Local online marketing for small businesses - What it is and how to get started
Just as the name suggests, local online marketing or small business marketing strategies are carried out in a specific area or location.
We can talk about local online marketing when a business tries to reach users in a specific area. Mainly, it is the area surrounding the business's location and where it provides its services or sells its products.
From this article, you will learn how to do local digital marketing well and effectively for your local business to increase its online visibility and thus sell more of the products or services you offer.
Who should do local online marketing and why?
Any business that wants its services or products to be found and purchased by people in its local area should opt for local digital marketing. It can be, for example, a dental clinic, hairdresser, roadside assistance, a clothing store, furniture store, etc.
Virtually every industry - but yes, there are exceptions.
There are many reasons why local online marketing is for you, and one of them is that more and more Google search queries are narrowed down to location and have a local intent, e.g., dentist New York, dentist near me, furniture store near me, etc.
Another reason is that local marketing strategy are cheaper than nationwide marketing.
Finally, we will also add that marketing on a country scale is hard to do alone, and in the case of a hair salon, it doesn't make any sense. Local marketing (search engine optimization or local SEO strategy) can increase the interest in the salon by customers several times over, and in addition, you can do it yourself. You don't need an agency for that.
So let's get down to specifics. So how do you implement a local online marketing strategy to increase your local business visibility and get tangible results in the form of more clients?
1. Create a Google business profile and start managing it
If we are talking about marketing for small business owners, this list cannot miss the best, most powerful, and most accessible channel for you to manage called Google business profile.
Google business profile is an entirely free profile of your local business on Google that displays to users in Google search results and Google maps. One of the best digital marketing strategy with the lowest effort.
It can display for a brand keyword and a sales keyword - the name of the business, service, or product you offer, e.g., dentist New York.
The main advantages of the Google business profile for local businesses
- Easy to manage
- It is free of charge
- The business package displays high in the local search results
- It contains a lot of data about the company like contact details, business listing, products, services, business description, reviews, etc.
Be sure to set one up, and if you already have one, check for free at Surfer Local how visible your local business is on Google to customers who are searching for the products or services it offers. Use the free local rank checker to do this.
In the subsequent management of your business listing, monitoring its visibility, and getting feedback, Surfer Local will also help you. By systematically managing your profile, you can increase your visibility from week to week, translating into more customers. As in the case of these two companies:
2. Create even a simple website for free!
After a business Google profile, a website is another crucial element of local SEO.
You're probably thinking - well, yes, but I can't program, so how can I create a website?
You should create a free website, which you can kick off with a single click on your Google business profile. You can find more information here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7178589
And then, once you've managed to promote your business through digital marketing and put aside a certain amount of money, you can then go to an agency that will create the website of your dreams for your business. Remember, although you don't have to have a fantastic website at the very beginning, start slowly with small steps. Unless you have the budget for it :)
Don't forget to optimize your website. It is essential in this case to create high-quality content for the site, in which you will include information about the area you are in, the name of the city, etc. A tool that is very simple and strongly enhances the creation of optimized content for the site is Surfer SEO. Try it out, and you won't be disappointed :)
3. Remember to mention your business local directories and create NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
The NAP is one of the elements of local digital marketing that significantly affects the position and visibility of both your website and business profile in Google.
In a nutshell, it consists in publishing information about your business, mainly local. Still, you can also post on national, thematic, or industry forums, blogs, and other such sites, along with details such as your business address, phone number, website address, etc. That's it. Simple, right?
Such a directory can be a website containing local listings of companies like dentists, lawyers, roadside helpers, painters, etc. It can also be a city page that lists many local businesses in the city or just a general directory of companies.
Think if you know such sites and publish information about your business there. It won't hurt, and it will help you to reach new clients :)
4. Maintain Social media channels
It may seem strange to you, but believe that before potential customers use your services, they will first check their opinion about your business or your profile on social media sites, e.g., Facebook.
He wants to know more about the quality of your services or products, service, and customer approach.
Ensure that he can find your company's profile, e.g., on Facebook or Instagram, stimulating and valuable information about how, e.g., you perform particular services.
Apart from the fact that he will learn something about your business, he will also gain more confidence in it, and after browsing the board, will be able to understand better what he can expect from your business.
Don't delay and set up a profile on Social Media now!
5. Get Google online reviews from your customers
Reviews are essential for your business, especially in the local community. Local customers often look for reviews to see if you have the right services or products, their quality, etc.
Reviews also affect your business's visibility on local search, like Google, to some extent.
If users see good reviews about your business, this is good news for you and them.
However, keep in mind that negative reviews also affect purchasing decisions. Users may still shy away from your business when they see that the quality of service, products, or customer attitude is not at the level they expect.
It would be best to always acquire reviews from more customers to improve your online business.
Acquiring reviews can be added to your local digital marketing plans. Google review poster will help you in this regard.
6. Local paid advertising (online advertising)
Paid advertising is a digital marketing technique used by Google or Facebook to sell ads on Google search engine and Facebook, also known as search engine marketing, PPC (pay-per-click) ads, and display ads.
Depending on the ad, you pay for views, clicks, or conversions on a page in paid advertising. On Google, ads appear above search results, on Facebook between posts, in messenger, etc. Advertising on Google or Facebook can be beneficial for local digital marketing because they allow us to very precisely define our audience and, in addition to that to display ads in a specific area, which further increases the power of these channels.
If you are thinking about investing in this channel to develop your local digital marketing, you should not be disappointed :)
However, the critical thing to note is that running ads is not a simple task, and many places can go wrong, which can ultimately result in you spending your ad budget to no benefit.
Watch a lot of tutorials beforehand or outsource them to an agency.
Why is a local online marketing plan important for your marketing strategy?
The local online marketing campaign is significant for businesses that rely on potential customers visiting a physical location for goods or services, such as stores, dentists, physiotherapists, restaurants, or car dealerships. Consumers rely more and more on referrals and the internet to find other local businesses. Luckily, you can use the channels above to help you reach users looking for your products or services.
In our next blog article, you'll find a round up of the best online marketing tools for small business selected by the experts.
To sum up
Local online marketing is not that different from typical digital marketing. It's just slightly different, focusing your attention on local traffic, local customers, and local connections. We recommend always having an exemplary commitment and desire to build good local marketing. Use the above channels, and you will not be disappointed, and the effort and time will pay off in the form of more visibility for your business online, more local customers, and better sales profits. Good luck!