Sometimes, the wide and wonderful world of online marketing can make you want to rip your hair out. Everywhere you look, you’ll find the “new rules” to help you keep up with the latest Google and Facebook algorithm changes, shifts in the industry, old strategies you should stop using, new strategies that are the “next big thing,” and plenty of advice on how to succeed with an extremely long list of online marketing methods.
If you practiced them all, you’d be marketing for at least 36 hours a day, 8 days a week.
Fortunately, there’s an easier way for your small business to see great results from your online efforts: local marketing. These cost-effective, time-saving local online marketing strategies will help you gain more exposure and bring in more business.
Plump Up Your Profiles
Chances are you already know that wherever you have an online presence, you should have a detailed company profile to go with it. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, your own website—the more filled out your profile, the better results you’ll see.
However, your business may have online profiles you don’t know about. Sites like Google+, Yahoo! Business, and Yelp often have user-listed businesses with no profiles, to allow for user reviews. Check around to see if your business has been added in this way—most of these services will let you claim your listing, so you can fill out how you want your profile to appear.
Once you’re aware of and maintaining all of your profiles, optimize them with your contact information and local keywords. This one-time profile update will bring you continuing benefits from local SEO.
Optimize Your Website the Local Way
You probably have your contact information listed on your website’s contact page, but does it appear on every page? Contact information automatically contains local search terms, and it’s an easy way to help search engines connect your business with local queries.
This is especially important for mobile searches, since many of them are location-based. Of course, your website should already be mobile-friendly and using responsive design—if it’s not, you’re losing out on the millions of customers who use mobile devices to find businesses in their areas.
Using online PPC advertising, paid social media, and other forms of paid content promotions are good ways to increase your engagement and traffic levels, but are you using them to your best advantage? You have the potential to reach a global audience—but if you’re a small business operating primarily from a physical location, you want to get more local.
Many forms of paid online advertising let you narrow down your targets to specific demographics, including geo-location. Google AdWords is one of the most effective of these programs around. Facebook ads and Promoted Posts also let you choose location-specific keywords, so you can target and engage your local audience.
Become a Local Content Curator
Content marketing is a pretty big deal. You can make your own content marketing efforts even more effective by focusing on local. Create content that considers your industry, your particular niche, and your location by tying in to your community—local events, holidays, changes, awards, and anything else you can relate to your business in some way.
You can also collect and link to content from other, complementary local businesses. This will not only give you an online marketing boost, but also help you form stronger partnerships with other local companies. Never underestimate the power of helping someone else out.
Local online marketing is a great way to realize faster, easier success for your small business. What kind of local marketing campaigns are you working on now?
Image courtesy of Gerd Altmann
*This is a guest article by Megan Totka*