So, let’s talk about four local online marketing tips that every small business should implement.
1. Invest in Web Design
Your website is the heart of your small business’s local online marketing campaign. Whatever marketing strategies you use, the end result is getting people to your website. And if you want to make a meaningful impact on your customers, investing in web design is a must.
Related: Web Design Focused on Conversions & Targeted Traffic
Your website design should reflect your brand and get people familiar with it; brand familiarity is essential for every local business. Visual elements are important, too. Potential customers don’t want to see large blocks of text—not only is it unattractive, but most people won’t take the time to look through it. The more appealing your website is, the more time your customers will spend on it, increasing the chances of them making a purchase.
Google is now using “user friendliness” as a major rankings factor. In addition, the time of length spent on a site is also important as it shows user interest and value to the visitor. By investing in website design, you can improve your local online marketing to reach valuable customers interested in your business.
See how we can help you build an SEO-friendly website!
2. Optimize for Local Search
Implementing local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies is an excellent way for small businesses to reach more customers. Optimizing your website for local search helps connect to your small business with people looking for the products or services you provide.
Most people find local businesses through Google. They’ll search for what they’re looking for and use phrases like “near me” and “city” to help find a local place that has what they need. With over 45% of searches happening through local listings, local SEO is more important than ever.
If you want to reach customers with any of your local online marketing strategies, optimizing for local search is a must. But how do you optimize your website to appear in local searches?
A common way is to integrate proper site map and footer setup as a foundation. NAP information (Name, Address, Phone) has to be accurate on offsite business listings so that Google knows you are a reliable source to appear in the local results. However, conducting keyword research and implementing the right keywords in the right way takes time & patience.
You can also help optimize your site for local searches by cleaning up the code, increasing the total amount of directories and listings your business appears on. This is called citation building. Optimizing your website for local SEO is a challenging and ongoing strategy, but it will help your small business reach a wider audience.
Related: Internet Marketing Strategy & SEO See how we can help with local SEO!
3. Manage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are crucial for any business—especially for small and local businesses. Your potential customers rely on other people’s reviews to help them decide if they should choose your company.
When a potential customer researches a business, they look at its reviews to determine whether or not it’s a good option for them. When they see lots of positive reviews, they’re more likely to do business with you instead of someone else. Similarly, local businesses with handfuls of negative reviews can drive people away before they ever interact with the company.
If you want your customer reviews to work for you instead of against you, online reputation and review management needs to be part of your local online marketing strategy. Investing in a local online marketing service to help manage your reviews is one of the best things you can do for your small business.
Monitoring and managing your reviews mean more than thanking customers for their positive feedback. While it is crucial to make them feel valued, and welcoming their positive reviews strengthens your business relationship with them, many local businesses focus too much on the positive and ignore the negative.
You need to address the issues in negative reviews, too. It’s important to reach out to customers who have a poor experience, acknowledge the problems they faced, and try to resolve them. Your potential customers will expect to see a few negative reviews—what really matters to them is what you do with that feedback. And always, reply professionally to reviews, good or bad!
See how we can help with review and reputation management!
4. Create Localized Content
Related: Content Marketing: Smart Strategies for Small Businesses
Localized content comes in many forms, like blogs, webinars, podcasts, videos, etc. Your content should provide potential customers with information valuable to them. It can help you get more traffic to your website if you focus on the topics that matter most to your customers and provide them with relevant, valuable information.
However, like optimizing your website for local search, keywords also come into play here. That’s another challenge of creating localized content—even if you create the best content that you know your audience will love, you need to get it in front of them.
See how we can help you create the best content!
Let Us Help Launch Your Business’s Local Online Marketing Plan
At GMS, we have years of experience helping local small business owners like you create and launch effective local online marketing plans that incorporate web design, local SEO, review and reputation management, content creation, and more.
Let us help grow your small business with a local online marketing plan tailored to your unique brand and customers. Schedule your free consultation today.