Customers, patients, and clients are turning to the internet in ever greater numbers when seeking all kinds of products and services near them. According to local SEO statistics from Hubspot, 71% of people say they look up and confirm a local business location before going to it for the first time. Forty-six percent of all searches on Google are local.
Does your local business have an online presence? If not, you’re losing a lot of customers. If yes, are you doing all you can to attract potential clients to your door?
Local Business Marketing Ideas to Improve Your Online Presence
Here are nine tips to improve your local search marketing results.
1. Online Presence (Essential)
Your online presence is a dominant tool that boosts your new client signups, retains existing customers, and helps you stay ahead of your competitors.
If your website is old, it gives the impression that your services are also behind the times. Have an engaging social media profile, keep your website and your contact information up-to-date. Explain your services in easy to understand detail, and use local search engine optimization and YouTube SEO to help search engines direct customers to your door.
Your website should be your virtual business card containing all the information needed for new and existing customers to contact you.
2. Community Participation and Networking
Community participation is an efficient way to attract new customers. Make sure your business actively seeks out and participates in community events, both online and offline, to develop trust and ensure you keep your brand, message, services, and staff in the public eye. Consider sponsoring a local event, fun run, or fundraiser, or completing volunteer work or sponsoring a local sports team.
3. Email Campaign Marketing – Send Offers & Discounts to Their Inboxes
Email marketing is an effective form of revenue generation. Ideally you want every customer on your email list. But avoid spamming them as you will quickly lose their attention and perhaps annoy them.
Options to include in a regular email newsletter:
• News about your community engagement
• Tips to make their lives better and solve problems relevant to your business
• Customer success stories obtained with their approval
• Important news relating to your business
• Exciting new services, business milestones, and even staff success celebrations.
4. Join Online Communities
Online communities help you extend your reach in areas familiar to your potential clients. As well as demonstrating your professionalism, knowledge, and your engagement as an active community participant, online communities allow you to increase your digital footprint in comparison to your competitors.
The goal should be to appear more frequently than your closest competitors, with the aim being that potential clients will begin to think of your brand first.
5. Facebook Marketing
With so many people actively using Facebook, it’s crucial to have a page potential customers can like and follow. The biggest benefit of Facebook marketing is that your current clients, provided they interact with your page, will help your posts appear in their friends’ newsfeeds. This will organically grow your local Facebook audience.
6. Make Content Marketing Your Base to Attract More Traffic
Does your business create engaging articles and blogs that catch the eye of your potential customer base? Implement a regular publishing schedule to produce effective, informative, fun, and relevant information that your client base is dying to read. Be consistent, add value to everything you publish, and anticipate your clients’ needs in advance to make sure each post exceeds their expectations.
7. Create an Offer They Can’t Beat
If you want to outdo your competitors, you will need to create competition-beating offers your customers can’t refuse. Many can’t pass up a good deal, and perhaps your business can find a way to offer a discount up front that builds loyalty over the long run.
For example, a dentist could offer a complimentary teeth whitening service for new patients. A plumber could offer a complete plumbing inspection to help customers avoid known pitfalls. (You’ll almost certainly find something that has to be fixed.)
8. Enhance Your Google My Business Page
a. Manage how customers view your business
With Google My Business (GMB), you have more control over how your business appears online. Make sure each phrase, image, and caption truly reflects the mission, philosophy, and offerings of your business and you’ll capture more email sign-ups.
b. Keep your info updated so people can find you
While you probably keep regular hours, there may be times your business closes early or shuts completely, such as on a bank holiday. Continually update your information so potential customers know how to find you when they need you.
c. Turn snapshots into sales
Attractive images sell more than words alone could ever do. Make sure you update your business page with images that truly reflect what your business is doing right now. If you offer a new service, show it off with a photograph.
d. Build loyalty by starting a conversation
Instead of just viewing reviews as they roll in, get involved and respond to your customers. Thank them for positive reviews and take immediate action if something is wrong. Maintain a positive, professional tone and clients will reward you with their custom.
e. Bring in business by sharing what’s new
If you have new services or information, make sure you share it on your GMB page. This will help you bring in new customers as they scroll through Google in search of a solution to their problem.
f. Create repeat business with regular updates
Once you’ve obtained a customer, you need to maintain your visibility to them to make sure they come back to you. To do this, create regular updates to remind them of your presence.
g. Show events, blog posts, offers and more on Google Business Page
Instead of showing the same old posts that every competitor shares, consider adding in special events, links to interesting blog posts, and special offers. This will make your business appear more lively, up-to-date, and innovative when compared to your competition.
9. Get Easy Referrals from Customer Reviews
Ask your current customers or clients to complete review forms either via email or at reception. Get their consent to use these reviews in your marketing information. Even better, ask your clients to review your business directly on your site and build up a portfolio of testimonials which will demonstrate your service quality and trustworthiness in the community.
With a targeted, up-to-date, comprehensive online and offline strategy, your local business will be the leader in your area, strides ahead of your competition. Presence is everything, so make sure you are present everywhere your potential customers are.
Usman Raza is a marketing specialist at PSDtoWPService.com and co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts. He has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2001 and editing and managing websites since 2006. A generalist, Raza primarily covers business and technology topics. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.