If you’re a small business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improving your marketing with better tools, best practices and new strategies. For small B2C businesses, local marketing is a way to identify itself as “one of you” and even specialize in the needs of local customers and businesses. In addition, local marketing is profitable. According to Google, 18% of consumers searching locally made a purchase at a store they found in that search, compared to just 7% of non-local searches. As customers continue to expect and reward more personalized experiences, now is the time to embrace local marketing or risk getting shut out.
If you haven’t heard of Google’s Venice update, then you may not realize that you’re already in the local SEO game now, whether you’re prepared or not. Rather than leave your success in the hands of Google, take control of your local SEO. Start by including the information people want most: the full address of your locations, phone numbers, hours of operation, and directions. Providing these in the footer of your website allows it to be displayed on every page and to be consistent, which helps search engines verify your site. Just be sure it’s up to date and also accounts for local holiday hours.
Google Places ensures your small business shows up when your customers search directly from Google Maps. It’s free and as easy as setting up a profile page. Be sure you select the right category for your business and use the exact same contact information that is on your website to stay consistent. Set a calendar reminder to check the information every quarter and before the holidays so your customers get the most up to date information.
From Yelp, to Tripadvisor, there are more local listing sites than you have time to list your company on. Instead, target one or two that make the most sense for your business: Yelp if you’re a restaurant, Angie’s List if you’re a roofer, or BizJournals.com if you’re a B2B service. Chances are good that there’s a local listing site your customers already use to find businesses like yours. If you’re not sure, ask your customers or review your Google Analytics to identify where your website traffic is coming from.
If your small business has multiple locations, creating a landing page for each will improve with your local SEO. Look for ways to personalize each location’s landing page to locals, like adding images of local street art. If you can find ways to officially or unofficially join neighborhood activities like a local Food Truck night, all the better. Show that you’re local and then put it on your landing pages.
Local marketing not only allows you to compete better, it can also have a significant impact on your bottom line. By tweaking your digital marketing activities to include local audiences, any small business can successfully embrace local marketing.