Who wants the what's what and who's who of Local Businesses and Local Lead Generation??
Yeah, us too – that's why we wrote the definitive review guide on Local Business Lead Generation.
We decided to put together everything into its simplest, most basic form so you could have bite-sized pieces of the puzzle for learning how local businesses need online marketers to help them grow their presence and clients.
So without further ado, here are the:
5 Essentials of Online Marketing for Local Businesses
The smell of fresh paint, a shiny new sign to hang above the front door: is there anything more exhilarating than setting up shop and opening your own business? It takes guts, imagination, perseverance and boatloads of self-motivational energy. And that's just to get things off the ground!
To succeed, what must come next is a lot of thought and energy put into how to get customers walking through that door on a consistent basis (even if it's a virtual door and you exist purely online). Believe it or not, many new business owners forget this essential component of success. That is, they don't think about driving customers to their business until they've sat idle for a while, wondering where all the customers are!
The big question then becomes where to start in order to get traffic through the door. And not just any old traffic, but good visitors who buy the product or service and become customers! What works best… networking? Advertising? Referral programs? The internet?
Obviously, most business owners turn to the Web to drive traffic to their business. Of course that's a whole new world of things to learn and techniques to master. To help sort things out a bit, here are 5 Essentials of Online Marketing for Local Businesses so you can start mastering the universe in your own industry.
- Get those emails and start building your list. No excuses here, thank you. I've heard them all and none of them are valid. It doesn't matter that you don't send emails to your customers right now…you will. It doesn't matter if you hate to “bother” your customers by asking for their data…they're used to it by now. You need to stay in touch with your current and past customers and get them to come in again with special offers and even referral programs.
- Get listed on local online directories. Your website is only the beginning of your online presence. Get noticed and become part of the online world officially by signing up with several directories. There's an SEO benefit (search engine optimization) and it provides authority by showing the public that you're real. Customers can leave reviews, which provide a growing factor in your local search engine rankings.
- Get mobile. If your website doesn't render correctly on a smartphone or tablet, you're losing out…big time. The number of people who use their phones for browsing as opposed to a desktop PC is growing exponentially, especially globally in places like China, Brazil, and India. Google even had an update this Spring supposedly lowering the rankings in the search results of websites who had not yet gone mobile.
- Get social but do it right. Sign your business up with a few social media platforms and start interacting with potential customers. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are the big four right now. Only you know which ones are right for your business. Don't waste time, however: make your posts relevant: they should be helpful, interesting, entertaining, or all of the above.
- Get your wallet out. Don't forget about good old-fashioned paid advertising. Sometimes you just gotta shell out some dough to get customers. There are myriad ways to do this, but among the top ways are buying ads from Google Adwords (or Yahoo/Bing's version), paid Facebook posts, and retargeting. They all work well for both finding new customers and for getting your message out to existing customers and website visitors. If you don't know much about buying ads from Google or Yahoo/Bing, it's called pay-per-click and comes with a rather steep learning curve. Get help or ease in slowly or you'll be blowing wads of money for little return. Retargeting means showing your ads to customers who've already visited your site, in hopes of turning them into customers the second (or third) time around.
Conclusion: Get Going!
Action is the basis of all results – and if that is what you are wanting (just like your hungry competition), then you best get to work. We would always recommend you check out the Job Killing internet marketing coaching program because of their community, classes, and teachings that solely focus on local business lead generation from an internet marketing and SEO standpoint.
So, while there are just five essentials here, they can still seem overwhelming to the newbie. My advice? Pick just one to begin with, and make that your focus for a week or two. Once mastered, it will become a viable advertising strategy on which you can build by using the other four essential tips you've read about here. Good Luck!