If you’re looking for a way to promote your small business to the local community, there are numerous marketing opportunities both online and offline to consider. Although online marketing is often thought of as a way to expand your business on a global level, it can also be used to attract attention right at home. Through techniques like search engine optimisation and social media marketing, you can help guide local consumers to your website and boost your profile. This can also be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
Put a Public Face to your Business
Your website serves as your virtual storefront. You’ll want to make sure it conveys the brand and tone that you want your business to have, with a clean, well-designed website. It can be a good idea to use a professional well-versed in web design and development in San Francisco or other tech-friendly cities to give your website a makeover, no matter where you are based. In addition to your main website, you can also create a strong image by using social networking. Sign up for business pages on sites like Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, and LinkedIn to enable customers to interact with your business. This helps build links to your website along with trust in your brand.
Create an Account with Google Places
Another good way to promote your business locally is to create an account with Google Places. This helps local customers find your business with a simple search. You can also sign up with Google+ Local, which is free and simple to use. These services allow you to list your company’s description, service details, videos, photos, and special offers.
Place Listings on Local Business Directories
Business directories like Yahoo, the Yellow Pages, and review sites like Yelp should all include your business details as well to increase your visibility among local customers. Many business directories are free to place a listing in, and allow potential customers to get in touch directly after finding you online. It’s important to remember that consumers looking even for local businesses will turn to these online search tools first.
Track and Respond to Online Reviews
Many of these business listings allow consumers to leave detailed reviews. You can build your reputation by communicating with customers and responding to feedback. This is a way to manage your word of mouth reputation online. Word of mouth advertising is just as important online as offline.
Use Localised Online Search Terms
To make your website easier to find for local customers, you can use long tail localised keywords in your website copy. For example, if you are a Los Angeles web design company, you’d want to incorporate combinations of “Los Angeles” with the services you provide to make it easier for customers in the area to find you.
Launch a Blog
Finally, to add a localised face to your business it’s a good idea to keep a regular blog on your website. This could cover special offers, local events, photos of your business, or simply information that you think your customers would like.
By engaging local customers through a combination of social media networking, blogging, and responding to reviews in local directories, you can improve your business’s visibility without spending a dime.