Ecommerce is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your local customer base. No matter how much online volume they do, local businesses will always need local customers. The good news is, you can still use easy online marketing tools to lure those nearby prospects in. Here are some ways to use SEO and social media marketing to capture the local customer base:
Claiming Local Listings
Local search platforms can be valuable tools for making yourself known to the local audience. By claiming your company listing on Google Places, Google Maps and the equivalent tools on Yahoo and Bing, you can be sure your business name will show up in your prospects’ local searches for a business like yours (whether or not they include the name of the city in their search). If your contact information changes (this includes everything, from your physical addresses, email addresses, phone/fax numbers and even your website URL), be sure to change it in those platforms as well.
Taking Advantage of Reviews
Reviews are becoming one of the hottest marketing tools out there. Don’t be afraid to incentivize your best customers to write a review for you. It’s easy; just post an announcement on your Facebook page. Something simple like, “Do you Yelp? Post a review of our business this week to receive 10% off your next purchase! Link to your review in a comment here, and we will send you a discount code.” Worried about bad reviews? Don’t be. A good balance of mixed reviews, with good outweighing the bad, will help boost your credibility. Posting this announcement on social media will also ensure that it gets shared with other local prospects.
Use Keywords that Target Local Customers
Your home page, your blog and your landing pages should all contain local keywords your customers will use in their searches. A good geo-targeted keyword looks like this: name of product or service + name of city or a surrounding city. This is basic, localized SEO that works when applied consistently. If you are unsure how to do it correctly, or have tried it and failed to get your website to rank on the first page of Google for the local keywords you are targeting, then it may be time to hire an experienced SEO agency that can do it for you.
If you haven’t started aggressively marketing your business on social media, there’s no time like the present. Remember, the goal right now is to target local customers – so take a break from following your colleagues in the industry, and concentrate on following businesses that represent your local customer base. For instance, a general contractor can follow companies on the local homebuilding circuit. This kind of social media marketing works best for B2B service providers, but it can also work for B2C retailers who aren’t afraid to get out there and socialize online.
Local listing, reviews, SEO and social media marketing methods are different from the techniques that business owners have traditionally used to target local customers, but different in a good way. Unlike those methods, they are inexpensive and highly effective at the same time. Crest Media will be glad to answer your questions about local online marketing during a free phone consultation.