In order to survive in difficult economic times, businesses can’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to sources of potential customers. This includes utilizing your local market to bring in more business. There are some companies, such as local service businesses, that have no choice but to market locally. A laundromat, dentist or plumber in Indiana isn’t helped by someone in Maine finding their website.
Whether you need business from your local market to survive or not, it’s still wise to go after it as much as possible. There are some solid online strategies for local marketing that can help an already successful business grow to greater heights or save a floundering company.
Optimize Your Website for Local Search Rankings
Your website is your company’s online lobby. It’s the first impression most people will have of your business. For this reason, it needs to look and perform exceptionally as well as have all the needed content to answer visitors’ questions and convert them into leads or customers. Beyond this, there are specific strategies you can employ to help your website come up more when potential customers in your town search for a local business to deal with.
- Geo-Targeted Keywords and Landing Pages
As a general rule, focusing on more specific keywords will yield more highly-targeted prospects. They are also easier to rank highly under on search engine results pages since fewer competitors will be focusing on them. There are many ways you can narrow the focus of a keyword or phrase that someone types or speaks into their phone when doing a search and one of these is geographical.
If you are a divorce attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, you probably have pages on your website that are focused around keyword phrases such as “divorce attorney Memphis.” This is good, but don’t stop there. Look at all the neighborhoods and close-by towns around Memphis. You also want to be under “East Memphis divorce attorney,” “Harbor Town divorce attorney,” and similarly for every nearby town and neighborhood name.
Another helpful tip is to have separate pages on your website that are tied to specific keywords that you are targeting both as a part of organic SEO campaigns and for paid search campaigns. When someone clicks on your search listing, they are taken to what’s known as a “landing page.” A landing page that is more specifically targeted to the keywords that brought someone to it will have a higher conversion rate than a more generic landing page.
- Google Maps API
The first step any business should take in online marketing is setting up a Google My Business listing. Part of the process of doing this will be setting up your Google Maps listing, which enables you to give potential customers a description of your company and helps them easily find you. As far as how this applies to optimizing your website for local search, you should also take the step of embedding the Google Maps API on your website. Google My Business gives instructions on how to do this, and it helps Google link your website to your Google Maps listing.
- Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
It has become the case over the past few years that the majority of people doing online searches do so with their phones. As just one example, 72 percent of people use their phone when performing an online search for food and beverage businesses. This is a uniquely local type of search since most people won’t be searching out of town for a place to get a drink or a bite to eat.
Websites that are not mobile-friendly just don’t cut it anymore in 2020. In fact, they haven’t been acceptable for years now, so hopefully, you already have a mobile-friendly website. If not, handle this before anything else. Testing if your site is mobile-friendly is simple. Type “mobile-friendly website test” into Google and the first result is a field you can click on to enter a website address to have Google test it for you.
Get Listings in All Relevant Local Directories
Take advantage of local online business resources in your area. Beyond the aforementioned Google My Business, you should get local listings on FaceBook Marketplace, Yellowpages.com, Yelp, Manta and a number of others. These listings help you in a couple of ways. People can directly find your company through them. Secondly, the listings will link back to your website. This gives it high-quality backlinks that strengthen the connection on Google search results pages between your company and your local area.
Use Locally Targeted Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Those geo-targeted keywords that you focus certain pages of your website around for SEO purposes can also be applied to paid search advertising. If you’re not already, sign up on Google Adwords. This is the largest pay-per-click advertising platform by far. You have to be more careful when selecting your keywords for this type of advertising because, as its name implies, you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. So, it’s important that you focus on keywords that are bringing in targeted traffic that’s truly interested in what you’re offering. In PPC advertising, in particular, it really pays to use more specific, long-tail keywords that may be three, four or five words in length. These really narrow down the search to the exact goods and services you provide.
Post About Stories of Local Interest on Social Media
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a viral social media post can be worth ten thousand. Certainly, there are things happening in your area. Post about them on your social media accounts. This can only help bring more local attention your way and may bring in some new leads and customers.
Another powerful way to use social media is to tie it into any offline local marketing methods you may be using. There are plenty of things you can be doing in your locality outside the digital world. Coordinating with local charities to run contests or promotions to raise money. You can donate prizes to competitions or contests in your area. All of this can be promoted through your social media channels.
Getting a Competitive Edge in Local Outreach
With 86 percent of people using the internet to find a local business, savvy online marketing can make the difference between success or failure in your locality. Staying current on the best methods of increasing your volume of leads and customers from your local community is a full-time job in its own right, and you already have a business to run. It takes time and knowledge to beat your competitors in this arena, and you may not have the in-house resources to accomplish it on your own. For 12 years, businesses throughout the country have trusted the digital marketing pros at Website Marketing to bring them more leads, customers and revenue.
Their SEO experts know how to refine your website to make it rank higher for people in your community. We can handle the keyword research, landing page creation, paid search marketing and social media management that will make you the go-to authority for what you offer in your area. Contact us at your earliest convenience to find out how we can help put you on the map in your city.
With over 15 years of marketing experience I have helped over 1,000 businesses amplify their customer base. I have spent the man hours to make sure every one of my clients have had a positive experience. I take the time to sit and get to know every company I work with on a personal level. I started this company to put qualified leads in front of the companies who are looking for them. The Website Marketing Company headquarters in Orlando, FL. 32803 services clients across the country.
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