What is Local Marketing?
Local marketing is mostly used by location based small businesses like stores, restaurants, home, personal and professional services. Franchise businesses and home businesses also use local marketing to promote themselves around their specific location or service area.
A local company uses specific marketing strategies to engage new and potential customers related to their specific community. Transferring that same marketing activity to the online marketing world brings some outstanding results that can easily surpass those offline marketing activities. A huge percentage of a Local Company’s customers search online to know about products and services. Those companies can complement their offline business strategies with highly effective online marketing strategies that address the digital paradigm shift to attract and keep customers for life.
What is Local SEO?
Let's break it down. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” For business owners and webmasters, this means optimizing their website and webpages for the search engines. This ultimately means making those pages the best possible so that search engines can find them and drive traffic to the site. r
When it comes to local SEO, the strategies and tactics used are very similar, with the exception that they are focused on optimizing local search. This means utilizing search engines like your Google Business Profile and other directories, including local categories and keywords that ensure that all content has a local focus.
By doing so, when customers hop online looking for a business in their area – something more and more customers are doing – they stumble upon the websites of a businesses that have what they need. But they’ll only find those businesses that have taken the time to optimize their online content for local SEO. At its core, local SEO is simply a form of advertising, and once you start seeing it that way, you will quickly see how important it is starting with your accurate listings on local online directories
Local SEO is an extremely targeted form of advertising because the business owner isn’t actually advertising directly to the customer. It’s this way, called inbound marketing, that local SEO is so unlike television commercials, print ads, and brochures. While these methods may fall upon the ears of hundreds or even thousands, and only get the business one or two new customers, local SEO isn’t blanket advertising. Business owners don’t just have to put it out there and hope for the best. Searches are consumers intentionally taking action to find what they want rather than a blanketing of possible listeners who may or may not have a need for your product at that time.
By its very nature, local SEO automatically targets a specific audience. And, it’s even cheaper than all of those traditional forms of advertising put together.
So, does it matter if your business listings are wrong someplace on the Internet?
Yes, it certainly does. In fact, when it comes to your company’s web presence, every detail in every directory or “citation” must be correct in every single place on the Internet that your company information appears.
There are four key elements that you need to be aware of when immersing your Local Business into the Local Marketing world:
Segmentation: This defines how one group of customers is distinguished from another group of customers. It also refers to “who” you are going to target. Who is your customer.
Media: This determines “how” you will deliver your message. It shows what type of media you are using to communicate with your audience like TV, Radio, website, mobile applications, social media, local search, emails, etc.
Messaging: This defines “what” you are communicating. These messages are directed to the local population, rather than the mass market. It establishes what you should say to your audiences and in which manner you should convey those messages to turn your audience into customers and should always include a call to action.
Measurement: This is essential for evaluating your marketing efforts and measuring your results. Positive results can show you how good you are at satisfying the needs of your customers? Are they responding to your call to action?
Local marketing is an endless process instead of a campaign or event that will end after a fixed time. If you have the correct approach and do it right, it will always give you the highest return of your marketing investment and create raving fans for life.
How is Local Marketing used to Build your brand?
In the online marketing world you can use local marketing strategies to build brand awareness in your service area. It is all about how you can reach, know and interact with your audience as much as you can to get them engaged. Be sure to appear in the right category and use the most relevant keywords to differentiate you from the competition with your unique selling proposition.
Here are a few online media channels normally used to target local audiences. Your listings should appear consistently on top search engines and directories by your location and in the local market you serve. Your keywords and descriptions are used for the search engines and used by those people who are searching for a business like yours in a specific area. One category we help address is to separate you from corporate and big chains with an exclusive Directory for locally owned.
Local Listings and SEO: The Role of Business Listings in Local SEO is highest on the list. Your Local business listings and citations play a vital role in reputation, rankings, and revenue. That’s why it’s critical to see the big picture of their purpose. By using the internet and claiming your local listings you are now in control.
Reviews: Local business owners sometimes get tunnel vision when it comes to customer reviews, mistakenly assuming they don't matter. Considering that reviews are seen directly on your listing pages it matters a whole lot. If you are not registered on the search engine or directory the review was posted you will not have the opportunity to respond.
Mobile optimization: The time has come when every single thing created to be used on a desktop computer has to be optimized for mobile devices. If you don’t go mobile you will certainly be missing out on a great deal of customers. If browsing a website is fun using your laptop or your desktop computer, imaging doing it from your phone. Smartphones are in people’s pockets and hands so imagine how often they would be able to check out your business when the need arises.
Local Website: Local customers normally get excited when their favorite store, where they usually go to purchase their goods, has a website showing their products and services and have a link on your listing.
It’s a lot easier for a customer to plan with the use of a webpage where is he going to buy stuff before going there especially visitors to the area.
Having a very informative and constantly updated website will be a great help to your target audience. The majority of people prefer not to call first, it’s just easier and more fun for them to go online to search and browse a website that is on your listings. Be aware that being voice search ready is becoming more and more important. Do you offer appointment booking or online ordering?
It’s so important to keep in mind, if you’re a local business owner that probably well over half of your potential customers and ideal customers are carrying a Smartphone that is location aware and they’re searching for your type of business while in the car or in the office and they’re not on a desktop computer doing it. So, that local aspect of what you’re doing and being able to be found quickly on all devices is just critical these days.
It is amazing the fact that you can target your audience directly by positioning your local business in front of them with the use of Search engines. It has been proven that ranking at the top of the search engines for local terms can be tedious and time consuming but doable.
And the greatest thing is that just a few of your local competitors know about it or if they do, don't maintain it which puts you in a unique position to be visible to their customers.
Local Social Media: People hang out a lot more on social media networks than on a website, and that’s where you should establish your presence as well. I have no words to explain how much time, money and effort social media has invested on behalf of local businesses.
The number of followers, likes, shares, reviews, comments, retweets and any other social action shows the interest of your audience in your products.
Responding and engaging other social media users is a good way to show that you care about your audience and business but is not a substitute for the fact shoppers search for your products and services on search engines and find business listings to find information and make purchases.
When you start combining your offline marketing and online marketing tools you drive people online to get more information and then drive them into your store or event and that’s where the real power comes in is when you’re integrating all of these things.
Online Local Marketing techniques provide you with the ability to understand and track your customer’s behaviors and purchasing habits better and know more about your customers habits online than you could know just by their coming into your store. You can use online channels like search engines, mobile applications, social media and local directories to attract local customers to your website which makes it more power for influencing your customers.
For businesses trying to cultivate a strong local presence online, building a collection of quality citations from these online sources is crucial. Authoritative citations can improve a business’ visibility and help it rise above competitors in search results.
The name, address and phone number (NAP) of your business is referred to as a “citation” and can also be just your company name. The trick is knowing how to find each occurrence where your company name or the NAP of your company appears. Then, you have to know what to look for and how to correct them once you do find them.