20 Local Marketing Tips For Small Business

20 Local Marketing Tips For Small Business

Does your small business cater to local customers? If so, it’s important that you localize your website & your internet marketing so that customers in your area can easily find you when they’re looking for your products and services online.

Topping search engine result pages in your local area is more then possible if you understand and employ search engine marketing tactics with your locality in mind.

22 Local Marketing Tips For Small Business

  • Use Get Listed to find out your current local search engine situation. Get Listed is a really simple tool that checks the major local search engines and tells you if you’re there. If you’re not there you can go submit yourself right from the dashboard.
  • Make sure to claim your listing on all major Local Search platforms: Google Maps, Yahoo! Local & Bing Local. This is an obvious and easy way to increase your local exposure. We have all used a search tool that has given results with a map and indicator dots on related business locations. If you would like to come up for these types of local searches, carefully submit for these specialized location based results. The search engines will often request some sort of verification through call back or traditional mail and pin verification.
  • Submit your listing to the major data providers: infoUSA, Localeze and UniversalBusinessListing.org. These sites submit to multiple data providers and power many online directories.
  • Hand submit to some of the bigger local directories & merchant sites such as Best of the Web Local, Local.com, MerchantCircle, Bizjournals.com, Yellowpages.com, Superpages and InsiderPages. These provide added exposure to consumers and serve as a reference-source for major local search engines to verify and link business listings information. Getting listed in these directories will not only improve your presence in the local market, but will also help you gain more quality backlinks to your website.
  • Make sure that your listings are consistent. Always provide the same name, address and phone number to avoid any confusion.
  • When listing your business use a full street address, not a PO Box. These are worthless for localized search.
  • Always list a local phone number. While an 800 number is nice, local number will be more indicative of your location.
  • Include as much information as possible and make sure to use correct data. Company description & categories are crucial – make sure to include your most important keywords here.
  • Include photos, videos and throw in a little extra (such as current coupons or specials) – this will make your listing more attractive and help it stand out.
  • Ask your past customers for reviews. You can point them to your listing after a successful project completion, through monthly newsletter or simply via email signature. These reviews, good or bad, make your business more creditable to future customers.
  • Don’t just submit local search business listings; actively manage over time. Make appropriate updates when a location moves, keep pictures up to date, etc.
  • Submit to Yelp! and CitySearch – these are popular local search engines that allow for reviews and so should be managed closely. These listings will also count as a quality inbound link for search and can be useful to increase your search ranking.
  • Include your address and local phone number on all pages of your website to re-enforce your geographic location to both your visitors and search engines.
  • Use location-based keywords while optimizing your website for the search engines.
  • List the areas/cities your business serves on your website, if possible.
  • Get citations to improve your local search engine rankings. When it comes to local search, one of the most important things you can do is to build the quantity of references around the web which contain some or all of the following information: name, address, phone & website. Each citation that you get around the web on reputable websites counts in favor of your legitimate membership in that geo-location.
  • Guest post and comment on local blogs. Find blogs that target the local community, and become an active member on them.
  • Become members with at least one local chamber of commerce. This is a great way to establish credibility and become a member of your local business community. Once you have this membership, make sure that your listing on the chamber website is a direct link to your website. Chambers of commerce are considered to be local experts, and their link to you is a valuable one.
  • Get active on social networks. Social media can be very important for local results so sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter (depending on your niche). When creating a profile include your location & link to your main website. When updating your status be mindful of localized search words to gain extra exposure in the social media results sections of search engines.
  • Build links locally

In Conclusion

It’s estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all search is made with local intent so understanding how local search works can be a huge advantage. Also, search engines are localizing their results even without an implicit request for locality.

Properly executed localized SEO of your website coupled with a strategic localized search engine marketing should help you dominate search engine results in your locality with ease.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted June 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of Get Listed and thanks for posting it here, together with the list of tips above. Yes, many still see the bigger picture of getting their business message spread to the four corners of the world — and they forget to just look around in their own neighborhood for prospects. With the rise in the popularity of social media today, I’d say businesses should take advantage of it as it is not merely a fad – but the new way of engaging customers on the world wide web.

  2. Posted June 19, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Nice post! I just spent the last few hours doing all of that. I haven’t signed up for stuff like this in a while (such a tedious job!) and this post made me realize I have to keep up on this kind of marketing. Thanks!

  3. Posted June 19, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you found this article informative and encouraging. It’s true. While trying to appeal to national audience, we tend to forget to look into out own backyards. Little bit of local marketing can go a long way.

  4. Posted July 9, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this information. I found it very informative and it really helped me Very good tips !!!

  5. Posted August 12, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Although local marketing is an emerging trend, there is a huge gap between self service platforms like Google Places or Yelp and the willingness of many small business owners to overcome the learning curve. This opens a very profitable opportunity for people with basic and mid level marketing skills to provide local marketing services to such business owners

  6. Posted September 1, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    We’ve implemented a lot of localized marketing techniques listed here and it’s helped our site tremendously. Good round-up!!!

  7. Posted September 18, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    A good piece Joanna.

    Google Places, as with all things Google, looks simple on the surface but to get it to work properly is anther thing. This too needs optimizing.

    As Local Marketing pointed out above, people seem reluctant to claim their listing preferring to leave it to others. And I’m very willing to put my hand up to help them :-).

  8. Posted February 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Local small businesses can also list their services and sell gift certificates through http://www.localpinch.com. It doesnt cost anything to get started!

  9. Posted February 20, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    At least 25% of all google searches are for something local. These are some useful tips.

  10. Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    This is a really nice overview of what small businesses should do. I think a lot of small business owners could use a “map” to simply show them what to do with all this tech stuff, since it’s pretty overwhelming at first.

  11. Posted June 27, 2011 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    20 Local Marketing Tips For Small Business – http://tinyurl.com/6co8j4o (via @joannaciolek)

  12. Posted September 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    20 Local #Marketing Tips For #SmallBiz http://t.co/zNfiXDwE

  13. Posted September 25, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I just added this blog site to my feed reader, great stuff. Can not get enough! I also share that site at Oneview :-)

  14. Posted September 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your kind words and sharing – I really appreciate the vote of confidence.

  15. Posted October 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Nice Post Joanna – Those simple yet effective marketing tips are almost always overlooked for small local businesses. Great reminder to do the little things to make a big impact on business.

  16. Posted January 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    These are all very important steps in today’s local marketing. Thanks for laying it all out.

  17. Posted February 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Notable composition. Keep up the excellent performance.

  18. Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    20 Local #Marketing Tips For Small #Business http://t.co/DOEXIMGC via @bococreative #entrepreneur #branding

5 Trackbacks

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