Below is my idea of a perfect marking package for a local business. There are one or two bits that might not apply to certain types of companies, so you could think of it more as a pick and mix, depending on your needs. It includes a mixture of tactics, some that you can do yourself (depending on your capability) and some that you may require some additional support with.
For a local business, SEO comes in two parts. There is the bog standard SEO (Search engine optimisation) that focuses on your rankings in the organic results, and then there is Local SEO which focuses on your rankings in the local pack. Below is a diagram to show the difference between organic and local results:
Ranking at the top of the local and organic results for your local area can be super powerful for your business. The search results are getting more competitive by the minute, so if you are not in the top half of page 1, no one will be looking at your business. There are parts of SEO that you can do yourself to save yourself some money, but only if you have plenty of time on your hands. At some point, you will need to hire an SEO agency or freelancer to help you.
Now, usually this would fall under Local SEO as you can collect reviews on your Google+ page which show in the local results, but if you are a restaurant or cafe etc, reviews are strong enough to be a sole marketing tactic. When visiting a new area, many people search around on TripAdvisor to find suitable restaurants or places to eat for when this visit. So ranking well on Tripadvisor can work wonders for driving new customers to your door.
Also known as Pay Per Click or Adwords, PPC has a common reputation for being expensive. This can be true, if not setup correctly. PPC allows you to show ads in the Google search results. 90% of the PPC accounts that I have orphaned are in an awful state, with ads showing for irrelevant search terms and burning money all day long.
I recently helped a roofer who had his PPC setup by Yell.com. They made a royal mess of it, even to the point where his ads were showing for things such as:
- Roofing jobs
- Roofing boots
- Video of Roof vs. tornado
If you are desperate for new enquiries and can’t wait long enough for the SEO work to kick in, PPC can be a great way to get instant traffic to your website. You can set your ads to only show to the local area and even narrow it down to particular hours of the day. So if you know that most people will be looking in the evening, we can set it so the ads only show at that time of day.
There are several social media platforms for a local business to use, but one that suits pretty much all business types is Facebook. Just like PPC, you can set up ads to show on Facebook. There are several filtering options for the ads, such as gender, age, interests and even location. Social media is also a great way to stay in front of your existing customers.
The best example I can use in my own experience is a cake shop. There is a local cake shop near my work and they often upload pictures to Facebook and Instagram of any new cakes they have to offer. My bank account and cake gut will tell you that it works very well for them.
Hopefully, you will already have a great website. But if you don’t, it is pointless putting a single penny into these other tactics until you get a good website. It’s hard to define what a good website should be, but there are a few basic things that certainly help:
- Mobile friendly website
- Sufficient information about your business and your products
- Several options to get in touch (email, phone, contact form etc)
- Great pictures and a nice design
Now, this doesn’t help drive new customers. But email newsletters can be a great way to get back in front of previous customers, as it gives you a way to show any new events coming up, any special offers or anything new that you have to offer.
It is also super affordable to do as tools such as MailChimp offer a free package for companies with up to 2000 subscribers which should be more than enough for a local business. They also offer templates to help you along with the design elements. You could always get a freelancer to design your template and talk you through how to use it so it should only be a small one-off fee, and then you can take it from there.
Want To Get Started?
Whether you want to get started with the above or you have a question related to online marketing, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.