Laying the Foundation: Five Simple Steps to Build Your Digital Profile

by Melissa Burghardt, SVP of Media Products at YP

Deciding how to connect with the digital and mobile consumer can be challenging for business owners. Current advancements in digital media and data science have made it possible to tailor campaigns to ever more targeted consumer demographics. But these advancements come with a learning curve, particularly for businesses just getting started.

Earlier this week, in Miami, YPSM kicked off the Local Breakthrough Summit, a series of day-long educational events we’re hosting for local business owners across the country. One of the common themes among participants was the business owner who doubles as a DIY marketing department of one. Many wanted a few simple strategies they could put into place now with limited knowledge and resources for tapping the full extent of search and mobile platforms.  Search engine marketing can be one of the most effective tools for promoting a business today, and here are a few areas to tackle first.

  1. Optimize your website for local searches on the major search engines. Optimizing your page is the first step to making sure local consumers can find you.  Search engines are evolving their ad inventory and search results to be more responsive to consumer behavior and habits such as location, the device being used, and the user’s prior searches.
  2. Make it easy for consumers to take the next action after visiting your website. Confirm your contact information and maps to your business are visible and up-to-date.
  3. Ensure your website has a mobile version or that it’s made with a responsive design that works well on desktop and mobile devices. In local markets across the country, consumer adoption of digital and mobile technology is outpacing the way businesses use the same technologies to reach customers, and having a keyword rich, mobile-friendly site to support SEM efforts helps differentiate one business from the next.
  4. Engage your audience with videos. A few testimonial videos from satisfied customers can go a long way to capture attention and consideration, increasing the chance that consumers will progress through the sales funnel.
  5. Build brand awareness on social media. Start by using Facebook and Twitter to connect with consumers on a regular basis. And consider paid opportunities to serve targeted ads to potential customers in addition to engaging existing ones.

There are a number of ways for businesses to leverage search engines and digital media to connect with ever more targeted groups of local consumers. The options can be overwhelming for businesses just starting off in digital. By beginning with the basics listed above, these businesses can put themselves ahead of much of their local competition.

YP is proud to be a Yahoo Preferred Partner. Learn more about our search solutions here.