HYPERLOCAL: Small Business Marketing Recap – May 2011
What a month for small business owners! Not only did “National Small Business Week” take place last week – but this month also held a wealth of changes for the local business marketers. Here’s WebServes’ recap of everything you need to know (and might’ve missed) from this month so far:
1. Bing Local Business Listings and a Free Mobile Site
Not only did Bing recently add the ability for local business owners to create a free mobile site, but also finally (and very quietly) added the ability to upload multiple business listings. Business owners and local search marketers have been waiting for this day and it has arrived. While it may not be robust as Google’s bulk upload tool, it’s a welcome addition to help manage your local marketing more effectively. Read more about Bing bulk upload from Matt McGee, small business search marketing guru.
2. Small businesses choosing Facebook and LinkedIn over Twitter!
A recent study by Vistaprint revealed that “of the 65% of micro businesses using social media, facebook continues to be the dominant platform at 50%, with Twitter registering at just over 2%.” While the WebServes marketing team is not surprised by this – it presents a great opportunity for small business owners to refine their Twitter strategy and dominate the space. Which bring us to our next great bit of information for you….
3. Five Ways to Use Twitter to Connect With Local Customers
Social Media Examiner (SME) put out a stellar post this month about how to connect with your local customer base via Twitter. How can we take advantage of this, you ask? Five easy steps according to SME. All you need to do is find local people…..
1. Using Tweets Near You
2. With Your City Name in Their Profile
3. With Twitter Advanced Search
4. Using Twitter Grader
5. Using Twellowhood
4. Local Search Association Inaugural Conference
Okay, so this one didn’t happen in May. But since WebServes didn’t get a chance to attend – we scoured the web so we could share our findings. In a nutshell, local search marketing professionals from all over the country met in Las Vegas to talk shop. Search Engine Land delivered a great summary of the 6 key takeaways from The Local Search Association’s Inaugural Conference. According to the article, they were:
1. “Social Media is the Natural Extension of The Local Search Experience”
2. “Mobile is the Next Frontier of Local Search” (See #5!)
3. “Daily Deals Show Promise, but Real Test Will be Repeat Business”
4. “Print Business Directories Continue to Provide Quality Leads”
5. “Demonstrating ROI Is Challenging, New Methods Are Emerging”
6. “Local Businesses Are Increasingly Looking For One Point Of Contact”
The first thing I’m going to say is you probably won’t be surprised if you skim this list. I strongly suggest you follow the link to read the full article and get up-to-speed. Secondly, I’m going to say that WebServes is officially buying a ticket for the “Mobile-is-the-next-frontier” train. Here’s why….
5. 95% of Mobile Searches Search Local Info
Think of every time you’re driving or pounding the pavement in your favorite city — and you have to find a Starbucks or get an oil change? Yeah, that’s local search at work. So Google’s study revealing that 95% of mobile searches have local intent is not so surprising. However, I think these details coming straight from the search giant’s mouth should help you understand the importance of your mobile presence (assuming you have one?). At the end of April, Google gave up the goods on the “Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users”. You should definitely take the time to read it over, but the key takeaway is: As a small business owner – you’ll need to make sure you have a mobile strategy in place.
6. ‘SEO Checklist for Local Small Business Websites’
Originally I’d planned on keeping this to a nice, short list of 5 entries… but this one was just too good. Rae Hoffman-Dolan (aka “Sugar Rae”) recently updated her checklist for small business SEO basics this month. She puts things into perspective and the article is a must-read for local businesses. It’s a tad long, but well worth the time as she goes through everything from local business listings to on-page factors such as meta description tags and external linking.
So with just a few days left in May, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see five (or six?) more scale-tipping releases. As always, WebServes will keep you posted and if you have questions or just want to talk shop – give us a ring. We can find a coffee shop that’s using local search and give them some well-deserved business.
Veronica Fox has been an Online Marketing Consultant for WebServes since 2009.