Don’t be intimidated – digital marketing can help small businesses see big results, especially in local searches. Learn how to do local digital marketing and watch your online and offline business grow!
Digital and search engine marketing aren’t limited to eCommerce and multi-million-dollar online businesses. Whether you operate IRL or primarily online, digital marketing can help build local brand awareness and even the playing field for small businesses to compete globally.
What is local business in digital marketing?
Learn how to harness digital marketing strategies as a local business and optimize SEO to the next level with our simple guide.
While we’ll dig into local SEO a little later, don’t discount the power of advertising to fuel your funnel. Google Ads and other PPC platforms can help generate new leads for your local business using a keyword-driven approach. You can target audiences based on a rich database of preferences, behavior, and other demographics to use Google’s knowledge to your advantage!
In a few minutes, you can target users searching for relevant products or businesses in your area and maximize your budget by only paying Google for the users who click on your ad.
To up your local Google Ads game, try:
Hypertargeting locals within 10 km of your business or spread out to the surrounding city, region, province, or country – the options are virtually limitless!
Using Google Tag Manager to monitor and track your site conversions. Installing Google Tag Manager throughout your site lets you decide which events, like sign-up forms, count as a conversion. Once conversions are set, you can track them to measure how well your ads turn into actual results!
Leveraging trending topics. Compare your ad targets to trending Google searches using Google Trends so that you can take advantage of seasonal changes. By targeting more popular topics, you can maximize your ads and adapt them to changing user needs.
Filling out a Google Business Profile (GBP) is one of the biggest boosts for local SEO. And while ensuring your GBP is filled out as completely and accurately as possible, you shouldn’t stop there.
To up your local profile game, try:
Ensuring whenever there’s a change to your business, like hours of operation, you’re updating your profile information. When your Google profile shows you’re “Open,” and consumers travel to come see you to find your doors closed, it becomes a real recipe for customer alienation and frustration.
Adding new product photos and videos. Keep high-quality, up-to-date images on your GBP and delete those that are blurry, low-quality, or show outdated products.
Answering questions in the “Community” feature. Consumers are asking questions about your business, and you can deepen customer relationships by answering those frequently-asked questions fully. You can even optimize your site for a better UX by placing those FAQs directly on your home page so users can access these answers ASAP.
Going beyond GBP. Though Google tends to see the most searches, you should still get listed on as many relevant online directories as possible. Add your business profile to Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, Yahoo Places, Manta, FourSquare, and other local directories in your town, city, or region. The more exposure, the better for both SEO and business credibility.
With 86% of customers using word-of-mouth recommendations to guide their choices, your biggest digital marketing asset is often your customer reviews. Google Reviews is a major resource for businesses to monitor reviews. Still, a social listening tool can help you monitor across several review platforms simultaneously – a must for small marketing teams and small companies that DIY their efforts.
To up your review game, try:
Incentivizing them. While you shouldn’t use tactics to sway customer reviews, you can incentivize them to leave their honest thoughts and experiences by offering discount codes and other goodies in exchange for a review.
Answering positive and negative reviews. If you answer only negative reviews, you miss out on opportunities to deepen loyalty with your happy customers, while ignoring negative reviews can make your business look like it doesn’t care about customer satisfaction. Address both promptly and increase overall satisfaction for all!
Asking what went wrong (or right). When you dig deeper into customer challenges and delights, you can improve your services. Don’t simply offer refunds or a word of thanks – uncover exactly what happened so you can lean into the good and strengthen your business.
Optimizing your website for SEO should start with the design process, but you should continually tweak your efforts for the best results.
To up your website game, try:
Using schema markups to help Google match your business to local searches. It won’t directly impact your rankings, but it does help Google ensure your site data shows up in relevant local searches. If your business operates in several regions, you’ll want to add schema markup to every city or regional page.
Auditing your internal link structure. While external links affect your backlink rating, internal links deeply impact local SEO. They support site navigation, establish a clear site hierarchy, and help distribute page authority across your strongest pages.
Ready to see how to do digital marketing for a small business? Our expert marketers & web designers in Hamilton can help you utilize digital marketing services to their fullest. Contact us to learn more and get a free cost estimate.