Implementing a local marketing strategy is essential for any local business that hopes to succeed in today's web-first world. As consumers are king in the retail world and content is king in the online world, you must ensure that you write your web content to promote your business locally and acquire your target audience. Below, we'll cover seven steps you can take to promote your brand and products in-house and online.
76% of consumers search for a company website before visiting your location. Chances are they'll see your Google My Business page before making it to your website.
Your Google My Business profile is the first chance to establish trust with the searcher. Your profile includes your business's name, address, hours of operation, phone number, customer reviews, and more.
Google My Business is free; you must sign up online and add some photos and any other details you might want your customers to know. Once you sign up, you might have to confirm your physical address - Google will email you a postcard with a verification code to publish your page.
Don't forget to check to see if you already have a profile! Quite often, your business might already be listed - in that case, you have to click "Claim this business."
Content is king in digital marketing, and your web content should be written similarly to how customers search in your local market. Let's think about this in the Pop vs Soda scenario:
Yes - the soda fountain heyday might be behind us, but some are still flourishing today and their online content is likely a reason why. In the Northeast, they'd likely be a "Soda Shop," and in the Midwest, they're more likely to be a "Soda Pop Shop."
What I'm trying to say is that you want to consider how your target audience searches when you write your content. For example, perhaps you're located in a larger city with several neighborhoods - try to incorporate these neighborhoods into your content when it comes to the products or services you provide.
You'll also want to consider including location specifics items in your URL structure and incorporating a Local Business Schema Markup.
Business directories make getting listed easy, right? Well, yes and no.
Search engines look at these local business listings to establish your brand's trustworthiness. The only problem is that there are so many local directories that they become somewhat cumbersome to manage. Let's say you've created all these local listing profiles and then ended up moving to a new storefront down the street; you then have to go and update all of these listings or risk having mixed information about your business across the internet. When it comes to establishing the trustworthiness of your brand, those search engines want to see uniformity.
However, there are several solutions to this conundrum - Listing Management solutions. If you want to manage all your listings in one central location, you can use a tool such as Yext, which will make creating and managing all these listings easy.
Did you know that the content in your reviews also helps your local rankings? For example, while looking for a local Soda Pop Shop I came across this company due to the content in their Google My Business reviews:
You can ask your brick-and-mortar shoppers or online buyers to write about their shopping experience with reviews. The more locals have reviewed your business, the more this content will bring in the non-targeted audiences.
When it comes to reviews, don't try taking shortcuts. Both customers and platforms can spot fake reviews, and you will most likely face a suspension or penalty for attempting to do so.
Reviews are a great way to establish trust and bring customers to your website, but once they arrive, you still want to convey the benefits of your products or services. By adding customer testimonials or social proof of your offerings, you continue demonstrating that you're a trusted brand.
Testimonials will impact customers because they tell a story: a video can be about the customers who shop in your store, how you take care of them or the services you provide. In the end, this will validate your business and attract more customers.
Social media marketing (SMM) is a great way to attract new audiences that might not be familiar with your brand.
Facebook is one of the first and best options for promoting locally. Start by setting up your Facebook page. You can promote your business by giving offers and discounts to your customers. In turn, your customers might promote your content to their circle of Facebook friends, who are likely also locals in your area.
Once you've created your social media profiles, you don't have to sit and wait for the customers to come. Today, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat make advertising locally a breeze. You can serve highly targeted ads for your products and services to local customers.
Want to grow your brand even more on social media? Try to find local influencers who can help drive exposure to your business. Today you can find an influencer in just about any vertical, no matter where you are or how small your niche is.
Have you exhausted all of the above and still not seen the results? Try hiring a local SEO services agency to attract more walk-in and online customers. Local SEO experts know all the best practices across all types of local businesses. By working with an expert, you can make your local marketing strategy a successful one without endless testing.
In today's world, local marketing strategies are essential to be successful. You're more likely to get left in the dust without positioning yourself online. By spending a bit of time optimizing your local profiles, directory listings, social media accounts, and reviews, you'll see more and more customers arriving at your website and storefront.
About the author: Ravi is CEO & Founder of Webomaze, a Newcastle SEO Service provider. He believes in serving the industry with unique solutions across various services, including web design & development, SEO Services, eCommerce development, etc.