Local is all the rage these days as more and more businesses realise the importance of nearby audiences for more opportunities. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that your website is taking advantage of the best options for local prospects.
1. Optimise your website content
To attract a local audience, you need to look trustworthy and professional. Start by making sure that your website content is fully optimised. Include concise and relevant information, such as your locations, contact numbers and email, as well as an interactive map showing where you can be found. Showcase customer stories, FAQs and a blog to have a more personal approach.
2. Go mobile
According to Google and Nielsen, 75% of mobile searches for local stores and services lead to a store visit, a purchase, more research, or a call. This undeniable opportunity cannot be missed by local SMBs. Make sure to incorporate mobile response into your game.
3. Get found in listings and directories
Your local presence will not be complete if you can’t be found in local directories online. Own all your listings by providing updated information. Get listed on Google Places for Business as well as Local Google+ pages. These will help you provide accurate information to customers as well as communicate with them and get more exposure.
4. Use social media to your advantage
Social media is a powerful tool for online business, making and breaking businesses. Make sure that you have active social media profiles in the various platforms where your customers can reach you. This doesn’t stop at just creating a Facebook page.
Analyse your target audience and find out what platform they would likely use more, such as Pinterest or Instagram for fashion or food, and maintain a strong presence there. Knowing how people use different platforms is invaluable, such as how Twitter for quick questions and shout-outs, or Facebook for sharing content and stories.
5. Use localised Search Engine Marketing
Increase people’s awareness of your business with pay-per-click ads on search engines. Choose keywords that are most relevant for your business within the area. This will allow your company to target the audience in the specific area and give you a competitive advantage over other businesses.
6. Find your voice
Many companies attract a large following by having a distinct approach – a human touch or voice behind the business. Find the personality to build your business around, whether that’s incorporating a family business approach or quirky language. This will help local audiences to recall your business when they are looking for your services.
7. Get involved in the community
Local visibility can be greatly improved by being involved in local events. One way to do this is organising a drive for a good cause that will benefit a particular local audience. Not only do you generate good public relations, but you also get to give back to the community that supports your business.
8. All about branding
Branding is a must, whether you’re a small business or a more established one. This includes not just a logo or a tagline, but the overall image that you project within the community. Give your branding a local touch by including local trends, expressions or approach.
9. Encourage local reviews
With so many people with access to the web, prospects are able to find what others say about you with just a few clicks. This is why having reviews from genuine customers is important. The more good reviews your business receives, the more likely it is that people will choose what you have to offer.
10. Join local business organisations
Getting involved in local business organisations is a good way of establishing ties within the larger business setting. This will help you build your network and be more visible in the community.
11. Closely monitor results for continuous improvement
Lastly, striving for further improvement is important for any business, big or small. Monitor the results of your efforts and analyse where you can still improve. Listen to customer feedback and make sure to lessen negative talk across the web.
When it comes to local presence, it’s a good idea to build a business that your audiences can relate to, something that can have a certain bearing on their daily lives. These steps will help you on your way.