People Fail At Competing In Local Markets Because Of This ONE REASON (and they choose to do it intentionally)
Privacy. People have become ultra sensitive to online privacy issues, even when it's to their advantage to be public.
Most people don't understand how some sharing features can help and what settings can be controlled. Granted, ultimately once the information is relinquished who knows what mischievious things can be done, right?
Well, I know from a marketing perspective that it's typically used to make what advertisements we see more relevant, which results in at least somewhat more interesting ads being shown to me.
But what if something simple like these 3 pro tips could bring in new customers...lots of new customers, without ever spending a dime on advertising?
Then aren't you using your now public information for your benefit?
If you want to win at local search marketing, leveraging your smart phone's features is a huge advantage.
Pro Tip #1: Set Your Smart Phone Location To "ON"
That's simple enough, right? This is how you leverage your phone's natural GPS features to a professional level.
Wether you're marketing for a business or you are the local business, setting your phone location will actively mark your GPS coordinates to everything you do.
That means every photo (and you should be taking pics daily at your business), every social post, every fitness tracking app...all of it is recording your location, with a time stamp thus verifying it with Google as fresh location specific content.
If that sounds horrific to you then consider getting a prepaid phone just for marketing your local business. Give it to your networking savvy employees to post and promote during down time.
You know the one that types with both thumbs like they're in a timelaps sequence.
Google's local search algorithm has severl ranking factors that key on GPS coordinates in the photo exif info and also the time stamp within the files themselves, your social post, the fitness apps that track steps, etc.
Photos are the easiest way to leverage geocoordinates. You can view how the photo information looks in Google photos or in most photo editors (-you can also alther the info in some photo editors. But it's a lot easier to set your phone location on).
Pro Tip #2: Become A Google Local Guide & Level Up
Google has an entire Local Guide merit system that relies on your GPS info from your phone to verify your food pics, reviews, questions and mapping updates.
What this does for you is exactly what Google designed it to do. It increases your authority and relevance in whatever area you post and share. The more you do, the more you increase your influence and credibility. What it does for Google is maintain a high level of quality, authenticity and participation for their mapping content for free.
I'm currently a level 7 Local Google Guide. You can tell what level a guide is at by the number of points the star badge shows. I'm more than halfway to the next level and will get there shortly because I've figured out how to level up efficiently.
Having a higher level has allowed me to make changes to my clients Google My Business accounts with faster approvals, and make direct mapping changes or additions almost instantly. For the businesses that I promote with my Google Local Guide account they recieve hundreds of thousands of views from my photos - one pizza restaurant in Pennsylvania got over 1.3 million views on just one of my photos.
From analyzing the 3000 photos I've posted, I have also learned a little bit about Google's algorithm that selects photos to show first. There's definitely some things to be aware of to get your photos the most views.
They've given you all the tools to beat your competion. All you have to do is participate, because most of your competitors either don't know it exist or don't know how to leverage the system to increase their Google Maps rankings.
Pro Tip #3: Use Your Google My Business (GMB) Like A Social Network
The Google Guide system ties directly into Google My Business (GMB). If you use GMB effectively, meaning like you would Facebook or any social network then you will soon be edging out your competition because more is better and actively fresh content wins over old static content.
All of those photos that you're snapping at the business location or around the neighborhood should get posted here with something unique and interesting about each photo, preferrably about the location so that the captions can have some local identifying words as well.
They don't have to be the town and state or county.
They can be local landmark names or geographical features like a lake, mountain, park or whatever that reinforces where the photo is taken.
Yes, some of these techniques are over the top, perhaps a bit intrusive and at the very least are tediously time consuming.
But if you want to know what the mass majority of people will miss or simply not do because it's too much trouble and takes too much time ...then this is it.
These 3 tips used effectively can put you ahead of your competition faster than any other technique (along with doing the basics). But a lot of people will fail at this because of privacy concerns or ignorance or laziness or whatever.
Everything you do...post, publish or share, needs to have a solid, verifiable location trail.
...from the file names to the gps coordinates of every photo needs to be laced with the relavnt target location, until your content drips with authenticity.
This works because Google designed this verification system to do exactly what we are trying to accomplish.
Verifiable authenticity & lots of fresh, engaging content is the key to competing locally on a high level in an extremely competitive niche.
The 3 tips should help you formulate an effective strategy that places your authenticated fresh content where it can go to work for you, and edge out your competition.