There are several types of marketing you can use, but for small businesses, local marketing is one of the most effective. Local marketing has become a cornerstone of success for small business owners and large enterprises alike. Your ability to connect with your immediate community and attract customers in a local market can make all the difference for your overall business success.
Local marketing extends far beyond promoting your products or services—it's all about building relationships, creating a sense of community, and becoming an integral part of your local area's fabric. As consumers continue to rely on the Internet for information, recommendations, and purchasing decisions, businesses that harness the power of local marketing are better positioned to thrive.
This article explores essential local marketing tips that every business should know. Whether you’re operating an online venture or a brick-and-mortar store, local marketing focuses on establishing a strong local footprint to grow your business.
Read on to discover the strategies that can make your business a local marketing success story, from harnessing the power of local SEO to engaging with the community through social media and online reviews.
To increase your online visibility and attract local customers, you'll need to start by optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing. A well-optimized GMB profile helps you stand out in local search results while building trust with your audience.
Follow these three steps to maximize the potential of your Google My Business listing.
Claim and verify your business
First, claim and verify your business. This process ensures you have control over the information displayed on Google while simultaneously adding credibility to your listing. To claim your business, visit the Google business profile website and follow the verification steps.
Typically, you'll receive a postcard, phone call, or email with a verification code. Once you've completed the verification process, you'll gain access to the full range of features for optimizing your Google business profile.
Complete business profile
The next key step for local marketing involves completing your business profile. Your listing should include all necessary information so users understand who you are and what your business offers.
Include details like your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and business hours. To attract customers, boost your local listings with high-quality images of your business, products, and services to thoroughly showcase your offerings. Fill in the "Services" and "Products" sections to provide detailed information about what sets your business apart.
Manage and respond to reviews
The final aspect of your business's online presence includes managing and responding to customer reviews. Within your business profile, it's essential to actively manage and respond to reviews.
Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and thank them for their comments. Promptly address any negative feedback to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. This allows you to publicly resolve issues and interact with your audience.
Not only does this improve your online reputation, but it also boosts your GMB ranking since Google values businesses that engage with their customers.
Local keyword research
Local keyword research is vital to improving your website's visibility in local search results. As a critical aspect of any SEO strategy, keyword research is designed to attract local customers by including relevant keywords and search terms related to products or services you offer.
Here are a few strategies for identifying relevant local keywords:
- Location-based keywords: List keywords that include your specific location or area. For instance, if you run a donut shop in Boston, keywords like "Boston donut delivery" or "best donuts in Boston" are highly relevant.
- Industry-specific terms: Consider industry-specific terms that people might use in their searches. For a massage therapist in Malibu, keywords like "Swedish massage in Malibu" or "couples massage Malibu" are relevant.
- Customer intent: Consider what potential customers are looking for. Are they searching for information, products, or contact details? Refine your keyword list to match user intent by incorporating terms like "near me," "buy," or "hire."
- Google autocomplete: Google's autocomplete feature can provide helpful keyword suggestions. To use this function, type your core keywords and see what related terms and phrases Google suggests. This can be a valuable source of local keywords.
- Google Trends: Google Trends can indicate which keywords are currently trending in your area, providing insights into search patterns and seasonality.
When it comes to local keyword research, consider utilizing long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases. While they often have a lower search volume overall, they can be highly valuable since they typically indicate strong user intent.
For example, "organic produce store in Portland" is a long-tail keyword that can attract highly targeted traffic. With the rise of voice-activated assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google, optimize for conversational long-tail keywords to reflect natural language.
Another part of your local marketing strategy is competitor analysis for local SEO. Analyze the keywords your local competitors are targeting. By using SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs, you can identify the keywords that are driving traffic to your competitors' websites. You can also check local directories and listings to help you understand how they are positioning themselves in the local market.
The most important thing is to identify keywords that your competitors are ranking for but you're not. This can help you gain an edge in local search and compete with other local businesses. You should also pay attention to user reviews and suggestions on your competitor's GMB profiles, as this can reveal local keywords and topics that resonate with your target audience.
