Do you own a local business? From restaurants to hardware stores, any type of local business can benefit from online marketing. With the right mix of search, social, and contextual marketing, you’ll be able to attract more customers, guests, and clients to your local business.
In this blog post, you’ll learn five simple strategies that make your business more visible to online customers. From Facebook Pages to Google Local, read on to learn the best ways to make your local business stand out online and increase sales.
Do you need help developing a local marketing strategy? Learn the secrets of local marketing from online marketing expert Jeremy ‘ShoeMoney’ Schoemaker with the Local Marketing Blueprint course.
Optimize your website for Google+ Local
Over the last five years, Google has shifted its focus from providing international search results to offering a more local experience. Google Local, a database of all Google’s places and reviews, is the latest local search and social Google service.
Optimizing your website for Google+ Local (and Google’s local search results) is a great way to attract new customers and clients. Improving your visibility in Google local requires several steps and tactics.
One of the first is to increase the number of positive reviews your local website has with Google. A great way to increase your positive review count is by asking your existing customers to leave a review of your business using their Google+ account.
Links and on-page SEO also play a role in optimizing your website for local search keywords. The better your on-page SEO is, the more likely your website will show up near the top of the search results for geographical keywords in your industry.
Do you want to achieve the number one ranking for your target local keywords? Our Easy Local SEO course guides you through the process of optimizing your website to top the search results for keywords related to your city and region.
Create a Facebook Page
Facebook is a great way to connect with customers, especially as a local business that people visit in person. By building a good relationship with your audience on Facebook, you can quickly alert them to new products, special offers, and services.
Building an audience on Facebook is simple. Using Facebook Ads, you can geotarget your campaigns to only display to people within your local area. You can even select a specific age, gender, occupation, or educational status to target the people that are most likely to become customers.
From here, the process of connecting with your audience is simple. Publish a status update to alert your audience to new products, special offers, upcoming events, and anything else you’d like them to know about. The magic of Facebook is that the more popular your Page becomes, the more organic word-of-mouth growth you’ll see.
Do you need help growing your Facebook presence? Facebook Training for Business will take you through basics of building a Page for your local business and growing your audience using Facebook Ads.
Use Adwords to target local customers
Google Adwords is an incredibly powerful marketing tool for local businesses. Using the built-in geotargeting options, you can choose to only display ads beside searches made by people within your city or state.
Let’s pretend you run an automotive repair business. Targeting all searches for ‘auto repair’ isn’t likely to generate many new customers, since your ads will show up for every search made within the United States. By honing down your targeting using a geotargeting filter, you can only target searches for ‘auto repair’ in your city.
This means you’ll be able to advertise to anyone searching for your product, service, or business category within your district, city, or state. The pinpointed targeting of a local Adwords campaign makes it one of the most profitable ways to generate new sales leads and customers for your business.
Do you need help building your first Adwords campaign? Learn the basics of Google Adwords, from creating your campaign to choosing your geographical targeting, in our Google Adwords for Beginners course.
Optimize your YouTube videos
Does your business post videos on YouTube? If you sell a product that’s delivered to any address, marketing your business using YouTube videos is a great way to attract interest from people who would otherwise never find out about you.
Local automotive dealers use YouTube to massive success. Since so many people are searching for videos of rare and valuable cars, a variety of vintage and high-end auto dealers have shot and uploaded keyword-targeted videos for phrases like ‘Audi R8’ and ‘Porsche 911’ to generate interest in the used cars they have available for sale.
This technique generally works best for high-ticket items that are difficult to buy in certain areas. If you have something special for sale – whether it’s a vintage sports car or a professional service that’s of interest to a certain audience – YouTube may be the perfect platform for marketing it to a wider audience.
Would you like to learn the secrets of marketing your content on YouTube? Enroll in our YouTube Marketing Mastery course to learn how to optimize your videos for the YouTube search engine and appear higher in the ‘Suggested Videos’ sidebar.
Earn publicity from local online media outlets
Does your local business have an interesting story to tell? One of the easiest ways to generate publicity for your local business is by reaching out to local bloggers, media reporters, and online personalities that would be interested in writing about you.
Every city has its own blogger community, from local food critics to music gurus that love to hear about upcoming events. Reaching out to bloggers that have an interest in your industry is a great way to generate publicity and valuable business feedback.
Likewise, it’s surprisingly easy to get covered by local online media outlets. With an understanding of the way local news websites source content to write about, you’ll be able to convince journalists and reporters to mention your business online.
Learn the secrets to reaching out to bloggers, journalists, and other local influencers with Branding, Public Relations, and Social Media Rules to Live By. In over 28 lectures, you’ll discover the best strategies for generating local online press.
Before you start, develop a local marketing plan
Internet marketing is a great way to attract more customers to your local business, but it needs to be part of a larger marketing plan to be successful. Without the right level of preparation and planning, some marketing campaigns can be too successful, resulting in a surge of activity that your business may not be prepared for.
Create a full marketing plan for your local business, taking into account your current marketing activity. What are your goals? Do you want to increase interest using the Internet and generate walk-in traffic from the coverage, or lead customers directly into your store using an online promotion?
When you can look at your local marketing tactics within the context of a marketing strategy, it becomes a lot easier to work out which offers the best value and results for your business. Do you need help creating a marketing strategy? Join our course, Developing a Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses.
Learn more about local Internet marketing
Are you ready to start marketing your local business online? With the right mix of social media, search marketing, and Google Local, your business can rapidly boost its media coverage, branding, and revenue.
Learn more about how you can market your business in our blog post on marketing channels. From loyalty cards to pay-per-click advertising, you’ll discover new ways to market your business and attract new local customers.