Friday, November 09, 2012

Improving Your Business’s Position in Foursquare’s Search Engine

As Foursquare continues to mature into more than just a check-in service, businesses are paying more attention to their position in the service’s search engine. Foursquare has been focusing heavily on localized search and harnessing the power of their check-in data.

Compared to traditional search engines and SEO, Foursquare’s search engine is nearly impossible to influence with typical SEO tactics. Your business will not rise to the top of the search results by optimizing or building links to your listing. So how do you increase your position in the service’s search results?

Let’s start first and foremost with check-ins. Encouraging visitors to “check-in” at your location, for each and every visit, will only aid in improving your position in the search results. The number one signal that Foursquare uses to determine rankings are check-ins.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the check-in, too. For instance, in a local Offerdahl’s CafĂ© Grill that I visit, they have a Foursquare check-in sticker on the door that you can’t avoid as you walk in. Then, as you proceed to read the menu and give your order, there is another sign encouraging you to check-in. Needless to say, I never forget to check-in while I’m there.

Other factors that may affect your rankings to some degree include “likes”, the number of tips, photos and lists your business is added to. Get creative when encouraging visitors to take these actions. Your customers will appreciate discounts, coupons, and specials for taking the time to check-in and leave a tip.

How do you encourage patrons to check-in at your location?

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