• Posted on August 17, 2010

Adding Your Scotland Based Local Business To AOL

Here in Scotland we need to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. We have focused in the past on the local search services of the major three search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Bing, but what about AOL?

While it might now be a minnow in the search wars, AOL still has a presence here in the UK, and its local business search service still draws 4-5 million searches each month. That is still a sizable amount of traffic and for local businesses, represents an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. AOL delivers their general search through aol.co.uk – however, my focus today is on their local search vehicle – Touch Local.

According to AOL, Touch Local is the “UK’s fastest growing online business finder”. If that’s the case, your business should be listed, and it’s not hard to do. Touch Local offers two forms of listing, free and paid. Their free service offers the basic information that can be found on other local search services; that is, name, address and telephone. You can also add business, product and service information.

Their paid service – called Touch LeadFinder – offers more although some of the features are already available for free with the major search engine local directories. For example, a link to your web page is only available through the paid listing. AOL will promote your listing on the other search engines if you use the paid service.

Local search for regional Scotland can provide a decent flow of traffic to both your website and your business. Registering on as many local search entities as possible is the only way to compete with your competitors.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 at 1:27 pm and is filed under Local Search. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  • Posted on August 16, 2010

PR And Reputation Management Gain Local Search Boost

The bane of many a small business is a bad review, especially if it’s unearned. What often makes matters worse is that often you cannot even respond to the review. I’ll throw into the hat good reviews that you could also respond to. All that has changed now as Google has opened up its reviews on Google Places and now allows local businesses the opportunity to respond to these reviews.

This is a change that many have asked for and, for once, Google have listened. It’s an important change given the emphasis that Google does place on these reviews and Google Places listings in general. As a business owner with a local search listing, I suggest you not waste any reviews you do receive – they are wonderful PR and reputation management opportunities.

When it comes to reputation management, being able to respond to a poor review is important. Customers will often lodge a complaint with a business and leave a poor review at the same time. Even though their complaint is handled to everyone’s satisfaction, they rarely return to update their poor review. You can at least respond to the outcome of the complaint – you may even find the customer adding their response.

PR is an important issue in today’s marketplace and good reviews are gems. You can add value to these positive reviews by responding yourself. I would advise against simply responding with a ‘thanks for a great review’. Use the opportunity to sell your business. By this, I mean you should respond with a positive message. For example, ‘thanks for the positive review. We are proud of our product and customer service history and continue to strive for improvement’. You could also use a good review to up-sell services; for example, ‘thanks for your kind words and don’t forget you can add xyz when you’re ready to expand your xyz’s capabilities’.

Whatever you do, don’t waste a review, either positive or negative. They are unique opportunities online to communicate with your customers in a very public way – and consumers are turning to these reviews in increasing numbers. If you are not sure how to respond to a review, Google offer some suggestions that are worth looking at. You can read their suggestions here and read about the change to Google Places policy on reviews here.

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