Local Online Marketing: 6 Ways to Draw in Local Customers

February 8, 2021

About 97% of search engine users look online to find local businesses. If your website doesn't appear online, you could miss a chance to reach customers. Instead, you need a local online marketing strategy.

What is local marketing, exactly? It's a blend of different strategies that can help you reach consumers in your area. With local marketing online, you can appeal to the local consumer's specific interests.

Then, you can boost brand awareness, draw them to your store, and generate more sales!

Want to start reaching nearby customers? Give these tips a try! With this local marketing guide, you can expand your reach and set yourself up for success.

Don't let competitors snatch up your local customers. Instead, start marketing with these easy tips today! 

1. Update Your Website

Before you start developing your local online marketing strategy, take a look at your website.

In some cases, your website makes the first impression on your customers. What impression are you leaving behind? If your website doesn't have a positive impact, consumers will leave your site.

They'll take their business elsewhere, giving your competitors the advantage.

These local marketing tips won't help you if your website isn't ready to impress customers. Instead, consider updating your website for a better user experience.

User experience (UX) design trends can offer users a unique, easy, convenient online experience. The easier it is for them to use your site, the more likely they'll explore. As they explore and click around, they'll learn more about your business.

You can then show consumers your unique value proposition and draw more people to your brand.

As more people click around and linger, your dwell time and clickthrough rate will improve. Meanwhile, your bounce rate will drop. A lower bounce rate can boost your search engine ranking.

A higher search engine ranking will help you appear in front of more customers!

UX Design Tips

To update your website with UX in mind, try:

  • Infusing your brand (including your logo, font, color scheme, voice, tone, and personality)
  • Maintaining brand consistency across every page
  • Updating broken links or buttons
  • Making sure forms are short and easy to use
  • Choosing easy to read fonts and colors
  • Organizing your content with headings and subheadings
  • Making sure you're mobile-optimized
  • Adding an SSL certificate and improving your security
  • Improving your page load times

If your website is slow, people will leave without clicking around. Your bounce rate will rise as a result.

More people are checking for local businesses from their smartphones. If your website isn't mobile-optimized, you'll fail to reach these customers.

You can use Google's PageSpeed Insights to determine what's slowing your website down. Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure you're mobile-optimized, too.

Core Vitals

Google wants to provide its users with the best possible experience. In fact, it considers the user experience as part of its search engine algorithm. If you want to further improve your website, consider Google's Core Web Vitals.

For example, you can:

  • Choose better hosting
  • Optimize your images
  • Use a content delivery network
  • Leverage page catching
  • Minify your CSS and Javascript codes
  • Minify and compress Javascript files
  • Delete unwanted Javascript files or code
  • Enable browser caching
  • Eliminate unnecessary third-party scripts
  • Split long Javascript tasks up
  • Preload custom web fonts
  • Set fixed dimensions for your images
  • Limit embedded content and iframes

Updating your website with these core vitals in mind can help you further improve your ranking. 

2. Create Location-Based Content

When determining your search engine ranking, Google looks for high-quality, informative, engaging content. It also looks for unique content. Don't duplicate what other people are posting online.

Instead, use the skyscraper method. Look at the highest-ranking posts on Google for keywords that are relevant to your business. Then, gather the best parts of each post.

Create your own post on the same topic. Make your post even more informative than the existing posts. Make sure to reference studies, statistics, and other data in your posts as well.

Don't forget to add location-based pages to your website, too.

For example, do you have multiple business locations? Create a dedicated page for each location. Then, mention information that's relevant to each location, including the:

  • Area you cover
  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Contact person
  • Email
  • Services or products you offer
  • An embedded Google map
  • Parking information
  • Customer reviews and testimonials

Location-based content will help you appeal to local customers.

Take the time to learn more about your customers, too. Who are they? What do they care about?

What problems can you help your customers solve?

Compile psychographic and demographic research. For example, consider their age, gender, and marital status. You'll find people who fall under different demographics have different priorities.

For example, you'll probably want to create different content for an 18-year-old male versus a 42-year-old mother of three kids. 

Create content in different forms, including videos, ebooks, infographics, polls, and quizzes. Then, start sharing your content online.

Make sure your content appeals to the user's search intent. What are they looking for?

Understanding your customers' needs and wants will help you appeal to that intent.

3. Use Pay-Per-Click

Nearly 50% of businesses are already using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. You can create PPC ads for Google, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. As part of your local online marketing strategy, PPC can expand your reach.

In addition to helping you reach local customers, PPC can also help you:

  • Generate brand awareness
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Boost leads, conversions, and sales

With PPC ads, you'll pay each time someone clicks on one of your ads. Make sure to create a strong PPC advertising strategy before you get started. Otherwise, it could get costly.

For example, it helps to use precise targeting for your campaigns. You can pinpoint your ideal customers based on demographics and keywords. That way, your ads only appear in front of people who will have an interest in your business. 

Instead of a PPC campaign, you might want to consider Google Local Services Ads.

