If you’re a small business owner, it’s more important than ever to make sure your local online marketing efforts are on point. Why? Because even though people are spending more time than ever online, they’re also becoming more discerning about where they spend their time and money. In other words, they’re not just going to buy from the first business they find—they’re going to research and ensure they’re getting the best possible product or service for their needs.
That’s where local online marketing comes in. By making sure your business is visible and easy to find online, you can increase the chances that potential customers will choose your business over your competitors. What does that mean when you’re a small business with a limited budget?
You may be wondering how to get started with marketing your business online. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Here is a guide on how to optimize your local online marketing.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your local online marketing is to get Google Business listing. Google Business Profile is a free platform that allows businesses to manage their online information—including their hours, location, phone number, and website—all in one place. And when potential customers search for businesses like yours on Google, your listing will appear at the top of searches and on Google maps, giving you a valuable chance to catch their eye.
Make sure you select the best category or categories for your business and regularly post updates to your business profile.
Another essential step in optimizing your local online marketing is ensuring your website is optimized for local searches. Start by claiming your business name and address on your website and include your city and state (or region) on every page of your site, preferably in the footer, so it’s always visible.
SEO, or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website for Google search. This includes things like choosing the right keywords, making sure your website is mobile-friendly, and having quality content. Quality content is key for SEO because it shows Google that your website is a reliable source of information.
There are several other technical aspects of your website that you need to optimize for local SEO. This includes your titles, meta descriptions, and H1 tags. Include your city and state in these elements so that the search engines know your location. You should also create pages for each of your service areas. For example, if you have a landscaping business in Franklin, you would create a page for “Landscaping Franklin TN”.
Learn about our favorite local SEO tools here.
In 2022, there’s no excuse for not having a mobile-friendly website. More than 60% of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, so if your website isn’t optimized for them, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers.
When people search for businesses like yours online, they use certain keywords or phrases. Make sure you’re using these same keywords on your website and in your social media posts. This will help people find you when they’re searching for what you have to offer.
Make it easy for customers to find the information they need by creating location-specific pages on your website. If you have multiple locations, you should have a page for each location. For businesses that serve multiple areas, you should have a page for each area you serve. For example, a landscaping company might have a photo gallery of jobs that they have completed in each location.
Schema markup is code that you can add to your website to help search engines understand your content. By adding schema markup, you can improve click-through rates and organic traffic. Local businesses should add schema markup for their address, phone numbers, opening hours, reviews, and more. There are several SEO plugins that can make this easier. We use RankMath on our clients’ websites.
Blogging is a great way to show your expertise in your industry and attract new customers. Make sure to blog regularly and promote your blog posts on social media and other channels. You can also guest post on other blogs to reach a wider audience.
A well-written blog can establish you or your business as an expert in your field, which in turn can lead to increased traffic and customers.
If you are using WordPress as your website platform, you can easily add a blog to your website. Following are tips for optimizing your blog for local searches.
The number one rule of blogging is to write content that is relevant to your audience. That means writing about topics that are of interest to your target market or niche. For example, if you own a plumbing business, some relevant topics might be “Tips for Preventing Your Pipes from Bursting,” or “How to Prevent Your Drains from Getting Clogged”.
In addition to being relevant, your content must also be engaging. No one wants to read a dry, boring blog post. Write in an informal, conversational style, and use images, infographics, and videos to break up the text and add visual interest. Also, be sure to use headlines and subheadings to make your content easy to scan.
Keyword research is essential for any type of online marketing, including blogging. Keywords are the words or phrases that people use when they perform a search engine query. When you include relevant keywords in your blog posts, it increases the chances that your post will appear in the search results when someone types in those keywords.
Use keyword research tools like Semrush and Keywords Everywhere to find high-volume keywords that are relevant to your business. Once you have a list of keywords, be sure to sprinkle them throughout your blog post—in the title, headings, body text, and even the meta description (the brief description of your post that appears under the title in the search results). However, don’t go overboard with keywords, and make sure you are writing helpful content for your readers.
Once you’ve written your blog post and included relevant keywords throughout, it’s time to optimize your post for SEO (search engine optimization). This simply means making sure your post is structured in a way that makes it easy for search engines like Google to find and index it.
Here are a few tips:
- Use descriptive titles that include keywords
- Use headings and subheadings (H2 and H3 tags)
- Add alt text to images
- Include internal links (links to other pages on your website)
- Include external links (links to credible sources outside of your website)
- Use social media sharing buttons
Another great way to use your blog for local marketing is to write about local events and news. This is a great way to show that you’re invested in your community and that you’re up-to-date on the latest happenings. For example, if there’s a big festival happening in your town, you could write a post about how your business is getting involved or why people should check it out.
People are always interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look at the businesses they patronize, so why not give them what they want? Use your blog as an opportunity to share some behind-the-scenes content with your readers—you could write posts about how certain products are made, what goes on during a typical day at your business, etc. This is also a great way to show some personality and make your business feel more relatable and human.
Finally, one of the best ways to use a blog for local marketing is to partner up with other local businesses! You could do this by writing guest posts for each other’s blogs, hosting joint giveaways or promotions, or simply linking to each other’s websites in your respective posts—anything to get more eyes on each other’s businesses! Not only will this help you reach a wider audience, but it will also help you build relationships with other businesses in your community—and we all know how important networking can be!
Just because you’ve published a great blog post doesn’t mean people will automatically see it—you have to promote it! A great way to do this is through social media. Share each new blog post on all of your company’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and include a call-to-action (CTA) telling people what you want them to do (e.g., read the blog post, click through to your website). You can also promote individual blog posts via email marketing by sending them out in a weekly or monthly newsletter or including them as part of a targeted email campaign promoting a specific product or service.
Did you know that nearly 90% of consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews? That statistic should be enough to convince any business owner that online reviews are important. But if you need more convincing, here are three more reasons why you should care about online reviews and why they should be a part of your local online marketing strategy.
One of the most important factors that search engines use to determine your ranking in local search results is your reputation. And one of the biggest indicators of your reputation is the number and quality of online reviews you have. So, if you want to rank higher in search results, you need to actively encourage your customers to leave reviews.
When potential customers are looking for a new business to patronize, they will almost certainly read online reviews to see what others have said about your business. If you have a lot of positive reviews, that’s going to give them the confidence they need to choose your business over your competitors. On the other hand, if you have mostly negative reviews, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.
In today’s digital age, it can be hard to build trust with potential customers. They don’t know you and they don’t have any reason to believe that you’re going to provide them with a good experience. But if they see that others have had positive experiences with your business, that will go a long way toward winning their trust. And once you have their trust, you’ll have their business for life.
In most industries, there is a lot of competition. And one way to stand out from the rest of the pack is by having more positive online reviews than your competitors. This will not only help you attract more customers, but it will also help you charge more for your products or services since customers will perceive your business as being better than the competition.
Another big benefit of online reviews is that they can help generate word-of-mouth advertising for your business. When customers leave positive reviews, their friends and family members are likely to see them and be intrigued enough to check out your business for themselves. This is one of the most powerful forms of marketing there is, so you definitely don’t want to overlook it.
If you’re not already paying attention to online reviews as part of your local online marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Online reviews are essential for helping you rank higher in search results, win new customers, and build trust with your existing customer base. So what are you waiting for? Start encouraging your customers to leave reviews today!
It’s not enough to simply get positive reviews—you also need to monitor your online reputation regularly. This means responding to negative reviews quickly and efficiently so that potential customers don’t get turned off by what they see. Set up Google Alerts so that you’re notified whenever someone mentions your business online. This way, you can quickly address any negative sentiment before it has a chance to do serious damage to your business reputation—and bottom line!
Now you understand the importance of local online marketing. You know that to compete with larger businesses, you need to be visible where your customers are searching for you. And these days, that means being active on social media.
You may be wondering how social media can benefit your business. After all, isn’t social media just for sharing pictures and staying in touch with friends and family? While that may be one use of social media, it is also a powerful marketing tool. Social media can help you reach new customers, engage with existing customers, and build brand awareness.
Social media marketing is a process of creating content that is shareable and engaging in order to grow your audience and promote your brand. It’s important to note that social media marketing is not a “set it and forget it” type of activity. In order to be successful, you need to be active on social media and post regularly.
There are several reasons why social media is an effective marketing tool for businesses, especially when it comes to local online marketing efforts. First, social media platforms have a large user base. Facebook alone has over 2 billion monthly active users, which means there is a good chance that your potential customers are using social media.
Second, social media platforms are extremely targeted. When you create ads on Facebook or Twitter, you can target them specifically to people who live in your area and who are interested in the products or services you offer. This ensures that your marketing dollars are being well spent and that your ads are reaching the people who are most likely to convert into customers.
Finally, social media platforms provide a way to build relationships with potential customers. By creating valuable content and engaging with users on social media, you can create a connection with them that goes beyond just selling them a product or service. When done correctly, this can lead to lifelong customers who are loyal to your brand.
There are a lot of social media platforms out there—TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more. So how do you know which ones are right for your business? Start by thinking about where your customers are spending their time online. If you’re targeting millennials, for example, Snapchat and Instagram might be good choices. If you’re targeting business professionals, LinkedIn could be a better option. Once you’ve identified which platforms your target audience is using, you can start creating content for those platforms.
Once you’ve picked the right platform or platforms for your business, it’s time to start creating relevant content. This means posting things that will interest and engage your target audience. If you’re not sure what kind of content to post, take a look at what your competitors are doing. See what kinds of posts are getting the most engagement and try to come up with something similar that is relevant to your business.
Post timely updates about specials, events, or news related to your business, and be sure to respond promptly to any questions or comments left by followers. You can also use social media ads to target users in your area specifically.
Social media provides small businesses with a cost-effective way to reach out to potential customers and create a connection with them. By creating valuable content and engaging with users on social media, businesses can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to their website or a brick-and-mortar location, and build relationships with potential customers. All of these factors can lead to increased sales and lifelong customers.
In addition to optimizing your website, posting to social and claiming your Google Business Profile listing, another great way to improve your local online marketing is to get listed in the major online directories. This will help ensure that potential customers can find your business no matter where they’re looking—and it can also help boost your search ranking.
Online directories are websites that list businesses in a specific category or niche. For example, Yelp is an online directory that lists restaurants, while Angie’s List is an online directory for home improvement contractors. Getting your business listed in an online directory is a great way to improve visibility and attract new customers.
One of the main ways that online directories help with local online marketing is by increasing your business’s citation signal. A citation is simply a mention of your business on the internet. The more citations your business has, the higher it can rank in search results.
There are two ways to get listed in online directories: manually or through an automated service.
Manually submitting your business to directories takes time, but it’s free. You’ll need to create an account with each directory and fill out your business listing information. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to wait for the directory to review and approve your listing before it goes live. This process can take weeks or even months, so it’s not the best option if you’re looking for immediate results.
The other option is to use an automated service like Yext. These services submit your business information to multiple directories and keep your listings up-to-date, so you don’t have to worry about it. They also offer additional features like review monitoring and reporting that can help manage your local online marketing efforts.
Your choice depends on your budget and how much time you’re willing to invest in getting listed in online directories. An automated service is probably the way to go if you’re short on time or money. But if you don’t mind taking the time to submit your listing manually, you can save some money by doing it yourself.
If you are in a competitive industry, you may need to advertise on Google Ads, Bing Ads, or Facebook Ads to show up in local search results.
Online advertising is more cost-effective than traditional offline methods like print, radio, or television ads. With online advertising, you can target your ads specifically to the customers most likely to use your products or services, which means you’ll get more leads and conversions for the same amount of money—or even less! Measure your results. Finally, one of the biggest advantages of advertising your local business online is that you can measure the results of your campaigns much more easily than offline methods. With online advertising, you can track how many people saw your ad, clicked on it, and then took action on your website. This data allows you to fine-tune your campaigns to be as effective as possible.
Advertising online also allows you to target specific demographics with laser precision. This targeting wouldn’t be possible with offline methods like print or television advertising.
Offline methods like print or television advertising can take weeks or even months to plan and execute. And once your campaign is finally up and running, it can be difficult to track its effectiveness. With online advertising, you can easily track your ads’ performance and make changes on the fly to improve results.
If you own a small business, local online marketing is essential for reaching potential customers in your area. With the right strategies and tactics, you can use online platforms to increase visibility, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website. Some effective tips for local online marketing include optimizing your website for local search, creating engaging content, leveraging social media, and offering promotions and incentives. By implementing these strategies and monitoring your results, you can improve your online presence and attract more local customers to your business.
Local online marketing is essential for small businesses that want to stay competitive. An effective online presence is essential for any successful business in today’s digital age!
There are many ways to optimize your local online marketing efforts as a small business owner. You can get started on the right foot by following the tips above! And remember, consistency is key—so keep at it even after you see results so you can maintain and grow your customer base over time!
Interested in learning ways to make money online? Check out our guide, “How to Make Money Online for Beginners.”
If you are looking for an online marketing company, contact us. We love to work with local businesses.