How To Promote Your Business Locally
The Internet has changed the concept of a traditional company, of that there is no doubt. The ‘lifelong’ businesses have been forced to modernize to be competitive, opening up to previously unknown routes, such as e-commerce. ‘Adapt or die,’ according to Darwinian philosophy. The risk for entrepreneurs is, precisely, to do nothing.
If we refer to purely local businesses, digitization is almost obligatory. A neighborhood store, a pharmacy or an electrician, for example, can only sell their products or services in a specific geographical area, mostly. That is the reason why it is so critical that people who are close to these types of companies can quickly locate them. That’s where local marketing comes into play.
Local searches are the gateway to our business for many users who are close to us. To reach them, you have to start up different actions, from web geolocation to segmented advertising campaigns.
The Web, Our Starting Point
The website of a business is the best commercial you can have, but you have to put it to ‘work’ on a certain area. Every site must reflect all the location data: full address, telephones, time, interactive map with connection to the user’s GPS, etc. This is what is known as the NAP system (in English, Name Address Phone ), which seeks consistency in contact data. These should be the same on the web, but also in other directories and sites relevant to the sector. If there is no uniformity, search engines (and customers) will find it much harder to see our company. Look, you do not have to be repetitive either. If we put the city again and again in each of the meta tags of the page, for example, our positioning will be penalized.
Apart from the NAP, to improve the SEO of our website locally, we must not forget to start other actions on page, such as the optimization of images and titles, the review of content or the development of a responsive design.
The Local Directories
A quick way to improve our positioning at the local level is through the presence in local lists, such as Google My Business, which provide users with summary and straightforward information about our business. The creation of the profile is a quick task, and will usually require that we indicate the name of the company, the address, and the telephone number, as the most important points. Then we can add photos, links to our website, etc. Google locations, for example, also ask for verification, to verify that the establishment serves at the address indicated.
Presence in directories such as Bing, Yahoo! and Google can be completed with profiles on review sites, such as Yelp or Tripadvisor. Remember: in all of them, the information that we show must be updated. Otherwise, we will create confusion.
Videos position, attract traffic and favor engagement with users. What happens is that they are not yet fully established in the local marketing strategy of many companies. However, a 30-second video clip can be more useful for our business than, say, a post. The production process is more expensive, indeed, but it can also be more profitable.
YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world, and the videos that we upload there will also be in the organic results of Google. This allows our business to acquire undeniable potential visibility.
To properly position our videos, we must proceed from a previous study of words and, Next, before uploading our work to YouTube, we must optimize mainly these three points: title, description of the video and labels. We can add our keyword in those sections, but we must try not to force its inclusion.
The payment option to position our local business in the top positions of the rankings is in search engine advertising. In such a defined geographical area, it is essential to resort to personalized advertisements with the name of the city, postal code or the contact buttons of the nearest company. By this way, the user is given with direct information and the search time is reduced.
Recall that, both in SEO and SEM, all part of a previous study of the keywords and, locally, the competition for the best keywords is higher. The important thing is that our ads correctly insert the physical address of the establishment so that the user places us geographically. Advertising can also help us to give out specific promotions directed directly to our close public. This also applies to campaigns and sponsorships we can do on social networks, where the possibility of segmentation is complete.
The significant disadvantage of local businesses is at the same time its strong point: they are directed to a closed market and very specific, but close. We must always hold that in mind, and take advantage of all available digital resources so that our public can get to know us. This includes, as we have already mentioned, the use of different resources, from online advertising to directories. Everything is valid for our SME to get a preponderant position in their immediate environment.