Why You Should Care About Local Search
  1. To Be Sure That All of Your Contact Information is Correct

Whether your guests are calling you for booking information or preparing for their vacation arrival, they are most likely going to search somewhere on the Internet for your contact information, including physical address and/or phone number. It is a best practice to ensure that all local directories and listings display the right information. This is especially important for businesses that have recently relocated, or have changed a phone number. Get started with checking your business listing on Google+ and Yelp.

  1. Claiming and Updating Local Listings can be FREE

You can have control over local listings and receive notifications when guests write reviews about your company for free. There are a number of free local listings that can be claimed and edited such as Google+ Local, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, and more. For local listings that require a fee to manage, submit changes to that profile as a regular user to update the information. The most that will be required with this method is creating an account, which in most cases has no cost associated with it.

  1. To Be Aware of What Guests Are Saying About You

Know what guests are sharing about your business whether the reviews are positive or negative. Local listing websites show in search results for branded keywords. Prevent potential guests from having a first impression of your business be a negative review that has not been responded to. Setup your claimed local listings to notify you when a review is posted so you can respond in a timely manner.

  1. Take Advantage of Local Search Opportunities

When a search user includes area keywords to narrow their business search, local business listings can show in results. If your local business listing is clicked on instead of your website in search results, here is a chance to lead them to your website. Make your local business listings an extension of your website by filling out all information fields including images, keywords, specialties, history, a business owner bio, and local business recommendations. A complete profile with correct information will display professionalism and can lead to phone calls and website visits. Fill out all of the available fields on local business listings.

  1. Consider How Social Media Affects Your Overall Credibility

So you’ve setup a Facebook Business page, claimed your Yelp listing, and verified your Google+ listing. You think you can sit back and relax…but not so fast! These accounts should be monitored daily for new commentary, reviews, or posts. Individuals need to have personal accounts to submit a post to any of these social media services, but once that is done, their freedom of speech is in action. It is very important to check the pages often and read what people have to say. We hope for great, positive feedback, but that is not always reality. If you do get some negative feedback, be sure to have a proper action plan to address it within a timely manner. Remember that anyone with an account has access to read these posts, so it is always best to acknowledge any reviews or comments that are posted.

  1. Use Your Blog to Enhance Your Site Visibility

When people are thinking about a purchase decision, their first step is to gather research. They turn to search engines for help and type in keywords to find results, and these keywords are sometimes brand related. If you have a blog, there is a very good chance that your blog will show in search results during the research process. Use this as an opportunity to get more visibility and perhaps convince a future guest to consider a vacation with your business. Allow the researcher to get your perspective while visiting your website, versus getting information from another source. If you don’t have a blog, read more about the new blog solution offered by Visual Data Systems!

  1. Use The Feedback (Both Good and Bad!) To Make Changes

In a perfect world, all of the comments and reviews posted about your company would get five stars. However, this is not realistic and it’s challenging to make everyone completely satisfied. Instead of getting emotional or angry about what others say, turn the feedback around and use it as a means to improve a customer’s experience. Maybe the concern about a constantly broken dishwasher is a sign that the homeowner needs to replace it. Or, on the flip side, perhaps the reservationist who spoke to a guest went above and beyond during a phone call and that person received praise in a review. Regardless of the focus of the review, remember to take it seriously and try to find ways to improve your business operations.

  1. Show Guests and Potential Guests You Care

When people see that your company responds to reviews, they understand that you take feedback seriously. Responding to reviews and providing updates on how a situation was resolved can begin the process of building trust with people who read those review responses. 

  1. Create Brand Advocates

There will always be potential for guests to post negative reviews, but for every review, you have the opportunity to build customer relationships. Aside from responding to a negative review and advising the past guest that the feedback will be reviewed, contact the guest and understand the root of their complaint. If your company has the resources, reach out to the guest privately and expand upon what will be done to rectify the issue or ask them what solution they are looking for. You might not be able to apply this response method to every review, but for those reviews where you can take it a step further, you have a shot at gaining a brand advocate. This guest might update their review and return after they understand the lengths you went to resolve their negative experience.

  1. Your Competition is Using Local Search

Search engines are always changing, and new algorithms are generated over 500 times per year. To take advantage of the search engine space, you must pay attention to your local search visibility. You have an opportunity to show within the local search results, as well as the organic results of a search engine results page. Don’t let your competition take over because you have not claimed and verified your listings yet. Once they are claimed and verified, be sure to keep them updated. Take every opportunity possible for your website to show and don’t lose out to your competition.

Find more information on how Visual Data Systems can help you with local search marketing, check out: http://www.vdsys.com/local-search-marketing.htm or get in touch with us today.