5 Local Small Business Marketing Tips
5 Local Small Business Marketing Tips to Help Customers Find You
by Andreas Bünter, Founder GetYourExpert
If you do everything right, you’ll be a star in local search. Follow these 5 tips for local small business marketing to come out on top.
1. Improve Local Small Business Marketing with a Strategy
To truly succeed at local small business marketing, you need a strategy.
Generally, your strategy is what guides you every step of the way. It lays everything out like a roadmap and gives you specific paths to follow:
- Which digital marketing strategies you will use to market online (content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.)
- Finding your audience and gearing your marketing to them
- Setting marketing goals and how you will measure them
- Laying out your marketing budget
Without a strategy, your marketing will be random and unorganized, which are never precursors to success.
2. Claim Your Local Small Business Listings
One of the first major necessities for local small business marketing is claiming your business listings on directories and channels like Google and Yelp. You’ll also need to add your NAP (name, address, phone number) to the major business listing data aggregators like Infogroup, Factual, and Acxiom.
A few keys to remember:
- Make sure your NAP information is consistent. Always provide the exact same information with the exact same wording on every channel. For example, if you use an abbreviation in one listing, use it everywhere else (i.e. Luke’s Hospital vs. Saint Luke’s Hospital).
- Prioritize claiming your Google My Business Having one is the biggest factor for ranking in local search, according to Darren Shaw for Moz.
3. Create Content Around Local Keywords
Before you can rank in local search, you need to know what local keywords your audience is searching for. Some keyword research can help you discover these, so you can create in-depth content around them.
- Use a keyword research tool to find relevant local keywords for your industry. Start with your main service/product and tack on your city or state. (Example: “dentist in Lexington” or “gentle dentistry in Lexington KY”.)
- Look for keywords with a KD (keyword difficulty score) less than 50. It will be too difficult to rank for anything rated higher, especially if you’re a new business.
- Good news: Once you start ranking for lower-difficulty keywords, you can begin to aim for the higher-difficulty ones thanks to the authority you’ve established.
- You can additionally check your web analytics to see the keywords users have searched in the past to find your website.
4. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Don’t forget to optimize the pages of your site for local search in addition to your newly published content. These count as content, and you could easily rank for a service page or landing page if they’re optimized correctly.
- Add your town, city, or state to page titles, meta descriptions, and headers where appropriate.
- Include your contact information and physical address wherever it’s relevant, including page sidebars, footers, and on your contact page.
- If your business has multiple locations, create unique landing pages for each one with different content.
5. Be Mindful of Your Online Reputation
Online reviews impact your web presence in a big way. Your reviews shape the way consumers see your business. Reviews even affect their decision to purchase from you or visit your location.
According to Bright Local’s annual consumer review survey, 86% of consumers read local reviews. As such, reputation management is a biggie for local small business marketing.
That said, soliciting, managing, and responding to reviews is a big undertaking if you’ve never done it before. That’s why many small businesses rely on reputation management software to help them. For a list of some of the most highly-rated tools, take a look at this guide from Search Engine Journal.
Lastly, set a system in place for replying to online reviews, including the good and the bad. Brush up on customer service and leave a good impression, even if they initially complained in their review.
Local Small Business Marketing: You’ve Got This
As you’ve probably noticed, a key part of local small business marketing is making sure you have local SEO cornered. If your audience can find you online, that’s half the battle.
Don’t forget to claim your business listings, especially your Google My Business listing, to show up when people search near their locations or in map searches. To really super-power your marketing, manage your online reviews. This includes replying to reviews to show you care about your customers’ opinions and experiences.
To make your web presence even stronger, follow these tips and stay on top of local search trends. Soon, you’ll be drawing more web traffic and even more foot traffic, too.