Do you have a game plan for marketing in your local neighborhood? Whether you’re a small business operating primarily on the Internet, or a brick and mortar shop on the street, going local is becoming more and more important in the era of digital technology. If local marketing is an integral part of your marketing strategy, then good for you! If not, you better start planning now.
If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably given some thought to local marketing efforts in and around your neighborhood. Local marketing isn’t what it used to be: simply advertising in the yellow pages and waiting for the phone to ring doesn’t work anymore. Now it’s about tweeting, blogging, and yelping! This isn’t a bad thing, considering that with some effort you can significantly grow your business with SEO and social media marketing.
Local marketing will always create a certain amount of buzz. In addition, with over 40 percent of time spent online on mobile devices, business owners cannot afford to miss out on a well-optimized mobile website. In fact, Google is even saying that failing to optimize a site for mobile can impact rankings.
Need a few tips to get started? Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning out your local marketing plan:
Local businesses are quickly losing out to those companies that have fully serviced websites or social channels. If you are a retail business without an e-commerce presence, consider redoing your existing website and adding an e-commerce platform.
Keep all your listings updated and consistent online, which means email
contacts, phone numbers, and any other important business listing information.
Be sure to put important local information on social media posts. These can also be pushed out to local news outlets, which is always searchable online.
Try doing a link exchange or guest posting with a local business for free, reciprocal marketing. This is both an affordable and easy way to expand your local presence.
If you have a website presence, be sure it’s optimized for mobile phones. Research shows that 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, and many of these within one hour!
Encourage your happy customers to leave you reviews on local directories such as Google and Yelp. Not only do these get indexed online, but they will also help attract business.
Be sure to set up a Google+ Business page. Build a great listing and it will help potential customers find you (and even boost your search engine rankings!)
Look into listing your business on sites like Yelp, Manta, and Merchant Circle. These local directories are a critical part of any local marketing effort.
After implementing these strategies, be sure to have a tracking system in place so you know what is working and what isn’t. Many platforms have analytics dashboards that provide insight into behaviors such as click-thrus and landing page visits.
Having a sound local marketing strategy will make running your business that much easier.