10 Ways to Grow Your Local Business for (Almost) Nothing

Most local businesses don’t have big budgets. But that doesn’t mean that their marketing efforts have to stay small. There are plenty of strategies that local businesses can use to drive customers to their stores while getting the most out of their marketing dollars.  We launched our first list of free and cheap marketing tactics back in 2017. Now, we’re updating that list with the most powerful and cost-effective ways to grow your local business today and beyond. Be Active in Online Communities Being helpful was a tactic we talked about back in 2017, and it’s still relevant today. Online communities like Nextdoor are now even more popular and filled with thousands of people who could be looking for your expert advice.  Online communities that are specifically related to your industry are a great way to establish your authority, as the editorial team at WPBeginner notes. Some of these communities are obvious. If you run a hospitality business, Tripadvisor is a must.  Don’t join just any community, however. It’s important that you only invest your time in places where potential customers are active. Bean Ninjas’ Meryl Johnston recommends trying out several communities to get a feel for which ones suit you and your business. When you’ve found one or two communities that work, focus your attention on being as helpful as possible to other members of that community.   When it comes to posting, our advice hasn’t changed since 2017: Be as helpful as possible without expecting anything in return. Just make sure you link back to your company’s website in your profile.  Create a Business Profile on Facebook Facebook remains a pivotal platform for local businesses today. In fact, it's possibly even more important now than in 2017, given Facebook's increased emphasis on local communities. Facebook visibility can also improve your business’ rankings in Google, writes entrepreneur Alyssa Gregory. All of the content that you post to Facebook, including your page itself, can be indexed by Google and show up in results pages.  It’s essential that you create a separate page for your business, says social media strategist Saige Driver. You won’t be taken seriously as a local business if you’re posting from your personal account.  Filling out your business profile as much as possible is also important. This includes photos of your business, contact information, a link to your website and your operating hours.  Then, Post Interesting Content to That Account As we said back in 2017, it’s not enough to create a Facebook account. You need to keep posting high-quality, engaging content that your audience loves.  Writer Christina Newberry recommends that business owners take a quality-over-quantity approach to content creation. Focus on helping customers and building a relationship rather than trying to hammer home a sales message. Your audience will be much more likely to engage and share your content if it offers value.  You don’t have to create all of the content yourself, however. Curating content from other interesting voices in your space can be a great [...]

The ROI of Your LOCAL SEO

All marketing – LOCAL SEO included! – must be evaluated with specific reference to the metrics that drive revenue. If you are a retailer or restaurant, LOCAL SEO should increase the foot traffic passing through your front door. And, if you are a service business, leads or appointments probably matter the most. Regardless of the right metric for your business, we must be able to draw a straight line between LOCAL SEO expenditures and revenue. Consider that The US Small Business Administration and SCORE* recognize the very direct relationship between online success and revenue: 76% of local web searches result in a visit to a related business within a day – and 28% of those visits result in a purchase Your business needs to be prominently represented in those local web searches - and the recipe for success is no secret! LOCAL SEO describes the tactics that digital marketers use to put your business information in front of consumers when they are in the process of making purchase decisions. We discuss these tactics, prescribed by Google, in our recent blog post. Add in a sensible digital advertising campaign to gain a leg up over the competition and you have all the ingredients needed to achieving the customer metrics that drive revenue for your business. All that's left to complete the recipe is the ability to measure results and continuously refine your tactics. However, while many small businesses have made the decision to commit resources to digital marketing and LOCAL SEO, few have baked in success by implementing reliable measurement capabilities. We are here to help. Restaurant and Retail: Engage121 has partnered with solution providers that measure foot traffic so we can provide a fully integrated program. Service businesses: Engage121 develops and manages custom landing pages that measure leads, conversions and bookings. Online retailers and E-commerce: Engage121’s end-to-end Google shopping facility puts local business on par with the largest e-tailers. And, integrating measurement and digital marketing does far more than validate the marketing expense: Achieve data-driven insights into the messages that motivate your consumers; Take advantage of the ability to continually refine your marketing to achieve optimal results; Manage your inventory with the knowledge of which programs are driving traffic; and more that we are sure you will discover! Just remember the steps: Develop a LOCAL SEO program that . . . Achieves the drivers of your revenue, and Measure your results. Learn more Related Services HOT!Content – a no-cost Daily Email with content and DIY tools. Digital Marketing Assistant, (DMA) – a managed subscription service. * https://www.score.org

Did You Know? Organic Search and Local Search Are Related.

Make organic and local search work together to get found faster We recently considered whether Google has become the new homepage for local businesses. Today, we’re going to take a look at organic and local search and consider how they’re related and also expound on the importance of using the expertise of a wordpress hosting service. It’s not surprising that 65% of marketers* agree that there’s strong correlation between local and organic rankings. The biggest similarity, of course, is that both start with a search. But both also focus on content, backlinks, keywords and website activity. What sets LOCAL SEO apart is the geographic component. With organic search, you want people to know what you do, but to get found locally, you also want to highlight where you do it. That’s where the power and value of your website comes into play, influencing not just organic rankings, but LOCAL SEO. In fact, a majority of marketers believe that companies with good visibility in local Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) have high organic placement, too. At the heart of it all is user intent. Simply put, search engines want to give users what they’re looking for. For instance, when a person conducts a search that includes both a business type and location, the search engine knows that the user has local intent. So, if that person wants to find a good pizzeria that delivers, they may search “Pizza delivery” along with their location. What happens next can make or break discovery: The three closest pizza places – also known as the “local 3-pack,” show up under the ads on the first search results page. Having the strongest LOCAL SEO presence gives you the very best chance at getting your business to display in this free local 3-pack. Why?  Because all these local SEO criteria provide the  authority to support local rank. Better together There are a few simple practices that help you get LOCAL SEO and organic search to work in harmony. Local business citations: A full 46% of all Google searches seek local information! Google places a lot of weight on having that information accurate and correct. Having a consistent business name, address and phone number (NAP) is quite important, helping LOCAL SEO by providing search engines with your correct location and creating consistent links back to your website and to all your mentions online. Local citations also help your organic search efforts since search engines consider the number of backlinks when they rank websites. The more backlinks you have, the better your chances of meeting your customers right where they are, when they need to find you. Good content: Content is king, especially when it’s structured to meet your business goals and customer needs. What’s more, search engines like fresh content. Adding rich, relevant content, including a locally focused blog post, or simply updating a page, is a great one-two punch because it helps establish your LOCAL SEO relevance and can also boost your organic search rankings. Other strategic synergies between local and organic search [...]