One of the most effective digital marketing tactics for small businesses is to improve local search engine optimization (SEO). Although it helps to cast a wide net when it comes to improving your search results, honing in on local SEO can help you attract more local customers, which is especially helpful if you’re running a physical store, café, restaurant, or any other kind of business that relies on local customers.
There are some simple to implement strategies that can help you swiftly improve your business reputation and attract more local customers.
Open a Google My Business account
The first thing that any small business should do is to open a Google My Business account. Google My Business is one of Google’s many free services that helps small businesses boost their brand reputation and make themselves more visible in Google searches. Plus, it’s completely free to start an account.
One of the main perks of opening a Google My Business account is that it’ll get your business listed on Google Maps. By entering your business name and address, you can instantly make your business visible to any local consumers who search for nearby businesses on Google Maps. It’ll also make your business website more visible in Google searches.
A Google My Business account can also help you in many other ways. You can include pictures of your products to entice people who find you on Google Maps. You can also encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. It’s also great for your brand reputation. Make sure you fill in your Google My Business account thoroughly to attract more customers.
Create content targeted at local keywords
Content marketing is an incredibly effective way to attract new customers. All kinds of businesses create content based on popular keywords and search terms, making it easy for potential customers to find them via Google searches. What’s more, you can also focus your content marketing efforts on local customers.
One of the fastest ways to build your local SEO is to create content targeted at local customers. For example, let’s say you’re running an Italian restaurant in Hartford, CT. Instead of creating blogs with generic keywords such as “best Italian restaurants”, use long-tail keywords like “best Italian food in Connecticut” or “family restaurants in Hartford”.
It helps to use keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner and KeywordTool.io to find out what people in your area are searching for. You might even want to create content based on local trends and news stories to attract more people to your business. Make sure your entire website is optimized for local SEO and you’ll find it much easier to attract local customers.
Build a local following on social media
Social media has become increasingly important for businesses, especially small businesses trying to build their brand reputation and visibility. You can attract followers from all over the web on social media platforms by posting interesting content, using relevant hashtags, and getting involved in discussions.
Much like you can adapt your content marketing to attract more local visitors, you can also focus your social media marketing efforts on building a local following. For instance, you can get involved in local discussions, follow people in your local area, and use hashtags based on your city, state, or county.
Remember to also include your business address on platforms like Facebook and Linkedin. You could even include your city or town in the title of your business social media accounts. If you want to get more local followers fast, you might even want to start a competition or promotion offering discounts to local customers who follow you and visit your business.
Get in the local news
One of the most effective ways to bring your business to the attention of local customers is via the local news. While many older consumers still read newspapers, younger consumers read the websites of local news outlets, and you can easily harness both of these platforms to gain more customers.
There are various ways to get in the local news. You might want to host a local event or share the story of how you started a local business. You can also ask newspapers to advertise sales promotions or even post coupons for your business. This can quickly get you many new customers.
If you’re unsure about how to get in the local news, you might want to talk to a local public relations (PR) firm. They’ll know how to get some positive press for your business and will likely already have contacts in the local news that they can use to help you.
List your business on local directories
Listing your business on local directories is another highly effective way to boost your local SEO and attract more customers. While Google My Business is one of the best places to list your business, you should also utilize other popular directories to help people in your local area find you.
Start by listing your business on popular online directories such as Yelp, YellowPages, Foursquare, and MapQuest. You can also list your business on Linkedin’s business directory after making a business account. After that, you should look for local directories and local news sites that list businesses in the area.
Another great way to make more sales is to list your business on TripAdvisor. Many people use the TripAdvisor website or app to find local shops, cafés, attractions, and other such businesses when they visit a new area. Even some locals use TripAdvisor to find fun things to do in their local area. List your business here and you could quickly gain new customers and even boost your search rankings.
Local SEO is one of the best ways to get more customers for your small business. These local SEO strategies will quickly make your business more visible in Google searches to local consumers. On top of that, they can also improve your overall brand reputation and visibility. Use them to your advantage and you’ll soon see a sharp increase in your sales.