Frequently Asked Questions
Pat Howlett FAQ Interview With Bob Walton on Local Search
Here are the answers to the most common questions we get about local search. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to Call Me right away. Your business is too important to put this off.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER SEO FIRMS?
All our staff & consultants are Certified in Advance SEO skills through an acredited Search Engine Academy. Also, what sets SEO for High Ranking apart from other SEO firms is our unique, and proprietary approach to assessing websites via Competitive Intelligence (CI). We don’t algorithm chase, which, contrary to popular belief, is not possible.
Using CI we conduct a thorough Site Review and provide a detailed Report which evaluates up to 100 competitors, analyzing the most important SEO factors as they relate to your website(s) in your unique industry competitive landscape. Our report provides us with a specific roadmap telling us what optimal values to target for each factor measured (not merely a summary of what everyone else is doing).
I DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE, CAN I STILL USE LOCAL SEARCH?
Yes. Google Maps and Mobile Search both understand when a searcher is looking for a local business, and they respond with the most relevant listings at the top of the page—even without a website. Now, it’s a really good thing to have a site. But you can still attract customers to your brick and mortar location without one.
I ALREADY HAVE A WEBSITE, WHY DO I NEED A LOCAL SEARCH LISTING?
Your website is a brochure, an information piece. Your local search listing is an active member of your sales team, attracting customers and helping them choose you and find you as quickly as possible.
GOOGLE MAPS IS FREE. CAN’T I JUST SUBMIT A LISTING AND BE DONE?
That seems simple enough, just send in a listing to Google Maps and that’s it, right?
*ANYONE can post a bad review of your service.
*Your entry can get “de-listed” for no apparent reason.
*Your competitors can take over your spot.
Setting up a local search listing is free, but that’s not the end of the job. You must monitor, update and enhance your listing on a regular basis, or you won’t be on top for long. You also need to educate yourself on all the new technology that changes almost daily. It’s a big job, but the rewards are worth it. (Of course, we’re happy to handle all that for you, if you prefer.)
MY BUSINESS IS ALREADY ON TOP OF GOOGLE MAPS. WHY SHOULD I WORRY?
You may be sitting pretty for now, but what happens when your competitors start using these strategies? It’s only a matter of time before they do. Your listing can disappear with no warning, and for no apparent reason.
How long will it take for you to figure out why suddenly there aren’t as many people walking through your door? A week? A month? Will you go out of business figuring it’s “just the economy”. Will you give up on local search thinking it doesn’t work, when all it would take is a tiny tweak to reactivate your income stream?
Regular monitoring and updating of your listing is the only way to be sure you stay on top. If you don’t have the time or interest to keep up with this chore, it makes sense to hire an expert.
WHY DO I NEED REVIEWS?
We live in the Recommendation Age now. And that means simply showing up in front of customers isn’t enough. Searchers want to see reviews from other people who’ve used your products or services in the past.
When bad reviews show up, you need to be aware of it as soon as possible (which is why we monitor all accounts weekly). You also need to have a plan to deal with it. We use an automated system for getting good reviews posted by your customers. Bad reviews are pushed down and replaced by recent, positive, real reviews. Which means more potential customers choose you over the other Google Map listings.
I DON’T HAVE TIME TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE CHANGES AND NEW TECHNOLOGY. CAN I REALLY AFFORD TO HIRE YOU ?
It’s a full-time job optimizing and monitoring your online advertising and reputation. In fact, many larger companies have started hiring people to do just that.
But we manage many accounts at the same time and price our services so that local businesses can experience the local search advantage and still remain competitive. The best part is local search is so powerful, it could wind up bringing you more customers than any of your other advertising. In fact, depending on what you sell, you could pay for the whole year with just one customer.
WHAT ABOUT INTERNET YELLOW PAGES? AREN’T THEY JUST AS GOOD?
No. With these services, your customer still has to click to the site, and flip through lots of listings to find you.
But when you search, your eye naturally goes to the top of the page, and the local search listings are the first thing you see. With so many great alternatives listed there—complete with reviews, and photos and more—why should you look any further? You won’t. And neither will your customers. The human brain will choose the best listing in a matter of seconds.
WHY DO I NEED TO DO THIS NOW?
It’s easy to blame the economy, politicians or other uncontrollable forces for your lack of customers. But in reality, your customers are still there. You just have to get in front of them when they’re looking for you.
Businesses have already started to figure this out, and local search is getting more and more competitive. Soon, it will become much more difficult to land that top spot and keep it.
And the ones who get there first have the advantage. If you stake your claim on local search right now, you’ll have a head start over your competitors. By using an expert to optimize and enhance your listing, you’ll have the keywords, the photos, the reviews and the positioning to claim your rightful place at the top. And you’ll have constant monitoring to make sure you stay there.
If you put it off, thinking you can always try this next month or next year—you could fall so far behind, you might never catch up.
YES, BUT MY BUSINESS IS DIFFERENT
It really doesn’t matter what your business is, what you sell, or what services you offer. What matters is your customers. You have to be first in their minds when they need you.
*When do they need you? Whenever they do an online or cell phone search.
*How do you get first in their mind? Show up at the top of the results page.
*How do you make them choose you? By giving them instant directions, phone numbers, hours and reviews—right at their fingertips.
The dirty little secret is many businesses still shell out big bucks for the Yellow Pages because they don’t know what else to do. Or worse, because they’ve just always done it that way.
But now you know better. Stop doing “what’s always been done.” The world of marketing has changed forever. If you don’t keep up with the times, your competition will roll right over you. And you may not survive.
Adding local search advertising to your marketing plan is an extremely inexpensive way to reliably drive customers through your door.