The Entrepreneur’s Cheat Sheet to Local Marketing

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For years, local businesses shunned websites and internet marketing because they assumed they didn’t need it. After all, being listed in the Yellow Pages was sufficient, right? These days, no matter whether you serve a one-mile radius or a 10,000-mile radius, being online is a necessity, and local search is an inexpensive way to get your business found by prospective customers. Today, we share the key cornerstones of getting your business found online by listing four of the top sources of local website traffic that are not only easy to use, but also free.

1. Google Places
A great place to get started is on Google Places, so go ahead and claim your place on the Google Local Business Centre. 97% of consumers decide to buy local to support the local economy, and many of these customers may well be looking for your products and services that you offer online using Google Places. Make your biz stand out from the crowd with by adding photos, videos and promotional discounts to demonstrate why your customers should choose you over your competition.

2. Yahoo! Local

Once you’ve got your spot on Google Places, next, claim your business on Yahoo! Local. It’s easy to setup, and allows you to provide an in-depth description of your business along with several images of your products, services or premises. It’s simple to manage, and you can edit your listing at your own convenience.

3. Yellow Pages
The fail safe method of adding your business to the Yellow Pages is still a great idea, although now, it’s in a virtual format. Listing your business to the Yellow Pages website is a solid investment, and you’ll also have the ability to choose free business listings or, if your marketing budget allows it, paid-for premium ads.

4. Yelp.com
Setting up your business Yelp is one of the fastest growing user communities for researching and reviewing local businesses. You can advertise on Yelp with any size budget, and it’s a great medium to reach an already actively engaged audience.

By incorporating at least some of these steps into your marketing strategy (along with straightforward search engine optimization), you’ll begin to see a noticeable uptick in website traffic, and as a consequence, an increase in sales.

To find out more about marketing your business locally, don’t miss our upcoming webinar, ‘Targeting Local Customers‘, on Tuesday May 13th from 1-2pm ET. 

By Stefanie Neyland, as featured on the Staples Canada Blog

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