your listing with content. Feeding content directly into Google My Business ensures that Google understands who you are, what you do and who you help – and you don’t have to wait from their crawlers to come to your website, as you can feed content directly within their engine. There are three areas where you can concentrate to optimize this listing:

  • Google Posts + Photos: Update your listing with content and photos twice a week. Highlight your products, specials, environment and then take advantage of the text areas to describe what you’re showing in as much detail as possible. The more detail, the more meat you provide to Google to associate to your listing and the more likely your business will be presented.
  • Questions & Answers: Google helps people ask businesses questions via their listing that the business owner can go and answer. But did you know that you can also ask the questions? This allows you to create an entire FAQ right into Google. Again, this helps you put keywords right into Google and get your listing discovered.
  • Review Solicitation: Businesses that do not have a 4-star rating or higher lose sales as people seek the opinion of others before deciding on who to work with. Ask your best customers to review your business to gain social currency with those who discover your listing.

When you claim your local listings and optimize them in this way, you’ll end up with more views of your listing, which leads to more foot traffic to your location and online traffic to your website. In a post-lockdown retail space, you’ll want to increase both in any way possible.

2. Increase your online presence through social media

Keeping your customers informed means being on the networks where they’re highly present. This could mean Google, of course, but also Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest or elsewhere. While each of these platforms may require unique approaches, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to double up your content efforts. The same pictures and posts you use on Google can also be posted to these other networks. Sure, go ahead and change up the copy or play up to the individual network’s strength, but by all means use the media you’re using. When you post to Instagram, put all relevant hashtags. Live content works really well on Facebook. Videos on LinkedIn. You get the gist.

Evaluate your abilities and comfort zone and choose the networks where your best customers are that also play to your strengths. That’s where the win is. Hitting these channels will help you increase awareness of your business and also allow others to magnify your content through the built-in sharing tools within each of the networks. The more shares, likes and comments you get, the more people your message will reach. Just develop compelling content or great specials or anything to help your business get noticed and watch your word-of-mouth grow.

3. Push forward with an e-commerce platform

When this lockdown started and retailers were forced to close, our partner at Red Dream Studios helped one of their clients get up and running with an e-commerce platform within that first weekend. First there was a soft launch for this clothing retailer promoted through the store’s email list, and over time more products were added. The online store may have saved this retailer’s business, generating revenue for the business when the store itself otherwise would’ve been empty.

Getting set up with an online store doesn’t have be expensive. Nor does it have to be complicated. If you have an existing clientele that you can easily communicate with, offering them a new way to buy from you could be all they need to spend money. “Not able to leave the house? Don’t! Buy my goods online.” And the easier you make order fulfillment, the easier it will be for clients to sing your praises and spread word of mouth about your extraordinary goods and services.

Don’t just survive, thrive

Remember, folks. This pandemic will not last forever. What may last a long time, though, is how people behave once the lockdowns are lifted. How quickly will Canadians feel comfortable crowding into shopping spaces? It may take a good long while. Use these tips to help you prepare and survive. Start with the easy and inexpensive and move on to the more involved investments of time and money. Who knows, it just may be the answer to help you not only survive this lockdown, but also thrive once restrictions are lifted.

Looking for more tips on how to weather the storm? Read our other pandemic-related content:

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash.

What is geofencing and how to use it to reach consumers through digital display advertising. 

It seems a little bit wrong to be writing about geofencing when nobody is supposed to be running around or going out. This being said, when we think about a post-coronavirus world, business owners are going to want to have every advantage working for them. And one of them can be having the ability to reach desired audiences easily, effectively and with measurable results. 

What exactly is geofencing and what it can do for local businesses

Geofencing technology uses GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a display ad when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. By setting up precise virtual fences around strategic locations (like your competitors or other locations where your ideal clients frequent) , business owners can benefit from building a custom audience and advertise their positioning, an offer or products directly to this audience. This allows for the elimination of many wasted impressions and dollars spent advertising to people that will never shop at their location.

How geofencing works

It’s actually quite cool. Refer to the infographic to get your bearings. 

  1. Someone enters a targeted geofenced zone. (Competitors, a specific neighbourhood, etc..)

  2. Our technology identifies them as a potential prospect

  3. An algorithm targets the best profile people with your ads

  4. Technology tracks if they walk into your store within 30 days


So what is a “targeted geofenced zone”?

