The city of New Orleans will be filled with activity and excitement during the week leading up to February 3, 2013. On that day, the city will host Super Bowl XLVII. Preparations have been under way for months and it promises to be one of the best Super Bowl experiences ever. Hundreds of thousands of visitors will converge upon New Orleans, resulting in an economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars for the city. So if you are a New Orleans area business, is your business poised to take advantage of this event and of all of the potential revenue that will come along with it?
New Orleans is the perfect city to host the Super Bowl because people already love coming here. Travel + Leisure magazine recently named New Orleans as America’s favorite city, voted such by visitors and residents alike. During last year’s Super Bowl events in Indianapolis, officials said that the Super Bowl Village had over 1.1 million visitors and the NFL Experience set a record with over 265,000 visitors. New Orleans plans to do even better than that. All of the planned events, including the NFL Experience, the Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard, the Super Bowl Tailgate parties, celebrity games and VIP parties, the slew of CBS programs that will broadcast from Jackson Square, and of course the game itself will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors in addition to the estimated 5,000 members of the media. It is reported that the weekend will bring in $434 million to the local economy.
A number of businesses will benefit from the event, including hotels, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife venues, museums, tour companies, and local stores. So if your business fits into one of these categories, you need to position yourself so that you can take advantage of the opportunities for increased business. Here are a few practical ways to do just that.
Naturally, most visitors that come to New Orleans will be unfamiliar with the area and with local businesses. So most will either go online and Google what they’re looking for or use their mobile phone to find what they want. Your business needs to make sure that when these visitors are searching for a business like yours, they find you. Critical to this is making sure that your business is included in some very important online directories, which incidentally cost you nothing to be in. These would include:
• Google Places
• Yahoo Local
• Bing Local
• Express Update
Why bother with all of these directories? Well first of all, it’s free advertising for your business. But even more importantly, being listed in these directories will help ensure that your business is found when people are searching for a business like yours, which includes all those who will be using their mobile devices to search while on the go. Having a listing in Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local will help ensure that your business is listed in each of these top three search engines and in their respective maps. Having your business listed in Yelp and Localeze will help make sure that your business is found by all of the visitors running around with iPhones or iPads and using Apple Maps for searches.
The truth is, every business should have a listing in each of these directories already. The listings are free to create and will benefit you by being in more places for potential customers to find you. As an added bonus, they will also help your web site’s search engine rankings. Visit each of these sites and make sure that your business is not only listed but that it has also been “claimed”. Claiming your business is a way to verify that you are the owner or employee of the business and allows you to take control of the listing’s information. Many of these directories require that you go through a verification process in order for you to claim your business’ listing, but it’s very simple to do. Afterwards, take your time to fill out your business’ profile completely, including a good description, images, hours of operation, and of course your web site’s URL. Granted, it will take you some time to go through this list, but it’s well worth the effort. If you simply do not have the time (or desire) to do this, then you might want to outsource this to a company that specializes in local SEO that can create your listings and optimize them for you. Whether you create these listings yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is for your business that this is done.
One web site that will be popular with visitors and locals alike during the days leading up to the Super Bowl is www.NewOrleansSuperBowl.com, which is the official web site of the 2013 New Orleans Super Bowl. This site lists everything related to the Super Bowl, including Super Bowl events, links for where to buy tickets, where to stay, and enjoying New Orleans. Under the “Enjoying New Orleans” menu tab are links for restaurants, attractions, nightlife, shopping, and more. The site itself does not list businesses or links to local business web sites, but it directs visitors to www.NewOrleansOnline.com, which is the official tourism site of the city of New Orleans. It is on this site where visitors can search for and find various businesses and local attractions, and it is on this site that your business needs to be listed.
Visit NewOrleansOnline.com and make sure that your business is listed on the site. If it is not, and your business is a restaurant, attraction, or is related to the tourism industry, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request that your business be added to their site.
The 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans will no doubt be a memorable event, for the city, for visitors, and for locals alike. Local businesses will be in line to benefit tremendously from the influx of people coming to New Orleans for the game and related events. Your business can be one of these. By preparing now and taking a few simple but necessary steps, your business can attract a constant flow of new customers, during the week of the Super Bowl and every single week thereafter.