Local Marketing – Part 3: What Local Marketing Tactics and Tools to Consider
- Optimize Your Website for Local Search
- Create a Google My Business Profile
- Manage and Maintain Your Reviews
- Reduce Wasteful Spending with Geo-Targeting
- Take Advantage of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
- Get Involved in Your Community
- <br>Local Marketing Tactics and Strategy: Wrapping It Up
It's Friday night, you're exhausted, and you want some quick grub. Where do you turn? What's your next step? Nine times out of 10, you're heading to Google to check the local establishments that can service you. And since 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device result in a call or visit to the business within 24 hours, implementing local marketing tactics that target your own consumers is essential for business growth.
But it’s not just digital tactics that help you grow. Word-of-mouth marketing and referrals can also power your foot traffic and generate more revenue.
In this three-part series on local marketing, we’ve discussed how local businesses can ramp up their marketing to target and attract local consumers.
In Part 1, we discussed what local marketing is, why it is so beneficial for brands, and how businesses can benefit.
In Part 2, we talked about the importance of creating a local marketing strategy. Without a rock-solid strategy based on sound data, you will blow through your marketing budget and launch local marketing tactics that will likely fall flat.
In our final article below, we will discuss real-world local marketing tactics you can implement today.
PRO TIP: Make sure you understand what we outlined in Part 2 of this article series on local marketing strategy before launching your local marketing tactics. The market research and strategy creation come first, then the tactics.
Now let’s dive in!
Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Local SEO (search engine optimization) refers to optimizing your website and/or local listings to rank high in search for specific user queries.
How do you optimize your website to rank well in the search engines? Your local search rankings depend on various factors, including…
- Website (how well your site performs in terms of speed, structure, user experience)
- Distance (whether you’re near the searcher’s location)
- Relevance (how well your site matches the search)
- Prominence (how well known and well liked your business is)
In the following sections, we will talk about distance, relevance, and prominence related to your local marketing tactics and optimization.
Optimizing your website involves speeding it up, keeping it secure, and making it user-friendly (providing a great UX). This topic is quite extensive and outside the scope of this article. We provided the following resources below if you want to learn more:
- Google Algorithm Update 2021: Why Page Speed Is Key
- Why You Need to Educate Yourself on Core Web Vitals and Google’s New Update
- Diving into UI/UX – Part 1: Understanding the Importance of UI/UX
Create a Google My Business Profile
The best way to boost your local search engine rankings is to tell Google who you are and where you’re located while keeping your business information relevant to user queries.
Unfortunately, you can’t just knock on Google’s door and tell them to list you in their index. So, how do you tell Google your location?
When you set up a Google My Business (GMB) profile, you tell Google who you are so that you can rank in a specific geographical area of Google’s search results. A GMB listing also allows your potential customers to connect with you and learn more about your business.
But here’s the thing: Simply creating a GMB Profile doesn’t guarantee instant Google rankings. That would be impossible considering the thousands of other businesses vying for the same coveted spots.
The key to boosting local search rankings with your GMB profile is to make it as relevant to your business as possible. If a user searches for “best pizza in Lancaster,” and you want Google to display your profile to users searching this term, your GMB profile should reflect this search query in your description, website, reviews, etc.
What should you include in your GMB listing?
First, claim your listing with your business name and get it verified, so you also show up on other Google products (Maps, etc.)
Then, add the following basic information:
- Business name
- Contact information
- Hours of operation (remember holidays)
- Business category and attributes (be as accurate as possible)
IMPORTANT: Make sure the information in your GMB listing is the same as your website. Outdated data will negatively affect your search engine rankings. Keep your data up to date! Whenever you change information on your website, change it on your GMB listing.
Next, add secondary information to your GMB profile to put it in a better position to rank well. This includes the following:
- Images and videos – Give users a visual of your store. Provide them with an immersive experience via images (logo, cover image, website photos) and videos.
- Business description – Keep your description compelling but brief and include relevant keywords.
- FAQs – Add FAQs to your profile to keep users engaged with your profile and prevent them from leaving with unanswered questions. In your GMB listing, people can also answer the questions, so review them periodically for wrong answers.
- Reviews – Positive reviews boost your online reputation, which, as we mentioned before, is one of the factors that boost your SEO rankings. Google LOVES reviews, probably because they are unbiased words from customers, and businesses can’t easily manipulate them. Google also suggests replying to reviews to improve your GMB listing. How do you get reviews and boost your local search rankings? We will talk about this more in a later section in this article.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Google Maps
As you rise in the ranks, you will also notice your Google Maps’ listing rise. Google’s products are intertwined, so optimizing your Google My Business profile and optimizing your website can also provide a lot of exposure in Google Maps when users search for establishments like yours.
