Do you run your business through a retail location? If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront then it’s probably safe to assume that you’re looking to target local consumers. The number 1 goal for any business with a retail location should be to build awareness within their local community. It doesn’t matter if your business is located in a big city or the smallest of small towns your local community is going to provide you with your primary customers. Many businesses use things like signs in front of their store, local newspaper ads, and even radio ads to help generate awareness within their local community. What some businesses don’t realize is that they can take those local marketing efforts online by optimizing their website and social media sites to generate local search traffic.
One of our clients is a local YMCA. They ONLY target the local community for YMCA membership. When they first brought us in to help them with social media marketing all that they had was a website. We helped them setup a local marketing strategy whereby everything they do online is optimized to attract local web traffic. For a business like the YMCA who provides a local service, it doesn’t make sense to market to people living in another state OR even another county. This means they have to be highly targeted in their approach, something that is very achievable when you have the right strategy in place. Below are 4 ways to generate local search traffic. Each of these local marketing tactics was implemented at the YMCA. 90% of their traffic is from local residents!
Optimize Your Website to Generate Local Traffic
The first and most important step in generating more local search traffic for your small business is to optimize your website with local keywords. Do you have one of those fancy all Flash websites? Not good for local search… Do you have a website that’s full of images and has minimal content? Not good for local search either… In order for your small business website to start moving up the search ranks for local keywords is to USE THOSE LOCAL KEYWORDS IN THE CONTENT OF YOUR WEBSITE.
If your business is located in San Diego and you sell womens shoes (yes, I was just watching an episode of ‘Married with Children’) then include the words “San Diego” in the content of your website. Instead of saying, “We have some of the best new styles in women’s shoes around”, say, “Our shoe store has some of the best new styles of women’s shoes in San Diego”. Just by adding the keywords “shoe store” and “womens shoes in San Diego” you will absolutely increase your web traffic because keywords like “women’s shoes in San Diego” are probably high searched terms when it comes to women who are looking for shoe stores in the San Diego area. Adding local keywords to your website content will definitely help you generate local search traffic for your small business.
Include Local Keywords in Your Blog Articles
Have you setup a blog for your small business yet? If so, bravo to you! Blogging is a great way to generate more traffic for your website. By adding local keywords to your blog article content you can then generate more local search traffic for your small business. Just like adding local keywords to your website content, whenever you are writing a new blog article and it makes sense to insert your location, do it. If you serve multiple towns and boroughs don’t be afraid to insert each of them in certain places throughout one article or many. Be sure not to go overboard and only insert local keywords if it’s relevant. Once you get the hang of adding local keywords it becomes a natural part of your writing process.
Each time you publish a new article to your blog you are adding new local search terms. Search engines pick up on that and start ranking your site higher and higher for those local search terms, which means you’re going to generate much more local search traffic for your small business.
Use Local Hashtags in Your Tweets
We actually just wrote an article about this local marketing tactic the other day. Using local hashtags in your tweets is a great way to generate more local traffic to your website and blog. By adding local hashtags like #Philadelphia #Missouri you can get your tweets in front of people who are following those hashtags on Twitter. Most likely if someone is following a local hashtag he/she lives or visits that local area. If that’s the case then you have just effectively gotten your content in front of your target audience by adding a local hashtag to your tweets. If your tweet contains a link to your website or blog then a certain percentage of those people who see your tweet are going to click through to read your content.
Another great way to localize your social media is to add local keywords to your social media profiles.
Setup Profiles on Local Search Tools
Is your business on Google Places? Do you use foursquare, Yelp, or Facebook Places? If so, then you’re on the right track when it comes to using local search tools and location marketing tools to generate more local traffic for your small business. Google Places is one of the best local search tools out there for small businesses. It’s free, you can customize a profile for your business, you can create a Google Places Coupon, and you are leveraging the top search engine on the planet.
Have you seen the business listings that come up next to the Google Map when you perform a search on Google? Those are Google Places listings. They come up when someone uses local search terms in their Google search. If your business has a Google Place page and it’s optimized for the local area, then your business will come up in that list (ahead of all other results!!).
First, you must claim your Google Places page. Then you can customize your Google Places profile. Be sure to include information about your products and services, links to your website, blog, and social media, and don’t forget to include local keywords within the content of your Google Places profile. By adding local keywords and filling out the local information within Google Places your small business will start to come up in the local search results on Google. Google Places and other local search tools are great ways to generate more local search traffic for your small business.
Hopefully these four local marketing ideas will help you generate more local search traffic for your small business. In order to keep track of how effective you’re in generating local search traffic you can use Google Analytics for reporting.