Local Online Marketing – What You Need to Know

Fotolia_52873690_XSYour customers are online, are you? Local online marketing is essential for any business, even brick-and-mortar companies. Applied Innovations provides web hosting services and eCommerce hosting for many small businesses, so we understand how important local online marketing is for gaining new customers and increasing sales.

According to a BIA/Kelsey report, 97 percent of consumers use online media before making local purchases. Google Research also showed that 9 out of 10 online searches result in a follow up action, such as calling or visiting the business. So what exactly does local online marketing entail and how does it affect your business?

Local SEO: Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a great way for local business to be found by local customers. Implementing SEO strategies on a local level can quickly drive highly targeted local customers to call or visit your business.

Local SEO utilizes keywords that are relevant to your business, coupled with your location. For example, if you own a flower shop in Miami, a key phrase might be “flower stores Miami,” or “Miami florists.”

Local map optimization for Google Maps, Yahoo Local and Bing Local is also an effective way to help customers find your business when they’re searching for your products or services online. Local SEO is also a more economical marketing method than expensive print media, such as newspaper, TV and radio ads.

Reputation Marketing: No matter the size of your business, reputation marketing should be a vital component of your overall marketing efforts. Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”

Negative reviews about a business on either social media sites or popular review sites can dramatically affect a business almost instantly. If you own a business, it’s imperative that you take a proactive approach in managing your online reputation. Take control of your online reputation by monitoring what people are saying about your business online and in the social media space, manage and respond to reviews and encourage satisfied customers to post reviews.

While local SEO and reputation marketing are two of the major forms of local online marketing, just about every other form of online marketing can be optimized at the local level. This includes pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns using AdWords or AdWords Express, video marketing and mobile marketing. Pairing relevant keywords with the location of your business, and utilizing targeting features can create highly effective local online marketing campaigns that, if managed correctly, are virtually guaranteed to increase your customer base, sales, ROI and more.

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