Even for local, neighborhood businesses, an online presence is critical for new customers to find you. More than 97% of customers use the internet to find local businesses. This number has been growing steadily since smartphones have become more available and mainstream. Positive reviews make 73% of customers trust a local business more than no reviews. Yelp also reports that every one star increase in your business’ Yelp rating means 5-9% increase in revenue. If your business is not online you’re missing potential reviews that can help your business thrive.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- Claim your pages. Search for your business on Yelp, Google Places, and Facebook. If it’s listed, claim the page (there will be a button saying “Claim this page” or “Is this your business”). Then update your hours and correct any information about what you offer. Once your page is claimed, this process takes about 10 minutes.
- Monitor your reviews. Set a reminder for a schedule that works for you. At least once per month, read your reviews and respond to them. Studies show that customers have more trust in a business where reviews receive a response. You can even do this weekly or daily if you prefer.
- Respond to reviews appropriately. Respond to negative reviews with positivity and understanding, even when you don’t agree with the review. Customers don’t want to see an online argument, and they tend to respond positively to businesses that are gracious.
- Add photos. Customers are more likely to visit a business with photos than with no photos. Even adding one or two per month can have a big impact.
We can help!
Main Street Launch has created Shop Oakland Now and Shop Chinatown, online directories of small businesses. The goal of these directories is to help local small businesses become more findable online. Your directory listing can serve as a landing page, and we make updates for business owner each week, upon request. This allows you to have an online presence without building a managing an entire website, and can help enhance your website traffic by having your business listed in more than one place.
Through these directories we offer small business owners free photos and written content about your business. Our staff can also work with you to claim your pages, respond to reviews, and add photos to your online listings. All of these services are always at no cost to business owners.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business’ online presence at no cost to you.