Many small, local business owners feel overwhelmed by the need to establish strong local SEO. Oddly enough, direct mail can give you a big boost in the right direction.
Direct mail postcards build name familiarity and pique interest.
When people receive your direct mail postcards, they will naturally want to check you out online to learn more about you. Making it easy to connect with you will encourage more of your prospects to follow up, so tell them on your postcards where to look. The fact that you can be found in multiple places builds credibility, but it’s best to direct people to key local search sites such as Google+.
Direct mail postcards reinforce branding.
The more places prospects see you, the more “real” your business becomes to them. Your postcard reminds them they just saw you listed in their online search results. Or when they find you online, they recall having just received your postcard. Then, when they drive by your shop, church, school or restaurant, they can “place” you physically, too
Powerful as postcards can be, you cannot rely solely on direct mail to build local SEO.
If you’re going to use postcards to encourage prospects to connect with you online, you have to be listed where they’re looking.
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Local searchers in particular use smartphones and tablets to find nearby businesses, often while they’re on the go.
- Local search sites can be almost as important as your website, when it comes to giving prospects basic information about your business – who you are, what you do, your location and hours. So fill out your profiles as thoroughly as you can, and add photos, to optimize your local SEO on Yahoo Local, Bing Places, YellowPages, Foursquare, etc.
- It is essential to verify your business listing on Google+, so you’ll show up properly on Google Maps and show up higher in search results. Accumulating Google+ reviews will further improve your standing in local search results, and if you get enough reviews, you could actually boost your position in Google Maps results — even if you aren’t located as close to the searcher as your competitors. Since some searchers tend to click on what they see first, that could give you a distinct advantage.
- Be very sure you’re using consistent details from one site to the next, otherwise search engines may see your listings as separate businesses. For instance, if your address is 123 Fourth Street, don’t use “123 4th Street” one place and “123 Fourth St.” somewhere else, even though – to you – each version imparts the same information.
- Reviews boost local SEO across the board, not just with Google, and of course they play a significant role in helping convert window-shoppers into online visitors. Reviews also back up claims you make on your postcards about why prospects should choose you over the competition. So make sure you’re listed on review sites such as UrbanSpoon, Yelp, Angie’s List, and so on. And quote reviews on your direct mail.
- It’s generally advisable to avoid trying to use every potential social media platform to market your business, because you don’t have time to adequately interact with followers everywhere. Nonetheless, at least having a presence on all the sites most relevant to your audience makes it easier to find and contact you. That could be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube or Flickr in addition to the local search and review sites already noted above.
Getting found is critical to grow your business, and that requires excellent local SEO. Direct mail puts your information right in the hands of your best prospects without them even having to search. That’s a personal introduction that gets your business found – and noticed — in a big way.