Marketing local business is not as simple today as it was in the past. A long time ago, it seems marketers promoted neighborhood business by putting ads in the yellow pages and buying ad space in the local newspaper. Business has gotten very hard in The Twin Cities. Eager buyers no longer look at the newspaper ads to shop for products and services. Today most consumers start by doing an Internet search before they buy. What will happen when you anticipate eager buyers shopping for what you offer? Knowing what they type into the search box, what’s keeping you from appearing everywhere they look?
Marketing Local Business Online
Take roofing for example. Drop by Google.com and search for the following:
- Twin Cities roofing
- Minneapolis roofing
- Saint Paul roofing
As I write this, the search engine results pages all show one thing in common: that gorgeous map! Local business results are your key to marketing business successfully.
There are three sections to each Google search results page:
- Pay-per-click advertisements at the top and down the right side;
- Local business results and that gorgeous map above the fold; and
- Organic or natural search results everywhere else.
So, each roofing company has at least three (3) chances to show on each page. And, take note, this is only Google! We’re not looking at Yahoo!, Bing, Facebook or any other search results. Is Your Website Marketing Local Business?
Consider your own company website. You may have paid big bucks to publish your online business card — did you? Did you pay for pretty? Or, did you intend to pay to produce more customers? How many new customers did you get last month because of your pretty website? What is your return on that investment?
What about your website content? Is it relevant to your visitors? Is it compelling them to take action and buy from you once they’re on your pages? What would persuade you to buy from you? Are you calling them to action on each page? If you don’t ask them to call you, what do you expect them to do? Not calling you, not buying from you and going away may be exactly the message they’re getting from you.
As a neighborhood business, what are you doing to make sure that eager local buyers know that you exist? How would you find your company if you didn’t know about it? Remember that cool map? Google will only place you in the local business results after they recognize that your business is local to that search. What is your service area? As a Minneapolis roofer, how interested are you in Duluth business? Or, business in Fort Lauderdale? The best marketing local business strategy pulls customers directly from your local community. Even if business thousands of miles away can be good, won’t neighborhood business be better?
Marketing Local Business Has Changed
Marketing strategies business online is not that different from marketing offline. Eager buyers want to taste, hear, smell and feel your products and services. Give them a great reason to walk through your front door and they’ll come to check you out. There are rating and review sites providing places for your customers to express their feelings about your business. Claim your business listing on social rating and review sites like Google Places, MerchantCircle, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. With half a reason to stand up in public and tell the world about your remarkable work, many customers will do just that.
How much of that do you want?
Community involvement will certainly build your brand quickly. The more your neighbors talk about your business, the sooner marketing local business brings them to you. Marketing is different today than in the past. Today most consumers start by doing an Internet search before they buy. Anticipate eager buyers shopping for what you offer and, of a sudden, everywhere they look you are there. In fact, marketing local business online is different: it is effective.