What is more important for your business: A shiny trophy for being number one on Google or an influx of new clients who want to purchase what your brand has to offer? It is well known that the number one position for a specific keyword gets 33% of the traffic on Google. With the battle between businesses’ for keywords being as difficult as it is, the focus on Google ranking needs to change from “How do I become number 1” to “What is number one”.
A quick Google search for anything shows that the top results all end up being local directories. Local directories, local review sites and local platforms are trending online as the first results in Google. What is the reason for this? Well, platforms such as Yelp! or TripAdvisor have more resources than any local business. This is great because your business just needs to get onto the platform’s bandwagon and ride on their backs for rankings! Integrating this strategy with your business needs is the primary focus of getting exposure for your brand online. Start by getting your brand onto these platforms.
Ranking on local directories is similar to ranking on Google. The more active you are, the more networks want to promote your business. Regular blog posts, a comments section for your customers and general content user’s appreciate are all ways of promoting activity for your brand’s online presence. The local directories care primarily about engagement, whether it’s an angry customer complaining online or a quick one sentence “We love this place”.
With all of this to consider, online review monitoring and responding to customers is of equal importance and part of the entire equation. All of the directories and any other review sites that your brand is listed should be monitored for any reviews left for your company. You should be responding to all reviews, both negative and positive. It is recommended that responses to negative reviews should occur within the first 48 hours and all positive reviews to respond within 5 days.
Always be professional when responding to comments and reviews, especially to the negative feedback you may receive. This is a great opportunity for your business to show other potential clients how you handle situations. Responding to positive reviews shows customers that you are engaged.
Instead of worrying so much about your website ranking, you should be focussed on your keyword ranking across all of your pages and your directories. Not to forget, but content is still important. Share your brand’s content on these platforms as well and optimise your company’s exposure.