If you have a small business that serves a local market, you need the following 5 core marketing tools to be correctly setup in order to succeed: (note: 4 are free)
#5 – Yelp
biz.yelp.com – Yelp has done an incredible job getting many google rankings for local keyword phrases.
#4 – Facebook
facebook.com – While you don’t need to spend hours a day on Facebook, you do want your business listing on there. It’s a key citation (see below).
#3 – Citations / Express Update
www.expressupdate.com – This may be the only tool on the list that you haven’t heard of. One of the key ways to get Google rankings for local keywords is by having lots of citations. In this context a citation is a web page where your NAP (name address & phone number) are listed. Express Update is an syndication service that pushes your business info to dozen’s of online directories and helps build your citations.
#2 – GMB (Google My Business)
business.google.com – Easily the most important free web property you can have as a local business. Among free solutions, there’s no faster way to start showing up when people are searching for the services you offer.
#1 – Your website
A well optimized website will help you attract new prospects and convert more of them into actual customers. Most people will check your website first, no matter how they heard about you.
MVS, 80/20, and your internet marketing success
For each of these tools, you’ll want to look for the MVS (minimum viable solution). You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 principle. It basically states that 80% of your results will flow from 20% of your activities. The MVS represents that 20% of work required to get most of the benefits from each of the core 5 tools.
For all but the website, you can hit that MVS without any out-of-pocket expense. Note: You can build a website for free, however, in order to hit the MVS for that tool, you will need to spend at least a little money.
In the near future, I’ll the BVR (Business Visibility Review), which will be an audit of how well you are using these 5 tools. This will make it easy for you to bring them all up to that MVS level. If you’d like to be notified when I launch the BVR, shoot me an email and let me know.