As a small business owner, you probably know the impact that word-of-mouth can have on your company. That is because it’s a form of hands-off advertising that has stood the test of time. It’s simple: you provide a shopper with a positive experience, and they tell their friends about your business. This remains true and effective, even in the modern era of business.
However, this is no longer a strategy you can rely entirely upon. Things have changed. The year is 2022, and the internet has changed the way people make their purchases. As a result, you’ll need to change the way you market your business if you hope to stand out. A strong online presence is key for reaching new customers that otherwise wouldn’t have heard of your business. Changing your marketing strategy might seem frightening initially, but if done right, taking advantage of online marketing can be a pivotal moment in your entrepreneurial journey.
What is Local Online Marketing?
Local online marketing is the process of promoting a business within a specific geographic area through online channels. The most common techniques used in local online marketing include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media marketing. By targeting customers within a defined radius around your business, you can effectively reach your target market without spending a lot of money on advertising. Local SEO involves optimizing your website and content for local search terms, such as “plumber in [city].” PPC advertising allows you to bid on relevant keywords and have your ad appear in local search results. And social media marketing provides an opportunity to connect with potential customers and create advocates for your business. When implemented correctly, local online marketing can be an effective way to attract new customers and grow your business.
Developing a local online marketing strategy is key in getting ahead of the competition. A good marketing strategy will increase the visibility of your brand and drive new potential customers to your services.
You’ll need to play your cards right. It’s likely that your small business doesn’t have the marketing budget to match some of the giant corporations out there. So without wasting any more time, here are nine ways you can market your business online in 2022.
9 Ways You Can Market Your Small Business Online in 2022
1. Make sure your website is up-to-date
Your website is often the first impression potential buyers will have of your business. Having a great website can assure the customer that your business is legit. Make sure that your website is solid by keeping your current offerings up-to-date and the design of your website modern and current.
As a general rule of thumb, you should redesign and vastly update your website every two to four years. That might not sound like a long time to you but remember, the internet is constantly changing. Having a noticeably dated website can cheapen how onlookers view your brand.
A great website needs to have a sleek design and be easy to navigate. Traversing a website that prioritizes style over substance can be a real headache. You want anyone who visits your website to have a smooth time navigating through it. A cluttered, outdated website will cause more harm than good.
2. Design your website to be mobile-friendly
These days, more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet. As of 2022, 63% of all organic search queries are on mobile devices. So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on many potential customers. Older websites commonly don’t perform well on mobile devices. Business owners used to be able to get away with this back when smartphones weren’t as common. But now, roughly 85% of American adults own a smartphone. Make sure your website is responsive and easy to navigate on all devices.
3. Optimize Your Website for Fast Load Times
Users are likely to become frustrated if your website doesn’t load quickly. They will take their business elsewhere. Google penalizes websites that have slow load times. Here are some potential reasons why your website is so slow:
- Your websites images are too high-resolution. Scaling down your images will help with loading times.
- Slow load times may be a result of your website hosting company.
- Unnecessary plugins will tank the speed of your website.
- Pop-up advertisements can clutter up your site and slow your pages load-times to a crawl.
You can test your websites speed using tools like GTmetrix.
4. Create Helpful Blog Posts
Creating high-quality content for your website’s blog can be a fantastic way to market your business and attract new customers. Creating helpful blog posts will improve your website’s SEO and drive more traffic to your website. Providing educational content to your audience is a great way to build trust. Those who read your blog will get a sense of what your business is all about and how you can further help them. If they like what they see, they might become paying customers! So if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to market your local business, consider creating helpful blog posts. With a little effort, you could see a big payoff in terms of new customers and increased sales.
It will also be beneficial to go back every so often and update your old blog posts, things are always changing and it’s important to keep all information up-to-date. If content on your blog is no longer accurate, Google may start to promote similar blog posts in its stead! Creating new, quality content and rewriting old posts is a great way to keep your business relevant.
5. Claim Your Google Business Profile Listing
Google Business Profile is an incredible marketing tool that many small business owners don’t take full advantage of. Claiming your Google Business Profile does wonders for increasing your brand’s online visibility. GBP is a free listing that allows businesses to control how they appear in local search results and Google Maps.
Lots of people don’t take the time to carefully comb through a website for information. Instead, people want to learn about your brand quickly, and this is where having a quality Google Business Profile listing comes in handy. Filling out this page gives customers easy access to all of the essential information. This includes business hours, address, phone number, website, reviews, photos, and quick updates to keep people in the know.
Fill out as much information as you can! You should also take advantage of the opportunity to include a brief description of your business and what makes you unique. Claiming and optimizing your listing can help you attract new customers and grow your business.
6. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Ensure your website is optimized for local search by including your city or region in your website’s title tags and meta descriptions. You should also include geographic keywords throughout your website’s content. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, include a map on your website so potential customers can easily find you.
7. Submit Your Business to Online Directories
In addition to Google My Business, there are dozens of other business listing sites where you can claim your listing (such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Angie’s List). These listings are often displayed in search results, so it’s important to claim them and fill them out with accurate information. Many of these sites also allow customers to leave reviews, so encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your listings. Make sure all your business information is accurate and up-to-date and that you respond to any reviews or comments left.
List of Important Local Online Directories
- Google Business Profile
- Apple Maps
- Better Business Bureau
- Yellow Pages
- Chamber of Commerce
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a process of optimizing your website for Google’s search algorithms. This means making sure your website appears as high as possible in search results for relevant keywords. You could learn SEO techniques, or you can invest in SEO experts to do the work for you. Investing in SEO will help more people find your website when they are searching for businesses like yours.
SEO has become more relevant over the years and is now an essential part of succeeding online. It takes a lot of work and time to fully SEO optimize your business. But it will be time and effort well spent once it starts to pay off. Choosing to ignore proven SEO techniques will stunt your brands growth and make it considerably more challenging to overtake your competitors.
9. Utilize Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to connect with potential and current customers. Use these platforms to post updates about your business, special offers, or events. Make sure to interact with customers who leave reviews or comments—this will show that you care about their feedback.
Local online marketing can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. There are so many opportunities out there for small businesses to take advantage of. If you learned something new from these tips, we’re glad! You now have everything you need to optimally market your small business online and reach new customers. And you can do it all without having to break the bank!