How to promote your business locally

13 MINS
Web.com Team

Some say that when it comes to marketing strategy, smaller is better. But the truth is, size doesn’t matter. Regardless of how small or huge it is, what matters is how effective a marketing strategy is. 

Thanks to the internet for continuously breaking barriers when it comes to how businesses operate and do marketing. With it, the possibilities are endless – even for small businesses. 

Right now, brand globalization isn’t as hard as it was then. It’s just how a business utilizes online tools to expand its reach. But, in this article, we won’t talk about how to globalize your brand yet. We’re here to talk about maximizing your local community to expand your reach. After all, it’s important to start from the bottom-up. 

Once you’re done reading this, you’ll learn about the following things:  

  • What is local marketing

  • How to promote your business locally 

  • How to use search engines in promoting your business

  • Why you need to run paid ads for your local business 

  • Alternatives to paid ads to promote your business

So, let’s go.  

What is Local Marketing?

Local marketing is a strategy that aims to reach and engage with local prospects – potential customers who are located near a business’ physical location. Instead of targeting a wider audience, it focuses on those that are more likely to visit a physical store or need a service nearby. 

Just like any other marketing strategy, it aims to improve conversion rates, or the percentage of potential customers who take the desired action businesses want, such as making a purchase or contacting your business. By funneling marketing efforts to people in close proximity, increasing the likelihood of attracting customers that are easier to convert.

By focusing on the people that are likely to become customers because of their proximity, you can optimize resources and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. This helps in establishing a stronger connection with your community, build brand awareness, and ultimately drive more foot traffic and conversions to your business. 

How to Promote Your Business Locally

Be part of local groups 

No man is an island they say, but the same rings true for businesses. A business that tries to be the “lone wolf” is likely to fail. Leverage how people feel about groups – they would want to feel that they belong. People are also likely to trust a business when it aligns with their values, shares the same advocacy, and contributes to the local community. 

Being involved in your community, like joining events, makes a big difference when promoting your local business.  

Organize events

Aside from participating in community events, organizing one also helps establish your business with locals.  

Events also help you connect to both online and offline customers. Using your social media, it’s possible to quickly spread details about local events. Then, people will talk about it – word of mouth helps fill in the cracks that online channels wouldn’t be able to reach. 

When you organize community events, it’s easier to insert your social media page links, website URL, and store location on the promotion assets for the event. Thus, promoting the event and your business at once.  

Expand your local network

Since we’re already talking about events, also make sure that these events help expand your network. While customers are the focus, it’s a mistake to disregard the opportunities that similar businesses – not competitors – can bring to yours.  

For example, a florist joins or organizes an event, the florist can forge a business relationship with wedding planners, funeral homes, and any similar business that are not direct competitors. 

Offer exclusive deals to locals 

It’s safe to say that everybody loves discounts and deals, right? So, for locals to love it even more, offer exclusive local deals. This subconsciously makes locals think that it’s an opportunity they shouldn’t miss. Thus, helping increase conversion rates. 

In general, discounts and deals aimed only at a specific group make customers feel valued. Hence, they’re likely to prefer doing business with you. 

Maximize your visual branding

Visual branding helps consumers identify a business. So, make sure your local community becomes familiar with yours.  

How? There are so many other ways but the easiest is to use your logo where they make sense, like in your products packages, employee uniforms, and business vehicles among others. 

Every business asset you have should carry some elements of your visual branding. This way locals can easily associate them with you. Make them remember you every chance you get.  

Sponsorship 

If you don’t have time to join community groups or organize events, boost your business within the community by sponsoring local events or organizations. As a sponsor, you still get to increase your brand awareness, target your ideal audience, engage with the community, and create positive word-of-mouth without putting so much work. 

Plus, you get the opportunity to gain media exposure, valuable networking opportunities, and the satisfaction of making a difference in your local community. Whenever this happens, you stand out, build trust, and differentiate yourself from competitors. By investing in local sponsorships, you can easily promote your business, but most importantly you can forge meaningful connections that can fuel long-term success. 

List your business to local listings

Digital directories are like lighthouses; they guide potential customers where it’s best to dock. By listing your business on them, you boost visibility and ensure that when people search for local businesses, you’re right there in front of them. It’s just like the light in a lighthouse, it signals customers that you’re there to help.  

On top of that, being on reputable directories makes your business trustworthy and credible. So, make your customers feel confident in your business by adding your business to the listings. Win the heart of locals, stand out, and be found in local searches. 

