As a small business in a lackluster economy, making the most of your marketing dollars is critical to your
bottom line. Using a local search engine, you can target customers in a particular region while
maximizing your marketing investment. Local search is more targeted and less expensive than other
forms of online and offline advertising, which can translate into more leads and customers for less money.
In addition to offering inexpensive, relevant advertising dynamics, local search also provides an audit trail
to measure results, and other opportunities to increase revenue. As a result, it has enjoyed steady, annual
growth and is proving to be a solid marketing tool for growing small businesses. Here’s what you’ll need to
know to get started on the road to local search success.
STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR ONLINE GOALS.
Before you begin, determine what you want to accomplish when
you go online. Are you looking to garner name or brand recognition
for your company? Do you want to grow your business
or be found by your customers? Once you’ve defined your
online goals, stick to them and keep them as simple as possible.
STEP 2: DEVELOP YOUR PROFILE PAGE.
Think about how you want to describe your business and then
use this information to develop your online profile page and
advertise your business. What do you want future customers to
know about your products and services? How are they better
than the competition? Determine the methods of payment,
driving directions, maps, product photos and other content. To
leverage your efforts, you can also embed your category and keywords
into product and service descriptions. Adding this specific
information about your business will help you reach potential
customers, and improve rankings on the major search engines.
STEP 3: DETERMINE YOUR TARGET
CUSTOMERS AND REGIONAL REACH.
Think about who you want to purchase your products or services
and what geographical regions you want to serve.
Numerous reports cite 80 percent of a person’s income is spent
within 20 miles of their home. So there is a good opportunity to
reach exactly who you want using the right local search strategy.
If possible, consider using market research that supports your
industry or have your employees ask their customers how they
found your business. Was it an ad or other placement that
prompted them to take action?
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