This could be many things depending on what your business is, who you cater to, your price point, where you’re located and other factors. Imagine you run a high-end restaurant, your targeted geofenced zones could include:

  • Other restaurants in the same category as yours
  • Restaurants that match your price point but don’t specialize in the same menu as you
  • Stores and retailers that cater to the same clientele that match your ideal clientele
  • Office buildings in your neighbourhood

What if you run a neighbourhood store? Well, your targeted geofenced zones may include:

  • Other stores in your neighbourhood
  • Office buildings in your neighbourhood
  • Competitors near you 
  • Competitors outside of your neighbourhood

When you decide to move forward with a geofencing campaign, it’s important to map out your strategy beforehand so you can identify these zones in advance and develop ads that speak to the people you’re trying to reach. 

Why is geofencing an excellent form of advertising to consider?

Geofencing campaigns are an excellent way to reach people and provide advertisers with concrete metrics they can’t get with other forms of advertising. 

Print ads? Print is in decline and the metrics are imprecise. Billboards? How do you know for sure a precise number of people that are driving by and absorbing the ad on the board? Radio advertising? There is no precise way of knowing who is focussed on the ads or if the listener changes the station. TV spots? Again, channel surfing, DVR technology and on-demand content make it impossible to know exactly how big an audience you’re reaching. 

With geofencing, you get the benefit of real metrics that prove a real return on investment. How so? When someone enters a target zone, they become tagged. This automatically creates a test group and a control group to be compared. One group will see the ad, while the other does not. But because both groups are tagged, it is known when an individual walks into your location whether they’ve seen the ad or not. 

This gives you two conversion rates (with your location being the “conversion zone”). The first is the natural conversion rate, which is the percentage of the people who enter your location without seeing an ad. The second is the campaign conversion rate, which is the percentage of people who enter your location after being exposed to your ad. We can then compare the two rates and understand how the ads have impacted conversion. All these metrics are available to advertisers and they’re much more precise than the numbers you would get from the other forms of advertising mentioned earlier. 

Calculating ROI

Building on this, the business owner can then work out exactly what the camping return on investment is. All they would need to know is the following:

  • The number of people who enter their location because of the ad, which would be provided on a regular basis by the provider
  • The percentage of people they’re able to convert to sale once they’re at the location
  • The average sale in dollars

So your formula will look like this:

(Number of walk-ins * conversion rate) * average sale = ROI

Using an actual example, let say a very good restaurant converts 90% of everyone who enters the shop to a sale and the average sale is $130. That formula would be:

(50 * 90%)* $130 = $5,850 

In a typical campaign, the business owner would pay about $100 for about 10,000 impressions. In the example above with real numbers, that business owner is paying for 50K impressions, so his real return is $5,850 – $500 = $5,350. Not bad for a monthly campaign. 

Where to go from here

10|20 Marketing is now running geofencing campaigns. This kind of advertising is an excellent companion to our Local Listings Management package as they are both measurable from a foot traffic generation perspective. When the time is right, if you would like more information about our process, successes and other opportunities, just reach out for a free small business marketing consultation

In the meanwhile, you may be interested in two posts we’ve written about getting through this health crisis:

In addition, we’ve recently launched a series to spotlight hard-working business owners we know. If you’d like to be featured, please email mark@10-twenty.com with the subject line: “Spotlight Series Request” and we’ll be happy to accommodate you.

A Salute To Small Business Owners Everywhere

Every day of the week, we deal with small business owners. Hardworking people who own shops, service centres, spas, salons, professional services firms, dealerships, clinics, restaurants, and supply stores. October is Small Business Month and we want to salute small business owners across the country.

Today, we salute the small business owner who couldn’t figure out why people couldn’t find his business only to discover that Google didn’t have his address pinned to his location. His location was in the right place, but his address wasn’t. Problem solved.

We also salute establishments that were the target of a negative online review campaign by none other than the Hells Angels.

Let’s hear it for restaurant owners who take the time to update their menus online and potentially save themselves from delivering orders that they’re getting all wrong.

Also, we salute business owners who get why it’s so vital to claim and maintain their listings across multiple online directories. We appreciate those who understand why encouraging, monitoring and responding to online reviews can make a real impact on their business. And here’s to those who totally get the point of optimizing for “near me” searches.

