Local marketing is every small business’s friend. When someone needs a resource, product, or service quickly, they’ll likely turn to a small business first. After all, small businesses know the local market better than a large corporation that is headquartered thousands of miles away.
And the statistics bear this out. According to the report, “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior,”
- 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
- 54 percent of consumers use smartphones to search for local business hours, 53 percent search for directions, and 50 percent search for addresses.
- 50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.
- 18 percent of local searches on smartphones lead to a purchase within a day, compared to only 7 percent of non-local searches.
However, this survey found that only 6 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses in the U.S. have a mobile-friendly website. The businesses that don’t are losing around $60,000 in revenue every year – wow! Obviously, online marketing is critical for your small business.
Use these top four local marketing strategies to help your small business continue to grow:
- Be findable online
The easier it is to find you online, the more you can drive the decision making process and make it easier for the consumer to say, “Yes! This is exactly what I need!” That means:
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
- List your business in online directories, including Google My Business, Yahoo, Bing.
- Ask for reviews on Yelp and Foursquare, and make it easy for people to review you by providing links in emails and on your website.
2. Keep all online information up-to-date
Don’t stop there, though. You need to keep on top of your entire web presence to ensure the information you are sharing is accurate. If your Google Maps listing displays hours that are different than your actual hours, potential customers will get frustrated – and lose confidence in your business.
Often the culprit is easily fixed: Write down the user name and password for each site so you can easily log in and update information.
3. Know your market
Who is your audience, and what information do they need? If you’re not sure, ask them. At the very least, consumers are looking for your phone number, location, and hours. Don’t confuse them by providing too much information – especially on your mobile site.
4. Be responsive
Today’s consumers care about customer service as much as the quality of work you’re providing. They expect a quick response to their phone call, email, or online review, comment, complaint, or question. A lot of businesses don’t respond til the end of the day – or worse, the next day – at which point your potential customer has already moved onto your competitor.
Responding quickly and actively engaging with customers shows that the lights are on, you’re listening, and you care. If you consistently demonstrate that your door is open, you’re going to get more business.
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