The most important principle every person should follow when building a business is the shortest: location. You build your business where the money is. Today, this means building your business online. But what if you are already an established local business? How do you integrate the power of the internet with your brick and mortar business? Answer: local business online marketing.
Why is local business online marketing important? "83% of US households use the internet as a shopping source to shop locally." "97% of consumers use the internet to research products and services in their locality." These two statistics are enough reasons to persuade you to employ online marketing. The next question is how can you improve your business online? Below are local business online marketing tips you can do:
Local Business Search Listings
Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing Local are your business's online directories. Following simple verification steps will help people find the location of your business and how they can contact you. This should be the very first thing you should do. Also, upload photos of yourself and your business because local business search listings want users to see actual pictures of your location. People who search for your business online also want to see the pictures of your establishment too. It doesn't have to be professional photos, but good quality ones are a good representation of your business and your attention to detail.
Reviews Are Good
Reviews are good for your business as future customers will be able to know what to expect from you. Encourage your customers to write reviews on local listing sites. Do not worry about bad reviews though. No business is perfect and having excellent, 5-star reviews all the time may send a wrong signal that you are manipulating the reviews. Of course, you don't want to attract bad reviews as well.
Make Your Phone and Address Known Online
It is good to have a website, but make sure that you include your phone number and physical address so that future customers will be able to contact or visit you right away. Avoid online forms. Spread your number and address on all your website pages to stress that your business does in fact exist.
Always Think Like a Searcher
It is not hard to know what people want; just think of what you want. For example, you are looking for a Mexican restaurant in Houston, Texas. You will certainly search for "Mexican restaurant in Houston." That's what your customers will do as well. Focus on specific keywords when optimizing your site so that you drive relevant traffic and targeted customers to your business.