While the importance of local marketing is undisputable, it is equally important to realize you could be doing your company more harm than good if you use the wrong local marketing strategy. The following are three particular tactics you will want to avoid. They will drive customers from your business and create a permanent, bad reputation for your company that may be impossible to shake.
Buying Yelp Reviews
Lots of companies buy Yelp reviews, but that does not mean it is a good idea. Yelp is running sting operations to catch businesses that engage in this practice. If you get caught, Yelp will post a notice on your business page for three months, letting all customers and potential customers know you were caught trying to purchase positive reviews. Yelp, and its users take reviews very seriously. You should too.
Gaming Google Places Results
It may be tempting to post an old address to get a Google Places listing in a particular city, but doing so never works out well for your company. Potential customers will lose faith in you and Google will eventually catch on. This type of poor practice will create messy NAP issues. The cleanup work could be very detrimental to your business.
Working with the Wrong Local Marketing Company
Many small businesses gravitate to local search marketing companies that promise immediate, grandiose results. Such companies are dishonest and should be avoided. While working with a local search marketing company is a good idea and can enable you to get around to marketing tasks you are unable to handle on your own, no company can promise immediate, substantial results in a short frame of time. Online growth takes time and hard work; there is no way around it, and deals that seem "too good to be true" probably are. At RevLocal, we understand that proper local search strategy may take time, but it is completely worth it. Our strategy will ensure the health of your local listings for the long run.
Local search marketing, when done correctly, can help you gain more customers and create a greater brand awareness of who you are and what you have to offer. Just make sure you play by the rules, avoid underhand tactics, and have the patience and self-discipline to work hard and wait for the good results to come your way.