When your business relies on local customers, it makes no sense to market to a worldwide audience. Why do you care if someone in Australia can find your location online when you’re looking for customers in Austin, Texas, for example? The following local marketing tactics will make it so that your computer and mobile searching audience can not only find your business online, but they’ll also be able to follow a map right to your door to make a purchase.
Your first order of business when attempting to master local marketing tactics is to sign up with Google+ Business, which is the professional arm of Google’s social network. After you click ‘Sign In’, you will be prompted to enter the phone number of your business. This will make sure that you’re not attempting to create a duplicate listing of your business when one may already exist. Google tends to aggregate data from other Internet Yellow Pages and directories online; so if you have already listed your business elsewhere on the Internet, you may find that a Google+ Business listing is already in place. If you need to create one, begin filling out the required information to begin your local marketing campaign.
From there, you will be prompted to create a Google+ page, where you will be asked for your address and category. Your address will also be used to place your listing on Google Maps.
If Google already populated your information via another online source and you find that you already have a Google+ Business listing, proceed to the next step.
Now, find Google Places for Business and verify your listing. This will make it so that you can control all the information that is being posted about your business, except for reviews of course, which we will get to in a moment. For now, just fill out all the required information and have faith your local marketing efforts will soon pay off.
If all of this seems confusing, you’re not alone. There are multiple Google business platforms that you will have to locate and fill out if you want to ensure a thorough local listing within the Google search engine results pages.
The next step in mastering local marketing tactics is to make sure that other Internet Yellow Pages and online directories know about and list your business. This will make it so that you listing shows up not only in Google, but in Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. There is an easy way to do this and the hard way. The hard way is to search for every IYP and online directory online, register and begin listing your business name, address and phone number. These are known as your business Citations, otherwise known as your NAP (name, address and phone number). Your citations can also include your URL, business categories and other pertinent information that customers might like to know when making a business decision.
The easy way to list your citations is to use a service that can help. Yext and Whitespark are two companies that will give you a full report of exactly where your business is listed and where you aren’t listed so that you know exactly where your local marketing tactics need work.
Yext will fill out all of your citations across all directories for about a thousand dollars, but you can run a free report that will show you where you need to focus the most attention. It’s recommended that you do the latter, especially if your budget is tight, so that you don’t break the bank just yet.
Once you have listed all of your local marketing citations, your business should now be showing up in local marketing customers’ results pages. Now is when you will want to drive people to your local business pages to leave reviews.
More and more local marketing customers are using online reviews to help them make a positive buying decision. Use this to your advantage by sending your customers to your Google Places for Business page and other online directories like Yelp, FourSquare and others. Some good local marketing tactics to use include placing review buttons on your website for all of your local marketing directories, sending out emails to all of your most loyal customers asking them to leave reviews and offering discounts to people who do in fact leave a review, positive or not.
If you get negative reviews, don’t fret (unless you start to get an overwhelming number of them). One or two negative reviews won’t hurt too badly, as long as you handle the situation correctly. Respond to all negative reviews professionally and do what you can to make it right. Beyond that, one of the best local marketing tactics to use is to drown out your negative reviews with positive ones. Just keep sending local marketing customers to your review pages, keep going above and beyond when it comes to customer service and you’ll soon see that local marketing isn’t so difficult after all.
When all is said and done, Google should begin sending people right to your business, and Google Maps will give them the exact directions right to your door. Even if your customers aren’t using Google, all of your local marketing efforts will ensure that your customers can find your business no matter which search engine they happen to be using.