Marketing a business locally requires a different approach than marketing at a national or global level. Local optimization is essential if your business caters to an audience located within your immediate area.
As a local business, you will need to implement online strategies involving both search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO), with a particular focus on local issues, needs, and content. Here are some tips for optimizing your local online presence and being the first thing that comes to mind when your target market searches for the products or services you offer.
Get listed on Google and other local directories
Get your business officially recognized by Google and register on Google My Business. Simply follow the steps and wait for the postcard that Google will send you in the mail. This postcard contains a special pin number for your registered business address.
This will be used to verify your address and confirm that you are a legitimate business. Once you have responded and verified your business, Google will add you to Google Maps. Aside from Google, you should also register on other major listing sites such as Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and YELP.
Add your business address and phone number on every page of your website
Add this information in the header, footer, or sidebar of your website as text, not a graphic or image so search engine web crawlers will be able to read and index these text for their search results. Images are nothing but a blank space for these web crawlers, so make sure that all the contact information are placed as text all throughout your website.
It will also be helpful for your potential customers if you embed a map on your contact page so they can easily look up directions directly
Connect through Facebook.
With almost billions of people across the world active monthly users, Facebook is an enormous digital network that your business can immensely gain from at practically no cost, by constantly engaging with your target audience through your posts, private messages, shares, and comments.
You can create a Facebook page for your business and set it up as a local business page. Make sure that your address and phone number are correctly listed on this page, and specify the hours your business is open.
Once your page hits 25 “Likes”, you will be able to modify the default web address assigned to your Facebook page into a custom URL that is more marketable such as Facebook.com/YourBrand.
You can opt to advertise via Facebook Ads, which is a considerably inexpensive way to target your local region, allowing you to choose very specific demographics and areas to reach. Another way to target a specific geographic area is to “boost” or pay to promote the updates on your business page.
Integrate your social media accounts and website in all your online marketing.
Links create conversions, so once you’re done setting up all your social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, make sure you create direct links in all of your online marketing such as your email signature, email newsletters, posts, and blogs.
You can also add QR codes that can be scanned using a smartphone and will lead to your website or online promo page on your business cards, posters, display sheets
Support other local businesses and causes.
An important part of local optimization is finding other local businesses and causes and supporting them. Blog about local issues, post on social media about local
Using your business account, like, follow, or connect with other local businesses on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as local charities and non-political initiatives that would be popular with your target audience.
Visit their websites and social media pages on a regular basis and engage with them by liking, commenting, sharing, or retweeting their posts. This could eventually lead to new friendships and alliances that would