5 Key Steps to Marketing Your Local Business OnlineWritten by Evelina (InvoiceBerry.com) on July 30, 2015
New technological advancements are making it easier than ever to target localized markets and maximize your potential. This article will give you some solid tried and tested tips that you can adopt in order to better target a more local market. There has been a common notion that the internet really helps small businesses reach out to a more global or international market. However, you need to start with mastering the marketing for your local market first before going global. With the help of different software and tools you can even target particular post codes and niche regions.
So have a look at some of the options below to see what steps you can take to market your local business online.
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1. Online Directories
The internet is a very powerful marketing tool. The first step you can take to start marketing online is get your business listed on Google’s Local Business Centre and put yourself on Google Maps. It’s absolutely free to do so and only takes a few days. Google sends you a passcode via the post to your business address to verify authenticity. Once you fill out the online form and get your passcode, your name will appear on Google’s listings and maps.
There are lots of other local online directories that you can list your business in. Look for online directories in your particular industry or niche market. They are best to target as a low-cost method of reaching out to the right market segment. Getting yourself listed in these online directories will not only give you recognition there but will also help in greatly improving your search engine ranking.
2. Social Networking
Another great way to help your local customers find you online is by utilizing the power of social networking.
Social media platforms themselves really help in reaching out to a more global market. There are various apps that you can get listed on for example Foursquare. This is a free mobile app that is location-based and is great for getting listings of local businesses that range from clothing to bars and restaurants.
Apart from that, it goes without saying, to make sure you are active on Facebook. Make sure you create a local business page which again is totally free and that you start actively posting on it. You can also create Facebook ads that are targeted only to a particular geographical area. This way you can make sure your advertisement is only seen by people in your local area. But make sure your marketing activities don’t just stop there. You have to invest in a long term plan and make sure your engagement activity with your audience is always high on these social media platforms.
Another way to get more recognition for your local business is to start blogging. It’s also helpful in terms of targeting all right keywords so you can improve your search engine ranking on Google. Likewise it helps you establish yourself as an authentic person on the subject you are blogging about. Just make sure you have solid content to put out there as something mediocre can soon turn against you and actually slice down your online reputation.
4. Invest on your website
Your main online marketing tool is your website. Make sure you don’t leave that up to an amateur. Your website is the face of your company and so you have to make sure it looks and reads professional. There should be no room for typos or other kinds of errors. It should always reflect the same standard of quality that your business stands for. Along with that, never forget the importance of making it user friendly. That is the number one reason why many websites have a high bounce rate.
Keep monitoring your website’s statistics to see how many people are visiting your website, which pages they visit the most, and how long on average they spend on the website. Google Analytics is fantastic for this. So make sure you have an account on it so you can start monitoring your KPI’s.
5. Ask for reviews
This is one of the most important online marketing strategies. In the long run, you should really aim to build on a solid list of great online reviews by customers that love your product or service. This really helps improve all the above online activities too. For example if you are on Google, then set up a Google+ page. A Google+ has a lot more weight than a Facebook “like”. A Google+ page also has a feature that allows people to use a review as does Facebook. Start some promotional activities that encourage people to leave you good reviews on your Google+ page, Facebook page, and other online listings where your business is mentioned.
You can also set up a reviews page on your website and a form where people can directly email a review to you. This can also serve as a powerful feedback tool. It helps you figure out which areas of your business need improvement and which areas are your strong suite.
These five methods can help you get started in the world of online marketing for your local business. There are lots of other techniques to adopt too but let’s start by focusing on these five. Once you have mastered these techniques, you can move on to more advanced ones.