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Capture Sales with Local Online Marketing for Your Small Business

by Employee ‎08-17-2011 10:20 AM - edited ‎08-22-2011 10:10 AM

ws book.jpgGuest post from this week’s featured author Wendy Stevens, who wrote “Local Guerrilla Marketing” with Jay Conrad Levinson.  A powerful, dynamic speaker, and popular trainer, as well as a championship coach and mentor, follow Wendy @WendyStevens.

 

 

In the local online search game you cannot afford to be left behind, trailing your competition.  To get out in front of your potential and ideal customers and/or clients in the local search engine game begins foundationally, first and foremost with a “local search engine” profile of your business. 

 

Everyday people are searching online right there in their own hometown for – maybe, your exact business product or service. Every major search engine is actually rushing to become the next local phonebook.  With one billion local searches a month on Google alone there are a lot of fingers doing the walking and clicking online to find your business.

 

So now, is the time for you to get your business listed in online maps and directories and take advantage of the massive growing numbers of people using local search, to find business services and products of all kinds right there in the town your business is located in.  Statistics shows that about 69 percent of households use online search for products and services on a daily basis. 

 

Out of the one billion searches – local searches a month online – half of those are done on a mobile device.  The reason mobile matters so much is the ideal customer and/or client that is out there utilizing a local search is often times doing so, on their mobile device where maps and directories play such a vital and critical role in the selection process for the end consumer.  So the question really is how do local searches search in the first place? 

 

For instance, someone in Nashville seeking a chiropractor will type in “Nashville Chiropractor” or someone in Chicago will type in “Chicago Accountant.”

 

That’s the reality of search at the local level. We search by the city or town in which we are located. This behavior has driven search to be hyper-local.  So local geo-targeting means that search engines are utilizing local IP addresses and location to identify and serve up results based on the end users location.  There is a mad dash to be the next big player in the local directory game; search results are global, national, all around town, and just around the corner.

 

Test it out, go ahead and do an online search for “Contractor 37069.”  You may not have noticed it before but the first results displayed are local directory results complete with a map feature such as Google Places of Franklin, TN.  By clicking on one of the local listings, you’ll get all the information that’s available online.  It is almost like a mini webpage for that business.  This means that when your potential ideal customer and/or client searches for your local business they can easily find your business’ phone number, address and vital signs.

 

How do you create a local search profile for your business?

 

The search profile provides a valuable quality inbound link next to your site and is ranked individually in search engines which increases your overall brand presence.  Local search profiles are incredibly important as I mentioned because of the many searches done on a mobile device.  So when your potential customers are out and about using their Blackberry’s, Blueberries or their iPhones, most of them are looking for quick information like a phone number or an address as they are already out there mobiling around.  They’re looking for that last piece of information to execute that stop or that shop.  This means they don’t have the time to dig through your website to get your business information and if it doesn’t come up fast… this potential customer and/or client will probably go with one of your competitors who’s information was readily available. 

 

If you’re not listed locally you're missing out on potential customers that may be trying to access your business via a mobile device and ready to buy.  So, not having this local search presence means you’ll be missing out on providing your business’ services to these potential customers and/or clients. 

 

Below you’ll find some of my best tips for creating and developing local search profiles for your business: 

 

First and foremost, claim your listing by going to Google Places – it’s free!  This is a free service provided by Google which allows you to list your business on the web. Your business might already be listed but you can make your listing more dynamic by adding photos, videos, links and more.  You’ll also be able to see reviews that are being posted and keep your business’ information up to date including hours of operation, payment options and other details.  You never know what piece of information your potential customer and/or client might be looking for. 

 

Google will ask to verify the ownership of your business by either calling you at the number provided for your business or they will send a postcard with a verification pin to the business address you listed. 

 

Please don’t rush your submissions.  If your business has multiple locations, don’t submit them all at once because you could appear to be spamming search engines.  When listing multiple locations spread it out over a couple of weeks or months so search engines won’t classify you as a spammer. 

 

The bare minimum information requires your business’ full address, and zip code as many of us search by zip codes as well. Be sure to include a direct phone number including links to your main website.  This is all about niche marketing.  Does your hometown have a business association?  Use local specific search engines  like WickedLocal.com or yp.com, merchantcircle.com or, yp.com.  These are some of the popular local search engines and have unique audiences. The more places you can post your business with its local profile the greater audience you can position your business in front of directly right before they buy.

 

In case any of this feels overwhelming you can use services like, elance.com or odesk.com or perhaps hire a virtual assistant that can post the proper information for you.  Then it's ring, ring!

 

 

Note from editor:

The first 25 to post a comment below will get a copy of Wendy’s book courtesy of the Verizon small business team.  To get real-time insights from Wendy Stevens join our LIVE Twitter chat tomorrow (August 18) at 7 p.m. ET.  For more information on joining the chat click here.

Comments
by marksnewton on ‎08-17-2011 11:56 AM

Great job Verizon Small Business Team! This is a great book and I look forward to another copy as I have given away five copies in the last six months! Jay Conrad Levinson and Wendy Stevens present straight-forward sound advice for "getting on the map". We have employed several of these strategies and they work well for results. My only further encouragement would be to be sure and (1) know what you are seeking to improve or make happen; (2) set a campaign that is able to be both measured and adjusted; and, (3) measure and adjust before committing full resources. Applying the right tools and methods with consistent diligence pays off.

 

--

Thanks,

 

Mark S. Newton

Co-Founder, Operations Director

BigBadCollab, Inc.

http://BigBadCollab.com

 

mark@bigbadcollab.com

(682) 223-1485 (office)

 

Read details at www.steadfastcreative.com

//// Steadfast has merged with BigBadCollab ////

by RealTime on ‎08-17-2011 01:59 PM

Great job Wendy. You have hit the mark again. Your coaching background shows up in the way you give solid, measurable tips on how to grow sales. Keep it up!

