Businesses need brand loyalty because it ensures a customer base that sticks with their products and services regardless of competitor offerings or changes to the market. Unfortunately, brand loyalty is harder to achieve these days. A study by American Express found that 33% of Americans say they would consider switching companies after just one poor customer service experience. But why is this? Are today’s consumers less loyal or do they simply have more information and options at their disposal? It seems the answer is the latter. A quick Google search allows consumers to quickly compare prices, read reviews and make a choice about whether to buy online from a wide variety of stores or shop locally.
What can businesses do to build brand loyalty in today’s market conditions? In this article we discuss how businesses can use local business SEO to build their brand.
How to Build Brand Loyalty with Local SEO
There is no question that providing a great customer experience is an important way to build brand loyalty but there are so many options at consumers’ fingertips online these days that one positive experience isn’t going to be enough to build loyalty over the long-term. How can a business cut through the noise to create loyal customers? Simple. Build up your online presence and reputation in any place your potential customers will be searching for your product or service. Depending on your target audience, this could include LinkedIn, Yelp!, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. But no matter who you are targeting, everyone needs to build up their local business presence on Google. This is done in a few ways.
Steps to create your local business presence using Local SEO
- Google My Business (GMB): The first thing to do is fill out your Google My Business profile. Creating your GMB listing allows your business to become visible on Google search and maps. Fill your profile in with a comprehensive list of your products and services. Add your logo and any relevant, high-quality photos of your location and products. Your hours of operation and parking details are important too. Customers want to be able to find you and know whether you are open. A GMB profile is the foundation of creating a stable online presence.
- Local listings: Aside from the information that you enter directly into your Google My Business profile, Google uses local listings to help rank your business in local search results. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is correct and identical on a wide range of local listing sites like yellowpages.com. Another piece of information you will want to include wherever possible is your business hours and a link to your website for further information. If any of this information changes, it is extremely important to get it updated on directories immediately so your customers can depend on its accuracy.
- Encourage and manage reviews: Most customers check reviews before purchasing a product they haven’t bought before. A lot of 5-star reviews is the best way to increase sales because it builds trust that the product or service does what it says it will. Businesses can and should encourage reviews by reaching out to customers after they have purchased to ask about their experience and whether they would be willing to leave a review. The work doesn’t end there. Every review – whether positive or negative – should be responded to. Thank those who leave positive reviews and apologize and offer to help/fix the situation for any negative reviews. The follow up shows that you care about your customers’ experiences with your business and that you’re eager to make it right.
Seek the Help of a Local Business SEO Expert
Most small business owners do not know how to improve their search engine results rankings to drive traffic to their websites, let alone local traffic. The best thing to do is find an SEO expert who is knowledgeable about how to improve local business rankings who can help your business achieve its goals to increase sales, brand loyalty and online traffic.
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