Local Marketing For Your Local Business

The survival of your local business  is  dependent on the effectiveness of your marketing strategy .   Without the right kind of marketing strategy, your business is doomed to fail.

It boggles me that I see business after business simply ignore the fundamental thing that drives customers to them… marketing.

I’ve come across so many local business owners who think because they have a sign out front (or a website) that a flood of people are going to magically come pouring in the doors (visit their site).

Marketing is a way for a business to interact with their potential customers and build a nuturing relationship with them.  If done correctly people will eventually become loyal customers who repeatedly buy from you.

Why wouldn’t you put the same amount of time and effort in your marketing that your did into opening your business or having great products?

There are various forms of marketing a business can implement:

  • Direct mail marketing – newsletters, postcards, brochures, catalogs, etc… These create a form of inclusion and participation for the recipient.  Done correctly, could mean rapid growth and a strong relationship with your customers.
  • Social media marketing – Facebook ads/posts, Twitter ads/tweets, Pinterest ads/pins, etc.  Offer discounts, coupons, promos, branding messages, engage the customer, and educate the audience is practically free with social media and has the potential to go viral.
  • Pay-per-click – Google adwords, Facebook ads, Bing Ads.  Driving highly-targeted leads to your offer/product and paying per click.   If you go this route make sure you test your landing page and offer with a small budget, then scale once you have a good conversion rate.
  • Promotional marketing – this form of marketing is used to stimulate an action towards making a purchase.  This would include giveaways, contests, and product sampling.  An example would be the food vendors in the mall giving you a small sample of a best seller item to stimulate your taste buds and get your brain thinking it needs to eat more of it.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)one of the most powerful forms of marketing in today’s technology-driven world.  Showing up in the search engine (specifically the 1st page of Google’s results) can bring thousand of customers to your business locally and online.  Local SEM can take your business to the next level.  This form of marketing has made the yellow pages obsolete over the years.

Of course there are dozens of other types of marketing you can do, but personally, search engine marketing is at the top of the heap and should be invested in by any business.

Here is what local search engine marketing and local search engine optimization can do for your local business:

  • make your website is easily discoverable by your potential customers
  • the potential to make your website one of the top 10 in the search engine results page (SERP)
  • increased flow of traffic to your website and to your local store
  • generates sales leads
  • advantage over your competitors in the local market

The facts are over 50% of all internet search is for local businesses and over 60% of those lead to a sale!   This doesn’t just beat radio, print, and TV marketing and advertising, it destroys them.

Investing heavily in SEM/SEO should be a no-brainer, but many local business owners are hesitant to adapt it.    It could be their age, the perspective of it, who really knows why?  The numbers speak for themselves and they shouldn’t be ignored!

You can find dozens of local SEO services that can help you establish your website as a leader in your niche or you can give it a go yourself.  But be weary of who you go with… just like with any service provider, not all are equal in the quality and service they will provide.

The money and time you spend on finding a good SEO/SEM firm will not go wasted.  Most will bring you back 10-20x the investment.

If you are tech savvy or one of your staff members are up for the challenge, you can definitely rank your website.  In this video below, they discuss some search engine marketing basics that can help you out.

 

Either way, your investment into marketing your local business can pay off big, whether it be search engine marketing or any other form.

It’s simple come up with a end-goal you’d like to see, develop a strategic plan to get there, implement it (or work with a company), monitor and track your results of your marketing, make adjustments and fine-tune, scale up once you are getting positive results, and repeat…

SEO For Local Businesses

Having the competitive advantage in business can be the difference between thriving or surviving.

Every business owner goes into business with the expectation of thriving and beating out the competition.

So how can you (as a business owner) win customers over your competitors?

Simple.

Invest in search engine optimization (SEO).   Search engine optimization is marketing online to organically grow the awareness and visibility of your business or website.

SEO for small local businesses

Isn’t a billboard or TV ad a much better investment for my business? Won’t I get more exposure?

Yes, those forms of marketing will get your business exposure but that exposure won’t be targeted.   Meaning everyone will see them, the people not interested in your products/services (the majority) and those who are interested (the minority).

With SEO you are targeting specific keywords people are actively searching for online that are related to your business, services, or products.  Your exposure will be to those who want your products/services, thus making the chance of purchase much higher.

Consider search engines like Google, Yahoo, & Bing as the road that people find your business on…

Here are some interesting statistics from BrightLocal.com about local marketing for small businesses…

  • 97% of consumers use the internet when looking for a products/services in their local area.
  • 54% of Americans use the internet over the phone book
  • 140 billion (with a B) local searches in 2014.
  • 32% of consumers are more likely  to contact you if you have a business.
  • 98% of people searching on the internet will choose a business that is on page ! in Google.
  • 77% of smartphone users contact a local business after looking for local information.  59% of mobile users who look for local information visit the business that day!
  • The #1 reason for doing online search is to find the location of a “known” business in the local area.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers are more likely to use a local business if it gas information on a social media website.

So as you can see consumers are actively searching (by the tens of thousands) daily for local businesses.  Why not make your business the one they trust and come to versus your competitor?

Search engine optimization has the power to do this for your business.  Having your business on page one in Google can change your entire business around.

I already have a website, isn’t that enough?

NO! Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’ll magically appear on the first page of the search engines or anywhere in the top 100 pages.

A few factors determine where you appear in the search engines…

The content on your website and how relevant it is to what people are searching for; social buzz around your business/products/services; click-thru rate and bounce-rate; these are just a few of the dozens of variables that the search engine algorithms use to determine your search engine ranking position (SERP).

Can I do search engine optimization myself or have my staff do it?

You can do SEO yourself, but do so at your own risk!  It is often best to leave it in the hands of a professional.  You can do more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Some simple tasks you can do to help your local business in the search engines are:

  • Setup your social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, Pinerest, Tumblr, etc. Make sure to include a link to your website in your profiles of these sites.  You can go to Knowem.com to find accounts where you can establish your brand.
  • List your business in local business and citations directories – name, address, and phone number should be the same across these.  This is critical if you want your business to rank in the search engines locally.
  • Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools – it can help you monitor the links coming to your site, any penalties, spam, keywords your website is being recognized for, and highlight important data on your website.
  • Make a list of keywords that represent your products/services – put yourself in the mind of a consumer looking for your services/products, what would they type into the search engines?  Make a list of all possible combinations of words and phrases. There are various tools you can use to see the search volume of the words and phrases you come up with, the best of course is Google’s Keyword tool.
  • Read about search engine optimization – knowledge is power!  Even though you may not do the SEO yourself, it’s important to have a good understanding of how it all works.  It prevents you from getting scammed or “taken” by a SEO company and allows you to fully understand the work an SEO company does for your business.  Here’s a great beginners guide to SEO.

Doing these 5 things will get you started.   Then start interviewing some local SEO companies and with the knowledge you have, ask them questions and make a decision.

Things to keep in mind?

Results DO NOT come overnight with SEO!  It is a long-term marketing strategy, but the pay-off can be big – First page ranks for multiple keywords, thousands of targeted visitors to your website and business, increased revenues, and a growing business.

Also remember that SEO is ongoing, it isn’t something you so for 6 months and call it quits.  The world of search engine optimization is constant evolving and changing, so staying current with it is important to maintain your SERP.   You will need to do ongoing maintenance.