You work your tails off every day doing what you do best. Whether that means fixing a broken machine. Making the best muffins. Staying on top of the latest styles. Helping someone see better. Bringing warmth to your customers’ homes. Nurturing somebody’s health. Helping clients see something in numbers that they can’t see. Slipping the perfect, most comfortable shoe onto an elderly woman’s foot. Or simply stopping, talking and really getting to know your customer, you deserve recognition and praise for everything you do.

So raise a glass to a small business owner you know and thank them for doing what they do. Because nobody can do it better than they do.

Happy Small Business Month!

Say Hi To The Local Search Association’s Website And You’ll Understand Why Optimizing Your Location Online Is So Important

The Local Search Association offers a wealth of resources for retailers, small business owners and local business operators. Their mandate is to help bring clarity to the value and importance of local online marketing optimization. While reviewing the Infographics section of their website, we found some data points that stand out.

Let’s review them.

Local Search Association Statistics

Most Helpful Sources For Finding Local Business Info

Digital channels are the most helpful for finding local business information, lead by search engines. Search engines are even more important than the company website, which highlights the critical importance of optimizing your Google My Business account (GMB). A big part of GMB optimization includes ensuring that ratings and reviews are added to the listing and responded to by business owners.

Doing so helps Google decide how often to present your listing and, more importantly, they help consumers decide whether to visit your location or not.

Local Marketing Reaches Undecideds

4 in 5 consumers using search engines to find local information. 63% of local search queries made by people who are undecided on a provider or retailer. So you can begin to see why it’s so important to be optimized. Try these other statistics on for size too: Local Searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day, and address and location are the primary pieces of information sought by local searchers.

Put all these numbers together and it’s clear why Google My Business, Bing Local and other services such as Yelp and Foursquare are so important for your local marketing. Mapping technologies such as Apple Maps, TomTom and others also help you get found easily, while serving to provide additional SEO benefits to GMB.

Ask For A Local Review

The above statistic is fantastic and what you should take away from it is simple. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Reviews actively play an essential role in consumer behaviour and are used as the tiebreaker for where to shop and what to buy.

BirdEye is an online reputation tool that helps small business owners generate positive online reviews. They cites that 92% of customers read online reviews, and 68% trust a local business more if it has positive reviews. So if 68% percent of the people you ask for reviews will give you one, and you ask people who think positively of you, you’re more likely to convert someone who searches for local solutions like you offer to a sale.

Conclusion

We’ve often cited this one last statistic, also from the Local Search Association, in our marketing materials.

According to a study conducted by the Local Search Association, about $10.3 billion worth of potential annual sales are lost because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local business information.

Think of the power of that statement. And then think of the power of being optimized to intercept searches from your business listing. The business potential is unlimited.

Full disclosure: 10|20 Marketing is a BirdEye believer. We resell their platform to our clients and have seen them enjoy tremendous success generating new reviews on their directory listings when they use this platform.

Why The Apple Watch Is An Important Location Marketing Consideration for Small Business Owners

The new Apple Watch Series 4 was released last week, and now that we’ve been able to play around with it, we see some incredible potential for it within the location marketing world. As a result, small business owners should be aware of some of the more obvious reasons to keep tabs on the Apple Watch – and some that are more obscure.

3 Obvious Location Marketing Apple Watch Uses

Connectedness

Let’s start with the obvious reasons and why they’re essential to the small business owner. First, it’s important to note that the Apple Watch, since the Series 3 iteration released last year, is available in an LTE version. LTE functionality allows users to stay connected via data and phone services to people and their apps. As a result, iPhone apps are now available on your wrist, for the most part, even when you leave home without a phone.

Online Directories and Reviews

Apps such as Maps, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Booking Now and other vital directories become even more crucial. At the turn of their wrist, your customers can now find you, read reviews about your location and decide whether or not your business is worthy of theirs. As a result, having a strong directory presence and review building strategy becomes even more critical to small business owners.

Apple Pay

Another way that Apple Watch can impact small businesses is through payments. Apple’s Wallet app is available on the watch, making it easy for customers to pay you. All it takes is a tap of the watch your terminal and, just like that, you’ve received your payment. This makes having a console that is optimized for tap and Apple Pay even more important than ever. For some consumers, knowing that you keep up with technology is a key reason for them to visit your business location. As of February of this year, it was reported that over 127 million people worldwide are using Apple Pay. And that number is only going up.

