The impact for a strong Local SEO campaign on a small business has been felt in recent years; producing huge results for small players. Therefore, local businesses need to ensure that they have the right techniques to keep up with the competition and to ensure a steady flow of customers. Some techniques are industry-specific, but most companies can follow some general guidelines for strengthening their efforts.
Employ Content Marketing Strategies:
Most businesses are beginning to realize the value of using videos, blogs, images and the like to address their target audience members. However, these methods of marketing have an even more important edge for local businesses. Companies can choose to feature members of the community in their video, or they may ask a proficient local writer to create a blog. When community members are involved, they feel as though the neighborhood has a whole has a stronger connection with the business.
Take to Social Media:
Many companies have established social media pages, but they are not necessarily active on them. Social media platforms are an excellent way to let customers know about your products and services, but such pages also help to involve consumers more in the business. For example, they can post pictures of their experience at your company or with your products, and these pictures then act as forms of advertising for you.
Integrate Your Neighborhood As Well:
You probably already know that in order to make local search engine optimization work, you need to integrate your city and state into the copy of your website. However, you should also work to integrate the particular neighborhood. For example, people may be specifically looking for a restaurant in the west end of a particular town, or they may want to find a park in walking distance from the center of the community.
Ensure that Your Listing is in Local Directories:
Not only do you want to work on polishing your website and your social media pages, you also want to maintain a presence in local business directories. When people search for your company, you want your business to stand out amongst your competitors. On top of that, you want to make sure that your business is on local review sites as well (i.e., Yelp). The more publicity you are able to generate, the greater chance you have of bringing in more customers who then become returning customers.
Respond to Reviews, Questions, Comments, and So Forth:
These platforms help to bring you closer to your customers, but if the interactions end there, you are not fully engaging in proper marketing strategies. You need to make sure you are responding to user feedback. Whether you are handling a complaint or thanking a user for his or her review, you are showing that customer and your other customers that you care about what they have to say.
Establishing a formidable online presence is essential, especially in an age when local businesses are competitive with their SEO strategies.
Erika Kauffman is a Partner, General Manager & Executive Vice President at 5W Public Relations. With over 15 years’ experience in marketing communications, budget development and resource planning, Erika is a proven executive and an industry thought leader. She has been the lead on award-winning consumer campaigns for several global brands, including Evian, Welch’s, Campbell’s, Plum Organics, All-Clad, Whole Foods, Medifast, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft and IAC’s About.com & DailyBurn. With every initiative, she delivers best-in-class solutions creating the impact needed to grow clients’ business. Erika frequently appears as a commentator in the media. She has been featured in the New York Times, CBS News, Access Hollywood, Crain’s New York Business, Mashable, PR Week and the Huffington Post. Erika has received some of the industry’s most esteemed honors. She has been the recipient of PR News “Top Women in PR” award, Crain’s New York “Women in Business”, NY Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” award, WWD’s “Beauty Biz” Award, The American Business Awards’ “Silver Stevie,” and The Holmes Report’s “Sabre” award. An advocate for women’s leadership in business, Erika is a member of The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) NY Women of Leadership, Women in Communication and the Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business.