When customers visit your business, online or in person, what devices are they using? Knowing this gives you the insight to know what matters to your business and what you need to monitor.

It is important to know what devices visitors to your website are using to ensure the site displays properly. See an earlier post on How to Test Your Website on Mobile Devices for details on that.   Also, check your Google Analytics settings to see what devices are already accessing your website:


In addition to knowing if your site displays on all these devices, it’s a strong suggestion (read: demand) that you check if people are rating, reviewing, and recommending your business on location-based apps. Check for your business on sites like Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Google Places, and any other rating and review sites.

Next, do a search for people replying to your business in Twitter.  You can see what apps they are using to post to Twitter.  Some apps may actually be different websites and computer software, while others will reveal what mobile systems a user has.

twitter app

Finally, ask your customers, visitors, and tech-savvy friends what devices they are using. It is important to know your target audience and existing client base to ensure your business is best represented online.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Google Place Pages have once again made some massive changes without making it clear to business owners what they can do to help their ratings. Since the YellowPages is quickly becoming outdated, and people are instead rapidly turning to searches either on their computers or mobile devices to find business contact information, it becomes important to be discovered in the dominant search engine. Google Places Updated The new emphasis in the most recent changes is on reviews, while eliminating citations. Citations are simply directory listings across the internet that were aggregated into your business’s Google Place Page. However, sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor were not thrilled with Google scraping the reviews and listings into the place page. As a business owner, whether brick and mortar or servicing a local region, it is important for you to claim your Place page and complete the information.  It is important to still be discovered on many directory listings across the internet, but it is unclear if Google will still factor these citations into the search ranking algorithm. It is still important that you encourage happy customers to review your business on Google especially, as well as also Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp, and a few others. In the meantime, I’m hoping Google can give business owners a bit more direction on best practices for Place pages (and hopeful that somehow this could integrate to Google Plus).

Want to learn more about what your business needs in Local SEO marketing? Learn here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why should you claim your business listing on Facebook Places, Google Places, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, or a number of other social media outposts?

Chances are high for business owners to already have a presence on these sites.  Often these outposts are generated by users or using directories.

There may already be reviews of your business on these sites, and while you can’t control how users interact here – you can monitor your engagement and create special offers.  In addition, you may find higher search rankings for your business.  This is especially true when claiming and completing your Google Places profile.

Get started by claiming your business on:

  1. Facebook Places
  2. Google Places
  3. Foursquare
  4. Gowalla
  5. Yelp

A great advantage with Google Places is for local business owners that service a particular region rather than having a physical store front can still participate.  Other geo-location social media services, such as the earlier ones mentioned, require a physical address to “check in”.  However, if your business office is not where business is conducted (such as housekeeping services), Google Places is service to focus on.

Now what?

Once you’ve claimed your business listings, the next step is knowing what to do on these services.  Ideally, you’ll learn which visitors are checking in and review your business.  You’ll need to review your visitors at least once per week.  Engage with them where appropriate – such as responding when visitors publish their check-in to Twitter or on your Facebook Places page.

How to promote your business listings:

Claiming your accounts is the first step in this process.  Interacting with existing visitors is second.  Finally, you want others to discover your profiles.  You can do a variety of things, such as:

  • Put a “Like us on Facebook” message or other services on your print materials
  • Hang a sign on the door with links to the services
  • Create an account on Snappd.it, use a QR code to list all your accounts
  • Talk to your in-person customers and share your appreciation if they’d review you

All elements of geo-location check-in services are a part of mobile marketing.  Visitors are pulling out their mobile phones to check in at your business.  Know what existing visitors are doing, create incentive for them to continue sharing, and engage them even after they leave your store.

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Mobile marketing is the hot topic right now, but few business owners really understand what it means for them. There are a few key areas to focus on.

  1. Is your website mobile ready?Have you tested it on a mobile device?  If you don’t have an iPhone, iPad, or other smart phone device – find one!  You might be surprised to check your Google Analytics or other website traffic and learn how many people are viewing your website on these devices.
  2. Have you claimed your business page on sites like Foursquare, Yelp, Google Places, etc.?Whether your customers have reviewed you on these sites already or not, these services may already have claimed your presence on these sites. By claiming your sites, you improve your search rankings and have some control over special offers and responses.
  3. Are you implementing SMS & MMS messaging?Email newsletters have an open rate of 22% on average.  SMS Marketing has about a 98% open rate, with more subscribers taking action.  Are you reaching your clients with offers and announcements relevant to them today?
  4. QR Codes are key to directing traffic in your sitePeople don’t remember or don’t have patience to type in long addresses into their mobile devices.  In addition, you want to direct people to take specific actions like see a specific page for mobile users, opt in to email or sms marketing, check in on your social media sites, and many other options.

Of course, there are many more options too.  See my Slideshare for more ideas.


[slideshare id=7900735&doc=ipadtemplate-110509165819-phpapp02]

Enhanced by Zemanta