Marketing your location specific business in the digital world

Businesses that operate from a specific location can and should do more to ensure that they're available when potential customers are trying to find them - read on for my experiences while on a short break last weekend

Digital Marketing

Last weekend we were gifted with an extra day off for labour day in New South Wales. Like many others I jumped at the chance to get out of town for a couple of days and relax. We travelled to Palm Cove in Queensland and had a great time bumming around in the pools and beaches.

Why am I telling you this?

Not to make you envious but to show you why digital marketing of your business is so important.

When looking for somewhere to go out for dinner I turned to my trusty iPhone to find somewhere close by that looked good. Now the truth is I’ve been to Palm Cove a few times so I was surprised when more than one of the restaurants that I did know about didn’t come up. Why? Well simply no one in their business is paying attention to the fast moving world that is digital marketing.

Have a look at the screen shot from my phone here.


The blue dot is me :)

In Apple Maps you start typing ‘restaurants’ and it helpfully suggests the ‘Restaurants near me’ search and then displays all of the ones that it knows of (the red pins). I’ve deliberately taken this screenshot without restaurant names, while there are a number of venues listed there is at least two that I know of that are bigger restaurants that simply don’t show up.

Apple Maps pulls a lot of it’s data from Yelp. I’ve written about services like Yelp before, review those posts here. If the restaurant either does not have a listed in Yelp or the listing is not setup correctly it won’t be shown. How much business do they miss because of this – who knows – but it has to be significant. I’m not the first person to turn to their smartphone to find somewhere to eat.

It’s not just food options that are missing!

Fairly close to where we were staying there was a golf course, club and fitness centre. It’s tucked away in the northern end of Palm Cove but again from previous visits I knew it was there. Feeling like there was more alcohol and good food going in than there was exercise going out I was keen to visit the gym, again I tried to find the gym with my phone.

The two screenshots shown below, helpfully show me that there is a gym in Trinity Beach (about 15 minutes drive from Palm Cove) as well as another at Paradise Palms, again about 10 minutes drive away.

The gym that is just around the corner (I’m not kidding you, probably inside the blue dot – which is me again!) was not shown. For the same reasons the business has not gone to the trouble of getting itself listed in Apple Maps, I didn’t check Google Maps but it’s just as relevant to have your location based business listed there too.

digital-marketing-gyms digital-marketing-gym2

It’s impossible to be everywhere, right?

Well it is hard, gone are the days where the methods used by consumers to find a business were few (read Yellow Pages – remember the good old days?) – because of the multitude of options now a business has to work harder to get in front of potential customers. You may not be doing it but I can assure you that someone else is and they might well be your competitor.

It’s not all bad news though. Compared to the cost of a Yellow Pages ad getting a listing in Yelp will make you smile – it’s free.

How to get started

If you own or work for any business that operates out of a specific location ( think restaurant, cafe, gym, plumber, electrician, accountant {I’ll stop here – I’m sure you get the idea} ) get yourself listed in at least the main online tools that your customers use to find products and services.

Most of the sites listed here have a way of creating a business account and submitting your business to be listed. Start by searching for yourself, you may already be listed, if that is the case you’ll find that you can ‘claim’ the listing which means you’ll get access to edit it. Ensure that all the information is up to date and think about starting to interact with people’s comments and reviews (that’s another story for another blog post).

Start with these two:

If your business is a restaurant, hotel (or other accommodation) do some research on these:

Yes there are more places to be but these are a good start.

Get to work on making it easy for new customers to find you!

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