With a limited budget allocated for product or service marketing,small and local businesses would prefer less expensive marketing channels since their Target Group (TG) remains within city, a region or state. Small businesses through their physical presence or traditional advertisements (print, radio etc.) reach the customer. The model is having limits in terms of penetration and regional-boundary.
From the business owner’s point of view, small business holders don’t have a qualified in-house team for website designing, hosting and maintaining the same. Thus they have to rely on outsourcing these activities. Lack to technical expertise at those conducting such businesses adds expense of outsourcing. Business owners are generally not internet savvy and moreover they are keen to focus on what they do the best, that is, Business! Therefore it’s logical to hire someone for designing and maintaining their websites and now a days getting traffic and potential leads (getting business). Point of debate is such outsourcing is an expense or an investment?
Successful Local advertising is not limited to just using traditional ways of advertising but to adopt and optimize digital marketing with an integrated marketing ROI model.
Looking at today’s Social Media generation, Facebook and Google have changed the way people socialize and share information. How easy it is to share news, updates, location and views through smart-phones in Facebook and let people know where you like to hang out… Effortless!
Google locations and maps (now with the advanced voice navigation systems) allow you to get identified, located and even grow your business. Directional maps are now available to both local and universal searchers. Within minutes, this do it yourself activity can help you be known locally, sounds Good news, right?
The most powerful search engine in India and world, Google search gives prominence to local pages. Google with its universal search algorithm update has included local listing results for the user. If you believe what the search engine optimizers are saying, then the bottom line is – when a local business is being searched, you have to be present if you wish more business.
One thought which I believe to be taken with a pinch of salt is about having Google+ profile for your brand. More visibility to your local business can be earned if you have an updated Google+ profile.
Let the experts help you: Seeking professional SEO help can appear to be an overhead to some businesses at the start, however, from the long term perspective, a seasoned SEO can help with the White hat optimization techniques for quality traffic which will ‘convert’ well. You can seek help from SEOs and for good quality content, reaching out to freelance content writers will be a good idea. The content can be created and optimized for on page (website content) or for submissions (indirect traffic) . Freelance SEO and content writers can do a better job by considering the local flavor and regional understanding. Local SEO experts, research your competitors and can help develop such winning content to compete against them at the business front or getting top rankings in search engines.
Let us analyze some of the reasons why small businesses prefer SEO experts for local approach.
Going local can give more visibility since Google gives preference to local business listing during location specific searches, these are mostly keywords or key phrases having city name included. One of the low cost way to get your business a lift, as you need not pay to make your presence locally.
Google displays reviews and review points in your local pages for the search results. By simple understanding, a positive review about purchased product and service create more Goodwill and emphasize the trust. More review points mean more people have tried the product or service and are happy with it, that’s the way to be more authentic. Maps, address verification, reviews, images and videos of the local business makes it more authentic to people seeking information known or unknown.
With the advent of Smartphone and searches growing per day, truly mobile will overtake the computer in a few years. Since more than half of search for local information is done through smart-phones, mobile versions of your pages and applications can make you more accessible. Local businesses and brands gain the most as people are trying to find businesses on-the-go using smart-phones.
On-the-go searchers will try the options visible to them on their mobile search. If they’re in a particular location searching for a product, they’ll definitely try to check the nearest store available and if they find the product satisfactory buy it too. The possibilities of conversion are higher when one finds local pages on-the-go.
Easy to start
Creating a Google+ or Facebook profile is very easy. Ask the kids, even they have Facebook profiles now. Updating the profile frequently with shareable content (such as coupons or offers) and trying to get more viewers what requires some time and ideas. You can easily add new product updates and offers in Google+ and Facebook and let your friends and customers know about it without much trouble.
Local customers will be interested in letting their friends know about your business through social networks.
All recommended digital solutions above does not strictly require much online marketing expertise and hence can be done by self, however its always better to have someone work on complex search marketing games!