Local Online Marketing Tools
Effective Local Online Marketing
Your website should work as the hub of all of your online marketing activities – although it doesn’t necessarily need to be a multi-page, complex website, it does need to be built with Search Engine Optimisation at its core.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to communicate with existing and potential clients and drive new business opportunities.
Pay Per Click Advertising services offered by search engines and social media platforms may not be considered appropriate for every single business – some businesses use them as their primary marketing activity with great success. PPC can accurately target people searching for your products and services in real time and market your products and services to people who are known to have interests related to your target market.
In addition to these fundamental building blocks for effective local online marketing, there are other tools which we’d recommend or you may wish to consider…
Google My Business
Google My Business is a very effective local online marketing tool, especially for businesses who primarily work with clients in their local area.
Google uses the profile information; who you are, where you work and what you do when determining which businesses and websites to present in the search results in your local area. This information is then presented in a large business profile box including images and a map with all of the organic listings resulting from the search – providing local businesses with a higher profile and therefore a greater chance of visitors, enquiries and potential customers.
Google My Business profiles are free – and there are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits associated with such profiles too. So if you work with customers in your local area, and you don’t already have one, we’d suggest setting one up right now!
There are two types of business listing directory services available online – offering free and paid listings. They are all websites themselves, just like yours, except that their content is made up of lists of businesses.
Directory salespeople tell a good story, but they nearly always over-state their ability to deliver visitors and they claim to use many of the tools and techniques that you should adopt as part of your own marketing strategy to drive traffic to their directory – which will almost certainly contain your competitor’s details meaning that they’re effectively competing with you for your own customers!
We’ve monitored the web traffic delivered to numerous websites across a wide variety of businesses for many years – including those who have signed up to local and national paid directory services. We have never seen a single national or local directory (regardless of size) deliver a meaningful amount of traffic – the bulk of all visitors to websites are delivered directly by Search Engines, either through organic search results or PPC advertising, and by visitors responding to marketing activities that encourage the recipient to visit the website (or provide a link directly to it). We have rarely seen a directory, regardless of size, deliver more than a handful of visitors and typically less than 1% of all visitors.
Submit to free listings by all means – but please be very, very clear about what a paid for directory will realistically be able to deliver before committing any of your valuable marketing budget.
We’re here to help
If you’d like to talk about effective local online marketing, need help with a Google My Business listing or have questions about online directories – please get in touch!