I’m talking about the specific tasks in a local SEO campaign that the boss of the company must do personally.
The boss: the one person who can’t quit or get fired, who most wants more customers, and who ultimately has to fix any problems that keep customers away.
The tasks: few in number and pretty easy stuff, but stuff that only one person can do.
Everyone wants a 100% hands-free solution to getting visible in Google’s local search results and beyond – a way to get the phone to ring without his/her involvement. I offer something mighty close to that, but it’s 95% hands-free; there’s that little 5% that the person in-charge must do, or there’s a logjam and the crucial to-dos don’t get done.
I walk my clients through that 5%, and I’m going to lay out those tasks for you right now.
If you’re not the boss, I suggest you saunter over to the corner office now, interrupt your boss’s mini-golf, and have a read-aloud.
If you’re the boss, read on. Because if you don’t personally do the below, you’re hurting your local rankings and visibility, limiting your ability to attract new customers, and letting down any employees who depend on you for a paycheck.
Boss Job #1: Understand how long a good local SEO effort can take to bring results, and work on growing other sources of visibility/customers in the meantime, if necessary. I’m the biggest local SEO advocate there is. But building a business on one source of visibility is like building a chair with one leg.
Boss Job #2: Be or hand-pick the person at your company who will do the phone-verifications for the really important listings.
I’m talking mainly about ExpressUpdate, LocalEze, CitySearch, YellowPages, and Yelp. (And FourSquare, if you’re gung-ho.)
Those sites require someone who works at your company to pick up the phone at the number you use for your local listings and enter a spoken PIN into the site where you’re trying to create/claim your listing.
If you use call-forwarding, that person will need to disable the forwarding so that he/she can pick up the phone at the number that’s displayed on your listings.
If you can do the phone-verifications personally, great. But if not, hand-pick the person who will. You’ll want to know exactly whom to take out to the toolshed if it doesn’t get done.
Boss Job #3: Buy the domain name and hosting of your site(s) personally.
As in not through a third party, even if you pay that third party to do work on your site.
Same reason as for Boss Job #2.
Boss Job #4: Have personal control of the Google account used to create/claim your Google+ Local listing, your Bing listing, and your citations.
If someone quits or is fired, you should still have access to all your listings.
Boss Job #5: Oversee the process of asking customers for reviews.
Nobody outside of your company can or should do it. It’s a question of who in-house should do it. It should either be someone high-up – so that the customer doesn’t feel like a non-priority – or it should be the person who actually performed the service for the customer.
If you aren’t that person or pick the person who will ask customers, either the reviews won’t come because it’s “someone else’s” job to ask for them, or the results won’t be good.
Boss Job #6: Oversee the writing of any blog posts or “content” that’s put on your site.
I do NOT mean you should write each piece (or any) personally, nor do I mean that you should even critique or proofread more than a few of them from time to time.
What I am saying you need to do is make sure the person who does the writing (1) won’t pump out keyword-stuffed drivel that’s laden with anchor text and that might win you a black eye from Google, (2) won’t plagiarize, (3) won’t incur photo-copyright violations, and (4) won’t write stuff that’s so bad that would-be customers hit the “back” button.
The good news is everything else you can delegate to employees or to people with the necessary skills. Yep, I’m referring to that other 95% of the work that goes into a good local SEO campaign.
Any other “boss jobs” that you can think of? Questions about how to do any of them? Leave a comment!