We have many inquires about marketing local businesses. That if they can take advantage of online marketing tactics and local SEO so we decided to write this article to give some tips for local businesses to get them started with their online marketing campaign.
Local companies mostly rely on your customers’ word of mouth. So there is a perception that any other type of marketing is both expensive and difficult, and many local businesses avoid it as a result. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, extensive marketing can cost a lot of money, but you can still get dramatic results with a very modest investment.
To start with, if you don’t have a website, then you are missing out. Even though you run a local business, this can be your number one source of new customers. Studies have shown that well over 90% of people who want a local product or service start looking first on Google. Unless you show up on the first page for “International Market Los Angeles” – assuming that is what you do – this business is going to go elsewhere.
Setting up a website is relatively easy. If you want something high-end, then you will need to hire a good web designer, but if you are just looking for something that gives you a simple, professional-looking web presence, then there are companies such as GoDaddy that will give you the tools you need to build your own webpages online. They will also host the site for you once you have built it.
Once your website is up and running, you need to make sure that people can find it easily. Register your site in as many directories as possible, including both local directories and national directories with local listings. You also need to make sure that your site shows up in Google searches. To do this, set up a free AdWords account on Google, and use this to discover the phrases that people search for which are relevant to your business – such as the “International Market Irvine” example we just discussed. Include these phrases on your website, making sure that they are located in relevant, high quality content, and that the phrases are not repeated too often. It would be very beneficial if you also promote your ads some online coupons.
While marketing online can deliver impressive results, you should not ignore traditional marketing. For example, if you have a retail business, getting passing traffic to notice you is essential. Think about putting up striking and memorable signage – although you want to make sure that it is appropriate for your audience. If you have special events, such as sales, then banners from suppliers such as www.bannerstandpros.com are great for advertising these.
Finally, remember that being a local business can be a strength, especially if you become part of the community. Think about sponsoring local activities – for instance, kids’ sports or family events. If there is an opportunity for your business to become involved with local charities, this is also something that is worth pursuing. Not only will this drive business from local residents, it will also give you an opportunity to give back to the community that supports you.