 

Thanks,

 

Jim Rohr

954-614-0100

jimrohr@jimrohr.net

by mgim4bk on ‎08-17-2011 02:07 PM

Great job! The world is changing especially with more people outnumbering those who have internet access 2:1 ratio or greater. It is an opportune time for businesses to capture this market along with the vast internet market. Local Guerilla Marketing is already ahead of the game. My hats off to you!

 

William King

www.coachyoutosuccess.com/mgim4bk

williamking_jr@yahoo.com

by StuartJMac on ‎08-17-2011 04:26 PM

Thanks Verizon for this article, and thanks Wendy for the insights and clear way that you explain things.  During these difficult times, small and medium businesses need all the advantages they can get to keep people employed, and to keep the economy working.  Kudos for helping these people compete in a changing market!

 

Stuart and Denise MacPherson

613-458-5022

creatingewealth@gmail.com

www.creatingewealth.com

 

 

by RealWLBalance on ‎08-18-2011 06:35 AM

Another home run in the Guerrilla Marketing line of products and books.  It doesn't surprise us in the slightest that Verizon has implemented some of the strategies outlined in the book and they are already paying off.  Guerrilla Marketing works 100% of the Time!

 

Michael & Lori Lee

RealWorkLifeBalance.com

 

by VirginiaTreat on ‎08-18-2011 07:26 AM

This is some really wonderful information from Wendy Stevens. Guerrilla Marketing does work, the products and services offered are a valuable resource for local businesses.

 

Virginia Treat

208-866-0759

virginiatreat@yahoo.com

www.coachyoutosuccess.com/treat

by gcasagrande on ‎08-18-2011 07:41 AM

The original Guerilla Marketing book was amazing. Now with a local bent, superb. Thanks for the effort.

by jakejordan on ‎08-18-2011 01:03 PM

Wendy-

 

Spot on breakdown of the local market!

 

I'm surprised how many people still haven't even claimed their Google Places page. What a valuable assest

that Google has put in place to get on the map.

 

Here is an outstanding info-graphic I ran across showing the increasing focus of "on the go" marketing, that is 

absolutely white hot: http://bit.ly/grclDr    

 

Getting your listing on Google's Local radar has become so important. 

 

Thanks again for the truly relevant info...

 

(682) 223-1485 (office)

 

 

Jake Jordan

Relationship Manager

BigBadCollab, Inc.

http://www.bigbadcollab.com

 

jake@bigbadcollab.com

by ReginaFloyd on ‎08-20-2011 03:41 PM

Awesome job Wendy,

 

Just another demonstration of your incredible leadership.  I love how you provide quality information in this article that really allows the business owner to take their business to a whole new level. If a reader did nothing else but implement the Google Places tip you gave in the article, they are already on their way to improving their chance of being found online.

 

Regina Floyd

Local Online Marketing Solutions

http://www.localonlinemarketingsolutions.biz

regainfloyd@localonlinemarketingsolutions.biz

702 973-6120 (toll free)

by Amelia1 on ‎08-22-2011 05:05 AM

Great Information.... i can't wait to read the book!

by BaltimoreOnline on ‎09-20-2011 02:48 PM - last edited on ‎09-20-2011 03:00 PM by Moderator

Great Advice Wendy Stevens!

 

IT is Truly Amazing how many local businesses out there have Not taken advantage of their local google search profile and their listing on google maps and places.

 

If you google just about any type of Local business, be it swimming pool installation or commercial gate repair or your local dentist, lawyer or chiropractor, most of them have Not claimed their free local search profile from google and that represents over 30 Million businesses. That's right, OVER 30 Million local businesses.

 

What that means as a Local business owner, (if you have Not Claimed your local Search profile) is that any National Competitor can simply BUY their way onto the google Search "Result Page" for Your Businesses Niche, in Your Local town or City and APPEAR as if they are a Local Business TOO!

 

Don't let them steal your Local Business customers! Most folks still feel strongly about supporting their friends and neighbors who own Local businesses. They patronize them because that local business typically supports the local softball league or has a little league team of their own, or contributes to local charities, etc! That's why it's Insane not to Claim Your Local Search Profile!

Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU Wendy Stevens for taking the Time to point this critical info out!!

 

Darren P Hurley

 

{edited for privacy}

 

 

About Verizon's Small Business
Get news from Verizon about small business services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon small business group and other experts to help keep your business growing.

       


Contact the editor: vzsmallbiz@verizon.net

About the Authors

Mark W. Adams

Director: Verizon National Marketing

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Mark leads the way to bring innovative solutions to small businesses.


Mark Smith

Executive Director: Verizon Ventures

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Mark works with and identifies entrepreneurial companies for Verizon to invest in and fund.


Dan Keoppel

Executive Director: Verizon Ventures

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Dan works with and identifies entrepreneurial companies for Verizon to invest in and fund.


Paul Macchia

National Public Relations Manager

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Paul handles corporate communications for Verizon Wireless with a focus on enterprise and government sectors.



Ellen Yu

Sr. Manager: Media Relations

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Ellen provides PR support to Verizon's small business team, landlines and FiOS in apartment buildings and small and medium-sized commercial properties such as strip malls, and street-level shops and offices.


Kathy Johnson

Manager: SMB Product Marketing Messaging, Verizon Wireless

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Kathy manages the SMB product Marketing Messaging Strategy for the Business Solution Group. She also develops and manages various SMB marketing programs to support channel enablement.

Jarryd Gonzales

Sr. Manager: Media Relations

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Jarryd provides PR support to Verizon in CA and TX.


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