Do you have a local business that’s not making the money it deserves yet? Would you like to gain more clients and tap into the online space that so many other local businesses have benefited from?
Do you need to expand your brand online and learn the right way to blog and have a social media presence?
This blog post gives you expert advice on how to promote local business. We’ve collected the answers of 40 experts, all responding to this key question:
What three pieces of advice would you give to a local business looking to get more clients online?
Enjoy the read and please spread the word about it.
1. Robbie Richards
The strategy I’d recommend would depend largely on the type of the business and the niche. However, no matter what industry my client is in I usually use a quant-based approach. It’s pretty simple:
WHO is my target audience? This is a persona framework…understand their pain points.
WHERE are they online? This comes from a heavy stint of market and competitor research.
WHICH message will resonate across the different stages in the buyer journey? Mapping content with pain points (top, mid and bottom funnel)
MEASURE what works, TEST, OPTIMIZE and RE-ENGAGE. Google Analytics, Luck Orange and a variety of page-specific retargeting across social, Google etc.
That’s super high-level, marketing 101 type advice so I’ll touch on a few specific tactics I find myself implementing within most “local” online marketing campaigns.
1) Local Search
As a local business, it’s important to rank in both organic and local search packs. Top 3 is critical. Outside of that and you’re going to miss out on most of the traffic.
I’ll perform a full site audit (lots of Screaming Frog, WhiteSpark and Google Webmaster Tools) to make sure all the technical pieces are in check and there is no penalty potential.
I’ll do the following:
a. Add Schema markup
b. Optimize the Google My Business account
c. Audit local citations and ensure consistent NAP
d. Ensure on-page factors are in check (keyword and location within titles, headings, alt, body copy, internal linking and URL…where possible)
e. Optimize off-site properties…namely social media channels and relevant directory listings
f. Build eveergreen content around specific products and services
g. I usually use blog content to build backlinks by way of list posts and roundups. This way I can boost domain authority and use internal links to pass page rank to some of those deeper money pages
h. Make sure its mobile-friendly
Finally, I’ll pull the backlink profiles of my top 5 local competitors and see where (and how) they are getting their backlinks. Then, I’ll try and replicate as many of those links as possible. This is also a good way to build an informed content strategy. See what is working for them, and do it better.
2) Get Reviews
Today’s consumer is very different from a year ago. Direct response marketing is nowhere near as effective as it used to be. Purchase decisions are now heavily influenced by our peers. It’s critical to get as many positive reviews on the bigger review sites such as Yelp, Google Plus, Dex and any relevant industry review sites.
Eg. if you’re a restaurant, you better have some solid reviews on sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon. Review quantity, quality and diversity are local ranking factors and will help your site stand out against the competition in the local packs. This will help CTR.
Make review acquisition a part of both your online and offline marketing strategy. Have a section on your site dedicated to reviews, send emails soliciting reviews, ask customers at the point of checkout. Use a service like Get Five Stars to faciliate this effort.
Don’t pay for reviews and try to keep the velocity of reviews at a natural rate. Getting 10 new 5 star reviews every day will probably get your site flagged. Shoot for 1-2 solid reviews a week.
3) Build A Passive Selling Machine
What are you doing with the 98% of people that hit your site without converting?
The answer should be either:
a) Capturing their email
b) Placing them in a segmented retargeting list
You can use a free plugin like SumoMe to capture leads via popups, sidebar widgets, scroll boxes and more, or use a more robust solution such as Thrive Leads which I’ve used to double my email opt-in rate to over 9% in the last 45 days.
Use FB, Twitter and Google AdWords retargeting to re-engage people with relevant content. For example, if someone reads your post about “best strength training” exercises, re-target them with an ad on facebook or with an in-stream YouTube ad that links back to a squeeze page with a free eBook for best bicep exercises.
I use the Thrive Content Builder plugin to build these pages in minutes for most of clients and personal projects. Once they opt-in have them redirected to tripwire (low ticket offer) page. Sell a product at break even price. Once they purchase you’ve successfully turned a lead into a paying customer.
Then, upsell them with a core offer. For a gym, this could be a 20% off annual membership.
You can automate this process with tools like GetResponse, or another great solution is Active Campaign.
By creating an automated sales funnel you’ll not only re-engage lost customers, but increase purchase frequency and average order value. Create a value loop!
Readmore: How to Promote Your Local Business with These 15 Marketing Strategies