When people find your business on search engines, you don’t only get online traffic but also foot traffic. Afterall, 31% of consumers discover new businesses through search engines

Search Engine Marketing: Using Search Engines to Promote Your Local Business

People spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones daily. Someone that uses a smartphone can relate to how often search engine queries happen every day. We rely on search engines to find answers to our questions – especially when finding nearby products or services. So, in this section, we’ll talk about how to promote your local business to search engines. 

Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is one of the best things to do to get your local business noticed online. Doing so allows you to manage business details on Google Search and Maps. Hence, your business will likely show up on relevant results in Google Maps and Google Search. This means more people can find your business, even without knowing your exact address. 

In addition to increasing visibility, it also helps you generate more leads and sales. So, when your listing appears in search results, provide accurate details such as your business name, address, phone number (NAP), website, hours of operation, reviews, and photos. This helps convince potential customers to click check your website or call your business.

Conduct Local Keyword Research 

Local keyword research is the process of identifying keywords and phrases that locals use when searching for products, services, or even businesses. By understanding how your target audience asks questions in search engines, it’s easier to optimize your website and marketing materials for higher conversions. 

Include location-specific terms in your website content, meta tags, headings, and image alt text. For example, if you’re a bakery in St. Louis, Missouri, target keywords like “best bakery in st louis missouri” or “st louis missouri bakery delivery.” The more specific it is, the more likely it shows up on local searches.  

Create Location-Specific Landing Pages

If you have multiple locations or serve different areas, a dedicated landing page for each location is something to consider. Customizing the content to include localized information, testimonials, and references to nearby landmarks makes locals feel that your business is within reach. This signals search engines about your relevance to specific locations. Thus, improving your chances of appearing in local search results. 

Location-specific landing pages are a powerful tool for promoting local businesses. When someone searches for a business for a specific location, Google shows them results that are the most relevant to their search. 

Optimize On-Page SEO Elements 

On-page SEO is a critical component of any business’s digital marketing strategy – especially local businesses. By optimizing your website’s content, you make it more relevant to local search queries. Thus, improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), which results in increased website traffic and more leads and sales.

Incorporate relevant location-based keywords in your page titles, URLs, meta descriptions, and overall content. Structure your website in a way that’s user-friendly, with clear navigation, and consistent internal linking

Build High-Quality Local Citations

Citations are online mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on directories and websites. Ensure the consistency and accuracy of your NAP information across these citations, because they are crucial for your local SEO strategy. By building high-quality citations, search engines understand your business’s location and rank your website for relevant local searches. This, of course, leads to an increase in website traffic, lead generation, and sales. 

Encourage Online Reviews

When checking the internet for information – be it for a product, service, or business in general – it’s common practice to check reviews. Online reviews give us a glimpse of what to expect about the goods and services we would get.  

This saying, it really makes sense that positive reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or industry-specific review sites significantly impact your local search visibility and reputation. So, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and quickly respond to feedback, regardless of how good or bad they are. Show your commitment to customer satisfaction. After all, no business wants dissatisfied customers because it’s bad for business. 

Leverage Online Directories and Review Platforms 

Optimize your business profiles on popular directories and review platforms aside from Google. Directories such as Yelp, Bing Places, TripAdvisor, and Facebook Business are major platforms that people check when doing in-depth research. So, make sure to fill out all relevant fields, provide accurate information, and include clear images. If you’re confused on how to get started with online directories, our team of experts can help you nail your business directories!

Generate Local Backlinks 

Remember when we talked about getting involved in your local community? Yes, here’s another thing you can get by doing so – local backlinks. 

Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. High-quality website backlinks fortify your domain authority and trustworthiness. Thus, helping your website rank higher in search results for relevant local searches. 

Generate and earn links from other local businesses, community organizations, or local news websites. Participating in local events, sponsoring local initiatives, or collaborating with other businesses increases your chances of getting relevant and high-quality backlinks that boost your local search visibility.

Implement Schema Markup 

Schema markup is the addition of structured data to your website’s content. This data is used by search engines to better understand website content and display accurate information in search results. For example, if you have a gadget website, schema markup tells search engines the kind of devices, their available color, and their price range. When this information is displayed in search results, it’s easier for users to find the gadget they are looking for.

It’s easy to add schema markup to your website, and there are several ways to do it. Either use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper, which is a free tool that helps create the markup for your content. Or a WordPress plugin, such as Schema Pro, to easily add schema markup to your website. 

Once added, test it using the Google Rich Results Test Tool. This tool tells you if your markup is valid and if it is being correctly interpreted by search engines.

Using schema markup improves the visibility of your website in search results. It also helps you increase the number of website visitors and improve your website’s click-through rate. 

