Do not be afraid of big search engines if you are a small business. Any good business owner or manager knows that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key contributor to the success of a business. While the potential to advertise online is huge, local marketing is the perfect place to start and is ideal for small companies looking to target individuals in a specific area. Chances are, your potential customers will want to engage with your business in-person. So, taking advantage of local searches is key – you need to be sure that your company can be searched for by people in your area.
According to 815imedia.com, “31 percent of all business buyers first use a search engine when looking for something local, and 90 percent of purchases are made within 50 miles of a person’s home.” To make sure that your company is not missing out on these large amounts of customers, there are several local mediums you can use when trying to “get local” with your marketing:
This is obvious choice for most businesses when it comes to marketing their company because this is where most prospects begin their research into the product or service you offer. Setting up a local Google AdWords program takes just a few easy steps:
- Go to the Google home page and click on “Advertising Programs”
- Click on AdWords
- Create a Google Account
- Go to “How it Works” and click on “For Local Businesses”
Other Search Engines
Google is not the only search engine around. Consider Bing. Although it doesn’t carry nearly the same search volume as Google, it’s less expensive for advertising. And while local search engines, such as CitySearch are not as popular, you can usually get your company to show up at the top faster through your SEO efforts.
City or Town Websites
Just about every city and town has a website. The easiest way to get involved is to call or email the editor of the website and ask to place a text or banner ad, or a short description of your company on the website or newsletter. Normally, the website will have a contact link that will send you to the right place.
City or Town Media
Reach out to a local community newspapers and give them a reason to cover you. This is where a good public relations strategy comes into play. Local publications like to focus on local people and businesses in the community. If you’re a nutritionist, why not position yourself as the local expert in nutrition? You can do this by offering to write informative and helpful articles on the subject matter without trying to pitch your business. If the publication chooses to carry your articles, they will give you a byline where you can point readers to your website address or blog where they can find more helpful advice. This strategy serves two purposes: creates trust in your brand amongst readers and drives additional traffic to your website. The additional traffic can also positively impact your search rankings.
Guest Author – Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to document scanning. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs at Resource Nation.