To compete in today’s online business world, you need a targeted and effective marketing strategy. While relying solely on word-of-mouth and referrals might have worked well for traditional brick-and-mortar’s in the past, achieving success online as a local business demands a certain approach and specific tactics.
If you’re even remotely interested in increasing the amount of eyeballs that find your business, breeze through these 3 interesting stats a moment:
- 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours (source)
- 46% of all Google searches (that’s a lot) have local intent (source)
- By this year, mobile devices will influence upwards of $1.4 trillion in local sales (source)
1. Optimize Your Website with Local Keywords
Add local keywords to the meta titles and meta descriptions of your website pages. Doing this allows search engines to understand better what products or services you offer and which local areas you serve. Most website builders (like WordPress, Wix, etc) make these edits fairly straightforward without any coding required.
2. List Your Business with Online Directories
Signing up for local business directories allows people to find your business more easily. The main players, like Google My Business and Yelp are a given – but your specific industry likely has its own specialized (and valuable) directories to leverage. The keys to success here: be sure your business’s name, address, phone (NAP) details are accurate and consistent across listings, regularly add photos, answer questions, and respond to reviews — the activity and engagement all signals to the search engines your business is active and ready to be found by local prospects.
Claiming your Google My Business profile only takes a few minutes, but it enables you to compete for a place in the local SEO 3-pack, which is a box appearing in local search results, showing three local businesses that best match the search query. Winning a spot in the local 3-pack guarantees to give you a boost in traffic and leads
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3. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Today, almost everyone and their grandmother are on social media. It’s estimated that on average people spend 28% of their Internet time on social sites. Before picking a social media site to advertise on, it’s worth finding out which social media platforms your target audience frequents the most. You want to be where they are.
Fun fact: 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with a brand on social media recommend that brand to their friends and family. Your social posts should be sparking an interest to learn more about your business. Make sure when a user makes it to your profile to look for information, it’s accurate. Do a thorough audit of your profiles. Ensure all available fields, including your local address, phone number, and hours, are up to date. Your social profiles also carry a lot of SEO weight. Having this information consistent across your website and directory listings also matters.
4. Leverage PPC
Pay-per-click advertising is the quickest way to get traffic. The downside? You have to pay for every click (seems obvious). The upside? You don’t have to wait for traffic to organically come to you. It’s in many ways the perfect compliment to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is a long-term process that can take months to see measurable results.
With PPC, the most important steps include choosing platforms, targeting, messaging, and keywords. Which keywords you target, for instance, have a direct impact on the intent of the audience you attract to your site.
5. Advertise on Google Local Services Ads
If your business provides services instead of offering products, you can consider advertising on Google Local Services Ads. This is Google’s ad platform targeting businesses providing local services specifically. You’ll know if your business qualifies during the signup process. To make the most out of Local Services Ads, you’ll want to get the Google Guarantee badge, which is a symbol of trust Google awards to businesses that supply compliance information about their license, insurance, employee background check, etc. Customers tend to opt for services that get an approval stamp from Google itself.
6. Create Effective Email Marketing Campaigns
How does it sound to have a list of loyal customers to whom you can sell over and over again? That’s the power of email marketing. If you don’t have a list yet, start by building your list of subscribers. Give people a good reason to subscribe to your mailing list. Will they get a free eBook? Will you send them the latest promotions or give them a discount once they subscribe? Those are all good incentives to motivate people to sign up. People don’t want to receive a ton of advertisements every time they open your emails. That’s why it’s important to keep a good balance between promotional and informational content. You want people to keep opening your emails instead of hitting the unsubscribe button.
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7. Leverage the Power of Retargeted Ads
There are people who are not easily convinced and will not convert the first time they visit your site. However, with the right strategy, you can still win them back. That’s when re-targeting comes in handy. Re-targeting is the marketing process in which you target users who have previously visited your page. Instead of letting a user slip away and lose the money you pay for that click, you can follow them on other platforms/sites and consistently show them your offer. This works best for customers who abandon their cart before checking out, but it can also work well for other types of website visitors.
As you can see, becoming a leading brand online requires dedication and a proper plan. If you don’t have the right skills, it’s best to let someone who is an expert in the field to help you. If your website is not performing well, contact us today to get a free consultation and learn how to beat the competition!