97% of recently surveyed consumers look up a local business online before contacting them, and almost half of all Google searches are people looking up specific local information!
For local businesses to stay ahead of the marketing curve and continue to drive conversions, it’s imperative that you develop a local digital marketing strategy. Below are our top 5 local digital marketing tips that will benefit your business and help you attract more customers.
Get Reviews From Your Happy Customers
Earning reviews is critical to turning viewers and visitors into buyers. Today’s consumers trust online and third-party reviews, as much as reviews from friends and family. When so many of your competitors are investing in an online review strategy, it’s critical you do the same.
If you’re offering the same service or product for the same price as a top competitor, sometimes the viewer’s decision to buy from you will come down to who has more and better reviews. If you don’t have any reviews, you’re practically invisible online. 95% of consumers check out a business’s online reviews before they visit their store or make a purchase.
How to get reviews…
- Send follow-up emails to your customers after they’ve made a recent purchase, asking them to provide feedback and leaving a review on Google
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and comments on your Facebook page
- Use a review service (Sprout Can Help!)to build reviews on Google My Business profile page, Facebook & third-party sites like Yelp
Set up a Google My Business Profile
If you’re determined to optimize your business for a local market, it’s best to start with a Google My Business listing profile. When a consumer searches for local businesses online, Google automatically serves them relevant local listings that are near them.
It’s free to claim your Google My Business listing, and very important to be as thorough as possible when completing your business profile. Fill out your company store address, website, hours of operation and a few photos or visual elements to make your listing appealing, professional and informative.
Target Long-Tail Keywords That Include Your Location
Consumers use long-tail keywords to search for local businesses, so make sure you’re using relevant, long-tail keywords in your online content, and referencing your city as well. The term “long tail keywords”, refers to the number of words included in a search phrase. Typically a long tail keyword includes 3 or more words to make up a search phrase.
Long tail keywords are important, because it’s what your customers are actually typing (or speaking) into their device to find a specific product or local service. The more specific the search, the more likely that your customer is “in the moment” looking to make a purchasing decision. The more general the search is, the more likely that that customer is in “research mode”… not quite at the buying stage.
Here’s an example of what we’re referring to in the long tail keyword search vs a very general search…
For example… let’s say you’re having foot pain while walking… and you want to research “Doctors” in your area. You go to Google and type in “Doctor” … you’re likely to get a very broad set of results including some very irrelevant links.
You want to narrow your results, so you type in “foot doctor in my area” … you’re likely to find a full set of relevant search results that include the Google Ads, Local Maps and organic results. Bingo! The results that show up for you with this longer tail keyword search offers you the kind of results you’re hoping for and expecting.
In this case, the “Foot Doctors” that took the time to properly optimize and target long tail and local keywords have a much higher possibility of gaining your business.
More and more consumers are using mobile devices to search for local businesses. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile by having a responsive website. Responsive design ensures that your website adapts to whatever device a person uses. Whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, your audience will have the best experience on your site.
If you already have a responsive website, it’s smart to test your website load speed and make sure your web pages are opening for your site users… fast. By increasing your page load speed, you’ll help your audience access your site information fast and provide them with a better user experience on your site as they consider who to do business with.
Create Robust Social Media Profiles
There are so many different social media platforms available today. Target the ones where your ideal customer is most likely to hang out on and use. Post frequently or, at least consistently (2-4 times per month minimally), keep the tone conversational, and consider sharing other relevant content to your profiles.
Over 70% of U.S. consumers are on social media, so getting your company a polished and active profile will help you build a relationship with your target customers.
At Sprout Media Lab, we’ve been creating and optimizing digital marketing channels for a variety of customers in different industries and niches. Please contact us online or call us today at (800) 617-6975 to get started with a customized digital marketing plan for your business.