2 More Obscure Location Marketing Apple Watch Uses

Geofencing + Business Alerts

Geofencing is the use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. As a result, you can push an alert or coupon to Apple Watch users who are close to your business. With the haptic feedback from the watch “tapping” the wearer on the wrist, people will be aware of your alert sooner because they will feel it – and not discover it waiting on their phone when it’s too late because it was sitting in a purse.

Running Your Small Business

Time to look at the other side of the coin as well. While the Apple Watch can help you attract people to your business, it can also help you become a more efficient business owner. There are several apps designed to help you run your business and keep you on task. From CRM apps to ones for accounting and invoicing, or note-taking applications to reminders and to-dos, the Apple Watch can help you focus on what you do best and service the people who do come through your doors – all thanks to the navigation apps on their wrist.

As a small business owner, what’s important is being aware of the potential of this watch. It’s not that you’re expected to do all these things, but trying even one of the tactics may be the one thing to get on the radar of your potential customers. And that might very well be enough to turn someone’s indifference for your business into a real difference for your business.

Building Online Reviews Are Worth The Effort. But Don’t Take Our Word For It.

Meeting with clients every day, we get to see their frustrations with online strategies, promises of improved SEO and solutions that have come, been paid for and gone. We talk about SEO – and the corner of it that we operate in – as a series of small improvements that add up to make a big impact.

What we’re seeing now, with the adoption of online review building solutions now a stable of our offering, is that a steady stream of reviews can have a significant impact on getting discovered and generating conversions to sales. Building online reviews does have seen success, but don’t take our word for it. We’ve been reading quite a bit and have found some really great articles around the web that point out the reasons why.

We encourage you to have a look at these and join us back here in the comments for a discussion about building online reviews.

• Reviews are the Most Prominent Local SEO Ranking Factor in 2017
Search Engine Journal, November 13, 2017

A business with a significant number of reviews on its Google My Business page can rank relatively well in local packs. However, it’s not just the number of reviews that matter. Even more important than quantity of reviews is what’s being said in those reviews. Google My Business pages with reviews that mention a keyword, and/or the name of a city, were found to have higher rankings in Google’s local pack. (Read more)

• The Impact of Online Reviews on Businesses
BrightLocal, March 15, 2017

Key ‘Takeaways’ From This Post

  • Consumers are likely to spend 31% more on products/services from businesses that have excellent reviews.
  • 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • A negative review can drive away approximately 22% of customers
    (Read more)

• How Online Reviews Impact Local SEO and Why They Matter to Your Bottom Line
Shopify, February 7, 2018

Typically, by the time someone has started looking at review websites (like reviews on your product pages or Facebook, Epinions, Angie’s List, or elsewhere), they’ve already figured out what they need and how a business might ideally fulfill that need. The critical thing to note is that the mental gap between reading a review and making a decision is ridiculously small — and customers typically decide yes or no almost immediately. So, as a small business, your online reputation can directly influence your bottom line. (Read more)

• Why Online Reputation Management Is Like Brushing Your Teeth
Entrepreneur, December 17, 2015

Think about why you brush your teeth. You don’t do it because your teeth are brown and dirty. You do it preventatively. It’s a habit that’s good for you because it impacts your long-term health and the look of your smile. Now think what would happen if you waited until your teeth were gross before you decided to start brushing. Your teeth might fall out. You’d probably get gum disease. Your smile would be tarnished and discolored. It might be too late to fix everything and, at the very least, you’d have a lot of ground to make up. Brushing your teeth is an insurance policy against all those negative outcomes. Online reputation management (ORM) works the same way. Many folks realize how important their online presence is only once they have a problem — a nasty negative, an ex’s rant, a sketchy forum that sticks out like a sore thumb, etc. We fix these results, but it can take months and months, or even years. And that can be a hard pill to swallow. (Read more)

• Why you always need to get online reviews?
BirdEye

You could have hundreds of reviews and a high average star rating, but if your most recent review is from a year ago, for all a customer knows you could be a completely different business by now. How do they know that your current staff is as friendly and knowledgeable as last year’s? How can they be sure your product quality hasn’t declined over time? If customers haven’t been reviewing your business lately, who have they been reviewing instead? (Read more)

These are just a handful of articles about the importance of building online reviews that are available online. It’s a topic we’re always happy to discuss too.