A Quick Guide to Online Local Marketing for Small Businesses

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Online local marketing consists of online marketing efforts that are designed specifically to draw local traffic to your business — online and offline.

Localizing your small business’s online marketing efforts is a matter of making sure that all of the information you have online clearly states not only where you’re located, but also shows that you’re a local.

Here’s a quick list of what you need to do in order to make sure that your online marketing is also local marketing:

Localize your website

  • Include a map and clickable link for directions. 
  • Describe your location in terms of its relation to a local landmark, shopping center, or well-known hotspot. “We’re across the street from Annie Oakley.”
  • When you have a blog page, optimizing for locally relevant terms and colloquialisms can be “wicked-smaht.”
  • Go ahead and name drop. Mention local groups or organizations that your business is associated with and include links to their websites or social media pages.

Create consistent listings

  • Make sure you’re listed in any local online listing services or agencies.
  • On national listing and review sites, make sure that your business is included in searches for your area and do your own search to double-check.
  • Consistency is key, so make sure that your business address is not only correct but also identical on every online listing and review site where your company can be found.

Stay local on social

  • Follow and subscribe to other local pages
    • Local Chamber of Commerce
    • Local Better Business Bureau (BBB)
    • Local Media outlets
    • Other local small businesses and small business owners
  • Gather together
    • Search for, and join local online groups
    • Start an online group of local business owners
  • Support, share, and promote
    • Support other local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations by sharing their posts, volunteering to help out, becoming a sponsor, or collaborating with them online.
    • Share posts that are relevant to your community
    • Promote your town, your neighbors, and your community by initializing and conducting positive conversations on your page, and the pages of others
  • Don’t forget the 80/20 rule
    • 80% of your social media activity should be focused on the conversations, the promotion and support of others, and basically letting people get to know your business by getting to know you.
    • 20% of your activity should be focused on promoting your business and products.

Bring your online marketing to your store

Believe it or not, online local marketing doesn’t have to just happen online. Use your brick and mortar location to drive traffic as well.

  • If you’re closed for the day, hang signage on your door to direct traffic to your online store
  • Place signs in your window and near your register inviting customers to follow you on your social media channels
  • Post signage around your store and in your window that entices customers to use “text-to-join” to sign up for your email list

Online local marketing isn’t really all that different from any other kind of online marketing. The difference is that you’re focusing your efforts on local traffic, local customers, and local connections.

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