Keep in mind that optimizing for local SEO is an ongoing process and that you should regularly review and update your keyword strategy. This will help you maintain online visibility and boost your local marketing efforts.
Location-specific content creation
The next pillar of your local SEO strategy is to create local content. Not only does location-specific content creation help your website rank higher in local results on search engines, but it also provides valuable information to potential customers in your area.
Here are some tips for creating location-specific content.
Developing localized landing pages
Localized landing pages can help new customers and existing customers find your business. Here are three ways to develop local landing pages:
- Location pages: Create dedicated landing pages for each of your business locations. Include essential information like your address, contact details, business hours, and a map. Incorporate targeted local keywords on each unique page to help local landing pages appear in search engine results. You can also highlight what makes each location special.
- Local testimonials and case studies: Showcase customer testimonials and case studies specific to each location. Not only does this help with search engine optimization, but it can also build trust and credibility with potential customers in each area.
- Local services or products: If your business offers different services or products at each location, detail these offerings on each individual location page. Focus on incorporating keywords to describe these services or products as they relate to each local area. This tip is especially important for service business marketing.
Integrating local keywords naturally
Another strategy for creating location-specific content is incorporating keywords in a natural and relatable way. You want to avoid keyword stuffing and sounding unnatural or robotic.
Here are some tips for sounding natural while including high-ranking keywords:
- Incorporate location in content: When writing blog posts, website content, or product descriptions, integrate local keywords wherever fits best. For example, if you run a gym in Chicago, include phrases like "best gym in Chicago" or "Chicago gym" where relevant. Focus on sounding organic and providing value to the reader.
- Header tags and meta descriptions: Optimize your header tags and meta descriptions with local keywords to improve click-through rates in search results. Make sure these elements accurately reflect the content and entice the target audience to click.
- Geotagging images: Another effective local marketing strategy in terms of keyword integration is geotagging images with location data. This helps with local SEO and improves the user experience. Ensure that the images you use throughout your content are relevant to the specific location you're targeting.
Showcasing local events and partnerships
When creating location-based content, consider focusing on local events and partnerships to appeal to and engage local customers. Creating content that reflects the local area and can be a powerful tool for small business owners and large enterprises alike.
Effective local marketing strategies include:
- Local event calendars: Maintain an updated calendar of local events, such as festivals, community gatherings, or promotions specific to your area. You can promote these events when it makes sense to attract customers looking for local activities. You can also sponsor events to engage your local community.
- Local partnerships and collaborations: Highlight any partnerships or collaborations with other local businesses, such as joint promotions, sponsorships, or mutual support. Showcasing these partnerships in your content can demonstrate your commitment to the local community and improve your local SEO.
- Local news and updates: If relevant to your business, create a section on your business website for local news and updates such as announcements, awards, or any other information that pertains to your business activities in the local area.
NAP consistency across online platforms
Maintaining Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) consistency across online platforms is critical for local marketing and online reputation management. Inconsistencies in these important details can confuse potential customers and search engines, potentially hurting your local search ranking and credibility.
Consistent NAP data is one of the factors that can help your business appear in the local pack search result feature. This feature showcases local businesses at the top of the search results page, making it easier for new customers to find your business.
Keep your business's visibility intact by updating information on online directories. Claim and verify your business listings on all major online review sites and directories, including Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and other industry-specific directories as relevant.
If you make any changes to your NAP data, promptly update it across all platforms. Make sure that important information on your website matches the information listed on other platforms. Consistency is key for building trust and authority in your space.
Conduct online audits periodically to check the accuracy and consistency of your NAP information across platforms. There are different types of tools, such as local SEO software, that can help automate this process, making it easier to spot discrepancies.
Sometimes, duplicate listings can arise across various platforms. This contributes to confusion and provides customers with conflicting information. To mitigate this issue, contact the directory administrators to merge or remove duplicates.
