20 Ideas to Kick-Start Your Local Business Marketing Online

July 28, 2012
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Don’t know where to begin with marketing your local business? At a loss for how to handle a web marketing campaign? Whether you’re just starting out, you’re lost with new technology, or the well has run dry for new ways to engage online, these ideas will surely launch your business into new places.

1. Figure Out Your Goals. What and where are you lacking? How can you be doing things better? Envision your business becoming the authority on the web and it can.
2. Bring Your Goals To Life. Do you have them written down? Do your employees understand the new goals? Build morale and ideas WILL come to life.
3. Check Out Your Competition. What is their website like? What about their social media profiles? Are they engaging their customers? How can you learn from them? Don’t imitate, but innovate.
4. Evaluate Your Website. Do you even have one (P.S. if not, now is the time)? Is it outdated? Is it compelling? Is it capturing your visitors? Are you providing them with enough content? Is there a call-to-action?
5. Make Sure Your Content Is Grade A. Do you have a blog? Is it unique (completely original and not plagiarized)? Are you consistently updating? Content is King for a reason.
6. Make More Content. Can’t say it enough! Make the investment in hiring a ghostwriter for your blog or employing a staff member as a writer.
7. Ensure You’re Registered Locally In The Search Engines. Are you able to be found when locals are looking for your business information?
8. Climb To The Top Of Local Search. Being registered is a start, but it’s nowhere to finish. Secure your spot at #1 for the most relevant search terms related to your business, including search terms that provide results such as Google Places.
9. Build A Local Portal Of Information. Create an extensive guide that is the new go-to. Offer plentiful information about your local area, its history, local events, news, what to do if you’re a tourist, information about other businesses, like where the best places are to wine, dine, and play.
10. Get Your Biz Listed In Local Directories. The days of phone books are dead and gone, but besides Google, online business directories and review sites are where people are searching when they’re ready to purchase. And most are free to be listed.
11. Measure Your Progress. If you don’t have analytics set up for your website, you have absolutely NO way to know what the heck you’re doing and if you’re getting anywhere with having a website in the first place. Most are free as well and will quantify your efforts.
12. Get The Word Out With Videos. You don’t need to go overboard here – in length or budget. But just having a little something-something on YouTube or Metacafe will get your audience interested.
13. Give Away Some Content. One great way to get more traffic is to guest blog. Get involved with other local businesses who are doing online marketing well and contribute a blog post and leave a backlink to your website.
14. Sponsor An Event And Promote It Online. Whether it’s proceeds to a charity or just a fun day of activities for the neighborhood, this is also an incredible way to network and get acclimated with your locals. The extra social media push will do wonders.
15. Get On Twitter. Don’t let 140 characters fool you. Twitter can be powerful – especially in reaching local people.
16. Get On All Kinds Of Social Media. Don’t shy away from social media. Ever. People want to get involved with local businesses. What can you offer them? Hint: it’s nothing promotional. You’ve got to be willing to be personable and entertaining.
17. Don’t Forget To Allow For Sharing. Make sure you’ve added social sharing buttons to your website pages and blog posts to encourage visitors to get the word out for you.
18. Include Your Phone Number In Your PPC Ads. Pay-per-click advertising is just a numbers game. Now, tell me: how much more likely will someone be to call if your number is right in front of their face?
19. Encourage Reviews. Reviews are incredibly, incredibly, incredibly powerful. They can make you, or they can break you. Make sure you actually push the idea casually, but in a way that reminds folks that had a good time at your place to leave one. More times than not, people are willing to leave a great review but forgot about the option to.
20. Use Check-In Technology. This is a great way to spread the idea of your business. Mobile usage is almost overwhelming prevalent today. If you employ this kind of technology, you’re not only allowing your name to enter more minds, but you’re allowing the idea of you being modern to enter the minds of the visitor – and their friends!

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