When you limit your marketing to local listings in direct mail and newspapers, you’re doing your business a disservice. While these forms of advertising have their place, they aren’t as efficient or measurable as online marketing. When most people start to shop for a product or service, they whip out their mobile devices or tablets and jump on the Internet. We encourage you to guide your marketing budget away from print marketing and put it in local online marketing. Discover these 4 tips to advertising locally online.
1. List with Google Places. When you list with this service, you get to add a link to your business to Google’s map. When visitors view the map of the area around where your business is located, they will see the link. Potential customers will also see promotions, pictures, videos and any other information you provide. This can increase your visibility in the community and bring in extra revenue from vacationers who visit the area.
2. Use geo-targeted keywords. Search engine algorithms are designed to return the most relevant results. If a person in Georgia is searching for a place to eat, a hamburger joint in New York is not going to do them any good. Since your goal is to advertise locally, using strategically placed geo-targeted keywords for SEO will improve your chances of being found by locals searching for certain services. Geo-targeted keywords have a geographical location attached to them. These keywords can include neighborhoods, street names, states, countries and continents.
3. Provide excellent customer service. How you treat your customers says a lot about your business. If your service is sub-par with customer expectations, customers might post their experiences on a social networking site such as Yelp. Yelp is a place where people can find reviews on anything from hotels to restaurants to dog grooming places. Any feedback from customers is visible for their millions of viewers to see. If your business is littered with negative reviews, people will be turned off and your chances of getting new customers will diminish. Seek positive testimonials and you’ll be able to drive more local traffic.
4. Stay in touch with existing customers. While customers are paying for their goods, ask for their email addresses. This way, you can send them newsletters, updates and special promotions via email. When you keep your business in customers’ faces, they are likely to come back. Don’t get too heavy-handed with the emails. If you go overboard, people will think unsubscribe and they won’t want to have anything to do with your business.
Online advertising is the secret sauce when it comes to local business success. If you aren’t doing it, you’re missing an significant opportunity to grow your business. Methods such as as listing with Google Places, using geo-targeted keywords, keeping contact with existing client and providing excellent service will have customers flowing in from all directions.