Optimize for Mobile and Voice Search

As mobile and voice search grows, optimizing your website for mobile devices and voice search queries gets you ahead of the game. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and provides accurate and easily digestible information for voice search users. 

Implement these local SEO strategies and increase your local search visibility, attract more targeted traffic, and promote your local business effectively through search engines.

Why Run Paid Ads for a Local Business 

Paid ads are a valuable tool for promoting a local business. Through it, you can provide targeted exposure to potential customers in your area. Here are a few ways paid ads can help:

Increased Visibility 

Paid ads boost your business’s visibility in SERPs or on social media platforms. By bidding on relevant keywords or demographic targeting options, ads can appear prominently to users who are searching for products or services nearby. This increases local visibility and ensures that your business is seen by potential customers at the right time and place.

Targeted Reach 

Communicate your message by targeting specific geographic locations with paid ads. This helps in making sure that your message gets to the right audience. You can be very specific, like target your ads to appear to users within a certain radius, in specific cities or zip codes, or any area where there are prospects. Precision targeting helps maximize your advertising budget by focusing on the people where your business matters.

Ad Customization 

With paid ads, you have control over the ads messaging and design. This helps you create compelling ad copy, attractive visuals, and strong calls-to-action that resonates to your customers. Tailoring your ads to local customers helps catch their attention and encourages them to take action, such as visiting your store, making a purchase, or contacting your business.

Measurable Results 

Of course, you want to know if it’s worth spending on paid ads. Fortunately, paid advertising platforms provide detailed analytics and metrics for performance tracking. This allows you to easily monitor ad metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions, and return on investment (ROI). Access to data allows you to evaluate whether an advertising strategy works or not. Allowing you to optimize it to get favorable results.

Ad Retargeting 

Retargeting is a powerful feature in paid advertising. It allows you to reach users who were previously interested in your business. When someone checks your website or engages with your content, you can use retargeting ads to re-engage with them while browsing other websites or social media platforms. This reinforces your brand, reminding potential customers of your offers, and increases the likelihood of conversions.

Competitive Advantage 

Paid ads give you the chance to outshine your competitors. When you secure prime ad placements at the top of search engine results or on social media feeds, you position your business as a top – especially among local customers. When someone is looking for a local business, displayed ads can catch their attention – which helps in encouraging them to check your business over competition.

Overall, paid ads, if done right, are effective ways to promote a local business. It’s an important element in increasing visibility in the local market.  

Alternatives to Paid Ads When Promoting a Local Business

We asked earlier if it’s safe to say that everybody loves discounts, right? But do you know what’s better? Yes. You got it. Anything that’s free is so much better!  

Content Marketing

People check the web for information. What better way is there to get a larger audience but develop high-quality, valuable content for them, right? This includes blog posts, videos, infographics, or whatever content you can think of.  

Be consistent in producing and sharing useful content to attract and engage potential customers.

Social Media Marketing 

Utilize social media platforms to connect with your local community. While content marketing can stand on its own, creating engaging and shareable content through social media allows local groups to participate and discuss. Hence, encouraging user-generated content from satisfied customers. 

Features like geotagging and hashtags are things to leverage to increase your local visibility. 

Local Partnerships

Collaborate with other local businesses or organizations sharing similar target audience. You can do cross-promotions, co-host events, or even develop joint marketing campaigns. Expand your reach by tapping into a partnership’s customer base. 

Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Customers believe the other people who’s done business with you. So, encourage happy customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, or Yelp among others. You must monitor and manage your online reputation by responding to reviews, both positive and negative.  

In a community, people would want to be heard. It’s the same for businesses, leaving online reviews unattended gives the impression that you don’t care about your customers. 

Email Marketing 

Email marketing may be old, but it remains an effective marketing medium. An email list of interested customers that receive regular newsletters or updates keeps customers engaged. With email marketing, you’re free to offer exclusive promotions or discounts to encourage repeat business and referrals.

Customer Service 

Satisfied customers will refer businesses to anyone when they’re happy about its service. Provide top-notch customer service so your customers do the marketing for you. You can have the best product there is but if your customer service is bad, customers won’t hesitate to look elsewhere. Always keep them happy!

Every successful business started from the bottom up. Even in promoting your business, it’s important to build your brand in your local community first before venturing out. 

We hope that everything in this article helps you promote your local business. Fortify your relationship with your community to establish trust and credibility. Aside from that, apply the digital marketing techniques we’ve included in this post to improve your online visibility to locals.  

Otherwise, you can get our experts to help you optimize your website. This is while you focus on the other aspects of your business, such as community building. 

  • Web.com Team

    Our goal is to be your go-to partner in today’s always-on digital world.

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