6 Tips For Marketing Your Business To Get More Local Customers

6 Tips For Marketing Your Business To Get More Local Customers

 

For businesses that rely on local customers, marketing used to mean putting an advert in a shop window or local newspaper, or maybe handing out flyers. Now, local online marketing has really come into its own and provides businesses with a whole host of different tactics to get in front of new customers.

 

But, to really get the most out of local online marketing, businesses need to make sure they’re doing it right and not just wasting time and effort. Here are our Top Tips on How to Really Succeed in Local Online Marketing.

 

  1. Have a plan and stick to it

 

This should be obvious, but unfortunately it’s a crucial step that many businesses forget. If your marketing isn’t planned out it becomes almost impossible to track and measure any improvements, or lack of improvements that you make.

 

If you have no previous experience of putting a marketing plan together then take some time to do a bit of research, dull as it may seem it is a far better use of your time than going in blind! A basic local online marketing plan could start off by listing your business goals, then breaking down how you intend to achieve them.

 

For example, do you want to increase revenue by 10% across the quarter? How do you intend to get there? Will you employ an additional sales person, or will you sell higher value products? How will you get that message across to potential customers?

2. Invest in a Mobile Friendly website.

  • 40% Of Mobile Searches Have Local Intent (Source: Google: Creating Moments that Matter)
  • In October 2016, mobile internet web usage took over desktop (Source: Telegraph)
  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead. (Source: MicKinsey & Company)

Make sure your website is mobile ready

 

With Statistics like these it’s pretty obvious that you need your website to be mobile ready! People who are searching from their mobile are likely to be out and about, looking for what they need at that moment. If your website can’t be opened from their phone because it uses flash, or because there is too much to load then you could be missing out on valuable business leads every day.

 

3. Make Sure Your Campaigns Are Geo-Targeted.

 

geo targeting

 

If you want to attract customers within a specific local area, then it’s no good aiming your adverts far and wide where people from anywhere in the world can see them but can’t take action!

 

Sites such as Facebook and Google Adwords and other Display Ad networks, allow you to target ads using a geo-location feature, meaning your adverts will only be seen by people in the locations that you specify.

 

Think about how far people are likely to travel for your service and then target those areas to find your new customers.

Research conducted by Bright Local conducted a survey asking respondents how far they would drive to for 13 different local services. The results are below.

 

Driving Times to Local Businesses Infographic

 

Interestingly people are willing to travel for 5 minutes longer to visit a Dentist/Doctor than they would a Solicitor or an Accountant.

 

Alarmingly people are willing to travel an extra 2 minutes to go to a Pub then to a Gym. What does that say?

 

Make sure that your location is obvious to anyone who might be searching your kind of service within your area. Don’t leave this information confined to the contact us page. Include your location details on every page of your site so Search engines recognise it and more importantly potential customers know exactly where you are.

 

4. Engage with Customers Online.

 

social media engagement

 

When you’ve spent a lot of time building up your local online marketing you also need to be seen as a real human presence, not just a marketing machine. This means you need to take some time to engage with your customers, respond to comments they leave on your website, have conversations via Twitter, and thank people for their feedback.

 

Social Proof is now all important, and online comments and actions that remain searchable and in the public domain are often viewed as being just as important as recommendations from Friends and Family.

 

Don’t undermine your own marketing efforts by forgetting to be a real person!

 

5. Be Top of the Search Engines

Basic SEO strategies can help generate sales and customers so it’s vital to get it right. If the search engines recognise your site as being filled with valuable information on a subject then it also helps your credibility with customers.

Being at or near the top of search engine rankings will ensure you get the best of the search engine traffic coming to your site on a regular basis.

It’s not just SEO that gets you to the top of the Search Engines. Tools such as Google My Business also help, along with Videos, Images, reviews and a strong social media presence.

 

6. Get 5 Star Online Reviews

 

 

Local search user reviews help build new customer trust. If a person isn’t acquainted with your business, they’re going to want to get an idea that other people, past customers, are happy with the work or service you have provided before spending their money with you.

 

If they do not know anyone whom they can ask about your services they turn to online user reviews to get a feel for how you operate.

 

90% of consumers read 10 reviews or less before they feel that they can trust a business (Source: BrightLocal)

Therefore it is imperative that you have in place a system to get clients to leave their positive feedback online.

 

Local Online Marketing is not complicated but with increased competition for people’s attention, time and money it is vitally important to have a plan and continuously act on it to build a stream of new customers.