These ads will appear in front of consumers who are looking for a local business. For example, if someone searches "Los Angeles locksmith," Google will display a list of locksmiths in the area.

With PPC ads, you'll choose what keywords you target. With Google Local Services Ads, Google chooses the keyword.

One of the benefits of Google Local Services Ads is the "Google Guaranteed" trust mark that appears beside the listing. This trust mark can help you look more credible in front of customers. 

4. Optimize for Local Search

About 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. Meanwhile, over 75% of people who search on their phones for something nearby visit a business within 24 hours. About 28% of those searches result in a purchase.

With search engine optimization (SEO), you can appear on Google each time someone searches for your product or service. With local SEO, you can appear in front of more local customers. They'll see your website or Google My Business (GMB) listing during a search.

Then, customers can visit your website, find directions to your store, or call you directly. 

With a local SEO strategy, you can:

  • Generate brand awareness
  • Increase your online visibility
  • Generate more traffic to your website
  • Gather high-quality leads
  • Increase brand recognition
  • Become a thought leader in the industry
  • Establish your credibility
  • Rank ahead of the competition
  • Build brand trust and loyalty
  • Increase conversions, leads, and sales
  • Improve your ROI

It's not enough to improve your SEO ranking, though. Instead, you need to reach the top of the first page. Otherwise, people might not find your business.

In fact, only 0.78% of people look at the second page of results. By improving your ranking with local business online marketing, you can reach the top of the page. Then, you can boost your online visibility and generate more awareness. 

There are a few ways to optimize your strategy for local SEO.

First, make sure to update your website. Google uses many ranking factors to determine rankings. If your website is slow, outdated, or insecure, your ranking could drop.

Here are a few tips that can help you improve your local SEO rankings.

Update Your GMB Listing

One of the most important components of a successful local SEO strategy is an updated GMB listing. Your GMB listing will show customers your:

  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Directions
  • Hours
  • Customer reviews
  • Website

It's important to keep your GMB listing up-to-date. Otherwise, consumers might get confused if you display inaccurate information.

For example, did you change your hours in light of COVID-19? Are you still open? What if customers visit your store and find you closed?

Updating your GMB listing will give consumers easy access to information about your business. They can use the listing to find directions to your store or call you with questions. They can also use your listing to find customer reviews.

Manage Customer Reviews

About 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. Meanwhile, 92% of customers read reviews about local businesses to determine their quality.

Google uses customer reviews when determining your local SEO ranking. If you want to develop a strong local online marketing strategy, you need fresh reviews.

Customer reviews can benefit your business by:

  • Making a strong first impression with new customers
  • Helping you receive helpful insights from previous customers
  • Boosting your local SEO ranking
  • Helping you build brand awareness and recognition 
  • Acting as a form of social proof 
  • Helping you recognize your loyal customers
  • Establishing your credibility in the industry 
  • Helping you generate more website traffic
  • Ensuring you remain transparent and honest in front of customers
  • Helping you remain competitive
  • Informing the customer's buying decisions

The more people know about your business, the more likely they'll feel like they can trust you. As brand trust grows, you can turn it into brand loyalty. Then, you can retain long-time customers to improve your ROI.

About 95% of customers tell others about their bad experiences. Meanwhile, only 87% share their good experiences. In fact, 89% of customers take their business to a competitor after a negative customer experience.

It's important to learn how to manage your Google reviews. For example, you shouldn't delete negative reviews outright. Instead, respond to the comments you receive and show people you're willing to change.

Consumers will see you want to help them and come back for more.

It can take a lot of time from your schedule to manage your reviews manually. Instead, use a review management tool. Equipping yourself with the right tools can improve your local online marketing strategy. 

5. Stay Social

As you start using these local marketing tips, don't forget to check your social media accounts. Social media is a great way to keep your local customers engaged.

For example, you can use social media to announce sales or offer people coupons. You can use social media for organic and paid opportunities, too. Remember, you can create PPC ads using platforms on Instagram and Facebook.

Running social media ads will help you draw in new leads.

For example, you can use Facebook hyperlocal ads. Also known as local awareness ads, these ads are ideal for targeting small areas. For example, you can focus on a single zip code for each campaign.

As you create location-based content on your website, share it on social media. Then, you can generate more traffic, which can boost your local SEO ranking. As your ranking improves, you can generate even more traffic in the future. 

6. Make Sure You're Mobile-Friendly

Remember, mobile customers are checking their phones to find nearby businesses. If you want to use local marketing online, make sure you're mobile-optimized. 

If you're not mobile-optimized, you could frustrate website visitors. They'll leave your website without clicking around, which could hurt your SEO ranking.

You'll need a mobile-optimized website for PPC advertising, too. Otherwise, people will struggle to navigate your pages. 

Don't miss an opportunity to connect with your local customers. Instead, use these six local online marketing strategies. With these tips, you can boost brand awareness and traffic to your business.

Then, you can generate more leads, sales, and conversions, all while improving your ROI.

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