Local SEO: 5 Tips for Local Business Owners

Nowadays, any business can (and should) have their own website.

With all of the resources out there, it’s easy to get a website up and running quickly.

That’s the easy part.

But how do you really get your website seen? Especially when you’re running a local business?

The answer lies in search engine optimization.

It’s a process of driving traffic to your website organically (unpaid) from the search engines.

For your local business, it’s highly beneficial to concentrate your resources on the local community.

Here are some useful tips to go local on SEO:

Use your location in your body text, keywords, and metatags

When creating a page in your website always includes your local location along with the type of business you are running.

For example “Bike Shop Los Angeles”. Google easily detects these keywords in their algorithms making your website visible on their search engine. Use the keywords strategically especially when creating blog posts and articles.

Register in local search engines

The big search engine is Google. Be sure to register your business in the local listings. Also be sure to do the same with Bing and Yahoo. They don’t have quite the same amount of traffic but it’s still valuable to do.

Local Directories

Yellow pages has an online version which serves as a directory for local businesses. Be sure to get listed there as well as the huge amount of other directories. Just search for your industry + directory.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and others are important in the search results. They’re also free to use and can help you build your brand. Be sure to fill out your information correctly in all of these places so get the most Google-juice possible.

Reviews and Testimonials

Ask your clients or customers to write something about their experience with your services or products. You can use popular review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Merchant Circle and more to get your business more popular online. These are increasingly important as people are looking online more than ever.

Bottom line – Do everything you can to make sure you’re getting the most out of the available resources to get found online. By doing just a little bit, you can see huge results!


Premier Home Repairs House Green Logo by Social Rocketship

Online: The competitive world of being contacted to be contracted!

Social Rocketship adds Premier Home Repairs Inc. as a new client in Woodinville, Washington.

Ever heard of Premier Home Repairs? Not yet, but you will!  Premier Home Repairs was like thousands of other businesses out there who have had no web exposure or presence.  They were feeling a squeeze in their lead flow and came to us, Social Rocketship, to lighten the economic grip.

First thing first!  “What’s your website look like?” we asked.

“We don’t have a site.” They replied.

Believe it or not this is STILL very typical in today’s market nationwide.   Seattle is a city ahead of the curve in many regards.  Boeing, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, for example, drive the market towards technology.  Most residents looking for work, especially home repairs, will find the information to make the right choice online.

{If a company isn’t online that company will miss countless opportunities.}

In the old days information would be gathered from the town square because that’s where the people were.  Today the internet is the town square.

In the past, Premier Home Repairs consciously tried to stay out of the technology scene.  What they were doing was working.  BUT, it was working less and less as more and more people chose the internet as their primary way to find information about home repairs.

“It was time to make a change,” said Derrin Watson, owner of Premier Home Repairs.  “We were tired of missing out on leads, and we were tired of giving a proposal and then never hearing from the homeowner again.”

This is actually quite common in the home repair industry.  A homeowner will ask for a bid on a selected project.  The contractor will provide a bid and leave the scene feeling like he has got a real shot at landing the job.  What happens next is a vicious cycle all contractors want to avoid.  The homeowner then looks online and there is no information about the contractor, or even worse, bad information.

Is the above mentioned cycle better then not getting the call in the first place?  You decide.  On one hand the contractor has no chance at EVER getting contacted because he’s not online.  No gas burned, no time invested, no money in or out of his pocket.

The second scenario is if a contractor got a lead (let’s say a referral from a friend) and left with a good feeling because of the word of mouth connection.  BUT, then as the homeowner does his own research, he sees another contractor, who also bid the project, with great reviews online everywhere!  In this hypothetical scenario the other contractor has 26 good reviews online, on sites such as Google places, Yelp, and Angie’s List.

Who gets the bid? Is it the word of MOUTH contractor or the word of MOUSE contractor? Think about it.  Which is better; the strong reference from a friend or the endorsement of an entire online community?  It’s 26 vs. 1!

Social Rocketship has now built a website for Premier Home Repairs.  This is the first part of our service.  As soon as the “home base” is established we built online profiles such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and more.  Then we set up a content marketing campaign for Premier Home Repairs.  Now they are off and running!

Never heard of Premier Home Repairs before?  Just wait, you will!

~Social Rocketship

How to Leverage Online Reviews into More Business

Recently, some friends of mine were buying a pre-owned minivan to accommodate their growing family. While they were still in the dealership, they looked online (on their smart phones) for an auto mechanic who does pre-owned inspections to make sure the car was in good condition.

After the mechanic completed his inspection, he thanked them for their business and asked how they heard about his shop. They said they went to his shop because he had the best reviews online. He looked puzzled and asked, “Reviews?”

He didn’t even know his business was being rated online! Fortunately for him he was getting good ratings. Imagine if the opposite were true.

Because of online review sites, like Yelp, businesses are now gaining or losing business and might not even know why. Online review sites are becoming one of the most powerful ways of finding new products and services for consumers. If you’re a business, it’s now time to learn how to navigate review sites and use them to grow.

It’s important to recognize online reviews for what they are – word of mouth! And we all know word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to generate more business. Everyone likes to see that a business helped “someone like them”. The places our peers visit and like will most likely be the places we like and visit.

Here are a few things to consider about review sites and managing your online reputation:

  • Yelp and other review sites offer a very public forum where your business will be talked about – be sure you’re representing your business in the best possible light. Be real. Be nice. People are smart and can spot a good business when they see one (the opposite is also true).
  • Review sites are powerful. Because it’s not an ad from the business itself but a review from peers, people are more inclined to believe what they read.
  • Some people are going to be your raving fans while others are never going to be pleased. Treat each review on an individual basis and always respond with grace.
  • Going online and writing a review about your business takes time. Be grateful for the attention and free advertising the reviewer is giving your business whether it’s a good review or bad.
  • Understand that people who review online are vocal people. Treat them with respect because you never know how big their audience might be.
  • Consider when to take things off the public forum. Maybe you’re willing to give the customer a total refund and that’s not something you normally do and you don’t want everyone else to see that. Ask them to contact you at your own email or personal phone number.
  • Keep your replies brief, positive, and humble – it goes a long way in online communication.
  • Make sure you claim your own business on the major review sites. This can lead to increased visibility and, of course, increased sales.

Steps to responding to a positive review:

  1. Introduce yourself as the owner of the business or one representing the business.
  2. Thank them for taking the time to post a review.
  3. That’s it! A simple thank you is usually good enough.
  4. You might consider inviting them to join you on your other online homes like your main website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and anywhere else that’s appropriate for your business. *Caution* be sure not to sound too pushy. You want your “Thank you” to be genuine and not a sales pitch.

Steps to responding to a negative review:

  1. Do not reply immediately. Possibly even sleep on it for a night. This gives you time breath, calm down, and think about the best solution for the situation without “emotional retaliation”.
  2. Think about the review. Was it legitimate? Be honest. If it was, then see this as an opportunity to better your business.
  3. Consider what you’re willing to do to relieve the situation. What can you do to make them feel better?
  4. Write your response. State your name and title and first thank them for taking the time to review your business. If you can tell it’s not a very legitimate review (like just someone having a bad day) this is all you need to do. Thank them and be done. If it is a legitimate review then…
  5. Apologize if needed and briefly explain what you’re willing to do to correct the situation.
  6. Thank them again.

In the end, how you respond to reviews is all about customer service. You get business through marketing and sales. You maintain and grow your business through amazing customer service.

So get online! Make sure you know what’s being said about your business. Interact with your customers. Thank everyone, provide amazing customer service, and watch your business skyrocket!