Get 5 star reviews fast

3 Benefits of SEO Services for small businesses

3 Benefits of SEO Services for small businesses

Three Benefits of SEO Services for small businesses

benefits of seoLet’s consider for one moment what it would be like if nobody could find your business. You have built an impressive store front, you have invested heavily in stock and nobody is walking through your door.

Let’s take it one step further, what if your phone is not even ringing? It’s likely that it wouldn’t be long before you went out of business. What would you do?

This may be a little extreme but the point is this: you might have the best looking website on the planet but if nobody knows you are there then the chances of you earning a healthy profit from it, or even getting any leads, are very slim.

In order to guarantee that your website gets visitors that lead in to sales then you need to position it in front of the relevant search traffic. So how do you do that?

You can target a local audience

You may have been in business for 10 years but you can’t just rely on your regular customer base. Without fresh faces popping their head through the door you will not continue to grow and be around for another 10 years.

Search engine optimisation allows you to specifically target your local community and make sure that when they need your services you are their first point of call.

The chances are that very few people dig out the yellow pages or go through the local paper when they are looking for services and that is why you need to be positioned in the search engines to benefit.

You can Attract Highly Qualified Visitors

There are many online advertising methods that small businesses can use to drive traffic to a website however they are not all created equal.

There has been much said about “click happy” people who click on pay per click or blog adverts just to see what is on the other side with no intent to go any further, purely because they want to see what is at the end of the trail.

Sure, if you have a solid conversion optimisation strategy in place then you can increase the number of leads or sales. However the conversion number could still fall short of the number you could achieve via natural search engine optimisation.

When a user sees a listing in the search engine results pages they automatically feel comfortable that the information presented will be relevant to their needs and therefore only click when they have a specific interest.

You Can Increase Word of Mouth Marketing

In order to benefit from high organic search listings your website needs to have social signals e.g. people need to be talking about, recommending and sharing information concerning your business.

The more this happens the more the search engines believe your website is of high quality and will increase your position in the search rankings, resulting in a greater amount of traffic and sales.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. What does matter is that you are properly represented to the online world through effective search engine optimisation.

Website Optimisation – Make it to the Top in 10 Easy Steps

Website Optimisation – Make it to the Top in 10 Easy Steps

Website Optimisation in 10 Easy Steps

website optimisationAs a business owner who is looking to leverage the power of the internet to increase sales and drive revenue your aim is to get your web pages listed on the first page of search results, which with many thousands and often millions of competing search results appearing for any given term, is a tough, tough task. As Google receives the lion’s share of the all search queries, a techradar.com report, showed that during May 2012, Google took a 91.17 per cent share of the search market in the UK, this post will focus on website optimisation strategies that you can employ to improve your business standings in search and the results it brings.

10 Website Optimisation Techniques for Prominence in Google.

1. Content is, and always will be, King.

A bulk standard five page website, that consists of home page, about us, products and services, FAQ and contact us, is not good enough to deserve to be placed in the search results pages for anything other than your name. If your internet presence is simply there so people can find you when they search for your name then that is all it is good for. If you want to appear for keyword ideas related to your business then you need to start thinking about publishing content that deserves attention.

This means publishing content related to your business and your industry such as what benefits your business and services can provide for potential customers, or helpful advice on how to get the best out of your products and services. This content needs to be published on a regular basis so that the search engines see that you are attempting to give the user the best possible search experience.

The search engine algorithms are constantly being updated; between 500-600 times a year, each time introducing new methods on best practice website optimisation. However, the one thing that never changes is the search engines require quality content. So be sure to have good, well written and unique content that focuses on your target audience and is optimised for search using keywords.

2. Links are Queen

If content is King then links from high ranking authority sites are Queen. You want to build a network of links back to your site with your keyword phrase as the link. But remember, if there is not a good reason for that site to be linking to you, then you don’t want or need the link as it will actually go against you.

Off page optimisation and link building is important because without links and references back to a web page then it is known as an orphan page, it is alone and no one knows it is there. As far as the search engines are concerned, no-one cares that it is there.

Once the search engines can see that you have relevant links pointing back to your domain and to other pages deeper into the site it will pay more attention as it sees these links as a citation that the content that you have written is of value and therefore will reward you with higher positions in the search engines.

