4 Simple Ways to Get Started With Local Marketing
For new or small business owners with a limited budget, marketing can seem like a daunting task you simply don’t have time for. But the hard truth is, your business is probably already online whether you’re paying attention or not. You might be on Yelp! or even have your business listed by Google without you ever contacting them to do so.
You don’t have to spend an obscene amount of time and energy to take control of your online brand, and with just a bit of work, these tasks can actually drive more business and awareness to your brand.
Here’s a list of helpful tips any small business can perform, even on the tightest of budgets.
1. Claim and manage your brand online
The first thing you need to do if you haven’t done so already, is claim your business online. You can start with Google My Business and Yelp, which both easily allow you to claim the public profile they have of your business after a quick verification process.
Next, make sure these three pieces of information are accurate across every profile you have online: business name, address, and telephone number. As simple as this one update may sound, consistency across your online profiles will give you 3 key benefits: (1) it will help your customers find you more easily (the less hurdles your customers have to jump through, the less likely they are to abandon seeking you out due to difficulty or confusion), (2) it will increase your brand trustworthiness (people get sketched out by false addresses and phone numbers) and (3) from an SEO standpoint, the consistency of this information across profiles will actually boost your online reputation.
2. Garner citations
If you want search engines to find you (so that ultimately customers can find you), you need to make your business easily discoverable to them. One way to do this is with citations (i.e. mentions of your business on other webpages such as social media sites, business databases, blogs, local media, etc.) When search engines see that a business has been referenced consistently and positively online, they tend to rank those businesses higher than others because they deem them as (1) real, (2) trustworthy, and (3) active.
Create a few positively branded profiles for your business (e,g. Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and hopefully a professional website.) If another website references your company or your work, ask them to link to your website or social profiles! Every reference and link you gain is another opportunity for a new customer to find your product/service. And again from an SEO standpoint, properties with a lot of positive citations also rank higher in Google, which a great way to passively increase your customer base.
3. Go mobile
According to a recent study at the Pew Research Center, 64% of adults in the US own a smartphone, and out of those adults, 94% search for local information on their mobile phones. This means you should absolutely optimize your online information for mobile viewing.
If you have a website, make sure it’s responsive. Test your mobile page loading time, and make sure your website loads fast enough. People are not only searching on mobile, but they are spending a lot less time on each page. If your site doesn’t load fast enough, users will simply move on.
As a rule of thumb: make the information on your site as easy to read, easy to access, and easy to purchase as possible. The less complicated, the better.
4. Don’t just be local, act local
If you want your customers to buy local, you need to be an advocate for your local community. Participate in local events. Form partnerships with other local businesses. Support local causes. As you expand your local network, your brand awareness will skyrocket.
As you can see, none of these strategies are expensive or overly time consuming. They require a little time to initially setup, but once you have these online properties and local initiatives in place, your business will benefit from them for years to come.Share: