For businesses that rely on local customers, marketing used to mean putting an advert in a shop window or local newspaper, or maybe handing out flyers. Now, local online marketing has really come into its own and provides businesses with a whole host of different tactics to get in front of new customers.
But, to really get the most out of local online marketing, business need to make sure they’re doing it right and not just wasting time and effort. Here are our;
Top tips on How to Really Succeed in Local Online Marketing.
Have a plan and stick to it.
This should be obvious, but unfortunately it’s a crucial step that many businesses forget. If your marketing isn’t planned out it becomes almost impossible to track and measure any improvements, or lack of improvements that you make.
If you have no previous experience of putting a marketing plan together then take some time to do a bit of research, dull as it may seem it is a far better use of your time than going in blind! A basic local online marketing plan could start off by listing your business goals, then breaking down how you intend to achieve them.
For example, do you want to increase revenue by 10% across the quarter? How do you intend to get there? Will you employ an additional sales person, or will you sell higher value products? How will you get that message across to potential customers?
Invest in a Mobile Friendly website.
- 47% of consumers confirm they use their smartphone to search for local information (Source: Local and the e-tailing group, 2012)
- By 2014, mobile internet is predicted to take over desktop internet usage (Source: Microsoft Tag, 2012)
- Mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search by 2016 (Source: BIA/Kelsey report, 2012)
With Statistics like these it’s pretty obvious that you need your website to be mobile ready! People who are searching from their mobile are likely to be out and about, looking for what they need at that moment. If your website can’t be opened from their phone because it uses flash, or because there is too much to load then you could be missing out on valuable business leads every day.
Make sure your campaigns are Geo-Targeted.
If you want to attract customers within a specific local area, then it’s no good aiming your adverts far and wide where people from anywhere in the world can see them but can’t take action! Sites such as Facebook and Google Adwords allow you to target ads using a geo-location feature, meaning your adverts will only be seen by people in the locations that you specify.
Likewise, make sure that your location is obvious to anyone who might be searching your kind of service within your area. Include your location details on your site so Search engines recognise it, and link to other local pages wherever possible.
Engage with customers online.
When you’ve spent a lot of time building up your local online marketing you also need to be seen as a real human presence, not just a marketing machine. This means you need to take some time to engage with your customers, respond to comments they leave on your website, have conversations via Twitter, and thank people for their feedback. Social Proof is now all important, and online comments and actions that remain searchable and in the public domain are often viewed as being just as important as recommendations from Friends and Family.
Don’t undermine your own marketing efforts by forgetting to be a real person!
Be top of the Search Engines
Basic SEO strategies can help generate sales and customers so it’s vital to get it right. If the search engines recognise your site as being filled with valuable information on a subject then it also helps your credibility with customers. Being at or near the top of search engine rankings will ensure you get the best of the search engine traffic coming to your site for free.
It’s not just SEO that gets you to the top of the Search Engines. Tools such as Google + Local also help, along with Videos, Pictures and customer citations.
Click on the following link to learn more about the benefits of SEO.
Local Online Marketing is not complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy job. There are several elements to understand, but once you have the foundations in place you should start to see that all important increase in local customers.