Part of building a positive online reputation involves leveraging online reviews. Online reviews can significantly impact the perception of your business and influence potential customers' decisions. Here are a few ideas on how to utilize reviews to build local trust:
Encouraging positive reviews from customers
Encourage satisfied local customers to leave positive reviews online. You can ask for reviews through email marketing efforts, in-store signage, or by providing links on your website. Make sure to ask for reviews at the right time.
If customers have had a recent positive experience, they're more likely to leave reviews about your business. Send review requests shortly after successful transactions or interactions. Some businesses even offer small incentives, like discounts or freebies, in exchange for leaving a review. Although this can be an effective local marketing strategy, be cautious and ensure it complies with the terms and policies of the review platforms.
Addressing negative reviews professionally
Unfortunately, you will likely face some level of negative feedback in your local business career. Instead of getting defensive or emotional, stay courteous and empathetic when responding to negative reviews. Your response should be professional and timely, providing the local customer with assurance that you care about their feedback.
Acknowledge the customer's concerns and, whenever possible, offer to resolve the issue offline. Encourage them to contact you directly to discuss their concerns further. This tactic can often lead to the customer updating their review.
Utilizing reviews for local SEO boost
Reviews on your GMB profile are especially influential. Direct customers to leave reviews on this platform because it plays a role in your local search ranking and business's visibility. Encourage your local audience to naturally include relevant keywords in their reviews.
In general, user-generated content, such as reviews, can improve the freshness and relevance of your website. Highlight reviews on your website as testimonials for an SEO boost.
Social media for local engagement
As a local business, it's imperative to utilize social media for increased engagement. Social media marketing is an effective local marketing strategy for connecting with the local community and attracting new customers.
Start by identifying the most popular social media platforms in your local community. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram are most commonly used, some regions may have specific local networks or groups. The key is using platforms that your local audience frequents.
With social media, create geotagged content to associate your posts with a specific location. This makes your social media content discoverable by local users. You should also incorporate location-based hashtags in your post and showcase your connection to the local community by featuring nearby events, landmarks, and attractions.
Successful local marketing on social media is achieved through regular posting, responding to comments and messages, and more. Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and interested. Build customer trust by responding to questions, comments, and direct messages to demonstrate your excellent customer service.
You can also leverage social media to organize local contests and giveaways to generate excitement and increase your reach. Likewise, you can partner with local influencers who can introduce your business to a wider local audience. When done correctly, social media marketing is an effective way to establish a strong presence with your local audience.
Mobile optimization for local searches
Local marketing campaigns should be optimized for mobile devices. Mobile optimization is essential in today's digital landscape because a great portion of local searches are done on mobile devices.
Effective local online marketing requires mobile-friendly websites. Mobile users expect a seamless and user-friendly experience when searching for local businesses on their smartphones and tablets. A mobile-optimized website can also lead to lower bounce rates, as users are more inclined to stay and interact with your content.
Implement a responsive web design that automatically adjusts the layout and content of your webpage to fit the screen size and orientation of the user's device. Optimize your mobile loading speed by compressing images, minifying code, and leveraging browser caching. Make sure your website's buttons, links, and navigation elements are easily tappable and touch-friendly.
All of these strategies can minimize the risk of a frustrating experience and encourage your local audience to stay engaged, in turn driving more traffic and conversions.
Tracking and analyzing local marketing metrics
All of these local marketing tactics work together to enhance your efforts. To understand the impact of your strategy, track and analyze local marketing metrics. Google Analytics is an important tool providing detailed local insights. The better you understand your audience, the more you can tailor your local keywords and strategies. Monitor local keyword rankings to continually update your SEO strategy for increased visibility.
How to market your business for local relevance doesn't need to be overly complicated. Mailchimp tools can assist you in your local marketing endeavors, from conducting local keyword research to engaging on social media.
Use our email marketing tools to send targeted, location-specific messages to your target audience. Integrate your email marketing with social media to expand your reach. Utilize robust analytics to track performance or use our website builder to create mobile-optimized landing pages.
A successful local marketing strategy involves a holistic approach to digital marketing. By incorporating automation tools into your local marketing ideas, you ensure consistency in your outreach and a streamlined approach. Enhance your local online presence to drive meaningful results for your business.