5 Local Business Digital Marketing Strategies
Dominate your competition and own your city with these local business digital marketing strategies.
If you run a local business, you might think you have a disadvantage compared to global companies, you're limited to a locale and they can sell to the entire world. But here's the deal; with local business comes less competition and with less competition means greater probability of dominating your niche as people search for information you have online.
If they want to find a restaurant, then they type in restaurants near me or they hop onto Yelp. They want to find a dentist, so they search for ‘best dentists in Calgary’. The fact is that searching online is a lot more convenient than looking through the yellow pages or aimlessly driving around and this is only growing more popular.
So as a local business owner, you need to make yourself discoverable where your customers are looking.
Here are five simple strategies you can use to get more people through your doors using online digital marketing strategies.
1. Your Website
Your website is the single most important element for your local business online. You absolutely must have a website and it has to be easy to navigate and give your customer’s access to everything they need or should know about you. Your website is the foundation of your business in the digital world. Invest the time and money to make sure it is doing everything it can to help your business grow. You are being judged by your website, it is your opportunity to make a first impression, make sure it is a good one.
2. Social Proof
The first is to build social proof where your customers are already looking. The best social proof for a business is not a listing in the local paper. It's to be highly reviewed on websites where your customers already are. If you're a restaurant owner, then ask your happy customers to leave a review on Yelp. If you're a medical professional, then look to Rate MD’s or if you have a Google Local listing, ask them to leave a review there. When the next person comes looking for your business, they are going to instantly see that other people used your product and or service and they like or trust it; which is why they should too.
3. Local SEO
Doing search engine optimization (SEO) for a local business is a much easier endeavor because of the lack of competition, and it's really strange because there are more and more businesses opening, but the level of competition online isn't rising the same way. For example, let’s look at Calgary, the third largest city in Canada; you would think marketing a chiropractic business will be difficult. Now, the most popular phrase that people in Calgary are searching for is Calgary chiropractor, which gets 280 local searches after the ads and local listings. There are a couple directories like Yelp and Opencare, but then you see two chiropractic offices. This is the best part about Local SEO, ranking for a mega keyword will also help you rank for other related keyword phrases. For example, one of the clinics also ranks for a chiropractor Calgary, Calgary, chiropractor and chiropractor downtown Calgary and a bunch more. These 3 keyword phrases bring in 1380 monthly searches of people looking to get treatment. With a modest conversion rate of 3% they can get at least 41 new leads every single month just using SEO.
A large part of the ranking factors has to do with the quantity and quality of backlinks that are pointing to a page. You’ll see that these two have an extremely low amount of referring domains pointing to it. And if you dig even deeper. The qualities of these links are mostly garbage or from directories that anyone can create. You can skyrocket your SEO by building quality links through guest blogging or by simple outreach. Try and go for relevant links that are within your niche and an even more powerful ‘ranking signal’ will be getting links from domains that are in your city or country. Think of this as a local meetup, in the digital world.
4. Facebook Advertising
As part of a good social media marketing strategy, Facebook advertising is the most powerful paid advertising channel on the planet. You can target people based on demographics and psycho-graphics, and what makes it absolutely mind-blowing is that you can target people based on their postal codes. We tell real estate agents all the time to stop knocking on doors, because people don't want to answer it. Instead throw up some Facebook ads and farm their computers and mobile devices instead of their neighborhood.
Maybe you've tried Facebook ads, but you didn't get the results you wanted, and it's probably because you were doing them all wrong. People don't log into Facebook looking for a chiropractor and they don't log into Facebook hoping to buy a new home. They log in with the intention of finding something interesting or helpful and maybe being part of a community.
If you’re a local small business, look at what your friends are sharing and then target people who are a willing to commute to your location or be they have a need for your product or services.
Targeting location is easy. You type in a city, name, town, name, multiple city and town names or add multiple postal codes within your area. Take a look through your customer list and use their postal codes as a way to create a geo-boundary. Now create ads that fulfill the intent of why someone logs into Facebook. If you're a real estate agent, create a lead magnet like a report on undervalued neighborhoods in the area? Make it interesting and educational. Ask them to opt-in for your newsletter (email marketing), and then you can start communicating with them through email. Use this as your way to nurture your audience and sell to them later. Whatever you do, don't send visitors to your homepage. You have to send them to a page that has information on relating to why they clicked. If you don’t, I can guarantee you that you'll burn more money than you make.
5. Local Networking
The last strategy is local networking. Sure, it’s not exactly an online strategy, but I want you to take this seriously. The concept is simple: Find non competing businesses in your area and cross promote each other's businesses.
If you're a florist in a busy part of town, go to the chiropractor across the street and say to them, ‘hey, I'm Sandy; I own the flower shop across the street. I just wanted to introduce myself since we're neighbors. I thought we could help each other out. Would you mind if I left some business cards here for your front desk? I'D be happy to do the same for you with any promotional material you have now.
You might think this is a dumb idea, but look at the local businesses in your area. You have probably seen these before and it's because people got out of their chairs and started networking with other local businesses. Now, if you want to take this, even a step farther then go to related businesses where you can share customers so that flower shop might go to a wedding venue or to a funeral home and you'd promote those businesses too in your shop. This strategy is going to help you build relationships with other business owners in your area and it will help both of you flourish.
Now take action on these five local business digital marketing strategies to grow your business and dominate your city!