1. Claim Your Listing On Google Business Listings and Google Maps
This is DC SEO, plain and simple. Google Business Listings are viewed by potential customers whenever they research your name/brand on Google. A complete listing shows a picture of you or your business/logo, location in the Washington, DC Metro area, business operating hours, address, phone number, and Google Reviews. Internet marketing in DC means showing up when local Washingtonians search for you.
Using Google Business Listings is an easy way to assure that you are sharing crucial details with anyone researching your business online. Another bonus is that the description underlying your Google Business Listing will help you be discovered for your services. For example, if you type “restaurants in Washington DC” into Google, a variety of restaurant listings are shown (see carousel below); the biggest detail here is that if you don’t have a Google Places Listing, you won’t appear in local results for this search.
The Google, Bing, and Yahoo basic Business Listings assure a degree of visibility on search engines.
2. Invest In Local SEO (as opposed to national SEO)
Local Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO) means many things to many people, but here is a basic internet marketing definition you can hang your hat on: “Local SEO” as compared to plain-ole “SEO” has the specific goal of helping your website get found by local customers (as opposed to national or otherwise non-regional ones). If you’re Ford, then it’s valuable if someone sees your brand every time the word “car” is put into Google, but a local car dealer is probably more interested when a potential customers types in “buy a car washington, dc” on Google.
Because your internet marketing goals are local to DC, your campaign would typically be more affordable than a national one. More importantly, the success of that internet marketing campaign is directly tied to your ability to receive traffic for keywords + localization (e.g. “accountant” is not as useful as “find an accountant fairfax, va” if you are in that area).
3. Improve Your Online Reviews
Over 70% of people will believe an online review even if they don’t know who left it; here is the evidence establishing their true importance: would you be disinterested in reading an online review before making a purchase? Do you read the product reviews on Amazon.com or double check the reviews of a restaurant before visiting? This is where online reputation management for local DC businesses comes into play, and it’s vital for your local business to appeal to new customers.
Who doesn’t use freely available information when making a purchase or important life decision? Washingtonians certainly do – Washington, DC is one of the most well-educated, well-read, and networked cities in the United States, and your internet marketing should reflect that.