How do you optimize your business to get listed in Google Maps? Google rewards you for getting links back to your website. But you can’t just create assets all over the web and send links back to your site. You must earn the links.
To start, submit your site to local directories (e.g., Yelp, Superpages) and add keyword-rich descriptions. Next, collaborate with influencers, other businesses, and websites and build relationships. Offering value and engaging with different companies can reward you with more brand awareness and links to your website.
You may also consider running local search ads to bring your business listing at the top of search queries.
Manage and Maintain Your Reviews
Customer reviews tell Google and the other search engines how valuable your store is to its users. A higher number of positive reviews equates to higher rankings in Google.
According to Google, “…review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’s local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply.”
When your customers post reviews, they show up connected to wherever your Google profile displays online. As you can see, in Google Maps, business reviews and average ratings show up in the individual listings.
How do you get reviews?
Don’t be shy. Seven out of 10 customers leave a review when asked.
- Request reviews and feedback on the bottom of receipts and in pamphlets included with purchases.
- Send emails to customers after they purchased, asking for a review.
- Allow customers to leave reviews on Facebook.
- Add review requests in your email signatures.
It’s not uncommon to get negative reviews, even if your product and customer service are stellar. Display your excellent customer service by replying to every negative review and doing your best to make it right.
Reduce Wasteful Spending with Geo-Targeting
Geo-targeting is local PPC advertising that targets consumers based on their geographical location. It enables you to reduce ad budget spend and only focus on consumers located within the vicinity of your establishment or in the locations your customers reside.
For example, if most of your customers reside northwest of your establishment in a 10-mile section, focus your advertising on that location to keep your campaigns efficient and lean. If you sell goods online in the US, focus your advertising on states that bring the most customers, and exclude the rest.
Don’t have a lot of customers yet? Perform some market research to discover where consumers are searching for keywords related to your store.
Geo-targeting enables you to focus your advertising campaigns, so you maximize your ad spend and reduce wastefulness.
Take Advantage of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Arguably the best local marketing tactic out there, word-of-mouth marketing is effective because it requires zero work and zero marketing spend outside of some initial setup and light upkeep.
Word-of-mouth marketing can boost your growth while you sleep, for it drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13% of consumer sales. People are also 90% more likely to trust and buy from a friendly recommendation.
How do you get customers to talk about you and generate buzz? You can’t coerce people to buy from you; otherwise, it wouldn’t be word-of-mouth marketing. But you can encourage community-focused conversations around your brand.
- Loyalty programs – Loyal customers love to share their favorite products, but some customers might not realize they can gain rewards for doing so. Offer your best customers the chance to join your loyalty program, where they can earn points, rewards, and more on future purchases.
- User-generated content – Encourage local customers to post images (with branded hashtags) on their social profiles while using your product.
Get Involved in Your Community
If you want to get your community talking about your business as the go-to for whatever it is you offer, it’s important to get involved. When you’re active in your community, you’re much more likely to receive support from residents and other businesses.
- Join the Chamber of Commerce – Become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce to get more community exposure.
- Participate in community groups – Join local community groups and meetups where you can introduce your brand to city influencers. For example, if you run a local mortgage brokerage, connect with influential real estate agents in your area to swap leads and get more exposure.
- Look for sponsorship opportunities – Sponsoring local sports teams, school events, and other activities can put your business front and center among those you want to visit your brick-and-mortar location.
Local Marketing Tactics and Strategy: Wrapping It Up
This three-part series covered a wide range of topics to help you get started and succeed with your local marketing. Below are links to the first two parts of this article series. Read and apply the information in these articles first before moving to tactic implementation.
- Local Marketing – Part 1: What Is Local Business Marketing?
- Local Marketing – Part 2: How to Develop a Winning Local Marketing Strategy
In this article, we discussed some profit-boosting local marketing tactics proven to succeed if implemented correctly. We talked about…
- Optimizing your website
- Creating your Google My Business profile
- Managing and maintaining reviews
- Reducing wasteful spending with geo-targeting
- Taking advantage of word-of-mouth marketing
- Getting involved in your community
PRO TIP: In Part 2, we stressed the importance of starting with proper market research and strategy creation, which drives your marketing tactics. To succeed with local marketing and boost long-term business growth, it’s critical to build a rock-solid marketing strategy as your foundation for all of your local marketing tactics and performance metrics.
Wondering if your local marketing efforts are helping or hurting your business? Take advantage of our FREE 20-Point Marketing Audit and Review. Your complimentary audit includes a full website review, social media evaluation, keyword rankings, messaging and branding review, and more.