Do you even know what it is? If your business has any kind of localised customer or client base, then you really need to be attending to location based marketing services that will help your business get found quickly and easily.
Examples of the most widely used location based services here in New Zealand are Google Places, which helps to ensure your site/business shows up in localised search results – which will be consistently at or near the top of the results page, Facebook Places, and Foursquare, which is a location based social platform used by 15 million people around the world. In the US, you can also access Yelp and Gowalla, although Gowalla recently stopped offering the location based aspect of their service.
1. How to optimise for Google Places
You will have seen the local listings that show up in search when you look for a specific service or business in an area. Each of these listings pulls reviews and images from a Google Places page – which you have the opportunity to claim and manage, if you haven’t done so already.
Check out your Google Places page and ensure all the details it contains for your business are correct.
Ensure your full business name, exact street address, and correct phone number are included in your listing.
You will be required to verify any changes, either by a phone call from Google, or a postcard will be mailed to you. As soon as you receive the postcard or the (automated) phone call, record the PIN number you are given and enter it into your listing, which then activates your changes.
Encourage customers, friends and family to review your business, products or services on Google Places (they will need to sign in with a Google account, eg. Gmail to do so).
On your website:
- Ensure your address is in the footer of your website with postcode and area code and your phone number.
- Refer to your city in the text on your site where relevant, if possible
2. Get found and shared on Foursquare
Claim your business listing on Foursquare.com and make sure all your details are correct. If you have the kind of business that is a good match for Foursquare, with customers able to check-in whenever they visit, you might want to optimise and offer deals for a certain number of check-ins, or for the “Mayor” of your business.
If you run a site that has content talking about other businesses – for example a travel site that carries reviews and recommendations for places to eat, drink, stay and visit, then you might want to consider adding a “Save to Foursquare” button to your blog content, along with the other sharing icons.
When a Foursquare user saves something to their Foursquare To Do List, they will be alerted when they are in the vicinity of that business. Web publishers are starting to pick up this useful button , which means your customers will start to see it on a range of sites.
Find out more about what Foursquare has to offer, visit their merchant centre or have a chat to your account manager about how it could be incorporated into your online strategy.
3. Manage your Facebook Places
Facebook Places works in a similar way to Foursquare, enabling people to check in to a location using their mobile phones. For more information about how to claim and manage your Facebook Place, visit Facebook Help.
Extended Details about your business, along with a location map are shown in the Information tab on your Facebook business page.
Managing location based services is going to become increasingly important as more and more people search from their mobile phones. If you would like help optimising your site and business location, contact us for a chat about how we can help.