As mentioned a few days ago, American Express is trying to popularize Saturday, November 26, 2011 as the day when people should go out and buy local, not online, and not from big brand stores. This is the 2nd year in a row they are promoting it and they call it "Small Business Saturday."
Those looking to support their local community will visit the stores they already know about. Other shoppers might make an extra effort to read their local newspaper or direct mail circulars and ValPak, Money Mailer, or similar ad mailers.
Smartphones are everywhere and we are already inside the mobile age. Mobile websites are a thing of "today" not "tomorrow." However, if you don't have one yet there are still many things you can do to beef up the chances of being found on Small Business Saturday.
The first thing you need to do is go in and refresh your Google Places account. Confirm your Google Maps pointer, address, phone number, and most of all, make sure to update your store hours and fill in the category fields. Make sure you upload a store photo as the first photo. As of this writing, the rest of the items in the Google Places account have been disabled from public view for a few months, although we still suggest you fill in your description.
The next thing we want you to do is jump on over to Google+ and create a personal account and then a Google+ Business Page. Google Places and Google+ Pages are two brothers that don't play well together... yet. Right now they are two completely different entities. The long business description in Google Places is disabled, but they just gave us the power of a much longer business description in Google+ Pages. Oh, and if you set up your G+ Page as a local business they will let you type in your phone number. The phone number establishes a connection to your Google Places page.
Google properties are nicely starting to merge together for your massive local SEO benefit.
Google also recently announced a refined mobile search algorithm that allows more accurate search results based on the location of the user's smartphone. Now more than before, the search queries have a better chance of triggering local search results based on geo-location targeting and your SEO efforts.
If someone local searches for "jewelry" on their phone, they should see a listing of your Google Places page with the photo, store hours, and the phone number that they can easily tap to call.
Local advertising on Google AdWords has also recently changed. Talk to your AdWords agent to find out how the Location Targeting feature has changed. They've made it easier to select local regions but removed the Polygon Tool which allowed you to target specific areas like shopping malls.
Another strategy to capture those local searches on Small Business Saturday is to include your store name, address, and phone number on every page of your website. We've seen better success when the jewelry store name and address are listed together in the footer than just having the jewelry store name or the address listed by itself. Also, it might seem trivial, but listing the store name and address as text (rather than as an image) on every page helps Google associate the content of that page to your local address.
Speaking of local advertising, we have to repeat the instructions we gave yesterday about Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. On Saturday, November 26 you should be posting to your Facebook Page from your store's computer, Tweeting from your smartphone when in the store or by using Hootsuite with their longitude/latitude feature, and sending out "public" updates on Google+ using your personal account from your smartphone.
If you feel adventurous and have the time you can also set up your Foursquare Check-In special and Foursquare Business Page.
So those are some basic recaps of steps to attract attention on Small Business Saturday; now let's run through a quick list of what you should be saying.
In our Holiday 2011 Run-Up Book, we gave you a list of 56 holiday related keyword phrases; look on page 44 for the full list. (Download it from http://www.facebook.com/JewelerWebsiteAG) Here's a list of the phrases that you should have on your web pages because they will be popular throughout the season:
Gifts for boyfriend
Gifts for Christmas
Gifts for dad
Gifts for husband
Gifts for men
Gifts for mom
Gifts for Moms
Gifts for wife
Gifts for women
We've covered a few random topics today as a refresher of how to attract your local audience. If you need more specific ideas or strategies please visit our http://www.jwag.biz website or contact us through Facebook, Twitter, reply email, or post directly to the jwag.biz website and we'll lead you to our previous educational articles.