Having an online presence is key to getting your business in front of potential customers. And, for a small business that target local markets, it’s essential.
Around 50% of consumers who use smartphone to do a local search will visit a local store within a day and 34% of those who use a computer or tablet do the same. 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases.
The numbers stack up.
However, online marketing for small businesses is getting more competitive, consumers expectations have changed and things are changing at a rapid rate – with so many challenges to overcome, how can you succeed in 2017?
If you want to promote your business locally then try implementing some of these simple strategies to make sure 2017 counts for your business.
Reuse and recycle
If you were a large business then you’d likely have the resources at hand to employ a person for each area of marketing – content creation, social media, website etc. But if you’re a small business looking to make headway on the local marketing strategy chances are you’re either doing all of the above yourself.
Content still rules supreme in 2017 so get more content live online by having a plan to reuse and recycle all of the content you create and have created. Remember, not everything you post needs to be created from scratch.
Start with one piece of high quality content and repurpose it across all social media channels – reuse the same content to reach the same customers across different channels – but with the same targeted message.
Consider turning that one piece of content into several blog posts – or use the research you’ve done to turn the post on it’s head. ‘10 things you need to do on social media’ … can easily be turned into ‘10 mistakes you’re making with social media.’
Leverage the local partnerships you already have
If you’re looking to target people in a specific geographic location nearby, then forming partnerships with local organisations can be a beneficial way to build your online presence and promote your business to new local markets.
Start by making a list of businesses and organisations you already have a relationship with. Consider:
Could you sponsor an event, awards ceremony, competition, conference or charity?
Audit your online presence on other websites
Mentions of your business name, address and phone number are an important ranking factor for Google local business listings as they use them to validate that your business exists and where exactly it is located. The more quality citations you have, the more confident Google is that your business matches what their searcher is looking for.
So it’s important that how your business is listed online is consistent and identical everywhere online. Take some time out at the start of the year to search and review all the places your business is listed and make sure all details are present and correct.
Consider checking through:
Make asking for reviews and ratings standard
I’ve written before about how essential testimonials and reviews are to your online local marketing strategy here.
But to recap, testimonials, reviews and ratings from your customers, provide a potential customer who visits your website with genuine social proof that your product or service is as good as you say it is – and that is priceless.
In essence customer reviews and testimonials promote trust and authority – two key ingredients for encouraging more people to convert once they land on your website.
Start proactively asking people to leave a review online or to rate you on a relevant review website. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll start to benefit by appearing higher in Google’s local business listings. Consider asking your customers in person or setting up an automated email that gets sent once they’e made a purchase or used your service.
5. Make more of the local Media
Making the most of local media can be a great way to give your local marketing strategy a boost. As we’ve mentioned above getting your business name out and about online is great for letting Google know you exist. Getting mentions and links back to your website from local media websites is another great way to improve your position in Google’s local business results.
For more tips on how to increase the chances of your business appearing in Google’s local business results online check out Glasshat. Glasshat tells you exactly what your business needs to do next online to drive more traffic to your website. Sign up for a free trial and get started on your local marketing strategy today.