When it comes to online marketing strategies, many tactics are designed to help you steadily build traffic in the long run. These tactics include organic search optimization, content development, organically growing your audience on social media networks, and listing your business on local business directories.
While these tactics are essential for business growth, businesses that need an infusion of local customers immediately may need to invest in tactics that produce faster results. In this post, we're going to share 7 local marketing ideas that will help your business bring customers to your door now.
1. Pay for advertising on Google.
Most people start with Google when they want something local, from accounting services to wedding videography. If you want to start getting more customers now, your first stop should be Google AdWords. Ideally, you will want your business to be one of the first ones that appears in search results.
To ensure that you get the most return on investment (ROI) from Google AdWords ads, you will want to start by looking at what your competition places in their Google ads. For example, the ad for a heating repair company in Los Angeles should include similar information as their competitors, such as their phone number, availability of their services, and the best discount they offer.
Next, you will want to make sure the landing page you use for your ad leads visitors to information that matches the ad itself. If your ad promises 24/7 service for heater repair with a $75 off promotion, then your landing page should focus on 24/7 service for heater repair with a $75 off promotion and offer the visitor a fast way to contact you via phone or web form.
If your landing page is missing any of these elements, your visitor may go back to the search results and contact your competitor instead.
Finally, you will want to make sure that your website is mobile-optimized. Statistics show that most searches with local intent are done on a mobile device. Hence, you will want to make sure that your landing page is mobile-friendly. Google recommends responsive design.
2. Pay for advertising on local business directories.
Once you get your business at the top of search results through paid advertising, your next goal is to get to the top of the pages that rank well in search organically. For many local searches, that is going to be a directory listing on sites like Yelp.
If you see results like those shown above in search, then you will want to get your business listed at the top of pages like the first one on Best Heating repair in Los Angeles.
Yelp Advertising offers self-service ads that you can create yourself or full service ad management. You can start with self-service to see if getting to the top of your business category page gets immediate results and invest in more advertising from there.
To ensure that you get the most ROI from Yelp Advertising, you will want to start by reviewing your competitor's listings to see the information they share on their Yelp listing and the deals that they offer. Try to make your listing and offers more appealing.
Note that Yelp is not always going to be the local business directory listed in the first page of search results for every industry. Wedding vendors, for example, may find The Knot and Wedding Wire are listed before Yelp. Psychologists may find Psychology Today and Healthgrades before Yelp. Restaurants may find Trip Advisor and Yellow Pages before Yelp. So start by performing the search for your business's top keywords and get local business directory advertising according to your results.
3. Participate in local social media groups.
Local social media groups can be a goldmine for finding people who are looking for specific local business products and services. Be sure to join and be an active, helpful participant. Then, when the right post comes along, you will have the opportunity to promote yourself.
You can use the search box when you join a local social media group on Facebook to see if there are any recent posts that relate to your business. You can then get notifications from the group to get alerted to new posts as they are published. Also be on the lookout for opportunities to promote your business on specific days when the group moderator allows everyone to do a little self-promotion.
4. Monitor local social conversations.
Twitter allows you to use their Advanced Search to find conversations from people in a certain area. This can lead to the discovery of tweets by people who are looking for a business like yours. For example, a transportation service in LA could do a search for the following:
You can also do a search on Facebook for posts by your friends, posts in your groups, or public posts based on specific keywords for your business.
To get customers now, bookmark the searches with the best results so you can visit them daily for recent tweets and posts to reply to.
5. Create targeted social media ads.
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn allow local businesses to create social ads to reach local customers. Facebook in particular has some of the best targeting options for local business, allowing you to target people in a specific location, down to whether they live in or have recently visited a particular area.
Select local businesses can also get the free Facebook Bluetooth Beacon to further connect with local customers.
6. Encourage more reviews.
The more positive, recent reviews you have on local business directories like Yelp, Google and the new Professional Services by Facebook, the more likely you are to appear first when locals are browsing your business category.
It is in your best interest to encourage people to review your local business as often as possible. While you shouldn't incentivize reviews, you can encourage reviews from people you know have had a positive experiences. Maybe even let your customers know that they can review your business on sites like Yelp and Facebook with some signage at your location, or in your email signature.
Be sure to keep your service top notch so that the reviews you get stay positive. In the event of a negative review, be sure that you respond publicly and try to rectify the situation. Your approach to dealing with issues sometime says as much about your company as the reviews themselves.
Ultimately, the right combination of precise location, average star rating, number of reviews, and recency of the reviews will result in more local customers for your business. And on networks like Yelp, sometimes all you will need is the recency.
7. Post listings on Craigslist.
Craigslist, the free online classified site, gets millions of views per day to its local city subdirectories.
If you are looking to get customers immediately to your local business, find ways to post every 48 hours on their network. Depending on how busy the category that best fits your business is, you may want to vary your posting title to either get attention or not sound like a broken record.
As always, to ensure you get the best results, check out your competition's listing and make sure yours offers stand out.
As you can see, there are many ways to get local customers to your business now. Invest some time in these tactics to start getting qualified traffic immediately to your website and ultimately to your business.