3. On Page Optimisation

As a web user if you search for “red potatoes” and you click on a result you expect to find an article about red potatoes. The first thing that you may look for is the phrases red potatoes in the title

“The origin of red potatoes”

“Red potato recipes”

“12 varieties of red potatoes”

These articles from initial point of view are of relevance, an article titled “the potato famine” may not be relevant to your search and therefore will be placed further down the search engine results pages (serps)

The title is just one of many different criteria such as the liberal use of the keyword phrase throughout the article to remind people of the relevance of the document that search engine look for, click on the following link to find out more about on page optimisation

4. Don’t be vain

Unless your company is Nike or Audi, people are not going to be searching for you by name; they are going to be searching for you by what you do. If you need to include your name put it at the end of the title tag giving your keyword term the more prominent position.

5. Think Long Tail

The chances of ranking for the keyword “SEO “are very, very slim. In fact with 887,000,000 other pages competing for that keyword you probably need to be a genius and have millions of pounds to spend. Instead, choose a long tail keyword phrase that is more exact e.g. “improve search engine ranking”. Then you will find less competition and a more specific audience.

Experian Hitwise research shows that nearly half of all searches conducted in the UK in July 2012 used three or more words. source

If website optimisation for keywords and phrases related to your industry is what you are trying to achieve then go after targeted long tail keywords. Yes there will be less searches but equally there will be less competition and the searchers will be more qualified.

 

6. Think Local

For businesses with a physical storefront or presence, consider using local modifiers within your targeted keywords or phrases. Over 20% of all searches are conducted by people looking for a local product, service, news item or event. So, if your business has a catchment area make sure you include local modifiers when thinking about website optimisation in your key phrase. Instead of “SEO consultant” you may have “SEO consultant Altrincham” to help local searchers find you and reduce the competition.

7. Keep it fresh

The latest Google algorithm update gives more credibility to recent content. That means if you have a static website then you need to consider adding a blog to your website and more importantly producing quality content regularly. The more targeted content that you produce, the greater the chance you have of inciting customer engagement, attracting visibility by search engines and converting those visitors into partners for your business.

Don’t compensate for quality when producing content. It may be tempting to produce vast amounts of content just to get your name out there but this will only hamper your progress. If time is short and for most business owners it is, focus on producing one piece of top quality content a week and maximising the potential of that content by promoting the hell out of it and getting it in front of as many targeted eyeballs as possible.

8. The customer always comes first

Some of the older website optimisation techniques were put in place to trick the search engines into believing their sites were the most relevant in order to get a better position in the serps.

Google is really smart and some of the tactics that used to work no longer stand a chance against an increasingly intelligent system.

Website optimisation is not about beating the system. It’s not. It is about providing an excellent user experience in accordance with the guidelines given by the search engines.

Many companies believe that website optimisation is about beating the system. It’s not. It is about providing an excellent user experience in accordance with the guidelines given by the search engines.

website optimisation tweet this

Google’s aim is to provide the ultimate search experience allowing users to find more relevant information, spend more time on the internet on sites that Google can show adverts to and thus make more money.

If your site interests people then Google will become more interested in your site. Think about satisfying your customer first and Google will love you for it.

9. Technical accuracy

Sticking with the user experience of the customer when thinking about your website optimisation, technical accuracy needs to be considered. An example here would be to use Google Webmaster tools to identify any 404 errors (these appear if a page is no longer available or the link pointing to the page is wrong) and habitually 301 redirect those URL’s to a working web page that is most relevant.

There are many other things to take into consideration, for example, mobile accessibility, submitting a sitemap and load time of your website. Although this might sound daunting and time consuming, the ultimate goal is that if all of these aspects are taken into consideration and ticked off then the user will have a better experience. And yes, you guessed it the search engines will be happier with your site.

10. Be Social

Make your content easy to share and encourage engagement from your audience. The search engines look for social signals that your content is truly adding value to your following. If people take the time to share your content to their online following then it acts as a citation that your content adds value.

After all that we come back to the same point. Content is King -if you write quality content, structured in the correct manner that educates, entertains and informs your audience you will develop an engaged community that shares your material, resulting in the search engine spiders rewarding your efforts.

Think of it as a snow ball effect, the snow ball doesn’t have to start of big but as it rolls down hill it gets bigger and bigger and takes a life of its own. Just like your site or blog, the more and more content you add, the more links you will attract, the larger the number of comments you will receive, the bigger the number of visitors to your blog and as a result you will improve search engine ranking for your site or blog naturally and then all you need to worry about is converting those readers into revenue for your business.

Website optimisation is about providing a great experience for the searcher. That means if the user finds your site relevant to the search term, they spend time looking at what you have to offer, clicking through to multiple pages, interacting with your website and brand by leaving comments and sharing your information on social media then in the eyes of the search engines, your site is worth sending more people to.

Share with us the methods of website optimisation do you use to attract targeted clients to your website by leaving a comment in the box below!