One of the most common things you hear people screaming about online these days is branding. But why?

In short, many more people are starting to use the internet for search when they need a local service like a plumber, cleaning services, HVAC repair technician, limo service, tree service, etc. This means that all local companies should be building a presence online so that potential customers as well as ones they had in the past can easily find them. Make sense?

With this being said, a company’s brand comes into play during search, but what exactly does it entail?

For the most part, branding is about creating an image for a company and marketing it to a target audience. Most local businesses already have this part figured out but when it comes to online branding, they are naturally [and understandably] confused. This stuff is all still pretty new.

Creating a brand image includes, but is not limited to the following features:

Having an active social media presence on at least Facebook and Google in order to connect with and engage customers.

Being listed accurately on third-party directory sites like Yelp, Bing, Foursquare, Angie’s List and Yahoo – meaning customers can see the business’ Name, Address and Phone number
Having reviews, testimonials, etc that show social proof that backs up the business’ reputation and work they have done throughout the past.

These are only scratching the surface, but are three of the most important things that a local business owner can do to grow a brand for themselves.

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