If your business has a brick-and-mortar location (or many of them), regular online marketing may not be enough for you. Online marketing that attracts local customers should be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Although most SEO and social media marketing is used to target nation-wide website traffic, there are many online marketing tactics you can do to get more local local business.
Try using some of the following local marketing strategies to help get more traffic through the door.
Use Google Plus & Google Places to Your Advantage
Google Plus directly influences Google search results when users are signed in. Make sure your local business has a profile on Google Plus and optimize it with keywords, links to your website & blog, and links to your other social media profiles. Also make sure to upload high-resolution photos of your business to raise the click-through rate of your profile. For certain search results, like for hotels and bars, Google uses these photos to populate Google Carousel, which is a listing of business photos at the top of certain search results that link to their website. Make sure to optimize your Google Plus profile so the correct information and photos get populated in the Google Carousel. Also, if you have multiple locations, don't forget that each location needs its own Google Places profile with a link to the landing page of that particular location.
Get More Google Reviews
Similarly, having many positive Google reviews strengthens your Google Places page and can help your business show up near the top of the results. Google uses an algorithm based on searchers location, quality of reviews, the velocity of reviews, and the quantity of reviews when deciding which businesses to highlight in Google Carousel and local search results.
Use Local Citations
Citations are mentions of your business on other related websites that give authority to your website, regardless of if there's a link or not. Citations can include mentions in listing websites, on Yelp, on industry blogs, in press releases, and other related sites. It's also important to claim your local profiles, update them with the most accurate information, and erase any duplicate profiles. Make sure your address(s), phone number(s), and business name is uniform across the web.
Always Be Blogging
When you blog, use your city and neighborhood name alongside your primary keywords in your blog posts when applicable. However, be mindful to make it sound natural to the human reader. Also target the content of your blogs toward community events, tips or insight about your city, and other interesting local facts. Not only should you be writing for your own blog, but submit blog posts to websites specific to your city. Many local news stations have neighborhood-specific sections and welcome guest blog submissions.
On every social media site you're on, target your posts for the local community and make it fun for your followers. (Ex: every week, post a picture of a spot in the city and have your followers guess where it is). On sites that have coupon tools, regularly offer deals to your customers. Loyalty deals and group deals tend to perform the best, as they encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising. Posting photos and videos of customers from events will also encourage followers to tag themselves and spread your posts even further.
Add Schema Markup to Your Site
Most small businesses know to include their address and contact details on their contact page, and in the footer of their website. However, there's special HTML specifically for contact details called Schema (schema.org). This HTML includes tags that tell Google (and other search engines) more information about the contact details so they can generate listings in search results. A simple version of a Schema Markup can be generated on the HTML Schema Generator.
Related: Get online marketing assistance from these experts.
Many local businesses have still yet to optimize their online presence. By investing some time and resources on your online profile, you can easily capture a more local audience and jump ahead of the competition.